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POSTED ON April 1, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

It appears quantitative easing has pretty much come to an end. At least for now.

Although the Fed was still expanding the balance sheet through mid-month, it only added a net $9B to the balance sheet during March. This was accomplished with moderate purchases of short- and long-term debt, while 5–10-year notes had a $20B runoff. MBS (light green) was surprisingly quiet with a net $2B runoff, but this disguises the typical volatility seen in MBS weekly purchases.

POSTED ON March 10, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

The latest seasonally adjusted inflation rate for January was 0.8% month over month. The non-seasonally adjusted annual rate came in at 7.87%. Both of these numbers were slightly above expectations.

Unlike last year, where one component made up the bulk of the move, the past several months have shown increases more evenly spread across the CPI. This shows that inflation continues to become more widespread. And there is no sign it is slowing down.

POSTED ON March 5, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

February was another very strong jobs month with the economy adding an estimated 678,000 jobs vs an expected 400,000.

The unemployment rate came in at 3.8%, down from 4%. Labor force participation also improved, rising from 62.2% to 62.3%. Both December and January numbers were revised upwards.

POSTED ON February 10, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

The latest seasonally adjusted inflation rate for January was 0.65% month over month, with a non-seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.48%. Both of these numbers came in above expectations.

As hypothesized last month, it was very possible that Omicron temporarily restrained inflation in December and a rebound should be expected. It did not take long for the rebound to occur!

POSTED ON February 4, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

January showed very strong growth with 467k new jobs reported by the BLS. This crushed expectations of 150k. Some analysts even projected a contraction given the reported loss by ADP on Wednesday.

However, the bigger story is the revisions of prior months. October to December saw upward revisions of nearly 900k jobs! The story is more complex though. The BLS has updated their models to “smooth” out the job numbers for seasonality. Most of these “new” gains were pulled from job reports last summer (more on this below).

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