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Behind the Numbers

Catalyst Corporate’s weekly economic commentary is produced by expert advisors, analysts and investment representatives from Catalyst Strategic Solutions. This publication provides a recap of economic events for the prior week, as well as insights regarding the impact economic developments may have on credit unions.


Behind the Numbers – February 16, 2018

Should We Fear Inflation? – It was another wild week for the financial markets. Inflation was the fear factor that drove interest rates higher and created another tumultuous week in the stock market. The markets were bracing for two major inflation reports that would clue us in to how much consumer...


Behind the Numbers – February 9, 2018

And Down We Went – Becoming Fed Chair is a tough job, especially when the stock market has its largest point drop in history on your first day at work. Jerome Powell was faced with this wake-up call on Monday, when the Dow fell almost 1,600 points during the day. Ironically, the plunge was...


Behind the Numbers – February 2, 2018

Jobs Jump in January – Life is good, according to January's job report. Not only did U.S. companies add 200,000 jobs in January, but wages increased the most since 2009. Hourly earnings were up 2.9 percent from a year ago and up 0.3 percent for the month. Some of the wage gains can be...


Behind the Numbers – January 26, 2018

Not Quite Three Percent, but Close – The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017. Consumer and business equipment spending were the largest drivers of activity. Personal consumption jumped 3.8 percent, the best pace in almost a year. Investment in equipment...


Behind the Numbers – January 19, 2018

Housing Activity Poised to Improve – The NAHB housing market index fell to 72 in January after reaching an 18-year high in December. The index measures builders’ sentiment for the single family housing market. Builders remain optimistic about the economy but continue to battle rising costs for labor and materials...


Behind the Numbers – January 5, 2018

Not Great, but Good Enough – The U.S. added 148,000 jobs in December. While below the estimate of 190,000 jobs, most economists agree it is a respectable level as we move closer to full employment. The total number of jobs added in 2017 was 2.06 million, the least amount since 2011. The unemployment...


Behind the Numbers – December 29, 2017

2017 Done, 2018...Here We Come – It is time to bid farewell to 2017, a year that will be remembered as unstoppable optimism in the financial markets. The markets are ending the year on a high note, with both prices and yield. The three key U.S. stock indices are closing at or very near all-time highs, and...


Behind the Numbers – December 15, 2017

1, 2, 3...DONE – The Fed finally did it – they kept their word. The FOMC voted 8-2 to raise the federal funds rate by 25 basis points for the third time this year. The new target range is 1.25 to 1.50 percent. The committee is optimistic the economy will continue to grow over the next couple of...


Behind the Numbers – December 8, 2017

Jobs Increase, Wages Disappoint – It was another stellar month for job growth. The U.S. added 228,000 jobs in November, many more than estimated. Business services, manufacturing and construction were among the industries with the largest job gains. More full-time than part-time positions were placed,...


Behind the Numbers – December 1, 2017

Best Growth Spurt in Three Years – The economy grew at 3.3 percent in the third quarter, an improvement from the original estimate of 3.0 percent. This is the fastest pace of quarterly growth in three years. The bulk of the increase came from the business sector. Business equipment spending increased 10.4 percent...


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