Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 19 Mar 14

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -1.2% last week, with purchases and re-fis both down -1.0%.

Strong exports narrowed the nation’s current account deficit to $81.1 billion in the 4th quarter of 2013, down from a revised $96.4 billion in the 3rd quarter.

The Federal Open markets Committee announced that interest rate policy will remain unchanged, with the Federal Funds Rate target at 0% to 0.25%. The FOMC released their projections for US GDP Growth: 2014: 2.8 to 3.0 %; 2015: 3.0 to 3.2 %; 2016: 2.5 to 3.0 %; longer run: 2.2 to 2.2 %.

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3 Responses to Economic Statistics for 19 Mar 14

  • The S&P 500 traded in a narrow range from the opening bell to the 2 PM release of the latest FOMC statement. The index immediately dropped about ten points with the not-surprising statement of another $10B cut to the asset purchase program.
    But the more dramatic plunge came during Chair Yellen’s press conference, when she quantified the “considerable time” after the end of QE to the start of Fed Fund rate hikes as “around six months.” The index promptly fell to its -1.17% intraday low at 3:10 PM. Subsequent buying essentially halved the loss to 0.61% at the close.

  • Despite the Obama administration touting a budget deficit of “only” $680 billion in 2013, the GAO’s more accurate accounting shows a total government cost of $3.8 trillion on total revenue of $2.8 trillion.
    In other words– the administration wasn’t exactly honest with the American people– the deficit was more like $1 trillion, not $680 billion.