Pubblicato in: Amministrazione, Banche Centrali, Senza categoria, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump. T2. Personal income tax balza a 1.4$ trilioni di dollari.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-18.

Trump Vincitore

Il Bureau of Fiscal Service, US Department of Treasury, ha rilasciato il report

Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS).

Del più recente aggiornamento è disponibile un pdf.

*

Nel secondo trimestre le entrate fiscali da tasse su persone sono ammontate ad 1.4 trilioni di dollari.

Questo è uno degli effetti del grande taglio delle tasse praticato mesi or sono dalla Amministrazione Trump.

E sono passati soltanto pochi mesi, ma il cresciuto benessere della popolazione è palpabile, tangibile.

A cosa mai servirebbe lo stato se non a far star bene la gente comune?


Sean Hannity. 2018-08-13. Great again: US Government Collects record tax haul in July

The United States treasury collected the highest level of personal income tax on record in July 2018, smashing estimates and taking-in more than $1.4 trillion just months after President Trump signed the sweeping tax overhaul into law.

According to CNS News, the federal government collected its highest recorded level of personal income tax on record in the second quarter of 2018 at $1,415,150,000,000; topping the previous record in the first ten months of 2017.

“In addition to the individual income taxes and corporation income taxes, the total taxes the federal government collected in October through July included $978,254,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes; $70,755,000,000 in excise taxes; $18,761,000,000 in estate and gift taxes; $32,477,000,000 in customs duties; and $84,688,000,000 in miscellaneous revenues,” writes CNS.

The strong economic data may spell disaster for Democratic challengers just months before the 2018 midterm elections, with liberal candidates vowing to repeal the “GOP tax scam” should they retake control of Congress this fall.


Cns. 2018-08-13. Feds Collect Record Individual Income Taxes Through July; Still Run $683.9B Deficit

The federal government collected a record $1,415,150,000,000 in individual income taxes through the first ten months of fiscal 2018 (October 2017 through July 2018), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

But the federal government also ran a $683,965,000,000 deficit for those ten months, according to the statement.

The previous record for individual income tax collections in the first ten months of the fiscal year was in fiscal 2017, when the Treasury collected $1,351,409,020,000 in individual income taxes (in constant July 2018 dollars) in the October through July period.

Despite the record amount in individual income taxes collected in the first ten months of this fiscal year, overall federal tax collections declined in the first ten months of this fiscal year compared to last year. In the October-through-July period of fiscal 2017, the Treasury collected $2,820,673,610,000 in total taxes. In the October-through-July period of this fiscal year, the Treasury collected only $2,766,071,000,000.

While individual income taxes collected in the first ten month of the fiscal year increased from 2017 to 2018, corporation income tax collections declined. In the October-through-July period of fiscal 2017, the Treasury collected $239,013,770,000 in corporation income taxes (in constant July 2018 dollars). In the October-through-July period of fiscal 2018, the Treasury collected $166,004,000,000 in corporation income taxes.

In addition to the individual income taxes and corporation income taxes, the total taxes the federal government collected in October through July included $978,254,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes; $70,755,000,000 in excise taxes; $18,761,000,000 in estate and gift taxes; $32,477,000,000 in customs duties; and $84,688,000,000 in miscellaneous revenues.

The federal government ran a $683,965,000,000 deficit in October through July of fiscal 2018 because while collecting its $2,766,071,000,000 in total taxes, it spent $3,450,035,000,000.

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Stati Uniti, Trump, Unione Europea

Trump. Sanzionare l’Iran per distruggere la Germania, meglio Frau Merkel. – Handelsblatt.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-17.

Ivan Iv. Il Terribile. 001. Viktor Michajlovič Vasnecov. Ivan IV il Terribile

Gran brutta cosa essere ideologizzati, assumendone i dogmi come fossero credo religioso non soggetto alla revisione critica della ragione. Pensiero ed azione diventano deliri coatti del tutto avulsi dalla realtà fattuale. Si pensa e si attua ciò che teoria impone, non ciò che sia retto, giusto e logico.

Se poi alla dipendenza dall’ideologia si associasse una smisurata superbia ed un inflessibile orgoglio si vivrebbe un delirio onirico caratterizzato da allucinazioni di grandezza autoreferenziale.

Potrebbero sembrare parole dure, ma sono invece mera constatazione di un dato di fatto. È nei fatti un delirio di onnipotenza: ma basta un nonnulla e la realtà strangola.

*

Nel novembre 2016 la dirigenza europea, Mr Juncker, Mr Hollande e Frau Merkel nutrivano la certezza assoluta che Mrs Hillary Clinton ed i liberal democratici avrebbero stravinto le elezioni presidenziali: una incapacità di vedere e percepire la realtà del tutto anomala per capi di governo. Arrivarono al punto di mandare a Mr Trump le congratulazioni per la nomina oltre una settimana dopo le elezioni, comportamento che da un punto di vista diplomatico corrisponde ad uno sgarro severo. Quindi ne dissero tutto il male possibile, denigrandolo in ogni modo e maniera: ma le loro invettive si rilevarono presto essere altamente controproducenti. Ma chi mai si credevano di essere?

*

Le parole della Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel furono chiare:

«we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands» [Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel – NYT]

*

«really take our fate into our own hands.» [Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel – Cnn]

*

I tedeschi sono in un vicolo cieco, dal quale non potranno uscirne se non a costo di immani disastri: sono strategicamente battuti, proprio come cento anni or sono lo furono alla battaglia di Amiens, che decretò la fine della prima guerra mondiale. Adesso stiamo assisitendo alla sua agonia.

Germania. La demografia che stritola. Mancano tre milioni di lavoratori. – Vbw.

Germania. Realtà geografica, non più umana, politica ed economica.

Germania. Non è povera. È misera. – Financial Times.

Germania. 13 milioni di poveri e 330,000 famiglie con la luce tagliata.

*

Stiamo adesso assistendo ad un progressivo ripudio fatto dalla confindustria tedesca nei confronti dei liberal socialisti e, soprattutto, di Frau Merkel.

Merkel, Trump e G20. Vincere o morire. – Handelsblatt.

Industriali tedeschi: Trump ha ragione e Merkel torto. – Handelsblatt.

Questa Unione Europea si sta collassando. – Handelsblatt.

Germania. ‘Conservative Manifesto’ vuole defenestrare Frau Merkel.

*

L’Unione Europea e Frau Merkel si sono sempre opposte fieramente alle sanzioni poste dagli Stati Uniti all’Iran. Usarono anche parole grondanti di orgoglio.

Europe requests exemptions from Trump’s Iran sanctions for energy, aviation and more [Cnbc]

«”As allies, we expect that the United States will refrain from taking action to harm Europe’s security interests.” [Frau Merkel»

EU sets course for US clash with law blocking Iran sanctions

«The EU has put itself on a collision course with the US over Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, as major European firms started to pull out of the country to avoid being hit by sanctions.

In an attempt to shield EU companies doing business with Iran, the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he would turn to a plan last used to protect businesses working in Cuba before a US trade embargo was lifted on the Latin American country.

“We will begin the ‘blocking statute’ process, which aims to neutralise the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions in the EU. We must do it and we will do it tomorrow [Friday] morning at 10.30,” he said at the end of a summit in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.»

*

EU To Activate ‘Blocking Statute’ Against U.S. Sanctions On Iran

«Speaking after a meeting of EU leaders in Sofia, Bulgaria, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a news conference that the EU will launch on May 18 the process of activating its so-called blocking statute.

“We have to protect our companies. We have to protect mainly those who bona fide — mainly small and medium-sized enterprises — did invest in Iran, and we cannot leave them alone,” he said.»

* * *

Alla fine Mr Trump perse la pazienza.

Trump. Colpire l’Europa attraverso la Turkia. Knockout.

Trump. Executive Order EO13846. Della vera novità nessuno ne parla.

Mr Trump aveva semplicemente ignorato eurodirigenza e governi europei, ottenendo in questa maniera il massimo risultato con il mimino sforzo. Non solo, Mr Trump aveva piantato un cuneo tra il governo tedesco e la realtà del comparto produttivo e commerciale, ponendoli in un’antitesi di vita o di morte.

Frau Merkel è diventata il nemico numero uno della confindustria tedesca,

«Anyone doing business with Iran will not be doing business with the United States»

Visto? Basta una riga per piegare l’altera Frau Merkel.

«Even as European leaders oppose the measure, the likes of Daimler and Siemens are scrambling to comply rather than risk disruption of their US business»

*

«How quickly they caved — Daimler, Volkswagen, Siemens, Bayer and many others. Despite all the brave words of defiance when the US announced renewed sanctions against Iran, German firms are suspending business with the Middle Eastern country now that they are in place for fear of President Donald Trump’s wrath»

*

«Whatever German executives might think about the wisdom or legality of the sanctions, the US market is simply too important to risk disruptions»

*

«The Berlin government has pledged to find ways to protect German companies from secondary sanctions, but they seem to prefer the safer path of not flouting sanctions to begin with»

*

«Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles, announced as soon as the sanctions became effective on Tuesday that it has suspended its “activities in Iran in accordance with applicable sanctions until further notice.”»

