Previously Published in CERF’s September California Economic Forecast There are no surprises in our California forecast.  There aren’t any changes either.  We expect California to continue plugging along as it has for several years now.  The growth on average will be slow, but the Bay Area will do better. We don’t see much upside potential. … Read more

Previously Published by Bill Watkins in the September 2016 California Economic Forecast A decade of slow or declining economic and job growth has been accompanied by fundamental changes in America’s job composition.  Those changes have caused profound disruptions in the lives of millions of workers, primarily low-educational-attainment workers, and their families. The situation is not… Read more

At the ASSA economics conference on Sunday, I attended a session on the equilibrium real (inflation adjusted) interest rate.  This topic was being discussed in particular as a metric relating to sluggish U.S. economic growth since the Great Recession. First, some presenters documented empirically that real interest rates since 1860 has had episodes, some of… Read more

The Federal Open Market Committee began its two day September meeting yesterday, where it will consider raising the short-term policy rate, or the guidance on that rate. It has been nine years since the committee has raised this rate. The prospect of higher rates has financial markets and their commentators very nervous. The rate-raising event,… Read more

Nobel economist Edmond S Phelps has a piece, What is Wrong with the West’s Economies?  He discusses the alarming slowdown in western economies dating back to the 1960s, a lack of what he call flourishing or a narrowing of innovation.  It’s a nice piece and I recommend reading it in its entirety.  As you might expect,… Read more

“It’s no longer legal to say, ‘We don’t want African-Americans to live here,’ but you can say, ‘I’m going to make sure no one who makes less than two times the median income lives here,’” Jargowsky told me. The above quote is from an Atlantic article on the resurrection of American slums.  I recommend the… Read more

Two new reports came out today indicating that the U.S. economy is weaker and more fragile than we thought. Productivity dropped for the second consecutive quarter, and hiring slowed. It appears that a weak global economy and the United States increasingly onerous regulatory environment is more than offsetting and stimulus from lower oil prices.

Forbes recently ran an article by William Baldwin titled “Do You Live in a Death Spiral State?” In the article, Baldwin calls states with declining economies Death Spiral States. (Confession: I really wish I’d come up that term) He correctly included California among his Death Spiral States. Then, he gives investment advice based only on… Read more

The advance estimate of U.S. third quarter GDP was released this morning, indicating that the economy grew at 2 percent. Third quarter growth was driven by private consumption and government defense consumption. Investment expenditures were weak, and trade was a small drag on third quarter growth. Business investment expenditures actually contracted, while residential real estate… Read more

This from a CNNMoney article: NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The International Monetary Fund said Monday that the global economy should continue to limp along at a modest pace, assuming leaders in Europe and the United States do not make things worse. In the latest update to its World Economic Outlook, the IMF said it expects… Read more