Analysts had expected that growth in the final quarter of 2012 would come in sluggish, warning about a temporary pullback after Hurricane Sandy, but no one had forecasted that it would actually contract 0.1%, the first outright decline since 2009. A look at the data revealed that this was due … Continue reading

The Sandy Surprise

Having finally made it through the 2012 US elections, one wonders whether 2+ years of campaigning and billions of dollars spent were worth it.  President Obama won reelection to a second term, while the Democrats and Republicans maintained control of the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, albeit with smaller … Continue reading

Feelin’ Good

Feelin’ Good Case by Kaess Commentary Oct. 5, 2012 It’s a new month and a new quarter and some folks are feelin’ good. The benchmark US Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a 5 year-high, buoyed by large drop in the jobless rate to 7.8%, the lowest level since President Obama … Continue reading

Take It To The Limit

It’s been nearly a fortnight since Federal Reserved announced what has become known as QE3 – (a third round of quantitative easing) to support economic growth. In the FOMC statement, policymakers explained that they undertook the action because of concerns that the economy would not gain the momentum necessary to generate jobs. … Continue reading

Understanding Inflation: Everything in Moderation

Previously I wrote about growth and how the current downturn fits into historic context. This month we’ll discuss inflation, the other key anchor of economic policy. Inflation is defined as a process of rising prices for goods and services. The inflation rate measures this change using a basket of essentials like … Continue reading

What is a Recession?

How do you tell the difference between a recession and a depression, asks the joke? A recession is when a neighbor loses their job; a depression is when you lose yours. Seriously, how do we define a recession? The ‘quick and dirty’ definition is two consecutive quarters (or six months) … Continue reading