*

«Oil and gas producer Wintershall said it will close down its office in Tehran»

*

«VW warned that the truck and bus sales of its Scania unit in Iran could be completely lost»

*

«Siemens said it is taking measures to make its business activities conform to the “changed multilateral framework.”»

*

«Chemicals giant Bayer and consumer goods producer Henkel said they are reviewing their Iran business.»

*

«On the face of it, the US threat puts German firms in a quandary. “Adherence to US sanctions can conflict with EU law, which can be an offense in Germany that carries a fine of up to €500,000,” said Constantin Lauterwein of the law firm Hengeler Mueller. “At the same time, ignoring US sanctions can be a major disadvantage, especially in terms of access to the US market.”»

*

«The showdown over sanctions demonstrates once again the economic clout of the United States, severely restricting the ability of Germany or any other European country to follow a different policy»

*

«The gap between Europe’s aspirations as a wannabe great power and its impotence in the face of US power is as wide as ever»

*

«Then as now, US officials will not be paying much attention to the damage inflicted on European companies through the sanctions»

* * * * * * * *

Ci sarebbero molti validi motivi per dubitare di questa ultima affermazione: tutta questa operazione è stata condotta per obbligare i governi europei a togliersi lo scolapasta dalla testa e rientrare nei ranghi.

Nulla è più apprezzabile di un governo che eserciti la Realpolitik.


Handelsblatt. 2018-08-12. German firms bend to US sanctions, cutting ties to Iran

Even as European leaders oppose the measure, the likes of Daimler and Siemens are scrambling to comply rather than risk disruption of their US business.

*

How quickly they caved — Daimler, Volkswagen, Siemens, Bayer and many others. Despite all the brave words of defiance when the US announced renewed sanctions against Iran, German firms are suspending business with the Middle Eastern country now that they are in place for fear of President Donald Trump’s wrath.

“Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States,” the US president tweeted unequivocally on Tuesday.

Whatever German executives might think about the wisdom or legality of the sanctions, the US market is simply too important to risk disruptions. The Berlin government has pledged to find ways to protect German companies from secondary sanctions, but they seem to prefer the safer path of not flouting sanctions to begin with.

Firms adapt to ‘changed multilateral framework’

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles, announced as soon as the sanctions became effective on Tuesday that it has suspended its “activities in Iran in accordance with applicable sanctions until further notice.”

Oil and gas producer Wintershall said it will close down its office in Tehran. VW warned that the truck and bus sales of its Scania unit in Iran could be completely lost. Siemens said it is taking measures to make its business activities conform to the “changed multilateral framework.” Chemicals giant Bayer and consumer goods producer Henkel said they are reviewing their Iran business.

The US said it would renew sanctions when it unilaterally pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord in May. European allies, including Germany, opposed the move and said they will uphold their end of the agreement.

Mr. Trump considered the accord reached by his predecessor, Barack Obama, to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran suspending development of nuclear weapons to be a bad deal, too full of holes to be effective. European countries fear that abandoning the accord will lead to accelerated development of nuclear weapons in Iran.

Europe’s aspirations vs reality

On the face of it, the US threat puts German firms in a quandary. “Adherence to US sanctions can conflict with EU law, which can be an offense in Germany that carries a fine of up to €500,000,” said Constantin Lauterwein of the law firm Hengeler Mueller. “At the same time, ignoring US sanctions can be a major disadvantage, especially in terms of access to the US market.”

The showdown over sanctions demonstrates once again the economic clout of the United States, severely restricting the ability of Germany or any other European country to follow a different policy. The gap between Europe’s aspirations as a wannabe great power and its impotence in the face of US power is as wide as ever.

The so-called “blocking statute” put into place by the European Union is not much help. The measure “allows EU operators to recover damages arising from US extraterritorial sanctions from the persons causing them and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court rulings based on them,” the European Commission said in a press release Monday. It also forbids EU persons from complying with those sanctions.

However, Mr. Lautwein said it isn’t likely to bring a wave of lawsuits. Who is the person causing the losses – a government, a bank, a company? How do you quantify the damage?

Washington has promised further sanctions for November, directly targeting Iran’s oil and gas exports, if Tehran does not meet its demands regarding uranium enrichment and supporting terror. Then as now, US officials will not be paying much attention to the damage inflicted on European companies through the sanctions.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Stati Uniti, Trump, Unione Europea

Titoli turki denominati in Usd. Occasioni per gli scaltri.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-12.

2018-0812__Turkia__001

Le avvisaglie della terza guerra mondiale si stanno preannunciando con cospicui sommovimenti dei sistemi economici e finanziari.

Per l’economia del presente discorso, alcuni elementi sembrerebbero essere di particolare interesse.

Trump. Executive Order EO13846. Della vera novità nessuno ne parla.

Trump. Colpire l’Europa attraverso la Turkia. Knockout.

La Voce del Padrone. Tornate nei ranghi!

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2018-0812__Turkia__002

Se sia del tutto comprensibile l’anelito di un governante di preservare con cura l’identità e la sovranità nazionale, altrettanto ragionevole sarebbe il dover considerare la propria nazionale nei rapporti culturali, politici ed economici con tutte le restanti nazioni.

Un governante saggio sa bene come si debba addivenire ad accordi, ove ciascuna delle parti conceda, e nel contempo ottenga, qualcosa. L’ingordigia e l’orgoglio possono diventare armi di autodistruzione temibili.

Se sicuramente sono esistiti, e ne esistono tuttora, politici di razza quali Mr Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Principe di Benevento, capace di tener il piede in ventisette scarpe diverse lasciando tutti contenti e soddisfatti, è anche altrettanto vero come la gran parte dei politici siano omuncoli piccoli piccoli, di lega vilissima.

In politica, la chiarezza da sempre buoni frutti, mentre le ambiguità si pagano spesso a caro prezzo.

La storia insegna come sia meglio avere al governo un governante anche del tutto spudorato, piuttosto che un imbecille, oppure una persona ragionevole ma accecata dalla sua superbia.

*

2018-0812__Turkia__003

Andiamo al pratico.

Il 30 agosto 2017 la lira turca era quotata contro l’euro a 4.13: ieri 10 agosto 2018 tale rapporto valeva 7.3356.

Questo crollo è avvenuto principalmente, in termini percentuali, nell’ultima settima: il sei agosto il rapporto eur/try valeva 5.9087.

Questo turmoil si è ripercosso sulle quotazioni e sui rendimenti dei titoli di stato turki: quotazioni scese bruscamente ed interessi relativi schizzati vero l’alto.

Se però si considerassero i titoli di stato turki denominati in usd il quadro sembrerebbe essere fosco, ma meno drammatico.

Il titolo Türkei 04/34, 8.00%, un anno fa era quotato 128, mentre ieri 10 agosto 2018 valeva 97.70.

Se la quotazione rende tale titolo appetibile, nel converso la situazione della Turkia lascerebbe seri dubbi che gli interessi siano corrisposti anche in futuro e che avvenga alla fine il rimborso.

Se le mani di molti speculatori spericoli stanno già prudendo, quelli più smaliziati sono in vigile attesa.

Se sia vero che i titoli di stato si comprano a basse quotazioni, ossia quando gli stati emittenti siano nei triboli, sana norma comportamentale suggerirebbe di aspettare ad acquistarli solo ed esclusivamente quando fossero chiari, evidenti e sicuri di un clima internazionale raffreddato ed una ripresa nazionale ben evidente.

È una elementare norma di prudenza, che suggerisce di correre sicuramente dei rischi, ma di farlo in modo ragionevole.

Poi, ovviamente, ciascun opererà secondo i propri interessi.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump

Usa. Midterm. Gli ultimi sondaggi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-12.

2018-08-08__Midterm__001

Real Clear Politics ha rilasciato i risultati degli ultimi sondaggi elettorali in vista delle elezioni di midterm.

2018-08-08__Midterm__002

2018-08-08__Midterm__003


America. Elezioni di mezzo termine 2018.

Il 6-7 novembre 2018 negli Stati Uniti di America si terranno elezioni per:

– rinnovare tutti i 435 membri della Camera dei Rappresentanti;

– eleggere il Delegato per il Distretto di Columbia ed i delegati dei territori, eccetto il Commissario residente di Puerto Rico.

– rinnovare 33 dei 100 seggi senatoriali;

– rinnovare 39 governatori di stati o territori;

– rinnovare un elevato numero di deputati e senatori di singoli stati;

– eleggere un certo quale numero di giudici locali e federali.

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Per tradizione più che bicentenaria alle elezioni di midterm gli Elettori americani votano deputati, senatori e governatori del partito avverso a quello del presidente in carica. È un dato di fatto, non un qualche obbligo istituzionale.

Nella campagna elettorale del 2016 Mrs Hillary Clinton aveva prognosticato per midterm una “marea democratica“. Subito questa previsione era stata tramutata in certezza da parte di tutti i media liberal democratici: Cnn, The New York Times, The Washington Post preconizzavano una vittoria democratica a stile bulgaro. Qualcuno si era anche slargato buttando lì un 90%.

Era l’epoca in cui un certo quale numero di giovani dimostranti urlava “not my president“.

