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Analysis Topic: Economic Trends Analysis

The analysis published under this topic are as follows.

Economics

Saturday, April 16, 2011

U.S. Factory Production Strong in March and the First Quarter / Economics / US Economy

By: Asha_Bangalore

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleIndustrial production rose 0.8% during March, following more muted gains of 0.1% in each of the prior two months.  Factory production, which excludes output of the nation's utilities and mining sector, advanced 0.7% in March, following impressive gains of 0.8% and 0.6% in January and February, respectively.  As a result of these strong monthly increases, factory production in the first quarter of 2011 moved up at an annual rate of 9.2%, the largest increase since 1997 (see Chart 4). 

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Economics

Saturday, April 16, 2011

U.S. March Consumer Price Index, Fed Finds Itself Between a Rock and a Hard Place / Economics / Inflation

By: Asha_Bangalore

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% in March, following a similar increase in February.  The 3.5% increase of the energy price index and the 0.8% jump in food prices made up three quarters of the overall increase of the CPI in March.  On a year-to-year basis, the CPI has risen 2.7% in March, putting the three-month annualized gain at 6.1%.  The core CPI, which excludes food and energy rose 0.1% in March, which yields a three-month annualized increase of 2.0%.  The acceleration of these inflation measures in a short time period is noteworthy (see Chart 1). 

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Economics

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Myth of Japan's Economic Depression Lost Decades / Economics / Japan Economy

By: Kel_Kelly

Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe earthquake, tsunami, and lingering nuclear crisis in Japan have devastated that country's people and their place in the global economy. Can the island nation recover? To see where Japan might go next, we have to look at one of the persistent myths about its recent past — the myth of the lost decades.

It is widely thought that Japan is in the 21st year of a recession, or at least of a muddle-through sluggish economy. Part of this poor performance, economists and the financial press habitually state, is that Japan has experienced a terrible deflation. Nevertheless, I claim that Japan's economic state for the past two decades, up until the recent disasters, has in fact been comparable to that of most developed nations.

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Economics

Friday, April 15, 2011

Energy and Car Prices Lift U.S. Wholesale Price Index in March / Economics / Inflation

By: Asha_Bangalore

The Producer Price Index (PPI) of Finished Goods rose 0.7% in March following a 1.6% gain in the prior month.  A higher energy price index (+2.6%) and a jump in prices of new light motor trucks (+0.7%) were the main drivers of the overall PPI in March.  The 5.7% increase in gasoline prices and 2.7% gain in heating oil stand out among the price gains reported in the March wholesale price report.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 90% of the increase in the wholesale price index is attributed to the higher energy price index.  The 0.2% drop in food prices helped to trim the overall advance of wholesale prices and recorded the first decline in food prices since August 2010.

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Economics

Friday, April 15, 2011

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Surprise Jump / Economics / Unemployment

By: Asha_Bangalore

Initial jobless claims rose 27,000 to 412,000 during the week ended April 9.  It is surprising given that initial jobless have been trending down and holding below 400,000 for four straight weeks. 

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Economics

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recession by End of Year? / Economics / Double Dip Recession

By: Mike_Shedlock

John Taylor, CEO of FX Concepts, a currency trading firm with $8 billion under management says "We'll be in a recession by the end of the year. Three reasons: QE2 will end, Republicans are running the House, and the price of gas is heading up."

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Economics

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fed’s Exit Doors Close: Inflationary Spiral Ahead / Economics / Inflation

By: Dr_Jeff_Lewis

The pressure for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to put a damper on inflation is growing strong.  This week, Reuters reported that Bill Gross’s PIMCO Total Return Fund, the largest mutual fund in the world, had reduced its US Treasury holdings to zero, and then followed the sale with a short-position, signaling to the market that holding US debt is not only risky, but also an entry into an asset class that provides a negative return when adjusted for inflation.

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Economics

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why the Feds Are Desperate to Avoid an Economic Correction / Economics / Economic Stimulus

By: Bill_Bonner

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleWhoa! This is getting interesting. Two major central banks are tightening – China and the ECB.

But nobody seems to care. These central banks are warning investors to sell their high-risk investments. Instead, gold hits new records! The dollar is at a 15-month low. And oil moves up to $125 a barrel.

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Economics

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No Need for Villains on the Trade Issue / Economics / Protectionism

By: Ian_Fletcher

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleJudging by, among other things, the comments posted on articles about America’s trade mess, a lot of people are getting very angry on the issue. Words like “traitor” are making their appearance.

This is unfortunate, because if free trade is wrong, then it is coldly, factually wrong on its merits, and turning it into a drama of innocents and villains is unnecessary.

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Economics

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Economics 101: Long Material, Short Certified Idiots / Economics / US Dollar

By: Fred_Sheehan

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleSome relationships:

The last time the U.S. dollar exceeded 120 on the dollar index (ticker symbol DXY: a measurement of the dollar against other currencies) was in January 2002. The close on April 8, 2011, was 75.08, a 37 % decline.

