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Catalyst Connect Archives


Catalyst Connect – October 23, 2018     
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    Payments Forum Pays Off! For the first time in its 41-year history, Catalyst Corporate’s Future Forums included two days focused on payments and technology trends. Credit union leaders heard numerous presentations centered around how technologies can benefit credit unions and their members.

    Making Waves with Ripple: Earlier this month at Future Forums, Ryan Gaylor, Director of Corporate Payments at Ripple, described a process that would allow credit unions to provide end-to-end settlement of cross-border payments in minutes, at much lower cost than current methods. The technology already exists, he said, and the wheels are turning in that direction.

    A Look at Cybersecurity in 2018: Cybersecurity dominates many credit union discussions today. With good reason, according to Diana Hennel, Catalyst Corporate Chief Technology Officer. “When credit unions are able to proactively manage the ‘attack lifecycle,’ it helps to prevent or limit the damage to an organization’s IT infrastructure, prevent data loss, and protect a credit union’s reputation,” she says.

    Upcoming Events and Training: ACH Audit Requirements (AAP credit – Oct. 24), Deposit Capture Research & Accounting (Nov. 7) and Deposit Chek​® with Catalyst Corporate (Nov. 14).



Catalyst Connect – October 16, 2018     
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    Four Days of Future Forums: Earlier this month, nearly 300 credit union leaders met at Catalyst Corporate’s Future Forums to hear 30+ speakers cover topics from faster payments to global impacts on the local economy… and everything in between. Greg Moore, EVP of member relations, shares some of the highlights.

    What's New With TranzCapture? The TranzCapture CUSO is jointly owned by Catalyst Corporate, Alloya Corporate FCU and Corporate One FCU, thus reinforcing what was already the largest credit union check processor in the nation. In addition to offering credit unions convenience and advanced features through its web-based applications, this short video explains numerous benefits of TranzCapture!

    Oct. 18 is International Credit Union Day! Catalyst Corporate is celebrating International Credit Union Day's platinum anniversary on Oct. 18. Looking back on 70 years, we're thankful for the lives and communities impacted by the principles and actions of this movement. Share an International Credit Union Day message on social media using the hashtag, #PlatinumLiningFound.

    Fall Events and Training: Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (Oct 17), ACH Audit Requirements (Oct. 24), Deposit Capture Research & Accounting (Nov. 7) and Deposit Chek with Catalyst Corporate (Nov. 14).



Catalyst Connect – October 9, 2018     
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    Ripple and Catalyst Corporate Join Forces: Credit unions may have access to fast, reliable, cost-effective blockchain payments in the future, thanks to a partnership between Catalyst Corporate and Ripple, the leading enterprise blockchain solutions provider for payments. Catalyst Corporate will explore Ripple’s blockchain solution initially to overcome a number of challenges credit unions and their members face with international wires.

    Last Week at Future Forums… Nearly 300 credit union leaders gathered for Catalyst Corporate’s inaugural Future Forums. Beginning Monday, Oct. 1, credit union professionals heard economic experts from all over the country forecast what they expect from the economy, why they expect those trends to prevail and how to prepare.

    Fed Hike Puts Spotlight on Cash Management: With interest rates on the rise, effective cash management is more important than ever, said Future Forums presenter, David Austin. See how Catalyst Corporate’s Vault View cash management service helps credit unions allocate cash resources strategically to minimize excess, maximize earnings and promote member satisfaction.

    October Events and Training: TranZact Basics for the User (Oct. 10), Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (Oct 17) and ACH Audit Requirements (Oct. 24).



Catalyst Connect – October 2, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – September 25, 2018     
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    Same-Day ACH is Expanding: NACHA approved three new Same-Day ACH rules and will begin implementing those rules next year. Catalyst Corporate's VP, Correspondent Services explains how credit unions can prepare for these upcoming changes.

    Pricing Notification Available This Week: Catalyst Corporate's 2019 Service Pricing Guide was emailed to chief executive officers at member and client credit unions earlier this week. The Pricing Guide includes convenient links to product and service summaries on Catalyst Corporate's website. Contact Member Services if you did not receive an email.