Poi arrivò una campagna stampa di intensità e virulenza unica nella storia americana: Mr Trump fu accusato di tutto, dal pascolo abusivo all’aggiotaggio, ma le prove non ressero la prova.

Le previsioni attuali sembrerebbero indicare che la “marea democratica” potrebbe tranquillamente non accadere. Non solo.

La situazione economica americana è florida.

Trump. Disoccupazione al 3.8%. Anche negri e latino-americani votano.

Trump. Il taglio delle tasse genera 3,000 miliardi di investimenti. Steve Scalise.

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Condividiamo il parere di molti analisti ragionevolmente neutrali che molto verosimilmente il Presidente Trump potrebbe mantenere almeno il controllo del Senato ed abbia buone probabilità di conservare anche la maggioranza al Congresso.

Si vorrebbe essere molto chiari.

A midterm si considererà Mr Trump vincitore se anche solo riuscisse a mantenere la maggioranza in Senato, così da poter completare le nomine dei giudici federali, nomi proposti dal presidente ma che devono avere l’approvazione dei senatori.

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I grafici che sono stati pubblicati indicano correttamente un buon numero di seggi in forse per ambedue i partiti.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump, Unione Europea

Trump. Colpire l’Europa attraverso la Turkia. Knockout.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-11.

Ivan Iv. Il Terribile. 001. Viktor Michajlovič Vasnecov. Ivan IV il Terribile

«Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento:

hae tibi erunt artes, pacisque imponere morem,

parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.»

[Virgilio, Eneide, VI, 847-853]



«Secondo quanto riportato dal Financial Times, gli istituti spagnoli avrebbero un’esposizione di 83,3 miliardi di dollari, quelli francesi di 38,4 miliardi di dollari e quelli italiani di 17 miliardi di dollari. ….

I gruppi bancari più esposti sarebbero la spagnola Bbva, la francese Bnp Paribas  e l’italiana Unicredit» [Fonte]

* * *

«Quando gli Usa alzano i tassi c’è volatilità sui mercati emergenti. Questa volta la Turchia risulta in difficoltà perché poco credibile sul piano politico». [Fonte]

Ma queste sono bruschette, briciolotti, specchietti per allodole.

*

In fuga dalla Turchia, Ferrero cerca nuovi fornitori di nocciole per la Nutella

* * *

Cercare di capire cosa stia succedendo sarebbe facile se ci si concentrasse sull’essenziale, improbo se ci si perdesse nei particolari. Quasi invariabilmente però la casistica particolare è sbandierata da politici, economisti e media proprio per evitare di mettere l’ascia alla radice.

Le elezioni presidenziali 2016 sono state lo spartiacque che ha chiuso in Occidente l’era del predominio politico, economico e culturale dell’ideologia liberal e socialista, aprendo le porte ad un nuovo periodo che si potrebbe definire ‘empirista’, ossia non condizionato da ideologia alcuna.

Se è vero che Mr Trump abbia vinto, ed anche con grande vantaggio, sarebbe altrettanto vero constatare come i democratici abbiano perso per la scelta sprovvida della candidata Mrs Hillary Clinton e per la durezza con la quale avevano cercato di imporre la propria Weltanschauung negli Stati Uniti e nel mondo.

Queste elezioni furono così cruciali perché il presidente eletto avrebbe potuto nominare nuovi giudici nella Corte Suprema. Essendo i giudici nominati a vita e scegliendo solitamente i presidenti persone relativamente giovani, se avessero vinto i democratici si sarebbero garantiti la Corte Suprema a schiacciante maggioranza liberal democratica: ma hanno vinto i repubblicani e così per i prossimi trenta anni questa Corte sarà repubblicana.

Compreso questo punto essenziale, tutto ne deriva di conseguenza sequenziale.

White House. Law & Justice. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch Sworn-in at the White House [2017-04-13]

White House. Nominations & Appointments. President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. [2018-07-09]

Se anche ora qualcuno assassinasse Mr Trump il predominio repubblicano non risulterebbe essere intaccato per un buon trentennio.

*

Infatti, avere la maggioranza nella Suprema Corte significa che per trenta anni almeno vi sarà il predominio repubblicano sulla politica e sul sistema economico: le sentenze di tale Corte sono infatti inappellabili.

I liberal democratici hanno scatenato contro Mr Trump una vera e propria guerra civile, accusandolo di tutto e di qualcosa di più, reclutando anche tutti coloro che in passato erano stati loro fedeli sodali all’estero.

Stati Uniti. È in corso una guerra civile. Occorre prenderne atto. [2017-02-12]

Guerra civile americana. Si avvicina lo scontro finale. [2017-06-05]

Trump. La guerra civile americana si avvia alla sua Gettysburg. [2017-09-12]

*

I fedeli alleati europei dei liberal democratici americani avevano fatto un’intensa campagna elettorale per Mrs Hillay Clinton. Quando con loro vivo disappunto Mr Trump trionfò alle elezioni, ci misero più di una settimana a mandargli le congratulazioni che buona diplomazia suggerisce. Mr Hollande e Frau Merkel, liberal socialisti, si assunsero l’onere di appoggiare i liberal democratici nel loro disperato tentativo si sottominare l’Amministrazione Trump.

I risultati conseguiti al G20 prima, al G7 dopo sono la dimostrazione del loro fallimento.

Non solo, alle successive elezioni nazionali il partito socialista francese di Mr Hollande si ridusse all’8% ed in quelle del 21 settembre 2017 il partito di Frau Merkel perse dieci punti percentuali, così come la sua alleata socialdemocrazia.

La dirigenza dell’Unione Europa, Francia e Germania, erano rimasti gli ultimi baluardi di governi ad ideologia liberal e socialista: del tutto sequenziale che Mr Trump li avesse messi nel collimatore, anche perché erano l’ultima sponda di potere detenuto dai liberal democratici. La conclusione è facile.

«Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam»

*

Constatata l’impossibilità di pervenire ad un accordo politico con personalità politiche ideologicamente irriducibili, Mr Trump è ricorso ad una guerra economica e commerciale contro Unione Europa, Francia e Germania.

Alla fine l’Europa dovrà ben scegliere se siano meglio gli Stati Uniti ovvero la rovina. I superbi dovranno chiamare il capo ed umiliarsi.

Questa guerra si articola su svariati fronti, che vanno dal supporto ai partiti sovranisti, ‘populisti‘, nel Vecchio continente allo scopo di scalzarne dal potere gli attuali egemoni, all’aumento dei tassi di interesse, al richiamo negli Stati Uniti dei processi produttivi prima delocalizzati, a repentine variazioni di ampio respiro dei cambi delle valute, fino ad una nuova forma di strangolamento economico.

Esso si articola su due braccia di una stessa tenaglia: da una parte i dazi e dall’altra il bando dal mercato statunitense delle imprese che operano in paesi considerati nemici, o tali siano riconosciuti.

Constato come non sia possibile un costruttivo dialogo politico, Mr Trump colpisce, ed anche molto duramente, il tessuto produttivo e commerciale dell’Unione Europea.

Colpire la Turkia significa in questo momento colpire gli stati dell’Unione Europea.

Le esposizioni bancarie di Spagna, Germania, Francia ed Italia sono gran belle cifre, verosimilmente la Turkia non sarà in grado di onorare i 70 miliardi di dollari di titoli in scadenza l’anno prossimo, ma il danno politico ed economico inferto all’Unione Europea è di ben maggiore portata. Per non parlare poi di quello indotto da un dollaro forte, e che potrebbe anche irrobustirsi ulteriormente.

In estrema sintesi: i capi di stato europei devono andare a Washington ed inginocchiarsi a baciare l’anello.

«Parcere subiectis et debellare superbos»


Bloomberg. 2018-08-11. Euro Becomes Collateral Damage as Trump Amps Up Turkey Pressure

– Common currency tumbles to lowest level since July 2017

– Concern mounts over European banking health: Credit Suisse

*

As U.S. President Donald Trump takes aim at Turkey, the euro is getting caught in the crossfire.

Turkey’s lira plunged to a record low Friday amid escalating tension over the detention of an American pastor, with Trump ordering some tariffs on Turkish metals to be doubled. The carnage quickly spread from emerging to developed markets: The euro sank as much as 1.2 percent to the weakest in more than a year, extending a drop triggered earlier by a Financial Times report that the European Central Bank raised concern about European banks’ exposure to Turkey.

Barring a quick resolution to the U.S.-Turkey feud, the common currency will continue to suffer amid worries about the vulnerability of European financial institutions, according to Shahab Jalinoos, Credit Suisse Group AG’s global head of FX trading strategy.

“As long as the market suspects the European banking sector has an exposure, it will weigh on the euro, even if that’s hard to quantify,” Jalinoos said. “It will be sold on rallies unless Turkey suddenly gets cleared up, especially as the market knows the euro has its own Italy budget risk still ahead.”

The euro fell as low as $1.1395 on Friday, and is now down about 5 percent this year versus the dollar. Jalinoos has his sights set on the euro’s 200-week moving average at $1.1367 as the next point to watch. He said that level acted as resistance in the second half of 2016.

The greenback gained against almost all major and emerging-market currencies Friday, underscoring the haven appeal that’s boosting it to the likely dismay of the U.S. president. Among G-10 currencies, the euro’s biggest losses came against the yen, dollar and Swiss franc.

