Economic Update August 22, 2016

Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.” – Henrik Tikkanen WEEKLY TIP               If you have recently divorced, be sure to review your will, your legal documents, and the beneficiary forms for your retirement accounts and insurance policies. All of them may need to be revised. WEEKLY RIDDLE              It floats gently when it is born, lies still when it is alive, and runs when it is dead. What is it?       Last week’s riddle: Three women leave work with only one umbrella to share between them. They all try to fit under the one umbrella as they walk to a cafe. When they reach the cafe, none of them are the least bit wet. Why?   Last week’s answer: It never rained as they were walking.           August 22, 2016     IS A 2016 INTEREST RATE HIKE STILL POSSIBLE? According to the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July monetary policy meeting, some Federal Open Market Committee members felt “that economic conditions would soon warrant taking another step in removing policy accommodation.” Others favored waiting longer to adjust rates, contending that the strong hiring seen in recent months would presently moderate. Fed officials broadly agreed that more economic data would be needed before any action.1      NO CPI ADVANCE IN JULY The federal government’s Consumer Price Index went nowhere last month, leaving yearly inflation at a mere 0.8%. The core CPI advanced another 0.1%, which put the 12-month gain in core consumer prices at 2.2%. In the year ending in June,...

Economic Update August 8, 2016

Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” – John Muir WEEKLY TIP               Your will, trust, and powers of attorney should be reviewed regularly, once a year if possible. Time can alter priorities and intentions. WEEKLY RIDDLE              What three letters can you use to spell out a word meaning “enemy?”       Last week’s riddle: What can you find precisely in the middle of Miami?   Last week’s answer: The letter A.           August 8, 2016     TWO STRAIGHT MONTHS OF IMPRESSIVE JOB GAINS The Department of Labor provided Wall Street and Main Street with some great news Friday. Last month, the population of Americans with full-time jobs rose by 255,000. About 70,000 of the workers hired in July found employment within the professional and business services sectors. In addition, the huge June hiring gain was revised slightly upward to 292,000. As labor force participation increased to 62.8% in July, the headline jobless rate stayed at 4.9% while the broader U-6 measure of unemployment came in at 9.7%; the average wage rose 0.3%. Across the past year, the economy has added an average of 206,000 jobs a month.1     SOLID CONSUMER SPENDING IN JUNE Households boosted their spending by 0.4% in the sixth month of 2016, according to a new report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The June advance matched the gain in May. Personal incomes also rose 0.2% for the second month in a row.2...

Economic Update August 1, 2016

Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine WEEKLY TIP               Small business owners need not buy on impulse. The longer an SBO can postpone a major purchase, the more time he or she gains to locate the best deal or the product or service best suited to the needs and goals of the company. WEEKLY RIDDLE              What can you find precisely in the middle of Miami?       Last week’s riddle: Take the number 3 and add another number 3, and you get 6 … but how can you get 8 from a pair of threes?   Last week’s answer: Flip one of the 3s around and join it to the other 3 to make the number 8.           August 1, 2016     CONFIDENCE INDICES HOLD STEADY Rising half a point from its previous reading, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index finished July at 90.0. The Conference Board’s monthly household confidence gauge came in at 97.3 last week, near its (revised) June mark of 97.4.1     ROUNDING UP THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS New Census Bureau data shows new home sales up 3.5% in June after a 6.0% May setback. Pending sales of existing homes increased 0.2% in June, reported the National Association of Realtors. The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index (20-city composite) rose 0.9% in May, putting its annualized gain at 5.2%.1     ECONOMY GREW JUST 1.2% IN Q2 The Bureau of Economic Analysis disappointed Wall Street with its initial estimate of second quarter GDP. Economists polled...