    Walk-Ins Welcome! Don't miss Catalyst Corporate's Future Forums at the Omni Frisco, Oct. 1-4. If you didn't get a chance to register ahead of time, walk-ins are welcome! Check out the full line-up and other events at catalystcorp.org/r/forum.

    Fall Events and Education: Share Drafts (Sept. 26) and Future Forums (Oct. 1-4), TranZact Basics for the User (Oct. 10), Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (Oct 17) and ACH Audit Requirements (Oct. 24).



Catalyst Connect – September 18, 2018     
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    Catalyst CEO Announces Retirement: Kathy Garner, Catalyst Corporate's President and CEO, will retire in March 2019. The Board of Directors tapped Bruce Fox, the corporate’s current Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, as the new President/CEO upon Garner’s retirement. Read the official announcement on the corporate's website.

    Benefits and Beyond: What do a flat tire, cracked phone screen and full-priced oil change have in common? All these situations can improve with the Catalyst BaZing checking rewards program See why implementing this program was a no-brainer for one Texas-based credit union.

    Happy Birthday, Catalyst! This month, Catalyst Corporate turns seven, and these years have been brimming with challenges, innovations, surprises and growth. President and CEO Kathy Garner highlights seven milestones reached since 2011 in this week's Insights from Catalyst blog.

    There's Still Time: Catalyst Corporate's Future Forums is only two weeks away, but there's still time to register online. Visit catalystcorp.org/r/forum to see the lineup of speakers, special events and registration information. You won't want to miss out!

    Fall Events and Education: CUBG National Business Services Conference (Savannah, GA, Sept. 24-26), Share Drafts (Sept. 26) and Future Forums (Oct. 1-4), TranZact Basics for the User (Oct. 10) and Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (Oct 17).



Catalyst Connect – September 11, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – September 4, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – August 28, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – August 21, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – August 14, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – August 7, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – July 31, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – July 24, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – July 17, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – July 10, 2018     
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    The Survey Says... Catalyst Corporate conducted its annual member satisfaction survey in May, receiving a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 82 – the highest rating in the survey’s history. The top drivers were “Delivers on promises and instills trust,” “Provides prompt responsive service” and “Offers services and expertise that are important to my credit union.” See a summary of results here.

    Speaker Spotlight – Bill Hampel: The U.S. economy is in the midst of a "sugar rush" from full employment, says economic consultant, Bill Hampel. And while it feels good right now, it could change in about 18 months. Hear more of Hampel's insights as he presents The Economy's Impact on Credit Unions at Future Forums.

    Finastra Acquires Malauzai: Global technology firm Finastra has acquired Malauzai, Catalyst Corporate’s mobile banking provider. See how this acquisition will continue to provide fully integrated core banking, lending, payments and digital engagement solutions to credit unions.

    Upcoming Education and Events: TranZact Basics for the User (July 11), ACH Receipt & Returns (July 18), ACH Risk Management (July 25) and CUBG's National Business Services Conference (Portland, OR, Aug. 6-8).



Catalyst Connect – July 3, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – June 26, 2018     
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Catalyst Corporate – June 19, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – June 12, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – June 5, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – May 29, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – May 22, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – May 15, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – May 8, 2018     
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    Strengthening Investments: As the interest rate environment and yield curve shift, now is as good a time as any to assess your investment strategy. Catalyst Corporate's VP, Advisory Service offers one strategy for credit unions navigating flat spreads and anticipated rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

    You've Got Mail: Earlier today, Catalyst Corporate sent credit unions an email with a link to its annual Member Survey. The survey gauges members’ opinions in areas such as trust, financial performance, member service and value. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete. If you did not receive your survey link, please email surveys@catalystcorporate.org or call 214.703.7842.

    What's in Store for LIBOR? LIBOR is the critical benchmark rate widely used to gauge credit market conditions. While it's critical to financial markets as the index quoted in derivative and financial contracts across the globe, it's also a key economic indicator. One Catalyst Corporate Senior Investment Officer explores the current state of LIBOR and its future.