“Turbulence in emerging markets related to spillover from Turkish assets is generating a fear in the markets,” said Brad Bechtel, a managing director at Jefferies Group LLC. “The only currencies to own in this environment are dollar, Swiss franc and the yen.”


Sole 24 Ore. 2018-08-11. Perché la lira turca è crollata. Trump esulta e aumenta i dazi

La crisi valutaria turca è talmente complessa che nemmeno l’invocazione di Erdogan ad Allah servirà ad attenuare la disfatta della lira sui mercati internazionali, a meno che Ankara non si rassegni ad adottare misure la cui ortodossia è però fortemente avversata dallo stesso presidente.

Le ragioni geopolitiche

La crisi ha radici geopolitiche, monetarie e macroeconomiche. Il primo aspetto è legato sia alla svolta autoritaria impressa al Paese con la nascita di una Repubblica presidenziale che concentra nelle proprie mani ogni potere (anche quello di nominare direttamente il governatore della banca centrale) sia al deterioramento dei rapporti con gli Stati Uniti dopo l’arresto in Turchia, con l’accusa di spionaggio e terrorismo, del pastore americano Andrew Brunson, e al quale la Casa Bianca ha risposto all’inizio di agosto imponendo sanzioni nei confronti di due ministri (Interno e Giustizia) del governo Erdogan. Mentre oggi Trump ha annunciato il raddoppio dei dazi su alluminio e acciaio turchi rispettivamente al 20% e al 50 per cento.

La politica monetaria

Le sanzioni però, misura rara nei confronti di un Paese della Nato da parte degli Stati Uniti, rappresentano solo l’elemento scatenante di una situazione preoccupante da mesi e qui entra in gioco il secondo fattore, la politica monetaria. L’economia turca corre e corre troppo. Con una crescita che nel 2017 è stata superiore al 7% ed è stata in buona parte alimentata dalla concessione di credito facile a imprese e famiglie, è in fase di surriscaldamento:l’inflazione è ormai al 16%. In luglio gli investitori internazionali si aspettavano un aumento dei tassi d’interesse della Banca centrale, che però non c’è stato. Erdogan con le nuove prerogative presidenziali ha il potere di nomina del governatore e in maggio aveva spiegato a Londra di voler influenzare direttamente la politica monetaria e di essere contrario all’aumento del costo del denaro perché in realtà avrebbe creato più inflazione invece di ridurla.

Le debolezze macroeconomiche

Di fronte a un simile atteggiamento la preoccupazione degli investitori esteri è aumentata esponenzialmente dopo le elezioni di giugno, che hanno visto la grande vittoria di Erdogan e la nascita della nuova repubblica presidenziale. Da lì in avanti, più della crescita portentosa, delle promesse di investimenti miliardari nelle grandi opere infrastrutturali, di un debito pubblico bassissimo (28,5% del Pil) hanno pesato una serie di elementi macroeconomici che spiegano la terza ragione della crisi e la fuga di capitali: un deficit delle partite correnti al 6% del Prodotto interno lordo e un indebitamento estero ormai al 53% del Pil e per due terzi attribuibile al settore privato (banche e imprese) con scadenze importanti di rimborso (70 miliardi) da qui al marzo 2019.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump. Executive Order EO13846. Della vera novità nessuno ne parla.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-11.

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Il 6 agosto c.a. il Presidente Trump ha promulgato l’Executive Order

Executive Order Reimposing Certain Sanctions with Respect to Iran

inserito al numero EO13846 nel Federal Register.

Questo Executive Order contiene alcune novità davvero fuori la norma per provvedimenti del genere, delle quali nessuno sembrerebbe essersene accorto, pur essendo di grande rilevanza giuridica.

«Blocking Sanctions Relating to Support for the Government of Iran’s Purchase or Acquisition of U.S. Bank Notes or Precious Metals; Certain Iranian Persons; and Iran’s Energy, Shipping, and Shipbuilding Sectors and Port Operators»

*

«The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to impose on a person the measures described in subsection (b) of this section upon determining that:

– on or after August 7, 2018, the person has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, the purchase or acquisition of U.S. bank notes or precious metals by the Government of Iran;

– on or after November 5, 2018, the person has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), or the Central Bank of Iran;

– pursuant to authority delegated by the President and in accordance with the terms of such delegation, sanctions shall be imposed on such person pursuant to section 1244(c)(1)(A) of IFCA because the person:

— is part of the energy, shipping, or shipbuilding sectors of Iran;

— operates a port in Iran;»

*

«With respect to any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury in accordance with this section to meet any of the criteria set forth in subsections (a)(i)-(a)(iv) of this section, all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of such person are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.»

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«With respect to any foreign financial institution determined by the Secretary of the Treasury in accordance with this section to meet any of the criteria set forth in subsections (a)(i)-(a)(v) of this section, the Secretary of the Treasury may prohibit the opening, and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintaining, in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by such foreign financial institution.»

*

«– the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shall take such actions as they deem appropriate, including denying designation, or terminating the continuation of any prior designation of, the sanctioned person as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments; or

— agencies shall prevent the sanctioned person from serving as an agent of the United States Government or serving as a repository for United States Government funds;»

*

«- agencies shall not procure, or enter into a contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from the sanctioned person;»

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«– prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period»

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«– block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the sanctioned person, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in;»

*

«- With respect to any foreign financial institution determined by the Secretary of the Treasury in accordance with this section to meet the criteria set forth in subsection (a)(i) or (a)(ii) of this section, the Secretary of the Treasury may:

— prohibit the opening, and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintaining, in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable through account by such foreign financial institution; or

— block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of such foreign financial institution, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.»

*

In succinta sintesi, chiunque abbia mercimoni economici o finanziari con l’Iran si vedrà preclusa ogni qualsivoglia attività negli Stati Uniti ed i suoi beni saranno confiscati. Gli operatori sono posti davanti alla scelta se commerciare e/o produrre negli Stati Uniti oppure in Iran. La scelta si presenta quasi obbligata: il sistema economico e finanziario americano è due ordini di grandezza maggiore di quello iraniano.

*

Tuttavia questa non è l’unica novità.

Alla sezione 16 è riportato un esaustivo elenco dei termini usati e delle relative definizioni.

«Sec. 16. Definitions. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term “automotive sector of Iran” means the manufacturing or assembling in Iran of light and heavy vehicles including passenger cars, trucks, buses, minibuses, pick-up trucks, and motorcycles, as well as original equipment manufacturing and after-market parts manufacturing relating to such vehicles;

(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;

(c) the term “financial institution” includes (i) a depository institution (as defined in section 3(c)(1) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act) (12 U.S.C. 1813(c)(1)), including a branch or agency of a foreign bank (as defined in section 1(b)(7) of the International Banking Act of 1978) (12 U.S.C. 3101(7)); (ii) a credit union; (iii) a securities firm, including a broker or dealer; (iv) an insurance company, including an agency or underwriter; and (v) any other company that provides financial services; ….»

*

Non è la prima volta che Mr Trump allega le definizioni dei termini usati, ma l’EO13846 ne contiene un elenco esaustivo.

Questa operazione dovrebbe limitare in modo quasi completo la possibilità di contestazioni legali e, soprattutto, le interpretazioni arbitrarie dei tribunali.

Salutiamo quindi con riconoscenza questo nuovo stile di scrittura dei provvedimenti governativi: finalmente emerge chiarezza.

Si potrà condividere o meno il contenuto del dispositivo, ma almeno è capibile senza possibilità di fraintendimenti.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Senza categoria, Stati Uniti, Trump, Unione Europea

La Voce del Padrone. Tornate nei ranghi!

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-08-10. h 16:00.

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«we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands» [Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel – NYT]

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«really take our fate into our own hands.» [Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel – Cnn]

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«I believe that climate change is certainly caused by humans» [Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel – Ccn]

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«The call for a post-Atlantic Western policy by some German columnists also misses the mark, as it suggests the West could exist as a political force without the United States»

*

Ma chi mai si credeva di essere? Qui, se gli europei non si tolgono lo scolapasta dalla testa, finiscono diritti nella miseria più nera. Ora la Turkia, poi l’Italia ed tutto il resto.

I grafici sono in coda.


Ansa. 2018-08-10. Crollo lira, Erdogan: mantenere calma, comprare nostra valuta

La crisi della Turchia spaventa i mercati con effetti sullo spread e l’euro mentre calano anche le Borse, con ribassi specialmente sui titoli delle banche. Ma il presidente turco Racep Tayyip Erdogan, parlando durante una visita alla città settentrionale di Bayburt ad un gruppo di fedeli musulmani, ha detto che il governo turco “non perderà la guerra economica”.
Erdogan invita alla calma dopo il crollo della lira turca, arrivata a perdere fino al 13,5% sul dollaro, e sollecita la popolazione a cambiare la moneta straniera in quella locale.

Piazza Affari amplia il calo a metà seduta e cede il 2,09% a 21.183 punti. Sotto pressione Unicredit (-4,41%), per l’esposizione in Turchia, dove la lira cede l’11,22% sul dollaro e oltre il 10% sull’euro. In forte calo anche Fca (-2,59%), che controlla il 38% della turca Tofas, mentre Stm (-5%, sconta le valutazioni degli analisti sul settore, che colpiscono i rivali nelle varie piazze mondiali.

