Baby Boomer Employment - April 2021
The 20th century Baby Boom was one of the most powerful demographic events in the history of the United States. We've created a series of charts to show seven age cohorts of the employed population from 1948 to the present.
Long-Term Look at the CPI
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) released this morning puts the year-over-year inflation rate at 4.16%. It is abovethe 3.76% average since the end of the Second World War and above its 10-year moving average, now at 1.73%.
Will COVID-19 Accelerate Euro-Area Integration?
Widespread lockdowns have resulted in record output declines and soaring debt across the euro area. But the political response to the COVID-19 crisis may be positive for the European integration project—and for euro-area bond markets.
Examining the Environment for Microcap Stocks
The smallest companies in the market may be overlooked by many investors, but can offer big potential. Here, we posed some questions about micro-capitalization (microcap) stocks to Franklin Mutual Series Portfolio Manager Oliver Wong, who explains how they have fared recently and where he’s finding opportunities.
Inflation: The Components
Here is a table showing the annualized change in Headline and Core CPI, not seasonally adjusted, for each of the past six months. Also included are the eight components of Headline CPI and a separate entry for Energy, which is a collection of sub-indexes in Housing and Transportation. We can make some inferences about how inflation is impacting our personal expenses depending on our relative exposure to the individual components.
Components of the CPI: April 2021
Let's do some analysis of the Consumer Price Index, the best-known measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) divides all expenditures into eight categories and assigns a relative size to each. The pie chart illustrates the components of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, the CPI-U.
Middle-Class Wages in April 2021
We've updated this series to include the April release of the Consumer Price Index as the deflator and the monthly employment update. The latest hypothetical real (inflation-adjusted) annual earnings are at $43,774, down 5.7% from 45-plus years ago.
Consumer Price Index: April Headline at 4.16%, Largest Increase Since 9/2008
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the April Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 4.16%, up from 2.62% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 2.96%, up from 1.65% the previous month and above the Fed's 2% PCE target.
Demographic Trends for the 50-and-Older Work Force
Note: This commentary has been updated with the latest numbers from last Friday's Employment Report. Consider: Today nearly one in three of the 65-69 cohort and one in five of the 70-74 cohort are in the labor force.
U.S. Workforce: April 2021 Update
We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last Friday's Employment Report for April. The unemployment rate inched up to 6.1%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 266K.
Inflation: It’s Just the Start
To say that we were surprised by some of the discussion at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting would be an understatement. The conversation Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger leaned into on inflation was possibly the most interesting. Warren and Charlie gave large credit to Larry Summers for his willingness to stand alone on the effects of today’s fiscal and monetary policy on prices. We thought this was an ideal time review Buffett and Munger’s discussion and see what conclusions we could draw.
Biden and Powell Versus Summers and Dudley
One of the best economic debates that's happening right now isn't between Republicans and Democrats or liberals versus conservatives, it's between policymakers who want to go full steam ahead with as much fiscal and monetary "stimulus" as possible and center-left economists who worry about the economic effects of over-stimulating the economy.