    Upcoming Events: Share Drafts (May 9), CUBG’s Business Lending Bootcamp (Portland, OR, May 9-10), Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (May 16), Navigating the Corporate Website (June 6), CUBG’s Commercial Real Estate Lending for Credit Unions (Plano, TX, June 27-28)  and Investment Basics (on-demand).



Catalyst Connect – May 1, 2018     
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    This Just In: Unable to make it to Catalyst Corporate's 2018 Annual Meeting earlier today? Check out the recorded video which includes a review of the corporate's 2017 activities, upcoming initiatives and the results from the Board of Directors election. Thank you to all who attended for your continued support of Catalyst Corporate.

    Corporate One Joins Catalyst and Alloya in TranzCapture Partnership: Corporate One FCU is the latest corporate credit union to join the TranzCapture, LLC strategic partnership, designed to provide credit unions nationwide with quality check processing services. The addition of Corporate One strengthens what was already the largest credit union check processor in the nation.

    Speaker Spotlight– April Rinne The average car sits parked 23 hours a day, yet car owners pay to own it 24/7. To April Rinne, a sharing economy expert, the concept of owning something that’s barely used doesn’t make much sense. Rinne will share more on this topic as she presents Surviving and Thriving in the Sharing Economy at Future Forums.

    May Events: Navigating ACH Resources – Part 2 (May 2 – AAP credit), Share Drafts (May 9), CUBG’s Business Lending Bootcamp (Portland, OR, May 9-10), Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (May 16) and Investment Basics (on-demand).



Catalyst Connect – April 24, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – April 17, 2018     
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    Speaker Spotlight – Jim Kasch: When it comes to change in the financial industry, Jim Kasch, CEO of Canidae Consulting and a former credit union executive, says credit unions are a little scared, a little excited and a little confused. Kasch will help credit unions navigate those feelings when he presents Becoming Agents of Change at Catalyst Corporate's Future Forums.

    Checking Account Challenges: A recent study found that more people have checking accounts, but they’re not writing as many checks. While the need for checking accounts still exists, how they are used is changing. Catalyst Corporate's VP of Sales offers insights on these findings.

    You've Been Accepted! College acceptance letters are reaching mailboxes all over the country. Do you have financial aid questions? You're not alone. Catalyst Corporate provides credit unions a private student loan referral program through its partnership with Sallie Mae. Register for the free Student Loan Program Overview webinar on April 26 to learn more about this program.

    Upcoming Opportunities: Funds Transfer Services (April 18), CUBG’s Commercial Lending for Credit Union Auditors (April 19), Navigating ACH Resources – Part 1 (April 25 – AAP credit), Student Loan Program Overview (April 26), Navigating ACH Resources – Part 2 (May 2 – AAP credit), Share Drafts (May 9), CUBG’s Business Lending Bootcamp (Portland, OR, May 9-10) and Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (May 16).



Catalyst Connect – April 10, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – April 3, 2018     
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    Benefits of a Backup Plan: : Does your credit union have a backup plan in case something goes wrong? What about another backup in case the original backup plan fails? See how one credit union faced this scary scenario late last year – and how Catalyst Corporate was able to help.

    Commercial Lending for CU Auditor: CUBG, a Catalyst Corporate partner, is hosting a live, 90-minute webinar on commercial lending for credit union auditors at 1 p.m. Central Time (CT), April 19. See what the NCUA looks for in a commercial loan audit, learn how to develop an audit program focused on proper commercial loan underwriting and compliance... and more! Register today.

    Mark Your Calendar: Join Catalyst Corporate for its 2018 Annual Meeting at 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday, May 1. Review the corporate’s 2017 performance and hear plans for 2018. Elections will be held to fill expiring terms on Catalyst Corporate’s board of directors. Attend in-person or register for a live video stream.

    Upcoming Training and Education: CUBG’s Business Lending Bootcamp (Plano, TX, April 4-5), TranZact Basics for the User (April 11), 3 Investment Strategies to Boost your ROA (April 12 – CPE credit), Funds Transfer Services (April 18), CUBG’s Commercial Lending for Credit Union Auditors (April 19), Navigating ACH Resources – Part 1 (April 25 – AAP credit), Student Loan Program Overview (April 26) and Navigating ACH Resources – Part 2 (May 2 – AAP credit).