”Ho appena autorizzato un raddoppio dei dazi sull’acciaio e l’alluminio della Turchia in quanto la loro valuta, la lira turca, e’ in rapido calo nei confronti di un dollaro molto forte. I dazi sull’alluminio saranno ora al 20% e quelli sull’acciaio al 50%. I nostri rapporti con la Turchia non sono buoni al momento”. Lo afferma in un tweet, il presidente americano Donald Trump.

I bond sovrani della Turchia segnano nuovi massimi di rendimento, con il decennale denominato in lira volato al 20,58%, segnando un balzo stamani di 84 punti base. Alta tensione anche sui bond denominati in dollari, con il rendimento dei titoli ottobre 2029 balzato di 25 punti base al 7,92%, secondo dati Bloomberg. Altro segnale dei timori degli investitori per la situazione della Turchia sono i credit-default swap, i contratti derivati che fungono da ‘assicurazione’ per il rischio d’insolvenza: quello a cinque anni è volato a 400 punti base, ai massimi dal 2009. Una situazione che fa temere ad alcuni un possibile contagio ad altri mercati emergenti, ugualmente colpiti dalla fine di un decennio in cui le banche centrali, e in particolare la Fed, hanno inondato i mercati globali di liquidità a bassissimo costo: l’indice Msci che monitora le valute emergenti segna il calo più forte in quasi due mesi, quello relativo alle Borse -0,9%.

La Russia prende contromisure per sostenere il rublo. La crisi della Turchia riverbera anche a Mosca, dove la banca centrale, allo scopo di sostenere le quotazioni del rublo, ha tagliato stamani l’ammontare di valuta estera che acquista regolarmente per proteggere l’economia dalle fluttuazioni del prezzo del petrolio. Il rublo ha così recuperato terreno a 66,8575 dollari dopo aver toccato i 67 dollari stamani, il minimo dal giugno 2016.

BCE PREOCCUPATA PER LE BANCHE La vigilanza è preoccupata per il contagio della crisi economica e monetaria turca sulle banche europee. Lo scrive l’Ft che cita come le più esposte l’italiana Unicredit, la spagnola Bbva e la francese Bnp Paribas. Secondo il quotidiano la situazione non sarebbe ancora critica ma viene monitorata da vicino. Quest’anno la moneta turca ha perso un terzo del suo valore a causa delle politiche del presidente Erdogan, in aperto contrasto con i paesi occidentali (si parla di sanzioni dagli Usa) e che ha ridotto, dopo la vittoria elettorale di giugno, ancor più l’autonomia della banca centrale impedendo una stretta monetaria giudicata necessaria in uno scenario mondiale di tassi in rialzo. Anche i dicasteri economici sono stati posti sotto stretto controllo del presidente aumentando così i timori degli investitori.

LIRA AFFONDA, -13% Non si arresta il crollo della lira turca che, in avvio di contrattazioni, è arrivata a perdere fino al 13,5% sul dollaro, secondo quanto riporta Bloomberg. La valuta di Ankara, sotto attacco per via dei timori sulle politiche economiche del Paese, è arrivata a scambiare fino a 6,3 sul biglietto verde per poi recuperare un po’ di terreno e ora tratta a 5,81.  La Lira turca segna l’ennesimo minimo record a 6,24 contro il dollaro, in calo del 7%.

EFFETTO ANCHE SU EURO I timori di un contagio alle banche e al sistema finanziario europei (oltre che agli investimenti nel paese) della crisi turca indebolisce l’euro in avvio di giornata. L’euro scende ai minimi dal luglio 2017, segnando 1,1432 contro il dollaro da 1,1527 di ieri prima di recuperare parzialmente terreno a 1,1454. 

SPREAD IN SALITA Sale fino a quota 260 lo spread tra il Btp e il Bund tedesco nei primi scambi della mattinata mentre sui mercati si accendono i timori per il crollo della lira turca. Il differenziale di rendimento tra il decennale italiano e quello tedesco, che ieri aveva chiuso a 252 punti base, si attesta ora a 257 punti, con un rendimento del 2,91%.



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Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump. Pil T2 +4.1%, export +9.3%. Coliche biliari dei liberal democratici.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-27.

FED 001

Reuters non sa se essere felice come americano, oppure esserne desolato come liberal democratico.

Questo è il titolo della breaking news della Cnbc.

U.S. second-quarter GDP growth expected to top 4%

«Wall Street — and the White House — eagerly await the release of GDP data on Friday that many economists expect to top 4 percent. The last time the economy expanded at a comparable pace was in 2014, when growth hit 5.2 percent in the third quarter.

Granted, a single three-month period of rising output is a limited gauge of the economy’s health. The quarterly figures are volatile and can swing sharply from quarter to quarter. But this year’s second-quarter number will be more closely watched than usual, thanks to President Donald Trump’s repeated pledge to hit annual growth of “much higher” than 3 percent

The economy grew 2.3 percent in 2017, which is considered typical for the late stages of a post-recession recovery. GDP growth for a full year hasn’t crossed the 3 percent mark in 14 years.»

*

Il The New York Times annuncia anche esso la notizia, intercalandola con la bile che ha emesso.

G.D.P. Grew at 4.1% Rate in U.S. in Latest Quarter. Here’s What That Means.

«The Commerce Department released its initial estimate of second-quarter economic growth on Friday, providing the latest snapshot of the American economy.

– United States gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter, up from 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year. It was the strongest quarter of growth since 2014.

– Consumer spending rose 4 percent, but private investment fell slightly as the housing market cooled.

– Exports rose 9.3 percent, driven in part by a surge in soybean shipments tied to President Trump’s trade policies.

– Consumer prices rose at a 1.8 percent annual rate.

Economic growth surged in the second quarter — but don’t expect the boom to last.

The second-quarter acceleration was widely anticipated by economists, a result of a confluence of events unlikely to recur. Most economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year.

Still, recent data does suggest that the pace of growth has picked up this year. Some economists think full-year growth in gross domestic product could hit 3 percent in 2018 for the first time in the nearly decade-long recovery, a prospect that became more likely following Friday’s strong numbers. The second quarter was the first time since 2014 that economic growth topped 4 percent in a quarter; the economy reached that level or higher just four times during the eight years of the Obama administration.

“The bottom line is that the economy is doing better,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist for the accounting firm Grant Thornton.

Mr. Trump didn’t wait for the numbers to be released to herald rosy news. At an event in Iowa on Thursday, he said he was expecting very strong result, noting predictions that ran to 5 percent or higher.

“We’ll take anything with a four in front,” he said.»

* * * * * * *

Cerchiamo di ragionare.

«but don’t expect the boom to last»

*

«Most economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year»

*

Gli economisti del NYT la vedono grigia: ‘dura minga, non può durare‘. Sono gli stessi economisti che da circa trenta anni celebrano anticipatamente i funerali al sistema economico cine, che invece sopravvive alla grande. Non hanno molto feeling con le previsioni.

Ma il meglio è in coda

«the economy is doing better»

Ma a dir ciò è niente po po di meno che Mrs Diane Swonk, “chief economist for the accounting firm Grant Thornton.”

Ma allora: gli economisti dicono che va male oppure he va bene?

*

I liberal democratici stanno annegando nel mare di bile che si stanno facendo da quando al governo c’è Mr Trump.

«Republican tax cuts are probably also playing a role»

Già. Lascia la gente a lavorare in pace, ed il paese prospera.

Non servirebbe essere Pico della Mirandola per arrivarci.


Cnbc. 2018-07-27. Second-quarter GDP jumps 4.1% for best pace in nearly four years

– Gross domestic product increased 4.1 percent in the second quarter, matching Reuters estimates.

– Strong consumer and business spending as well as a surge in exports ahead of retaliatory tariffs from China helped drive economic growth.

 The last time the economy grew this quickly was in the third quarter of 2014.

*

Gross domestic product grew at a solid 4.1 percent pace in the second quarter, its best pace since 2014, boosting hopes that the economy is ready to break out of its decade-long slumber.

The number matched expectations from economists surveyed by Reuters and was boosted by a surge in consumer spending and business investment. Stock market futures edged lower on the news while government bond yields moved lower.

That’s the fastest rate of the growth since the 4.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014 and the third-best growth rate since the Great Recession. In addition to the strong second quarter, the Commerce Department revised its first-quarter reading up from 2 percent to 2.2 percent.

In addition to the rise in consumer and business spending, increases in exports and government spending also helped. Personal consumption expenditures rose 4 percent while business investment grew 7.3 percent while federal government outlays increased by 3.5 percent.

Exports rose in part as farmers rushed to get soybeans to China ahead of expected retaliatory tariffs to take effect in the coming days. Declines in private inventory investment and residential fixed investment were the main drags, the report said.

The tariffs as well as last year’s massive tax cut both were key factors in the growth.

“Bottom line, if it wasn’t for a big upside to inflation, GDP would have been much better because of the upside in spending, boost in exports and government spending which offset an unexpected sharp decline in inventories and no change in gross private investment,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.

