Clarksville, TN – The final Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence recipient of 2014-15, Grammy Award winning flutist Rhonda Larson, will bring her talents to campus for a series of lectures and master classes at Austin Peay State University the week of April 21st-28th.
During her residency, Larson will share her experiences as a performing artist, as well as offering insight and lessons to APSU and area students. Her visit to campus will conclude on Tuesday, April 28th, with a concert with the APSU Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Gregory Wolynec. The event will take place at 7:30pm at the Mabry Concert Hall, on the campus of APSU.
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – Smartphones and other personal electronic devices could, in regions where they are in widespread use, function as early warning systems for large earthquakes, according to newly reported research.
This technology could serve regions of the world that cannot afford higher quality, but more expensive, conventional earthquake early warning systems, or could contribute to those systems.
The study, led by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), found that the sensors in smartphones and similar devices could be used to build earthquake warning systems.
Clarksville, TN – Produced by The Downtown Clarksville Association, First Thursday Art Walk is a free, self-guided tour spanning a 5-block radius that combines visual art, live music, engaging events and more in the heart of Downtown Clarksville.
With 10+ venues, bars and businesses participating each month, the First Thursday Art Walk in Clarksville is the ultimate opportunity to savor and support local creative talent.
Clarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, but the February Employment Report was stronger than expected. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 295,000 (±105,000), with a revision to January of -18,000. The BLS indicated that the payroll survey missed most of the bad weather that hit last month.
The household survey showed that 328,000 could not make it to work due to bad weather, which is about average (it was 601,000 in February 2014). Average weekly hours held steady (no weather impact).
Clarksville, TN – Greece’s reform proposals were accepted by European finance ministers, effectively kicking the can down the road for another four months.
In her monetary policy testimony, Fed Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the Fed will begin to consider raising short-term interest rates on a meeting-by-meeting basis. Before then, the Fed will change its forward guidance (currently, the language suggests that the Fed can be “patient” in deciding when to raise rates).
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – Four new NASA Earth-observing missions are collecting data from space – with a fifth newly in orbit – after the busiest year of NASA Earth science launches in more than a decade.
On February 27th, 2014, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory into space from Japan. GPM and the other new missions are making observations and providing new insights into global rain and snowfall, atmospheric carbon dioxide, ocean winds, clouds and tiny airborne particles called aerosols. Three of the new Earth missions are managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
Clarksville, TN – The minutes of the January 27th-28th Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed officials continuing to make preparations for policy normalization.
There was some debate about the risks of moving either too late or too soon. “Several” Fed officials feared that waiting too long to raise rates would risk higher inflation, but “many” (which in Fedspeak, is more than “several”) worried that a premature increase in rates could dampen the economic recovery and leave the Fed with limited options to correct course.
Clarksville, TN – As expected, U.S. financial market participants kept a close eye on developments in Europe. A fragile ceasefire agreement was reached in Ukraine (but we’ve seen that before). Negotiations to reduce austerity in Greece and restructure the country’s debt broke down without making much progress, but the two sides agreed to try again next week.
Retails sales were softer than expected in January and consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly in the mid-February assessment, leading to some concerns about the strength of consumer spending, but also fueling expectations that the Fed will delay its initial increase in short-term interest rates. Unadjusted core retail sales fell 24.9%, the same decline as in January 2014.
Clarksville, TN – The January Employment Report was strong. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 257,000 (median forecast: +235,000), with a net upward revision of +147,000 to the two previous months (three month average at +336,000). Payrolls fell by 2.76 million before seasonal adjustment, but were up 3.21 million from a year earlier.
The unemployment rate edged up to 5.7% (from 5.6%) reflecting noise in the labor force participation figure (down in December, up in January). The employment/population ratio edged higher. Average hourly earnings jumped 0.5%, following a 0.2% decline in December (up 2.2% y/y, still a relatively lackluster trend).
Clarksville, TN – As expected, Greece’s election resulted in a turn to the left. The new leadership indicated that it intends to remain in the euro, but will seek a reduction in austerity and some restructuring of the country’s debt.
That sets up a conflict with other European countries that oppose such moves. This will likely take some time to resolve, with headlines expected to add to global financial market volatility in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, euro area inflation fell to -0.6% y/y.
Real GDP rose at a 2.6% annual rate in the advance estimate for 4Q14 (vs. a median forecast of +3.1%), but it was still a good report. As expected, it was a strong quarter for consumer spending (+4.3%), but a relatively soft quarter for business fixed investment (+1.9%).
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