Wednesday, February 18, 2015

General Economics

Market Watch | U.S. housing starts dip in January to 1.07 million annual rate
Construction on new U.S. homes dropped 2% in January to an annual rate of 1.07 million units, as heavy snowfall hindered builders in some regions such as the Midwest and Northeast. Permits also declined slightly but indicated that the pace of construction is likely to remain at or near current levels heading into the spring, according to Commerce Department data issued Wednesday.
Market Watch | U.S. producer prices tumble 0.8% in January on lower energy costs
U.S. wholesale prices posted a record 0.8% decline in January after an unprecedented drop in energy costs, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
Market Watch | Industrial production rises 0.2% in January
Industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in January, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal | Americans Borrowing More, but Fissures Appear
Americans are for the most part taking on new loans carefully, yet a rise in late payments on two fast-growing types of debt—auto and student loans—suggest some consumers could be getting in over their heads.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Bloomberg | Greece Seeks Concessions in Later Loan Extension Request
Greece will submit its request for a six-month loan extension to the euro-area Thursday, a day later than originally planned, according to a government official.
Real Clear Markets | The U.S. Economic Recovery Still Has a Lot of Upside
Are we nearing full employment and will the Fed soon be tightening policy? The government's latest employment report was the best in many years. Payroll employment rose by over a million during the past three months, with strong job gains in the preliminary data for January and large upward revisions in the previous estimates for November and December. Based on this surge in labor input, it is a good bet that the preliminary estimate of the fourth quarter's GDP will be revised upward as well.
Economics 21 | Falling Oil Prices Yield a Barrel of Nonsense
Wait until next month, economists said. That's when consumers will spend their bonus savings from lower gas prices.
Market Watch | Why the U.S. will have to bail out Greece
Fighting has flared up again in the Ukraine. The Egyptians are sending soldiers into Libya as another North African state collapses into chaos. The militants of Islamic State are spreading their influence across the region. You’d think Barack Obama might have bigger foreign policy issues to worry about than a small state of 10 million people on the eastern edges of the Mediterranean.