“We hope capital investment continues to improve in light of the tax incentive to ramp up,” he added. “The consumer has tax cuts and higher wages on one side and a low savings rate and a recent credit card binge on the other.”

In recent days, White House officials had been indicating the reading will be strong.

President Donald Trump himself tweeted a few days ago that the U.S. has the “best financial numbers on the planet,” while National Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow predicted on Thursday that Q2 GDP will be “big.”

The administration has used a mix of tax cuts, deregulation and spending increases to goose growth. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told CNBC earlier this week that deregulation likely has had the most impact so far as companies feel more comfortable about committing capital.

The next question will be whether the growth spurt is sustainable. There were several jumps in GDP under former President Barack Obama. That Q3 increase in 2014 was preceded by a 5.1 percent rise in the second quarter. But by the end of 2015, growth had slowed to 0.4 percent. Federal Reserve officials forecast GDP to rise 2.8 percent for all of 2018 but then to tail off to 2.4 percent in 2019 and 2 percent in 2020.

Some economists worried that the jump in consumer spending for the April-to-June period may not be sustainable, adding to skepticism that the gains will continue.

“Personal consumption would need to keep up with this impressive pace to see a solid second half,” said Ian Lyngen at BMO Capital Markets.

Economists generally expect the trade war between the U.S. and China to temper further growth. Trump has slapped 25 percent duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports and has threatened $200 billion more. The administration also has put tariffs on steel and aluminum.

However, more recently the administration said it has made progress on trade agreements with the European Union.

In a recent forecast, Goldman Sachs said the effects from trade disputes are “typically modest,” shaving about 0.2 percent from output.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump. Con tutti i problemi, i liberal vedono solo aborto e ‘diritti civili’.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-20.

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I liberal democratici sono davvero gente strana.

Gli Stati Uniti hanno una lunga serie di pesanti problemi, dalla pace nel mondo, i rapporti con la Nord Korea, quelli con la Cina e l’Unione Europea, i problemi del mondo del lavoro e della produzione, quelli energetici e così via. Per non parlare poi di un debito pubblico molto elevato.

«Democratic senators running for re-election in Trump Country face an agonizing choice over President Trump’s coming Supreme Court nominee: Vote to confirm the pick and risk demoralizing Democratic voters ahead of the midterm elections, or stick with the party and possibly sacrifice their own seats — and any chance at a Democratic majority in 2019.

The actions of a handful of Senate Democrats struggling to hold their seats in red states where Mr. Trump remains popular — notably Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — will have broad implications for the party at a critical political juncture. ….

In addition, Democrats proved they could remain united against the president on the tax bill and on repealing the Affordable Care Act, two past instances that were also seen as carrying big political risks. Party strategists say that if they can make health care a cornerstone of the Supreme Court fight, it could embolden the red-state Democrats to push back against the White House. …. have a history of elevating the Supreme Court above all else, given its influence on major social policy such as abortion, immigration, education, voting rights and the environment.» [The New York Times]

*

Per i liberal democratici gli unici temi di interesse nazionale sono:

«abortion, immigration, education, voting rights and the environment»

A nostro sommesso parere un elenco alquanto limitativo.

«Mr. Trump announced that he will nominate Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the court to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, kicking off what is expected to be the most bruising confirmation battle in three decades.»

*

«President Trump’s Supreme Court pick must detail his personal views on abortion in order to win confirmation»

*

«arguing that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a national right to abortion could be erased if Mr. Trump gets his way»

* * * * * * *

Già. I liberal democratici hanno fatto dell’aborto la loro bandiera portante: non esiste paese a regime liberal che non abbia introdotto l’aborto. Per loro è diventato un simbolo della loro fattiva presenza. È una ideologia della morte.

Ma il grande insegnamento che hanno lasciato i liberal socialisti è che un governo che ne abbia la forza per farlo può legiferare come meglio crede.

Così, se un governo ammise l’aborto, un altro governo può serenamente abrogare le leggi che lo istituiscono e permettono. Se un governo depenalizza la omosessualità, allora un governo può legiferare rendendolo reato.

Se era lecito ai liberal perché non dovrebbe esserlo per i repubblicani?

Negli anni futuri ne vedremo della belle. Però, con tutti i grandi problemi attuali, da quelli dei rapporti internazionali fino a quelli domestici della produzione e dell’occupazione, per non parlare poi di quel venti per cento della popolazione che vive in miseria, ridurre la lotta politica ad aborto sì o no ci sembrerebbe essere del tutto fuori luogo.


The Washington Times. 2018-07-10. Chuck Schumer: Brett Kavanaugh must divulge personal views on abortion to win confirmation

Saying the country was burned by past nominees, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer insisted Monday that President Trump’s Supreme Court pick must detail his personal views on abortion in order to win confirmation.

Mr. Trump announced that he will nominate Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the court to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, kicking off what is expected to be the most bruising confirmation battle in three decades.

Republican leaders said they want to have Judge Kavanaugh on the high court by the beginning of October, when the court’s next session begins.

That means a speedy schedule of hearings, a vote in committee and then floor approval — all within 11 weeks.

But even before the vacancy, senators agreed to stay in session for most of August to work on other business, and given that seven of the past nine successful picks were confirmed within that timeline, Republicans were confident Monday that it can be done.

Democrats, meanwhile, are intent on derailing that schedule, hoping to push the fight into the elections and perhaps even into next year, when they hope to have retaken the Senate.

Until then, they are working to persuade key Republicans to defect, arguing that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a national right to abortion could be erased if Mr. Trump gets his way.

Mr. Schumer said lawmakers should reject vague assurances from Judge Kavanaugh and insist he detail his personal thoughts on abortion. He said the country was burned by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s first pick.

“At this critical juncture, with so many rights at stake, senators and the American people should expect an affirmative statement of support,” Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday.

Democrats have offered myriad reasons why they wouldn’t vote for anyone Mr. Trump nominated.

Party leaders initially said after Republicans refused to allow action on a nominee in 2016 ahead of the presidential election that a vote should be delayed this year until after the congressional elections.

But after Republicans pointed out that a number of nominees, including President Obama’s second pick, were confirmed in congressional election years, most Democrats searched for other objections.

Several said they were upset about the process Mr. Trump used, relying on a public list of potential names he developed during the 2016 campaign, with the help of conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and The Heritage Foundation.

Republicans countered that the list made the process the most transparent in history, with the public knowing what to expect from a Trump pick — and electing him president on those promises.

Mr. Schumer, the man liberals are counting on to fight the pick, used the hours before Mr. Trump’s announcement to try to set a new standard any nominee must clear.

He said that while nominees in the past have been reluctant to give their views on issues that may come before them, senators must demand such disclosure in this case — and particularly on abortion.

He said general promises to respect precedent are no longer enough of a guarantee that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a national right to abortion will survive.

Mr. Schumer said too many recent nominees have said they would respect precedent only to overturn past decisions once on the high court.

“When they say they’ll obey settled law, we can’t believe it,” Mr. Schumer said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who will oversee the confirmation process, said that was an unfair standard. He pointed instead to iconic liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who during her 1993 confirmation process refused to give any hints about her leanings, saying it would inappropriate.

“I expect any nominee to likewise follow the Ginsburg standard,” Mr. Grassley said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Democrats were searching for any reason to oppose Mr. Trump’s pick. He pointed to several who said they would vote against the nominee well before they knew who it was.

Mr. McConnell said the nominee will get full hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, then come to the Senate floor where he has already predicted approval.

“One more round of 40-year-old scare tactics will not stop us from doing the right thing,” Mr. McConnell said.

Over the past 18 months, the Senate majority leader has paved the way for speedy confirmation.

First, he triggered the “nuclear option” last year to curtail the power of the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees.

This year, he announced that he was shortening the usual monthlong August vacation to just one week, saying the Senate needed more time to complete work on spending bills and presidential nominations. It turns out one of those nominations will be for the Supreme Court.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Stati Uniti, Trump

Fed. Beige Book. Le imprese stentano a trovare personale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-19.

FED 001

La Fed ha pubblicato il Beige Book di Luglio.

«Economic activity continued to expand across the United States, with 10 of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reporting moderate or modest growth. The outliers were the Dallas District, which reported strong growth driven in part by the energy sector, and the St. Louis District where growth was described as slight. Manufacturers in all Districts expressed concern about tariffs and in many Districts reported higher prices and supply disruptions that they attributed to the new trade policies. All Districts reported that labor markets were tight and many said that the inability to find workers constrained growth. Consumer spending was up in all Districts with particular strength in Dallas and Richmond. Contacts reported higher input prices and shrinking margins. Six Districts specifically mentioned trucking capacity as an issue and attributed it to a shortage of commercial drivers. Contacts in several Districts reported slow growth in existing home sales but were not overly concerned about rising interest rates. Commercial real estate was largely unchanged.»

*

«Employment continued to rise at a modest to moderate pace in most Districts. Labor markets were described as tight, with most Districts reporting firms had difficulty finding qualified labor. Shortages were cited across a wide range of occupations, including highly skilled engineers, specialized construction and manufacturing workers, IT professionals, and truck drivers; some Districts indicated labor shortages were constraining growth. Districts noted firms were adding work hours, strengthening retention efforts, partnering with local schools, and converting temporary workers to permanent, as well as raising compensation to attract and retain employees. On balance, wage increases were modest to moderate, with some differences across sectors; a couple of Districts cited a pickup in the pace of wage growth.»