Catalyst Connect – March 27, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – March 20, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – March 13, 2018     
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Catalyst Connect – March 6, 2018     
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    Ready. Set. REGISTER! Catalyst Corporate's Future Forums registration is open! This four-day conference, comprising two adjoining Forums, brings top thought leaders and industry experts together to discuss economic outlooks, balance sheet management tips and payments and technology trends. For more information and to register, visit Conferences under Learning Center.

    Same-Day ACH Insights: Implementation of the final phase of Same-Day ACH is just a couple of weeks away. How has the move to faster ACH payments affected the industry? Catalyst Corporate's VP, Correspondent Services shares early results and a few lessons learned along the way.

    SCAN Your Incoming Mail: Check your mailbox for Catalyst Corporate's first quarter 2018 SCAN publication. You won't want to miss the latest TranzCapture update, a comprehensive 2018 training schedule and more. SCAN is also available online.

    Upcoming Training and Education: TranZact for the Accounting Department (March 14), Cash Services (March 21), CUBG’s Commercial Real Estate Lending for Credit Unions (Portland, OR, March 28-29) and CUBG’s Business Lending Bootcamp (Plano, TX, April 4-5)



Catalyst Connect – February 27, 2018     
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    Hearts Off to our Members! Conversation hearts have disappeared from stores. Red roses are returning to a normal price. But the nearly 40 credit unions that drove member awareness and usage of mobile deposit services with Catalyst Corporate's fourth annual "Capture My Heart" campaign are still feeling the love!

    2017 Due Diligence Report: The 2017 Due Diligence Report is published annually to help Catalyst Corporate members monitor the company's safety and soundness, as well as its financial performance, regulatory compliance and investment activity. This issue contains a special report on upcoming changes to Regulation CC.

    Join Catalyst Corporate... for its 2018 Annual Meeting at 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday, May 1. Review the corporate’s 2017 performance and hear plans for 2018. Elections will be held to fill expiring terms on Catalyst Corporate’s board of directors. Attend in-person or register for a live video stream.

    All Things ACH: The latest issue of the ACH Advisor, a resource for ACH operational information, is available online. Learn more about ACH Phase 3 of Same-Day ACH, upcoming ACH training opportunities, Catalyst Corporate's ACH On-Line service and more.

    March Training and Education: TranZact for the Accounting Department (March 14), Cash Services (March 21) and CUBG’s Commercial Real Estate Lending for Credit Unions (Portland, OR, March 28-29).



Catalyst Connect – February 20, 2018     
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    How does ISI Benefit Y-O-U? Did you know your credit union is an indirect owner of a securities broker/dealer? As a member-owner of Catalyst Corporate, your credit union has indirect ownership of CU Investment Solutions, LLC, a CUSO partially owned by Catalyst Corporate. One Senior Investment Officer explains how your credit union benefits when it chooses to use ISI.

    The Suite Life: Are you “in the know” when it comes to the economy? Subscribe to Catalyst Strategic Solutions’ Economic Suite, which includes periodic economic commentaries, reports, webinars and videos tailored to credit union needs and interests.

    Same-Day ACH Phase 3: Phase 3 of Same-Day ACH takes effect March 16, 2018. This final phase of Same-Day ACH requires posting of all Same-Day debits and credits by 5 p.m. RDFI local time. Email ach@catalystcorp.org or visit Catalyst Corporate’s ACH Central for more information.

    Training and Education Opportunities: ACH Origination with Catalyst Corporate (Feb. 21) and TranZact for the Accounting Department (March 14) and Cash Services (March 21).



Catalyst Connect – February 13, 2018     
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    A Tale of Two Corporates’ Collaboration: How do you sustain vendor support for a mature service that remains critical to credit union business operations? This was the dilemma Catalyst Corporate faced with its remote deposit services (RDS). Ultimately, it was also the impetus for establishing a CUSO – TranzCapture, LLC – to support credit unions’ continued need for deposit processing.