Since January, 2002, gold has risen from $282 to $1,475 an ounce, also quoted at the April 8, 2011, close

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Economics

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

U.S. March Small Business Survey is Disappointing, Trade Gap Temporary Narrowing / Economics / US Economy

By: Asha_Bangalore

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe Small Business Optimism Index dropped 2.6 points to 91.9 from 94.5 in March.  The details of the survey are disappointing following an encouraging March employment report of the nation.  The composite index registered the second monthly decline in six months. 

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Economics

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is Compounding Debt Mankind’s Kryptonite? / Economics / Global Debt Crisis

By: Submissions

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleSilverDoctors writes: Throughout history, mankind has struggled to end the boom/bust economic cycle, and usher in a new age of economic prosperity.  The middle ages saw monarchy/ feudal/ serf systems.  Marx and Lenin believed economic prosperity could be achieved through socialism or communism- complete sharing of economic wealth and resources.  The modern Western world-influenced by the likes of Adam Smith, Keynes, and Friedman, has tried to achieve this through capitalism- the private ownership of goods with the incentive for personal profit.   The Chinese have developed a modern hybrid of capitalism and communism.  Hard money advocates believe fiat currency is the issue, and a return to sound money such as gold and silver will finally usher in the era of economic prosperity. 

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Economics

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Inflation Expectations and The Transmission Mechanism / Economics / Inflation

By: John_Mauldin

Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleTWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

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Economics

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why Do People Hate John Maynard Keynes? / Economics / Economic Theory

By: Mike_Whitney

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAnyone who spends time on the economics blogs knows that Keynes is blamed for everything from the Wall Street bailouts to quantitative easing. But, why? There's nothing in Keynes "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" that suggests that he would have supported the bailouts or QE2. Yes, he would have made sure the financial system didn't collapse, but that doesn't mean he would have issued blank checks to insolvent financial institutions run by crooked bankers.

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Economics

Saturday, April 09, 2011

America's Inflationary Depression / Economics / Great Depression II

By: Bob_Chapman

We see signs that American workers are getting worn out. Management may have squeezed the last drops of extra work that they can out of them.  That has been reflected in the latest worker productivity. Since WWII the average increase has been 2-1/2% year after year, but last week’s numbers were terrible, up only 0.2% per year. Europe and the US have been able in part to offset advantages of foreign producers by consistently getting better productivity results. For those of you that are new to these statistics, they are a reflection of labor productivity, or advances in the way work is done. Such previous success have allowed companies to get the job done with fewer employees and in instances to offshore some work to take advantage of cheap foreign labor. If you use a combination of labor and investment funds, recent results are only up 0.1% for 2009. Those numbers are usually about half of regular productivity numbers. What low overall numbers mean is that throwing money at manufacturing problems is not working as well as it has in the past.

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Economics

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Near-term Economic Outlook For A Troubled World / Economics / Global Economy

By: Victoria_Marklew

Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAn article by Victoria Marklew, Richard Thies and James A. Pressler

Although 2011 is only three months old, the world has changed dramatically. Along with the evolving European debt crisis, seemingly -isolated Tunisian protests grew to varying levels of upheaval throughout the Arab world, and an historic earthquake and subsequent tsunami have left Japan's outlook under a cloud of uncertainty. Each of these situations is significant in its scope and magnitude, but by focusing on just the key elements, the main risks can be appreciated.

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Economics

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Economists Shocked By Are We Really Losing Jobs to China! / Economics / Employment

By: Ian_Fletcher

There’s a nice new academic paper just out by an MIT economist and his friends that gives some hard data to back up everyone’s suspicion that the U.S. is losing jobs to China. It’s entitled “The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States,” by David Autor, and you can download it here if you’re curious.

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Economics

Saturday, April 09, 2011

U.S. Consumer Price Index, Medical Care Costs, and the Paul Ryan Medicare Proposal / Economics / Inflation

By: Asha_Bangalore

Historical trends of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the medical care components in the CPI are useful to assess some aspects of the Medicare proposal in the Paul Ryan budget.  In the past 20 years, the medical care component of CPI has consistently risen faster than the CPI, with the exception of 2008 (see Chart 1).  

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Economics

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Free Trade Theory That’s Killing America’s Economy, Why It’s Wrong / Economics / Economic Theory

By: Ian_Fletcher

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleI wrote in a previous article how America’s disastrous embrace of free trade is ultimately based on a false theory of how the global economy works: the so-called Theory of Comparative Advantage. This is what economists, from the government on down, believe in. This matters.

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Economics

Friday, April 08, 2011

U.S. Jobless Downtrend Remains in Place / Economics / Unemployment

By: Asha_Bangalore

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleInitial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 382,000 during the week ended April 2, which puts the 4-week moving average at 389,500.  Continuing claims, which lag initial jobless fell 9,000 to 3.723 million.  The good news is that the downward trend of jobless claims is maintained.  The number of claimants under the special programs fell for the week ended March 19 declined roughly 90,000.  Going forward a larger drop would be necessary to be consistent with the strength seen in private sector payrolls in February and March. 

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