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Il report è molto dettagliato, distretto per distretto.

Di rilevanza federale emergono alcuni elementi.

– Il sistema economico è in crescita: “Economic activity continued to expand across the United States, with 10 of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reporting moderate or modest growth”

– “Commercial real estate was largely unchanged”

– “Employment continued to rise at a modest to moderate pace in most Districts”

– “most Districts reporting firms had difficulty finding qualified labor”

*

Il tasso di occupazione è così alto e quello di disoccupazione così basso, che molte aziende hanno difficoltà a trovare lavoratori qualificati. Sono il segno inequivocabile del buono stato di salute del sistema economico.

Questi due dati sembrerebbero essere di particolare importanza. Infatti, all’interno dei numerosi indici econometrici, il numero degli occupati e quello dei disoccupati hanno la caratteristica di essere facili da raccogliere senza incorrere in particolari errori, e non sono il frutto di calcoli intermedi.

Fed. Beige Book – July 18. 2018.

This report was prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston based on information collected on or before July 9, 2018. This document summarizes comments received from contacts outside the Federal Reserve System and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials.

Overall Economic Activity

wconomic activity continued to expand across the United States, with 10 of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reporting moderate or modest growth. The outliers were the Dallas District, which reported strong growth driven in part by the energy sector, and the St. Louis District where growth was described as slight. Manufacturers in all Districts expressed concern about tariffs and in many Districts reported higher prices and supply disruptions that they attributed to the new trade policies. All Districts reported that labor markets were tight and many said that the inability to find workers constrained growth. Consumer spending was up in all Districts with particular strength in Dallas and Richmond. Contacts reported higher input prices and shrinking margins. Six Districts specifically mentioned trucking capacity as an issue and attributed it to a shortage of commercial drivers. Contacts in several Districts reported slow growth in existing home sales but were not overly concerned about rising interest rates. Commercial real estate was largely unchanged.

Employment and Wages

Employment continued to rise at a modest to moderate pace in most Districts. Labor markets were described as tight, with most Districts reporting firms had difficulty finding qualified labor. Shortages were cited across a wide range of occupations, including highly skilled engineers, specialized construction and manufacturing workers, IT professionals, and truck drivers; some Districts indicated labor shortages were constraining growth. Districts noted firms were adding work hours, strengthening retention efforts, partnering with local schools, and converting temporary workers to permanent, as well as raising compensation to attract and retain employees. On balance, wage increases were modest to moderate, with some differences across sectors; a couple of Districts cited a pickup in the pace of wage growth.

Prices
Prices increased in all Districts at a pace that was modest to moderate on average; reports showed upticks in inflation in several Districts. The prices of key inputs rose further, including fuel, construction materials, freight, and metals; a few Districts described these input price pressures as elevated or strong. Tariffs contributed to the increases for metals and lumber. However, the extent of pass-through from input to consumer prices remained slight to moderate. Movements in agricultural commodities prices were mixed across products and Districts. Pricing pressures are expected to intensify further moving forward in some Districts, while in others the outlook is for stable price increases at a modest to moderate pace.

Highlights by Federal Reserve District

Boston
Business activity continued to expand at a moderate pace, with contacted manufacturers, retailers, hotels, and software and IT firms reporting year-over-year increases in revenues. Some contacts saw higher prices and lower margins. Contacts reported difficulty hiring in skilled occupations.

New York

The regional economy continued to expand at a moderate pace, and labor markets have remained tight. Input price increases have remained fairly widespread, and selling prices continued to increase moderately. Housing markets have continued to firm, on balance, while commercial real estate markets have softened a bit.

Philadelphia
Economic activity continued to expand at a modest pace. With tightening labor markets, job growth also remained modest, but wages are now rising moderately. On balance, contacts continued to observe modest price increases with few concerns for future inflation. Notably, nonresidential construction activity has begun to decline from its prior high levels.

Cleveland
The District economy grew moderately. Labor markets tightened, with wage pressures noted broadly. Rising fuel and metals costs are pressuring manufacturers, construction firms, and transportation companies. Stronger confidence in the economy boosted demand in nonfinancial services and the retail sector. Construction activity remained strong.

Richmond
The regional economy grew at a moderate rate. Manufacturing and retail sales strengthened, but firms in both sectors faced transportation constraints and rising input costs. Trucking firms saw record demand, which was partially unmet due to the driver shortage. Port activity remained strong. Labor demand increased moderately, and some firms reported shortages. Price growth accelerated slightly but remained moderate, overall.

Atlanta
Economic activity modestly expanded since the previous report. The labor market remained tight. Reports of wage growth were mixed. Some commodity input prices continued to increase. Consumer spending improved since the last report. Nonresidential construction increased; however, multifamily construction showed signs of slowing. Manufacturing activity grew.

Chicago
Growth in economic activity slowed to a modest pace. Manufacturing production increased moderately, while employment, consumer spending, business spending, and construction and real estate activity grew modestly. Wages and prices increased modestly, and financial conditions improved modestly. The outlook for agriculture income dimmed some.

St. Louis

Economic conditions improved slightly. Labor market conditions remained tight and wage growth was modest. Local contacts reported robust increases in shipping costs across all sectors due to higher fuel prices and driver shortages. Businesses’ reports on the impact of tariffs have varied by industry.

Minneapolis
Economic activity in the Ninth District grew moderately, led by strong growth in manufacturing. Hiring demand remained strong, but workers were harder to find. Wages grew moderately with some signs of stronger growth among union wages. Professional services firms saw growth across the board, and lodging demand appeared robust heading into the summer tourism season.

Kansas City

Economic activity expanded moderately since the previous survey, and growth was expected to continue in the months ahead. Most sectors expanded, including a slight pickup in energy activity, modestly higher consumer spending and business services, moderately stronger real estate activity, and continued robust gains in the manufacturing sector. Capital spending plans across the District were positive.

Dallas
Economic activity continued to grow at a solid pace. Manufacturing output rose, and broad-based expansion in the services and energy sectors continued. Retail spending rose while drought conditions became more widespread. Hiring remained solid despite a tight labor market, and wage and price pressures stayed elevated. Expectations regarding future business activity were optimistic, although uncertainty arising from U.S. trade policy weighed on outlooks.

San Francisco

Economic activity in the Twelfth District continued to expand at a moderate pace. Conditions in the labor market remained tight, and price inflation increased moderately. Sales of retail goods picked up slightly, and activity in the consumer and business services sectors edged down. Activity in the manufacturing sector and in residential and commercial real estate markets was solid. Lending activity ticked up moderately.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Summary of Economic Activity

First District economic activity continued to expand at a moderate pace, with nearly all responding retailers, manufacturers, hospitality providers, and software and IT firms citing year-over-year increases in sales and revenues in recent weeks. Residential real estate markets saw price increases but fewer closed sales although contacts reported higher listings and expected higher sales in the future. Commercial real estate markets were generally expanding, although growth in retail was mixed. Hotels reported slower growth which they attributed to the expansion of on-line short term rentals. Contacts across a range of industries said trucking capacity continued to be a major issue. Overall, the outlook continued to be positive. Contacts expressed concerns about tariffs but none cited trade issues as affecting demand or hiring and capital expenditure plans.

Employment and Wages

Many responding firms have done some hiring; most reported tight labor markets and modest increases in pay. Retail contacts reported that labor supply was tight and one contact said labor costs were up 10 percent over the previous year. All surveyed manufacturers were hiring or maintaining current levels of employment. Manufacturing contacts said the labor market was tight, but the exceptional difficulties were mostly in highly skilled areas like engineering. Labor shortages continued to be an issue in the hospitality industry, particularly in seasonal destinations like Cape Cod. Contacts in the software and information technology areas expressed concerns about restrictive immigration policies.

Prices
Most respondents reported modest increases in prices. Although contacts were concerned about the effect of tariffs, none of our contacts reported any material impact so far. Higher freight costs continued to be an issue across a wide array of industries, with the shortage of commercial truck drivers being cited as an important factor. Several manufacturing contacts said that they were only able to pass through a portion of the higher costs to customers. As a result, margins were declining. House prices continued to rise throughout the region.

Retail and Tourism

The retailers consulted for this round reported recent comparable-store sales gains ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent year-over-year. One firm noted that higher freight costs contributed to higher overhead costs and that a shortage of workers led to a 10 percent increase in labor costs compared to a year ago. Despite these higher operating costs, the retail outlook for the rest of the year remains positive, provided that consumer sentiment does not abate.

Two travel industry sources reported that business was either flat or slightly down in late May, but appeared to have rebounded strongly in June. Both contacts reported that traditional lodging providers, such as hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments, were encountering increased competition from online platforms offering short-term rentals. This shift in consumer preferences was expected to continue. Labor shortages continued to be a concern, and in places like the Outer Cape, the average hourly wage for some low-skilled hospitality workers was reportedly about $20 per hour. Through May, domestic travel to Boston is up 8.1 percent year-over-year, while international travel is up 7.1 percent year-over-year. The outlook is positive, but there was some concern that escalating trade tensions could put a damper on international tourism to the United States.

