This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 06 August 2021

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Aug 16, 2021

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 06 August 2021

Olympic trivia for the day…Eddie Alvarez is about to become just the third American, and sixth Olympic athlete overall, to win medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.  Alvarez won a silver medal as a member of the 5,000-meter ice skating relay team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.  He then transitioned to baseball, which he noted has absolutely nothing in common with speed skating other than requiring a series of left turns.  He is now a shortstop in the Miami Marlins system with their AAA minor league affiliate in Jacksonville, FL.  With yesterday’s 7 – 2 victory over South Korea, the USA Baseball team is assured of nothing worse than a silver medal depending upon the outcome of tomorrow’s gold medal game against Japan.  That has nothing to do with the economy, but I thought it was neat.


Back to the economy, issues with supply constraints remains a broken-record reference, but data this week highlighted the economy's resilience in spite of those continuing problems.  Meanwhile financial markets weighed the impact of the Delta variant wave on the outlook for the economy and Fed policy. ISM surveys for the manufacturing and service sectors continued to show businesses' ability to operate in this supply-strained world, with the latter hitting a new record high. Finally, this morning's virtually blemish-free employment report marked a big step down the road of "substantial further progress."

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Minutes from the January 28-29 FOMC meeting indicate the coronavirus will not push the Fed to cut interest rates, and for the most part housing and manufacturing survey data this week supported that view.

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The Fed expects to hold interest rates near zero through the end of this year, perhaps well into next year, and maybe even into ’22.

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In the second installment of our series on economic risks in the foreseeable future, we analyze the potential for higher inflation in coming years stemming from excess demand.

Rising COVID-19 Cases Put A Damper On Re-openings

The rising number of COVID-19 infections gained momentum this week, with most of the rise occurring in the South and West. The rise in infections is larger than can be explained by increased testing alone and is slowing re-openings.

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Minutes from the October FOMC meeting indicated the Fed is content to remain on the sidelines for the rest of this year as the looser financial conditions resulting from rate cuts at three consecutive meetings feed through to the economy.

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In the holiday-shortened week, analysts’ attention remained on the progress of the labor market. Recent jobless claims data remain stubbornly high and point to a slowing jobs rebound.

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The resurgence in COVID-19 in much of the Sun Belt appears to have topped out, although cases are rising faster in some smaller mid-Atlantic states and in parts of Europe, Asia and Australia.

Economic Uncertainty Seems Removed Going Into The New Year 2020

The U.S. economy continues to expand, albeit at a moderate pace. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.1 percent in Q3/19.

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Data from the opening weekend of College Football indicates that we will have to endure another season of Nick Saban deification.

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The details were generally more favorable. The retail sectors hurt most by the pandemic saw gains in August, factory output is growing and soaring homebuilder confidence suggests soft construction data this week may be transitory.


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