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Weekly Economic Update, February 13-17, 2017

Posted by on 8:47 am in Announcements: Employer Group, Announcements: Financial Planning, General Parrott Insurance News | Comments Off on Weekly Economic Update, February 13-17, 2017

CONSUMER SENTIMENT SLIPS A BIT The University of Michigan’s preliminary February index of consumer sentiment came in at a reading of 95.7 Friday, compared with a final January mark of 98.5 (which was a 13-year peak). Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a slight decline to 98.0. While this was the index’s lowest level in three months, it still topped many of the monthly readings from 2016.1 HOW IS EARNINGS SEASON GOING? Nearly two-thirds of S&P 500 members have issued Q4 results so far. As Zacks Investment Research...

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Weekly Economic Update, February 6-10, 2017

Posted by on 8:30 am in Announcements: Financial Planning, General Parrott Insurance News | Comments Off on Weekly Economic Update, February 6-10, 2017

POSITIVES & NEGATIVES IN JANUARY’S JOB DATA The Department of Labor’s latest jobs report showed 227,000 net new hires last month. Unfortunately, wages grew just 0.1% in January as the headline jobless rate rose slightly to 4.8%. The U-6 rate, counting the underemployed, rose 0.2% to 9.4%.1 STRONG CONSUMER CONFIDENCE & SPENDING While the Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index declined 1.5 points in January, it remained at a high level with a 111.8 reading. Personal spending improved 0.5% in December, with personal...

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Weekly Economic Update, January 9 – 13, 2017

Posted by on 10:15 am in Announcements: Financial Planning, General Parrott Insurance News | Comments Off on Weekly Economic Update, January 9 – 13, 2017

RISING WAGES, MODERATE HIRING IN DECEMBER The Department of Labor’s latest employment report shows the average hourly wage at $26.00 last month, up 2.9% in a year. That is the largest annualized wage increase seen since June 2009. Payrolls expanded by 156,000 additional hires in December, leaving total 2016 job growth at a 5-year low of 2.2 million. (This could be a sign of the labor market reaching full employment.) The headline jobless rate ticked up to 4.7%, while the U-6 rate encompassing the underemployed was at 9.2%.1...

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Weekly Economic Update, January 2-6, 2017

Posted by on 9:17 am in Announcements: Financial Planning, General Parrott Insurance News | Comments Off on Weekly Economic Update, January 2-6, 2017

A SURGE IN CONSUMER OPTIMISM The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index continued to climb in December. Analysts polled by MarketWatch projected a reading of 110.0 for the gauge, but it beat that forecast, rising 4.3 points to a 15-year peak of 113.7. The major factor in the gain? Growing expectations of a better economy, particularly among older Americans. The CB’s monthly expectations index reached a high unseen since December 2003.1,2 PENDING HOME SALES SLIP Housing contract activity declined 2.5% in November, according...

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Weekly Economic Update, December 19-23, 2016

Posted by on 2:47 pm in Announcements: Financial Planning, General Parrott Insurance News | Comments Off on Weekly Economic Update, December 19-23, 2016

FED RAISES RATES, PLOTS THREE 2017 HIKES Federal Reserve policymakers unanimously chose to raise the benchmark interest rate by a quarter point last week. That was expected; less expected was the central bank’s adjustment to its 2017 dot-plot. Fed officials now see three rate hikes next year instead of two. The move to the new target range of 0.50-0.75% sent the dollar and bond yields higher Wednesday – the yield on the 2-year note quickly touched a peak unseen since August 2009. Stocks suffered only moderate losses after the...

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