Manufacturing and Related Services

Of nine firms we contacted this cycle, all but one reported higher sales. The one exception was a toy manufacturer and our contact said that the weakness was expected and attributable to the closure of a major toy retailer. While several contacts expressed concern about the effect of the trade war on sales, none reported any sales declines as a result. Four of our contacts said that costs were rising faster than sales revenue. Rising costs were attributed to raw material prices and a lack of trucking capacity. One contact in the container industry said that they had planned to increase output and hire additional workers but had not because of delays in the delivery of new capital equipment.

Software and Information Technology Services

Software and IT contacts in the First District continued to see activity expanding steadily. Revenue was up 3 percent to 10 percent year-over-year in the first half of the year. Several noted increases in margins, despite some seasonal sluggishness in demand. Contacts attributed growth in margins to internal productivity improvements. Firms across the sector expressed concern about acquiring and retaining talent in the tech industry. Further, contacts unanimously expressed anxiety about shocks to the broader economy, such as the potential for changes in trade, tariffs, immigration, war, and the stock market. Firms do not expect changes in headcounts or wages in the short-run, but some noted upcoming and potential capital investments. Overall, contacts felt positive about their progress thus far and optimistic about the rest of the year.

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate market conditions were described as stable or improving in recent weeks. Although mixed across locations and property types, activity levels on balance were moderate to robust. Boston area contacts described the city’s office market as strong by historical standards, with low and falling vacancy rates, robust rents that increased slightly, and record-high sales prices for select buildings. Industrial leasing activity in the Boston area was seen as stable, although one contact reported that sales demand for warehouse space near Boston surged on the expectation of rising tenant demand. In Providence office leasing activity was steady at a moderate pace amid falling vacancy rates and rising rents, but industrial leasing activity was hampered by that market’s 1 percent vacancy rate. Construction activity across multiple property types maintained a strong pace in Boston and Providence, and increased further in the Portland area, but remained scant in the Hartford area. Contacts expect stable or improving commercial real estate activity moving forward, although most cited downside risks, such as rising interest rates, trade wars, and local labor shortages.

Residential Real Estate

Entering the summer, the residential real estate market in the First District continued to display a sellers’ market environment, highlighting high demand and increasing prices. Closed sales were down in all reporting areas but pending sales increased. Contacts cited insufficient inventory as the reason for the drop in sales but remained optimistic about the outlook on the heels of strong buyer demand and increasing new listings. A representative from Rhode Island noted that “Competition is fierce and buyers are finding themselves in a race to the finish line. Inventory is so tight that properties are being sold as soon as they go on the market, often in multiple bid situations.” Median sales price increased in all areas but Vermont. Contacts expressed concerns about the rapid price appreciation as many potential buyers were priced out of the market. Contacts said that borrowers, despite high prices and changes to the tax code, were still willing and able to finance purchases.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Summary of Economic Activity

Economic activity in the Second District has continued to expand at a moderate pace since the last report. The labor market has remained tight, while wage growth has mostly stayed steady. Input price increases have remained fairly widespread, and consumer price inflation continued to run a bit higher than earlier this year. Activity in the manufacturing and distribution industries grew at a fairly brisk pace, while growth in most service industries has been more subdued. Consumer spending has been steady to up slightly in recent weeks, with tourism remaining fairly robust. Housing markets have been somewhat stronger, on balance, while commercial real estate markets have generally softened. Finally, banks reported continued growth in loan demand and little change in delinquency rates.

Employment and Wages

The labor market has remained tight across the District. Businesses reported particular trouble filling senior positions and finding technically skilled workers, especially in IT. One business contact observed that almost all job-seekers are already employed. A New York City employment agency noted that clients have had difficulty adjusting to a city law prohibiting prospective employers from asking about salary history or using it as a guide to compensating new hires.

Hiring activity has been steady overall but mixed by industry. Business contacts in manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and finance reported a pickup in hiring activity, while those engaged in information and professional & business services noted some pullback in hiring. Contacts in the transportation industry noted further shrinkage in their workforce. Separately, a payroll service firm observed that job growth at small businesses has slowed somewhat recently. A major utility firm remarked that devoting more resources to vocational training and building relationships with local high schools and colleges, has made it easier for them to fill job openings.

Wage growth has generally remained steady overall but somewhat more brisk than last year. Wages were reported to be flat in the education & health and transportation sectors but rising in other sectors. The most widespread gains were reported in retail & wholesale trade and leisure & hospitality.

Prices
Businesses reported ongoing widespread hikes in input prices. The most widespread increases were in retail & wholesale trade, education & health, and real estate. Manufacturers and leisure & hospitality firms noted some diminution in input price pressures since the prior report. Contacts in almost all sectors anticipated further increases in the months ahead.

As for selling prices, wholesalers continued to report widespread price hikes, and businesses in leisure & hospitality and real estate noted some acceleration. Prices for Broadway theater tickets rose fairly sharply in June and were up nearly 15 percent from a year earlier. Retail contacts noted somewhat less discounting than a year ago, resulting in a modest hike in effective selling prices. Similarly, auto dealers reported some increase in average used car prices and fewer incentive offers on new vehicles. Businesses in other industries reported that prices were mostly stable. Looking ahead, a sizable share of firms in leisure & hospitality, wholesale trade, and real estate said they anticipate price hikes.

Consumer Spending

Retail sales were steady to up slightly in May and June running roughly on plan. A major retail chain noted that sales were on plan and up modestly from a year earlier, with New York City stores continuing to post relatively strong results, in good part driven by tourism.

New vehicle sales in upstate New York were soft in May and June, continuing to run short of year-earlier levels. Sales of used cars have been more robust and continued to rise modestly. Vehicle inventories remained at or above desired levels. Dealers indicated that retail and wholesale credit conditions remained in good shape.

Consumer confidence in the Middle Atlantic states (NY, NJ, PA) edged up to a cyclical high in June, led by an historically positive assessment of the job market.

Manufacturing and Distribution

Both manufacturers and wholesale distributors indicated that activity continued to expand at a brisk pace since the last report. Transportation firms reported more subdued growth. Regarding the near-term business outlook, contacts in the wholesale and transportation sectors continued to express widespread optimism. Manufacturers remained optimistic, on balance, but have become less so than earlier in the year. A number of manufacturing contacts remarked that tariffs have raised their costs. Moreover, uncertainty about future trade policy was cited as a major concern, particularly in parts of upstate New York, where there is substantial trade with Canada.

Services
Service-sector firms continued to report minimal to modest growth in activity. Contacts in professional & business services, education & health, and leisure & hospitality indicated modest growth, while those in the information industry continued to report flat activity. Looking ahead, leisure & hospitality businesses remained glum about near-term prospects, but contacts in the other service industries expressed fairly broad optimism.

Tourism has been fairly robust in recent weeks. New York City hotels reported a moderate pickup in both occupancy rates and revenues. Similarly, Broadway theaters reported a modest pickup in attendance and a marked pickup in revenues, which were up roughly 16 percent from a year earlier in May and June.

Real Estate and Construction

Housing markets across the District have been mixed but, on balance, somewhat stronger since the last report. Across much of the District, a limited supply of homes on the market has restrained sales activity and boosted prices. The market in the Buffalo metro area has been particularly robust, with strong demand and lean inventories driving up prices and producing many bidding wars. One exception to this trend has been the Manhattan co-op and condo market, where inventories have risen, sales activity has receded, and prices have been flat to modestly lower–partly attributed to some drop-off in investor purchases and foreign buyers. In and around New York City, the high end of the sales market continues to lag. One industry contact surmised that more limited deductibility of homeowner costs under the new tax law has been a factor in restraining demand.

The apartment rental market has been mixed. Effective rents are flat to down modestly across New York City, though demand for larger rental apartments has picked up recently–reportedly reflecting both rent reductions and a shift away from homeownership. In northern New Jersey, upstate New York, and the suburbs around New York City, however, demand has been robust and rents have continued to trend up moderately.

Commercial real estate markets have been steady to softer. Office availability rates were steady to up slightly, and asking rents continued to drift down across downstate New York, though they have risen modestly across northern New Jersey and upstate New York. The market for retail space continued to slacken, except in upstate New York, where vacancy rates were steady and rents were up moderately from a year ago. The industrial market continued to strengthen in northern New Jersey but has stabilized elsewhere across the District.

New multi-family construction starts have been steady to somewhat weaker. Office construction has picked up slightly across upstate New York but has remained moribund across the rest of the District. New industrial development has slowed as well. While new construction–both residential and commercial–has been sluggish, ongoing construction activity has remained strong.

Banking and Finance

Small to medium-sized banks in the District reported increased demand for consumer loans, residential mortgages, and commercial mortgages, but no change in demand for C&I loans and refinancing activity. Bankers reported tightening credit standards for commercial loans and mortgages. Banks noted an increase in the average deposit rate and narrowing loan spreads across all categories. Finally, banks reported lower delinquency rates for C&I loans but no change in delinquencies across all other loan categories.