Economy

Never mind Greece, Its going to be Busy Few Days in Terms of Actually Meaningful Investment Data

 

Atlanta GDPNow Model is going to Start Getting a lot More Attention

While yesterday’s first quarter GDP reported growth of just 0.2% was a disappointment, it was also a rather big surprise to many forecasters – except one.  As the chart below shows, the Atlanta GDPNow model had the number completely nailed while the rest of the consensus forecasts missed by a wide margin.  Somewhat concerning is the model’s newly released estimate for Q2 – just 0.9% versus a consensus of a rebound back to about 3.3% growth.  Something to keep an eye on.

Yellen Transitions Toward "Meeting-by-Meeting Basis"

Janet Yellen testified before the Senate Banking Committee earlier this morning, skillfully maneuvering the Fed away from the handcuffs of some of the language that market participants had looked to as signposts for future rate increases.  She merely stated that the Fed will begin removing the term “patient”  and move toward a phase in which rate hikes are “possible at any meeting”.  This was a well executed pivot away from the strict interpretation of certain phrases, and successfully allows the Fed to have the flexibility of being truly data dependent.  And perhaps to some surprise, the M

January Retail Sales Disappoint, But Some Areas Shine

The headline January retail sales number released today, which showed a decline of -0.8 percent, seemed to be a bit of surprise to most given the enormous drop in fuel prices which was assumed to provide a boost to spending.  However, there are some meaningful differences in consumer spending trends.  For example gas stations got hit the hardest obviously, with sales tumbling over 23 percent from the prior year, but other areas, such as the awkwardly named "Food Service and Drinking Places" saw sales skyrocket by over 11 percent as the chart below from the Federal Reserve of St.