Quarterly Economic Update


We produce The Leopard View, a quarterly economic update with key assertions and commentary, for our clients and network. A few highlights from our most recent edition...


Current Economic Assertions and Changes (14 August 2018)

10-year US Treasury rate is 2.88%, down 11 basis points (bps) or 3.6%

WSJ prime rate is 5.0%, up 25 bps; up 75 bps or 18.75% since one year ago

Real US GDP growth (annualized) for Q2 (BEA first estimate July 27th) is 4.1%; 2017 GDP growth was 2.3%

CPI inflation2.9% for 12 months ended March; the index for shelter rose 0.3% in July and accounted for 60% of the seasonally adjusted monthly increase in all items

The U.S. Dollar vs major currencies index is 90.05, up 2.09% for Q2 and up 2.29% from one year ago

U.S. unemploymentis 3.9%, unchanged from last quarter; the highest unemployment rate of the past decade was 10.0% in Oct 2009

Labor force participationis 62.9%, up 0.1% from Q1; historical peak was 67% Q1 2000

Brent crude oil priceis $72.66 per barrel, down 5.7% from last quarter and up 45.32% from a year ago

U.S. real household debt as a percentage of assetsis 13.1%, down 0.2%; historical peak was just over 20% in 2008/2009 

U.S. equities(broad market) are up 7.01% YTD and up 18.33% trailing 12 months

Corporate profitsare up 1.89% year-over-year (Q1 2018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

S&P Case-Schiller U.S. National Home Price Indexis 202.18, up 6.42% year-over-year through May 2018, 9.51% greater than previous peak of 184.62 in July 2006

S&P Case-Schiller Las Vegas Home Price Index is 181.02, up 12.6% year-over-year through May 2018 (previous peak 234.71 September 2006)

Nonfarm business labor productivityincreased at a 0.39% rate in Q1 2018; this is up 11.75% since Q1 2009


Selected Commentary

Economy: average GDP growth for 2018/19 of 4% with 2018 at 3.5% with increased labor force participation providing approximately 11MM new jobs; I expect growth in entry/lower level jobs and that the media will present this as people are losing because average earnings will fall; statistics from a group of currently employed people at any level will show growth in income; average U.S. stock market value increase of ≥10% annually next 5-7 years

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure”. Colin Powell

Technology: Technology: developing and emerging technologies (practices) is a domain we must all interpret to adjust our offers, practices, narratives and strategies in order to be competitive; this article explains why measured productivity may be less than actual productivity gains with technology