The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the end of 2019.
The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility are 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively and these rates are expected to remain in place at least until the end of 2019.
This is an interesting one, one of our three U.S. recession indicators is the U.S. unemployment rate.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveals that the U.S. unemployment rate has hit a new multi-year low four to eight months before the start of every recession since the 1940s. In other words, the economy hits full employment four to eight months before the start of a recession.
The unemployment rate goes up at least 1% and then doesn’t go back down without a recession occurring.
The Baltic Dry Index is a trade indicator that measures shipping prices of major raw materials and is often seen as a global growth indicator. The index is based on a daily survey of agents all over the world.
The Baltic Dry Index is down 48% over the past month (and down 47% over the past year). Is this an indicator of more trouble around global growth?
The European Commission slashed their GDP growth forecast for the European Union (excluding the United Kingdom) and the Eurozone for 2019 and 2020 citing slowing growth in China and weakening global trade.
The growth forecast for 2019 for the European Union (excluding the United Kingdom) was cut to 1.5% for 2019 (was previously forecast 2%) and for the Eurozone was cut to 1.3% (was previously forecast 1.9%).
Germany, Italy and the Netherlands all saw big downgrades for their growth outlook.
There are various ways to look at Household Debt (total debt outstanding including mortgages, loans, credit cards and other debt) in the United States, we look at two today.
The first is debt servicing costs to disposable income which effectively is how much it costs to service household debt as a fraction of disposable (after tax) income. The second is household debt outstanding to disposable income which effectively is how much debt there is with respect to the same disposable (after tax) income measure.