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The Economic Impact of the COVID-19

Several readers have asked about the economic impact of the novel coronavirus. The answer is it depends on the severity of the epidemic. Goldman Sachs economists wrote this morning: Our new baseline scenario involves a continued slowdown in infections in China that allows for a slow recovery in high-frequency indicators of economic activity. However, it […]

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Q1 GDP Forecasts: 1.1% to 2.6%

From Merrill Lynch: The data lifted 1Q GDP tracking by 0.4pp to 1.3% qoq saar. [Feb 28 estimate]emphasis added From Goldman Sachs: We lowered our Q1 GDP tracking estimate by two tenths to +1.1% (qoq ar), reflecting a larger expected drag from inventories. [Feb 27 estimate] From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report The New York […]

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Personal Income increased 0.6% in January, Spending increased 0.2%, Core PCE increase 0.1%

The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for January: Personal income increased $116.5 billion (0.6 percent) in January according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $101.4 billion (0.6 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $29.6 billion (0.2 percent). Real DPI increased 0.5 percent […]

Tax

Beware of Malware

As tax preparers and keepers of important information, there’s a lot to be vigilant about during tax season. Fraudsters, phishing scams, and identity theft all top the list. Here’s another thing to be wary of: Malware. Malware is designed to gain access to computer systems, generally for the benefit of a third party, without a […]

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How to use iBonds like a pro

Interest rates continue to hover at super-low levels, adding to uncertainty for bond investors. Among the worries: A turnaround in rates could lower the value of existing holdings. Holding bonds to maturity is one strategy to help seek a potential positive return on a fixed income portfolio even when rates change. Unless the issuer defaults, […]

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate Decreased in January, Lowest since 2007

Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate in January was 0.60%, down from 0.63% in December. Freddie’s rate is down from 0.70% in January 2019. This the lowest delinquency rate since November 2007. Freddie’s serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%. These are mortgage loans that are “three monthly payments or […]

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NAR: “Pending Home Sales Ascend 5.2% in January”

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Ascend 5.2% in January Pending home sales rebounded in January, ticking up following a decline in December, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only the West region reported a minor drop in month-over-month contract activity, while the other three major regions each saw pending home sales grow. Year-over-year […]

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Kansas City Fed: “Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Increased Modestly” in February

From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Increased Modestly The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the February Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity increased modestly, reaching positive territory for the […]

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Q4 GDP Unchanged at 2.1% Annual Rate

From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Year 2019 (Second Estimate) Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 (table 1), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP also increased 2.1 […]

Tax

If 50% of the world’s investments are going to ethically invested within five years there’s going to be a massive demand for accounting reform

The FT’s Moral Money column  noted this yesterday: For years, US investment managers have been talking about huge demand building for ESG funds — but until recently the flow of money into sustainable products had failed to live up to the hype.  Now, however, it appears the dam has burst. After a record-setting 2019, Deloitte is […]