Real Time Economics: Markets Rally, Housing Thaws, U.S. and China Set Date for Talks


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

The Federal Reserve is getting some of the credit for a booming stock market, builders are finally making cheaper homes, and China is finding ways to skirt a U.S. tech clampdown. Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

IS THIS WHAT THE FED WANTED?

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite had their highest closings on record Tuesday, regaining ground lost in last year’s rout. Stocks have flourished under a more accommodative Federal Reserve. The central bank said in January it would hold interest rates steady, setting in motion the stock market’s strongest first-quarter run in more than two decades, as investors dialed back up their appetite for riskier assets Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Markets Rally, Housing Thaws, U.S. and China Set Date for Talks”

Real Time Economics: The Resilient American Economy


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s Monday, April 22, newsletter on the economy. Due to technical issues, online publication was delayed. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

The U.S. economy is looking surprisingly solid, Fed officials are wondering when they might cut rates, and commercial tension is likely to outlast any U.S.-China trade deal. Happy Dyngus Day! Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK

The U.S. economy’s narrative has changed. First-quarter gross domestic product was looking downright putrid a couple months ago. The government shutdown, consumer caution, bad weather, the fading effects of fiscal stimulus, higher interest rates and slowing growth abroad seemed ready to push the first-quarter pace of growth down to the lowest level in years. The Atlanta Continue reading “Real Time Economics: The Resilient American Economy”

Real Time Economics: China Stabilizes; U.S. Manufacturing Contracts; Chronicles of Antitrust


This post is by Greg Ip from Real Time Economics


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China stabilizes, U.S. manufacturing is halfway to recession, black workers’ pay gains have lagged, and as one antitrust chapter is closed, another is opened. Good morning, Greg Ip here to take you through the day’s economic news.

CHINA BOUNCES BACK

China grew 6.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, slightly faster than economists expected, easing anxiety about a broader pullback.  Industrial production, after a lackluster start to the year, surged 8.5% in March from a year earlier and both retail sales and property investment beat expectations in the first quarter, James Areddy reports. Easing trade tensions with the U.S. helped, but the main driver came from government, which cut taxes and regulation and green lighted more local government infrastructure, partly reversing prior efforts to halt the growth of debt.

“The short-term priorities have clearly changed,” said Cornell University’s Eswar Prasad.

BEWARE A MANUFACTURING RECESSION

Continue reading “Real Time Economics: China Stabilizes; U.S. Manufacturing Contracts; Chronicles of Antitrust”

Real Time Economics: Trade Talks Hang on Tariffs


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

The U.S. and China are getting closer to a deal, Friday’s employment report may tell us whether February was an unpleasant blip or the start a trend, and Germany’s factories are struggling. Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through the day’s top economic news. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

TARIFF TROUBLE

Tariffs have become the biggest sticking point in U.S.-China trade talks. China trade envoy Liu He, in Washington this week, is working to persuade his U.S. counterparts to remove tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods immediately on signing a deal. The Trump administration wants the punitive levies to remain in place to ensure Beijing enacts genuine overhauls, including fundamental changes to industrial policies, ending pressure on Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Trade Talks Hang on Tariffs”

Real Time Economics: Trump Blasts the Fed (Again, and Again); U.S. and China Talk Trade


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Tensions are running high between the White House and the Fed, U.S.-China trade talks pick up today, and the number of $100 bills in circulation is skyrocketing. Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

NOT-SO-NEUTRAL INTEREST

President Trump is blaming the Federal Reserve for holding back the economy and stock market despite the central bank’s decision to do two things he wanted: halt rate increases and stop shrinking its asset portfolio. In the past week alone, the president blasted the Fed and Chairman Jerome Powell at three meetings with Republican senators, supporters and staffers, Nick Timiraos and Alex Leary report.

The critical drumbeat is complicating Mr. Powell’s job by Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Trump Blasts the Fed (Again, and Again); U.S. and China Talk Trade”

Real Time Economics: Mortgage Rates Drop, Prospects for U.S.-China Deal Rise


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

THE 4% MORTGAGE IS BACK

Mortgage rates are dropping. Economists and lenders believe they’re getting low enough to help jump-start the housing market. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage this week fell to its lowest since January 2018. Some lenders are advertising sub-4%. Just a few months ago, average rates were on the verge of hitting 5%, drying up refinancings and putting a damper on home price growth, Ben Eisen reports.

