US Q1 GDP Contracts by 4.8%

The US economy contracted in the first quarter, as growth in January and February was more than wiped out by business shutdowns late in March, a trend that will likely carry over into the second quarter. First quarter GDP fell by 4.8%, compared with a 3.7% decline expected, with consumption and business investment the hardest […]
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White House Watch: Structural Change Not Always Intentional

Huge disruptions, pandemics and wars, can cause fundamental changes down the line that were not anticipated and which were hard to recognise at the time. Which brings us to the Federal Reserve in this time of crisis. Wednesday afternoon Chairman Jerome Powell will be explaining to the world the policy statement that is released at […]
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US Consumer Confidence Falls Further, but Expectations Improve

The Conference Board’s US Consumer Confidence Index Tuesday fell to a reading of 86.9 in April from a downward revised 118.8 in March, as business and employment conditions deteriorated rapidly due to the Covid-19 shutdown and while the assessment of current conditions posted their largest one-month decline in the survey’s history, as foreshadowed by the […]
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US Virus Testing Finally Reaches ‘Blueprint’ Stage

Even as the stock market and the White House look for better times ahead and soon, coronavirus risks for older Americans seem to be increasing. By the end Thursday of a single month in which more than 50,000 Americans have died already, the total will have topped 60,000. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation […]
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White House Watch: Jungle Drums in the Distances Sound Like Trouble

You can feel the rumble of distant war drums even before you can hear them, in the nation’s capital of all places, as the Trump administration faces a renewed wave of criticism – just as it might, finally, be least deserved. “Might” could be a leap, because there is obviously a lot to be criticised. […]
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White House Watch: Something Off Kilter in a Shaky Week

There were moments in the week just past when everything made sense, virus deaths were levelling in many areas including the New York City metro, the government’s efforts to massively ramp up the acquisition and production of medical gear were on track and the markets were moderately positive. The serenity was interrupted a bit, of […]
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Next Week’s US Data to Show Full COVID Impact

After a week that showcased weakness in the US housing market, analysts and financial market participants should prepare themselves for even more disappointing data next week. The mid-week FOMC meeting gives the Committee an opportunity to offer more consoling words, but any new actions would be even more appreciated. Frankly, though, they may be running […]
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German Business Sentiment Plunges

Business conditions in Germany worsened dramatically in April, according to the Ifo Institute, as its closely watched business sentiment index fell to a historic low of 74.3 from a revised 85.9 (86.1) in March. Both current conditions and expectations fell as well, down to 79.5 and 69.4, respectively. Revised March figures for current conditions were […]
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Time a Fluid Concept in World of Virus

The coronavirus particle is identical around the world as is the basic physiology of the human organism it has evolved to use as a host, and yet the reaction to its arrival and spread are so different and along timelines that can vary by months. Australia announced Thursday it will keep its borders closed to […]
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US Initial Claims Keep Piling Up; Home Sales Plunge

The growth rate of initial claims slowed modestly in the April 18 employment survey week but remain elevated, lifting the total number of new claims filed over the last five weeks to 26.5 million. The level of initial claims fell by 810,000 to 4.427 million in the current week, as the backlog of filings continued […]
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