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February 2024
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Bloomberg (January 26)

2024/ 01/ 28 by jd in Global News

In the “race for world’s biggest economy,” the U.S. has extended its “lead over china.” U.S. GDP “rose 6.3% in nominal terms…last year, outpacing China’s 4.6% gain.” Some of that is due to inflation, but the result “underscores a broader point: The US economy is emerging from the pandemic period in a better place than China’s.”


Washington Post (January 25)

2024/ 01/ 26 by jd in Global News

“The nation’s economy was supposed to have sunk into recession by now, dragged down by the highest interest rates in two decades and a resulting slump in borrowing and spending. Instead, the U.S. economy has kept chugging along. Even more encouraging, inflation, which touched a four-decade high in 2022, has edged steadily lower without the painful layoffs that most economists had thought would be necessary to slow the acceleration of prices.”


The Atlantic (January 4)

2024/ 01/ 06 by jd in Global News

“The illusion persists, despite all evidence…. Poll after poll shows that at best, only 20 percent of Americans say the economy is doing better than it was a year ago.” But by very valid measures, many more are doing better: “Unemployment is lower. Wages are growing. Inflation is declining…. These are tangible improvements in household income that should be cheering people up. And still, they are not.”


USA Today (January 2)

2024/ 01/ 03 by jd in Global News

“The post-COVID-19 economy was finally supposed to stop defying gravity and topple into a recession this year.” While “growth is expected to slow… other factors are likely to keep the economy afloat, forecasters say, including near-record home and stock prices, a further easing of inflation to or near the Fed’s 2% goal and the central bank’s tentative plans to cut interest rates more sharply than previously anticipated.”


The Economist (December 28)

2023/ 12/ 30 by jd in Global News

“It has been a tricky year atop the corporate ladder. Sluggish growth in many markets has set bosses scrambling to rein in costs just as inflation has spurred their workers to demand hefty pay rises. Fractious geopolitics and toxic culture wars have left corporate chieftains feeling like tightrope-walkers. The craze for generative artificial intelligence (ai) has had them fretting over looming technological disruption, too.”


CNN (December 27)

2023/ 12/ 28 by jd in Global News

While the economic progress made during 2023 is remarkable, “there’s still a long way to go before inflation is where the Fed wants it,” partly because higher prices have been “pervasive” and “sticky.” They’re not easily reversible. “More than 90% of the items tracked in the Consumer Price Index are more expensive than they were in February 2020, with most price increases landing north of 20% and some (fuel and margarine) approaching 55%.”


New York Times (December 26)

2023/ 12/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Despite lingering inflation, Americans increased their spending this holiday season, early data shows. That comes as a big relief for retailers that had spent much of the year fearing the economy would soon weaken and consumer spending would fall.” It appears that “solid job growth is allowing people to spend more. And even though consumer prices have risen a lot in the last two years, wages have grown faster on the whole.”


Wall Street Journal (December 22)

2023/ 12/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The Federal Reserve is winning its fight over inflation, boosting Americans’ spirits and offering greater reassurance that the U.S. economy can avoid a recession while bringing prices under control.” The PCE index favored by the Fed, “fell 0.1% in November from the previous month, the first decline since April 2020…. Prices were up 2.6% on the year, not far from the Fed’s 2% target.”


Financial Times (December 16)

2023/ 12/ 17 by jd in Global News

“European bonds rallied on Friday, pushing yields to nine-month lows as investors focused on the latest signs of a slowing economy and shrugged off the European Central Bank’s insistence that it was not considering interest rate cuts.” Given the Fed’s pivot, markets appear skeptical of “ECB president Christine Lagarde’s insistence on Thursday that it was too soon to talk about the timing of rate cuts and that the bank had ‘more work to be done’ in its battle to tame inflation.”


Reuters (December 13)

2023/ 12/ 14 by jd in Global News

“Conflict in the Middle East added geopolitical uncertainty to a luxury industry outlook already clouded by inflation, with shoppers in the U.S. and Europe tightening their purse strings while expectations for a strong post-pandemic rebound in China were derailed by a property crisis” On top of all that, Bergdorf Goodman and other high end retailers are already discounting adding to “concern that a lackluster Christmas could lead to inventory gluts – potentially dragging labels into a discounting spiral that would cheapen their image.”


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