I have four common gauges of U.S. economic activity that deserve a few moments of your attention today: stock market, interest rates, inflation and unemployment. Let’s look at graphs of each of these measures for a visual perspective on the state of our economy.
Stock Market. The Wall Street Journal, Equities pg. B17, January 25, 2017 reported the DJIA rose 100 points amid expectations of increased government spending on infrastructure projects. The DJIA crossed the 20,000 mark during trading on Wednesday, January 25.
Interest Rates. The Federal Reserve raised the target range for its federal funds by 25 basis points rate to 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent, during its December 2016 meeting.
Inflation. Inflation has been hovering below 2%, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee has indicated a long-term goal for the inflation rate at 2%.
Unemployment. The unemployment rate has been dropping slowly and steadily since it peaked during the Great Recession.
Overall, the present U.S. economy looks good with rising stock valuations, low interest rates, low to moderate inflation, and declining unemployment. While we can’t predict what the future holds, we can look at recent history to get a perspective on current economic conditions. Thanks for your attention!