This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 20 August 2021

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Aug 24, 2021

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 20 August 2021

In a little bit of a twist, I’ll highlight an International element of the week’s current economic activity.  The Wells Fargo Economics team notes in the Commentary that new COVID cases in New Zealand disrupted the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's plan to tighten monetary policy this week.  That raises a question about whether, going forward, rising COVID cases alter any other central banks' plans to normalize interest rates.  Also, China activity data missed expectations by a wide margin, signaling China's economy is also under pressure as a result of new restrictions.




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European activity is surging. Germany and Italy are leading the way, but France is close behind despite an ongoing rise in cases. The Google data are a bit outdated, but are hard to reconcile with today’s weak Eurozone services PMI figures.

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An inter-meeting rate cut by the FOMC did little to stem financial market volatility, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to climb.

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Housing starts jumped 5.8% during December. Single-family starts soared 12%, while multifamily starts dropped 13.6%.

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Economic data continue to suggest the U.S. economy is only gradually losing momentum. Consumers continue to spend, and industrial and housing activity are seeing some stabilization.

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Employers continued to add jobs at a steady clip in October, demonstrating the labor market remains tight and the FOMC will continue to tighten policy.

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 25 June 2021

Supply chain bottlenecks continue to cause pain-in-the-necks. In spite of all the difficulties, the Economic whizzes in the WF Economics team have upgraded their forecast for full-year 2021 U.S.

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The global mobility playing field is equalizing. Major European countries such as Germany and France have seen a slowdown in recent weeks, leaving them right in line with the United States relative to the January baseline.

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Although payroll growth is easing, the labor market remains relatively tight. The unemployment rate inched up to 3.9% in October, slightly higher than the cycle low of 3.4% first hit in January 2023, but still low compared to historical averages.

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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.

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Sometimes, the impact of higher rates is quite obvious, such as the series of bank failures that occurred earlier this year.


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