Clarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, but consistent with the theme of global softness and domestic strength. Unit auto sales improved further in September – and, combined with the August data on personal income and spending, suggest that inflation-adjusted consumer spending (70% of GDP) is on track to have expanded at an annual pace of 3.5% to 4.0% in 3Q15.
The trade deficit in goods widened sharply in August, with that split evenly between stronger imports (despite lower oil prices) and weaker exports. Net exports and an inventory correction are expected to subtract significantly from 3Q15 GDP growth, but underlying domestic demand appears to have remained strong.
Clarksville, TN – In Janet Yellen’s first public speech after the recent FOMC meeting, the Fed chair downplayed concerns about the rest of the world and placed herself among the majority of Fed officials expecting to raise short-term interest rates by the end of the year. In a scary moment for investors, Yellen struggled to finish her speech.
She repeatedly lost her place, paused for long periods, and looked generally unwell. She received medical treatment. A Fed spokesperson said that she was dehydrated and that she felt fine later. While stock market participants have been worried about Fed tightening, they seemed to have been more encouraged by Yellen’s expressed confidence in the U.S. economy.
Clarksville, TN – The Federal Open Market Committee delayed the start of policy normalization, citing concerns about global economic and financial developments.
The FOMC is not reacting to overseas developments per se, but rather to the implications for the U.S. economy (some restraint on growth, further downward pressure on inflation). In the revised dot plot, there was little agreement about where the federal funds rate would be at the end of 2016 and 2017.
Clarksville, TN – The economic calendar was thin, leaving investors free to worry about slower global growth and Federal Reserve policy. The stock market was volatile, but not as much as in recent weeks.
The Bank of Canada and the Bank of England each left short-term interest rates unchanged. The BOC lowered rates in January and July, but showed no bias to cut rates further in the next few months. The BOE has been debating whether to start raising rates, but appears to have put such notions aside in the near term, reflecting concerns about the global economy.
Clarksville, TN – The equity markets, and subsequently investors, experienced some wild swings toward the end of August, spurred in part by China’s faltering economy and a drop in oil prices. On paper, global equities have lost trillions in value after China unexpectedly devalued its currency earlier this month.
The move triggered concern that one of the world’s largest economies, especially its manufacturing sector, is growing at a slower rate. Consumer confidence also declined in August as the stock market turbulence dulled Americans’ outlook for the economy.
Clarksville, TN – The stock market sell-off continued Monday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other major domestic indices saw a significant drop in early morning trading, regained some ground as the day progressed, but still closed down 3% to 4% for the day.
Global markets were also down, notably in China, Hong Kong, Germany and the United Kingdom. The pullback appears to be driven by concern over slowing global growth, particularly as China’s economy (one of the world’s largest) falters, as well as the drop in commodity prices, namely oil.
Washington, D.C. – Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) voted for H.R. 1890, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.
This legislation sets roughly 150 trade objectives that the President and the United States Trade Representative must pursue during trade negotiations, including: the reduction of trade barriers, enhanced United States competitiveness, and small business access to international markets. TPA directs the President to address trade barriers and works to make sure American products have as much access to world markets that foreign products have in American markets.
Majority of travelers to vacation between 4-7 days
Tampa, FL – The summer travel season kicked off with what was forecast to be the most traveled Memorial Day weekend in a decade. Now, a new AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey shows growth in summer traveler plans as well.
More than three quarters (77%) of Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee residents plan to take at least one summer vacation trip this year between the months of May and September, according to the survey. More than half (56%) of vacation plans will run from 4-7 days.
Nashville, TN – A report released by the Secretary of State’s office touting Tennessee’s economic recovery leaves out the prosperity of half the population.
“We also learned last week that Tennessee is ranked 42nd for women in poverty, and 41st for work and family balance,” state Senator Sara Kyle said. “We can’t say our economy is improving when so many women are left out of our prosperity.”
Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini
Nashville, TN – Last week, Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell admitted that Insure Tennessee failed because of politics as usual.
Insure Tennessee was a “political issue,” she said, and she was unable to convince members of the Republican majority to hold a full floor discussion and vote on the proposal, which would have given 280,000 hardworking Tennesseans access to affordable health care. «Read the rest of this article»
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