    On the Go: It's no secret – smartphones have become an extension of the body. Therefore, it only seems natural to make them an extension of your credit union, too. Catalyst Corporate VP of Sales explains how a full digital mobile banking platform is able to meet members where they are most – on their mobile devices.

    President’s Day: Catalyst Corporate will close Monday, February 19, to observe the holiday. Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday. See Catalyst Corporate’s holiday schedule.

    Upcoming Training Opportunities: Navigating the Catalyst Corporate Website (Feb. 14), ACH Origination with Catalyst Corporate (Feb. 21) and TranZact for the Accounting Department (March 14).



Catalyst Connect – February 6, 2018     
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    Happy Birthday, CSS! Thirty years ago, Catalyst Strategic Solutions was founded to help credit unions analyze and manage the complexities of expanding investment portfolios. See how its cooperative business model and team of experts provide strategic consultation, investment portfolio management services and analytical resources to credit unions across the country.

    Marketing Materials Made Easy: Valentine's Day is about a week away, and hundreds of credit union members will be drawing hearts on deposited checks as part of the annual Capture My Heart campaign. Throughout the year, Catalyst Corporate offers a variety of customizable marketing materials to help credit unions promote services and campaigns such as this one to their members.

    Real-Time Protection: Early Warning™ Deposit Chek® real-time deposit fraud protection helps credit unions identify check fraud as deposits are received. The real-time service, available with all TranzCapture deposit services, issues instant alerts on checks that carry return risk, identifying the reason an item is flagged.

    February Training Opportunities: TranZact Administration – Overview (Feb. 7), CUBG Commercial & Industrial Lending for Credit Unions (Plano, TX, Feb. 7-8), Top 5 Credit Union Investment Sectors for 2018 (Feb. 8), Navigating the Catalyst Corporate Website (Feb. 14) and ACH Origination with Catalyst Corporate (Feb. 21).



Catalyst Connect – January 30, 2018     
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    Future Forums: Catalyst Corporate’s Economic Forum has a new name, a new format and a new home. Future Forums, a four-day conference comprising two adjoining Forums, will continue to offer hard-hitting, strategy-informing economic outlooks, as well as the latest in payments and technology trends. Don't miss this expanded – and extraordinary – event.

    Accessing Predictive Superpowers: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? Invisibility? Flight? Time travel? For many credit union professionals, the ability to predict the future would be extremely beneficial. One Catalyst Corporate Senior Advisor explains how economic foresight is somewhat obtainable with access to the right patterns and trends.

    Are You Ready? Catalyst Corporate will discontinue support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 on Feb 1. Credit unions and their service providers that interact with Catalyst Corporate need TLS 1.2 to avoid impact to TranZact, home banking, deposit and FTP services. Learn more at the TLS Software Resource Center.

    February Training Events: TranZact Administration – Overview (Feb. 7), CUBG Commercial & Industrial Lending for Credit Unions (Plano, TX, Feb. 7-8), Top 5 Credit Union Investment Sectors for 2018 (Feb. 8), Navigating the Catalyst Corporate Website (Feb. 14), ACH Origination with Catalyst Corporate (Feb. 21) and Insights & Outlooks (on-demand video of 2018 forecast).


Contact Catalyst Corporate if you are looking for an older issue of [Connect/SCAN/Behind the Numbers].


SCAN Archives


SCAN - Third Quarter 2018
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SCAN Second Quarter 2018
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SCAN First Quarter 2018
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Contact Catalyst Corporate if you are looking for an older issue of [Connect/SCAN/Behind the Numbers].


Behind the Numbers Archives


Behind the Numbers – October 12, 2018
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Head for Cover – What a week! Not only did the worst hurricane in 25 years hit the U.S., causing widespread devastation, but the financial markets also weathered their own storm of sorts. After reaching new high levels last month, the key stock indices plummeted five percent over two...


Behind the Numbers – September 28, 2018
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No Surprises for Fed Watchers – As expected, the Federal Reserve increased the fed funds rate by 25 basis points for the third time this year. The new target range is 2.00 to 2.25 percent. The central bank signaled it expects to increase rates again this year, despite Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's...


