Posts in Domestic Outlook
The $15 Trillion U.S. Foreign Debt

There has been considerable discussion of the U.S. federal debt, approaching $20 trillion, and the impact this will have on the budget deficit when Treasury rates rise. Almost no attention, however, has been paid to the fact that three-quarters of this projected debt, or $15 trillion, will be held by foreigners, and that a 3% rise in Treasury rates could cause disruption in international trade and finance.

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Manufacturing Update, January 2016

With slowing growth in China and the implosion of stock prices there, the dramatic fall in the price of oil, and recent volatility in U.S. equity markets, January is coming in like a lion. Repeating the pattern observed in recent years, the first quarter will be challenging for U.S. manufacturers. One might say that what is happening bears watching. Or, one could say that the bears are watching what is happening.

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Manufacturing Update, December 2015

Export growth (based on the three-month moving average ending in October) fell 8.8 percent compared to the same period in 2014.  Imports declined by 2.3 percent in the same period. The trade balance in manufacturing, which was a negative $754 billion in 2014 is on track to rise by $60 billion to a negative $814 billion in 2015.

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U.S. Industrial Outlook: Growth Will Be Moderate but Accelerate Through 2018

Manufacturing industrial production rose at a 3.3% annual rate in the third quarter of 2015—a meager recovery from the essentially flat first half of the year. On a month-to-month basis, all the growth in the quarter occurred in July. The strong growth in July was relatively widespread among industries, but clearly led by motor vehicles and parts production with an 11% increase. Manufacturing production grew 1.0% in July, fell 0.2% in August, dropped 0.1% in September, and then rebounded 0.4% in October

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The Causes of Slowing U.S. Growth Potential

While measuring potential GDP—the maximum output achievable without provoking inflation—is not an exact science, it is clear that U.S. potential has slowed significantly since the 1980s and 1990s. Slower labor force growth and productivity are causing the sluggishness, although it is likely that government statistics do not accurately account for several types of 21st-century innovation.

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Domestic OutlookKaryn Hill