Thanks, Fed: Rates have been declining along with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note. The bond-market moves have been spurred by the Federal Reserve’s decision to pause its Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Mortgage Rates Drop, Prospects for U.S.-China Deal Rise”

Real Time Economics: The Economy May Look Worse Before It Looks Better


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

SLOW RIDE

The Commerce Department today releases revised fourth-quarter gross domestic product figures. Economists polled by the WSJ are expecting a significant downgrade—a 2.2% pace of growth instead of the initially reported 2.6%. Yes, that’s all so 2018. But it points to a slowing trend that appears set to continue into the first quarter of 2019. The trend, however, has been looking better lately as more hard data comes in. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model initially was tracking a scant 0.3% pace of growth for the first quarter. That’s now up to 1.5%. Some economists expect a rebound in the Continue reading “Real Time Economics: The Economy May Look Worse Before It Looks Better”

Real Time Economics: The Fed’s On Hold, U.S.-China Talks Are a Go


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

It’s Fed day! The U.S. central bank will soak up investor attention but there’s plenty of other economic news around the globe. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through some of the key developments. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

RUNNING TO STAND STILL

The Federal Reserve is expected to leave interest rates unchanged Wednesday and officials could indicate they are comfortable holding them steady for a while. The Fed had taken some action to withdraw stimulus from the economy every quarter since late 2016—that streak will end this week. So if rates are already a done deal, what’s worth watching?

Fed officials haven’t released projections for the path of rates since December, before they signaled their new “wait-and-see” approach. An update—including the so-called Continue reading “Real Time Economics: The Fed’s On Hold, U.S.-China Talks Are a Go”

Real Time Economics: Market Forces vs. Government Fiat


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

IT’S A TRAP!

U.S. semiconductor companies want no part of any trade deal that calls for stepped-up purchases from China. Washington has pressed Beijing to buy more than $1 trillion in U.S. goods and services as part of an agreement, and China has offered to buy $30 billion of U.S. chips over six years. But U.S. chip makers have told President Trump’s administration not to include them, Bob Davis reports.

Why? Because U.S. production costs are so high, mandatory-purchase quotas would essentially force U.S. chip makers to open new factories in China and give Beijing bureaucrats more sway over Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Market Forces vs. Government Fiat”

Real Time Economics: The Fed Isn’t Sure What to Do About Its Dots


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

The Federal Reserve’s policy statement and press conference Wednesday are the week’s highlights. We’ll also get a big dose of housing data and more details on White House spending plans. Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

HOLD ME NOW

Federal Reserve officials are likely to end their meeting this week signaling little if any appetite to raise interest rates this year, part of a strategy designed to reduce the risks of a sharp slowdown in global growth. The Fed boosted its short-term benchmark rate four times last year and as recently as December indicated as many as three more in 2019. New forecasts to be released Wednesday are likely Continue reading “Real Time Economics: The Fed Isn’t Sure What to Do About Its Dots”

Real Time Economics: The Big Downgrade


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Economists, central bankers and governments are all taking a gloomier view of the global economy. Good morning! Jeff Sparshott here to take you through the day’s most important economic news. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

OUTLOOK: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RATE CUTS

Economists sharply lowered their forecasts for employment and economic growth in the first quarter. In a new Wall Street Journal survey, private-sector forecasters said they expect U.S. economic output to grow, on average, at a 1.3% pace in the first quarter. That would be the weakest since the end of 2015. Economists also trimmed their monthly payroll forecast to an average pace of 170,805 new jobs per month, down from 207,583 in the February survey, Harriet Torry reports.

The Continue reading “Real Time Economics: The Big Downgrade”

Real Time Economics: Trump In ‘No Rush’ With China


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

U.S.-China trade talks are running hot and cold, the Brexit follies continue and there’s more evidence China’s economy is slowing. Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.

HOT AND COLD

President Trump warned Beijing he would not sign off on a trade deal that didn’t meet U.S. demands. Following a White House meeting with his advisers, Mr. Trump told reporters that he was “in no rush” to reach an agreement. Mr. Trump added that he would walk away from a weak offer, as he had done last month in the Hanoi summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Bob Davis and Alex Leary report.

The president’s latest Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Trump In ‘No Rush’ With China”