December 2016

3rd Quarter GDP Revised to Indicate Growth at a 3.5% Rate

The Third Estimate of our 3rd Quarter GDP from the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated that our real output of goods and services increased at a 3.5% annual rate, revised from the 3.2% growth rate reported in the second estimate last month, as personal consumption growth was revised higher, state and local government shrunk less than was previously estimated, and private non-residential fixed investment increased, rather than decreased.

CPI Increased 0.2% As Gasoline Prices and Rents Rise

The November Consumer Price Index increased by 0.2%.  Once again, the main causes are shelter, which increased 0.3% for the month and gasoline, which rose 2.7% for the month.  Food inflation had no change for the fifth month in a row.  Inflation with food and energy price changes removed increased 0.2% as shelter is part of this measure.

PIMCO Metaphors

Reuters published an item on a PIMCO report predicting a 2 - 2.5% increase in gross domestic product during 2017. I didn’t read the report (the item doesn’t have a link), as I was put off by the following excerpt:

Pimco, a unit of Allianz SE (ALVG.DE), characterized the world as "stable but not secure."

Elite Anti-Trump Hysteria is an Act

Recently, my news feed and social media feed have been inundated with story after story about Russia “hacking” the election, the Electoral College going rogue and blocking Trump reaching the requisite 270, “briefing” the Electoral College on the Russian “hack,” holding a new election, etc. If the roles were reversed, the Russian allegation would be denounced as a wild conspiracy theory and those promoting Electoral College sabotage would be accused of hostility to democracy and outright subversion.  

The 18% Jump in Our October Trade Deficit Portends a Big Hit to Q4 GDP

Our trade deficit rose by 17.8% in October as the value of our exports decreased and the value of our imports increased.  The Census report on our international trade in goods and services for October indicated that our seasonally adjusted goods and services trade deficit rose by more than $6.4 billion to $42.6 billion in October from a revised September deficit of $36.2 billion.

Patched Up? Or Patched Over?

What Speaker Ryan said on 60 Minutes last weekend about letting “bygones be bygones” with President-Elect Trump may only be partly true. There are certainly contradictions within the Republican party as a whole. But as between these two individuals, both ready to wield powers granted by the Constitution, the proper word would be “confrontation,” not dialectical “contradiction.”