US US Federal Reserve Chair Powell said that while the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic has been both timely and large, "it may not be the final chapter, given that the path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks." Powell again ruled out the use of negative policy rates but [...]
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Guest post by The Duomo Initiative. If there’s one thing we’ve learned recently, it’s that some things which start off small and local can become a global problem very quickly. With that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you when I say that a small town in Oklahoma with a population of fewer than 8,000 was [...]
US April nonfarm payrolls confirmed that the labor market is collapsing. By the survey week of 12 April, net employment had fallen by 20.5 million jobs, more than ten times larger than the previous worst month on record. COVID-19 wiped out nine years of job gains in a single month, as the 131 million Americans [...]
Guest post by The Duomo Initiative. Having declined over 30% from its peak during the onset of COVID-19, the FTSE 100, like most major stock indexes, has been garnering a lot of attention. It's hardly surprising, considering a drop of 20% or more is considered to be a bear market. The FTSE 100 is the the UK's [...]
US An additional 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance, bringing total initial claims over the past six weeks to over 30 million. This dwarfs past recessions. With so many jobs lost and more at risk, consumers have cut back sharply on spending. Services spending accounts for over 45.0% of US GDP and is typically [...]
US Oil prices went negative for the first time in history as the evaporation of demand collided with supply that literally cannot be shut off quickly enough. Specifically, the expiring front-month WTI contract price fell below zero, as holders of the security squirmed to avoid having to take physical delivery with oil storage space scarce [...]
US Retail sales plunged 8.7% in March, as a 26.0% surge in grocery store sales was drowned out by historic declines in both durable (furniture -27.0%, autos -26.0%) and nondurable (clothing -50.0%, restaurants -27.0%) discretionary spending. Even this understates the decline in personal consumption, as retail sales do not include hotel stays, airline or movie [...]
Guest post by The Duomo Initiative. Back in January, Wilbur Ross, the US Commerce Secretary, believed that COVID-19 would accelerate the return of jobs to the US. Unfortunately, as the economy comes to a standstill, businesses close their doors and people are asked to stay at home, it seems the very opposite is taking place. [...]
US The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index tumbled 8.1 points in March. This was the largest one-month drop in the index’s history. This drop, however, did not capture the full extent of the deterioration in business conditions that took place later that month. A special survey conducted by the NFIB found that most businesses only [...]
US Employers reported payrolls declined by 701K workers in March. This was much worse than expected, yet it only hints at what’s to come. The report “predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures that occurred in the second half of the month,” due to the timing of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey (March [...]