Behind the Numbers – September 21, 2018
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Housing on Weak Ground – On the surface, most of the housing data released this week gives the impression all is well with the industry. A closer look into the reports reveals continued weakness due to rising prices and the impending trade tariffs. Construction of new homes surged 9.2 percent in August...


Behind the Numbers – September 14, 2018
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Inflation Takes a Break – Two key inflation reports were released this week, both showing a slowdown for the recent rise in inflation. First up was the Producer Price Index, PPI, which turned negative in August for the first time in 18 months. Most of the decline came from a drop in the cost of services, 80...


Behind the Numbers – September 7, 2018
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Wages are Finally Catching Up – It is difficult to find anything significantly wrong with the August job report. Employers added 201,000 jobs in August, more than most experts were estimating. August is typically a weak month for job gains, with the data generally revised higher. If history repeats itself, we...


Behind the Numbers – August 24, 2018
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Is the Housing Foundation Faltering? – Home sales may have reached their peak this year. The once-booming housing market that carried us through the current economic recovery is showing signs of distress. Existing home sales fell in July for the fourth month in a row. Sales declined 0.7 percent to a 5.34...


Behind the Numbers – August 17, 2018
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Can't Beat Shopping and Eating – The retail sales report for July highlighted two of our favorite pastimes – shopping and eating. Sales at apparel stores and restaurants increased 1.3 percent last month, the best performance of the nine categories posting increases in sales. Our love affair with food is even...


Behind the Numbers – August 10, 2018
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Inflation on its Way Up? – The latest reports on inflation are sending mixed signals. Producer prices stagnated in June after jumping in May. Prices were unchanged for the month, as the costs of services fell 0.1 percent. Energy prices decreased 0.5 percent. The index was up 3.3 percent year-over...


Behind the Numbers – August 3, 2018
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Time to Trust the Trend – If you are one to look at a single data point and make a judgment, today is not your day. On the surface, an increase of 157,000 jobs in June is disappointing. Not only was this well below expectations, but it was close to the lowest monthly gain in 2018. This is a case where...


Behind the Numbers – July 27, 2018
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Four is the Magic Number – The forecasters were right – the U.S. economy topped four percent in the second quarter. GDP came in at 4.1 percent, the best growth rate in four years. The increase came from several categories. Consumer spending increased four percent, the largest gain since 2014...


Behind the Numbers – July 20, 2018
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Reading Between the Words – If you like to read between the lines, this was a good week for you. Words said were changed, some were said unexpectedly and other words were ignored to make room for what people wanted to hear. To start with, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's two-day...


Behind the Numbers – July 13, 2018
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Up, Up, Up She Goes – Both the wholesale and consumer price indices are moving in the direction the Federal Reserve has been counting on. While the monthly measures were on par or just below the prior month’s readings, the June year-over-year levels were the highest in over six years. PPI...


Behind the Numbers – July 6, 2018
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Goldilocks is in the House Again – June’s job report is being described as “just so-so” and “steady as she goes.” Job additions were better than expected (up 213,000), wage gain was not so great (0.2 percent for the month, 2.7 percent year-over-year), and the unemployment rate was good and bad (4.0 percent)...


Behind the Numbers – June 29, 2018
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Housing Built with Grain of Salt – This week's reports on the housing market should, once again, be taken with a grain of salt. New home sales rose 6.7 percent in May, to the highest level in six months. Sounds like a booming housing market, especially after last week’s report of a five percent jump in housing...


Behind the Numbers – June 22, 2018
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A Run on Worry Beads – Most of the week was spent worrying about what-ifs: what if a trade war erupts, what if China plays hard ball, what if General Electric is removed from the Dow? Granted, the last issue wasn't really a major what-if, but more of an "it finally happened" action. After 110 years,...


Behind the Numbers – June 15, 2018
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Half My Kingdom for a Glass of Water – Will water become the next great commodity embraced by capitalism, like gold? You may be thinking, "How can that be? It comes down free in buckets, usually when I am planning something outdoors. Seventy percent of the earth is covered in water. You must be crazy." Possibly,...


