Commentary: 2022 Won’t Be More of the Same

End of the year reviews, along with predictions for the coming year, are a staple around this time. But, as Yogi Berra wisely said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

I took a look at what I wrote last year, and a lot of it held up reasonably well (You can be the judge). I argued that the system and its managers are not doing a great job, the coronavirus crisis exposed their incompetence and malevolence, and that bad economics and crime would be major factors in marring the year ahead. Specifically, “a crisis of authority and legitimacy is emerging from failures in the most fundamental tasks of a society: the provision for basic needs, physical security, and a fair and accepted means of making decisions and picking leaders.”

Read More

U.S. Economic Growth Slowed to Two Percent in Third Quarter as Supply Chain Worsens

The U.S. economy grew at a 2% rate in the third quarter of 2021 as supply chain issues and the delta variant slowed gains.

The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of net services and goods produced, grew at a 2% rate during the third quarter of 2021, the slowest gain of the pandemic era, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Thursday.

Read More

Federal Reserve Begins Taking Steps to Fight Growing Inflation

The Federal Reserve said in September that it would begin taking steps to combat growing inflation in the U.S. economy, according to notes from a Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 Open Market Committee meeting first obtained by The Wall Street Journal. 

The Federal Reserve will be scaling back its $120 billion monthly purchases of U.S. Treasury and mortgage securities due to the growing surge in inflation and strong consumer spending leading to heightened demand, according to minutes from a September meeting released Wednesday by the WSJ. The reduction in spending, commonly referred to as tapering, will begin in mid-November, and experts believe it could end by June, according to the meeting notes.

Read More

GDP Surges 6.5 Percent as Economy Reaches Pre-Pandemic Size

The U.S. economy surged 6.5% in the second quarter of 2021 as states continued to end coronavirus-related restrictions that triggered an economic recession last year.

The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of net services and goods produced, jumped at a 6.5% annual rate between April and May, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) report released Thursday. GDP plummeted 31.4% in the second quarter of 2020 amid the massive nationwide economic shutdowns that occurred during the first coronavirus outbreak.

Read More

U.S. Added 379,000 Jobs in February, Unemployment Rate Fell to 6.2 Percent

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 379,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 379,000 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons fell slightly to 10 million. Economists projected 210,000 Americans to be added to payrolls and the unemployment rate to increase to hold at 6.3% prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Read More