August – September 2018

U.S. Economic and Market Highlights

  • The U.S. GDP grew at a revised 4.2% annualized rate in the second quarter.
  • The unemployment rate remained at 3.9%, in the U.S., slightly above its lowest level since 1969.
  • Average hourly earnings increased 2.9% year over year, a growth rate not seen since 2009.
  • Rising wages could add upward pressure on inflation, which will give the Fed further support to continue raising the Fed Funds rate, which was increased to 2.25% on September 26th. Read more

July – August 2018

U.S. Economic and Market Highlights

  • Revised second quarter U.S. GDP grew at a robust 4.2% annualized pace, the strongest growth rate since 2014.
  • Higher government spending and business investment along with lower corporate tax rates have been main contributors.
  • U.S. consumer confidence reports show that expectations for continued growth are high for the next six months.
  • Better-than-expected second quarter earnings results and strong economic data overshadowed ongoing concerns about the trade conflict with China and, to a lesser extent, the European Union.
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June – July 2018

U.S. Economic and Market Highlights

  • Higher inflation was anticipated in the second quarter, but the threat of tariffs and trade wars kept it from accelerating. Core CPI remained steady at 2.2% for the trailing 12 months and headline CPI increased 2.8% with energy prices having risen 11.7% during that time.
  • The trade tariffs created uncertainty and drove investors toward safe-haven investments, primarily fixed income (government and investment grade bonds), which kept the long-term Treasury interest rates from rising. Read more