Behind the Numbers – June 8, 2018
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Job Openings Set Records – The Labor Department's Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report for April marked a couple of milestones. While the report showed a record 6.7 million unfilled jobs in April, revisions to March's report showed that, for the first time since tracking began in 2000, the...


Behind the Numbers – June 1, 2018
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Job Gains Across the Board – The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in May, about 30,000 more than expected. Aside from an outlying report in February, May was the first time since November that more than 200,000 jobs were added. Even better, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, the lowest rate since...


Behind the Numbers – May 18, 2018
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The Week the Markets Woke Up – The bond market woke up with a vengeance this week to everything that has been talked about for months – trade tariffs, geopolitical issues, and the fate of higher interest rates. After struggling for weeks to stay over three percent, the 10-year Treasury note surged...


Behind the Numbers – May 11, 2018
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Inflation...Where Did it Go? – Inflation fear is off the table, at least for this week. Both wholesale and consumer prices rose less than expected in April. In both cases, specific products had significant declines that brought the indices lower. For instance, wholesale food prices declined the most since 2016. On...


Behind the Numbers – May 4, 2018
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The Numbers Say it All...Almost – The U.S. added 164,000 jobs in April, the March total was revised higher by 33,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent – the lowest rate since 2000. By those measures, the labor market is humming along quite nicely. The one weak data point in the Labor...


Behind the Numbers – April 27, 2018
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The Times They Are A-Changin' – What would Henry Ford think? This past week, Ford, the venerable 115-year-old auto manufacturer that revolutionized manufacturing, wages, production management and, arguably, America, announced that it will, for the most part, abandon the manufacturing of sedans! The maker of such cars as the iconic Thunderbird and the ageless Mustang will limit sedans to approximately 10 percent of its vehicle line...


Behind the Numbers – April 20, 2018
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Cha-ching, the Consumer is Back – After a three-month hiatus, the consumer is back in action! Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in March, the first positive report since November. Eight of the 13 industries in the index were positive, with auto sales and personal care stores topping the list. Autos sales increased 2.0...


Behind the Numbers – April 13, 2018
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Inflation Higher, But Not Causing Stir – This week’s inflation reports showed a spike in price pressures from a year ago, but not enough to cause panic in the financial markets. The 2.4 percent year-over-year increase in the consumer price index was anticipated, as the impact of the cellphone contract pricing wars from...


Behind the Numbers – April 6, 2018
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Jobs - The Payoff is in the Detail – The job report for March may look disappointing at first, but once you dig deeper, the picture is solid. The U.S. added 103,000 jobs last month, the fewest in six months. But, February's already strong gain was increased higher by 13,000 to a startling 326,000 jobs. This...


Behind the Numbers – March 30, 2018
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Savings are Soaring...For Now – For the second month in a row, incomes outpaced spending. Personal incomes rose 0.4 percent, and spending increased 0.2 percent in February, a mirror image of activity in January. The wage component of income was up 0.5 percent, suggesting the gain in incomes could...


Behind the Numbers – March 23, 2018
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Powell to the Point – The FOMC voted to increase the fed funds rate by 25 basis points, bringing the new target range from 1.50 to 1.75 percent. The committee's outlook on the economy remains optimistic, despite some moderation in recent business and consumer spending. The...


Behind the Numbers – March 16, 2018
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Inflation Not a Threat Yet – The markets and investors have been over-worried and over-focused on rising inflation ever since the January job report was released in February. Initial reports of a 2.9 percent annual gain in wages created a wave of panic. Since then, several reports have been released...


Behind the Numbers – March 9, 2018
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Job Market Explodes – What a difference a month makes. The February report revealed the largest number of jobs added since June 2016, AND inflation fears were calmed. Employers added 313,000 jobs in February, with an additional 54,000 added in the two-month revisions. Substantial gains...


Behind the Numbers – March 2, 2018
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Powell, Tariffs and Stocks - OH MY! – What a week it was in the financial markets. Each day gave us another economic report to dissect and digest, all the while trying to figure out how far the stock market was going to rise and fall by the closing bell. Federal Reserve Chairman (yes, we are back to the full Chairman...


Behind the Numbers – February 16, 2018
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...

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