June 30, 2007
A new U.S. refinery inches a little closer
June 29, 2007
CDOs: what's the big deal?
Here are my two cents on concerns about possible systemic financial problems.
June 28, 2007
The 2006 Net International Investment Position
The BEA released the end-2006 net international investment position (NIIP) today.
June 27, 2007
Housing's struggle continues
As expected, those very robust new home sales numbers initially reported for April turned out to be too good to be true.
June 25, 2007
Inflation: Local or Global?
What does the empirical literature say about the sources of inflation movements in an era of globalization?
June 24, 2007
Following yields up and down
June 22, 2007
Another energy bill
One nice thing when Congress keeps coming up with the same old ideas is that it allows us pundits to save energy by recycling our old comments on CAFE standards, ethanol mandates, and anti-gouging legislation.
Econoblog on interest rates
I was pleased to participate in the latest Wall Street Journal Econoblog with Mark Zandi, Chief Economist and co-founder of Moody's Economy.com. Here's a brief preview of what you can find over at the WSJ.
June 20, 2007
Thinking about import prices, the dollar, and inflation
Some delayed reflections on the May import/export price release, and how to interpret the data in light of the empirics of exchange rate pass through.
Slipping a little
I wouldn't read too much into the new starts, permits, and sentiment data, but I don't take them as very encouraging.
June 18, 2007
Rejoice! The 2006 current account to GDP ratio has been revised up by 0.3 percentage points
There's a temptation to view the upward revision to the current account balance, and the components thereof, as yet more evidence that the US external situation is in better shape than commonly perceived.
June 17, 2007
Oil shale hits a freeze
Don't count on running your Hummer on gasoline from oil shale just yet.
More on those rising interest rates
Rising rates look scary, but I still read it as good news.
June 14, 2007
Lessons from the yield curve
The dramatic upward move of long-term interest rates gives me an opportunity to look back on some of the predictions made on the basis of the inversion of the yield curve, and what might be in store next.
Keeping China's Yuan in Perspective
The Treasury released its report International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies yesterday. As expected, the Treasury declined to declare China a currency manipulator. On the same day, four senators submitted legislation to tie Treasury's hands in terms of the actions it can take against countries with "misaligned" currencies.
June 12, 2007
Reconciling the BED, CES, and birth/death employment data
There has been some discussion recently about discrepancies between different government estimates of the state of the labor market. Although a legitimate issue has been raised, there has also been a bit of misunderstanding.
June 10, 2007
Musings on Inflation Worries
The selloff in the stock market last week was attributed by some to inflation worries -- namely that persistent inflation means a reduction in the Fed Funds rate is less likely than the market had until recently believed.
June 08, 2007
The April Trade Release: Good and Ambiguous News
The April trade release surprised on the upside. Here are a few other insights, not all of which are unalloyed positives.
June 07, 2007
Worries about gasoline supplies
Robert Rapier has some concerns about what could be in store for the U.S. this summer.
June 06, 2007
Post Mortem on the Cambridge Energy Research Associates Forecasts
In the summer of 2005, Cambridge Energy Research Associates received a lot of publicity for their optimistic assessments of near-term oil supplies. Two years later, it's interesting to see how the details of those predictions have been borne out so far.
June 05, 2007
Financial Openness around the World
What do our indicators tell us?
June 04, 2007
Petroleum refining and comparative advantage
Some readers keep asking me, If U.S. refining capacity is such a big issue, why don't we just import more finished product?
June 03, 2007
Diverging Trends in Recent Employment Measures
Little noted is the fact that, while May's payroll employment release surprised on the upside, the household series were providing conflicting indications.
June 02, 2007
Auto sales improve in May
Yet another one of my chief worries gets some relief from new data.
June 01, 2007
Don't worry, be happy
Yesterday the Bureau of Economic Analysis told us that first-quarter real GDP grew not at the anemic 1.3% annual growth rate as was originally reported in the "advance" estimate given to us at the end of April, but instead was a barely-positive 0.6% as now claimed in the "preliminary" 2007:Q1 estimates. So what's worse than we thought?