Wal-Mart Courts Lord & Taylor for Online Challenge to Amazon – WSJ

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is near a deal to add Lord & Taylor to its website, part of a broader effort by the retail giant to build an online shopping destination that can compete with Amazon.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Wal-Mart, seeking to ramp up e-commerce sales after years of sluggish growth, wants to turn walmart.com from a discount site into an online mall that would also feature higher-end brands, the people said. For Lord & Taylor, the alliance could bring a boost in web traffic at a…

Source: Wal-Mart Courts Lord & Taylor for Online Challenge to Amazon – WSJ

San Francisco Federal Reserve President: U.S. economy has recovered

San Francisco Fed President John Williams says America has ‘largely attained the recovery we’ve been after for the past nine years.’

Congratulations, America. The economy is finally back to normal.

That’s what John Williams, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, declared Wednesday …

Unemployment peaked at 10% after the Great Recession. Today it’s just 4.7%, a level Williams said constitutes “full employment” because there will always be some job seekers, even in a healthy economy. Inflation is also “nearing” the Fed’s goal of 2%, he said. The Fed raised interest rates this month for only the third time since the financial crisis. The central bank is expected to raise rates two more times this year, but Williams hinted again that three more hikes might be appropriate in 2017.

He said Wednesday that the Fed is as close “as we’ve ever been” to achieving its goals of full employment and stable inflation.

Read more at CNN Money: San Francisco Federal Reserve president: U.S. economy has recovered

Fed Raises Benchmark Rate as Inflation Approaches 2% Target

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate a quarter point and continued to project two more increases this year, signaling more vigilance as inflation approaches its target.

“In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in its statement Wednesday. “Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.”

Investors had almost fully expected the increase to a range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent following unusually clear signals from policy makers including Chair Janet Yellen, who began a press conference at 2:30 p.m. in Washington.

Read more at Bloomberg News: Fed Raises Benchmark Rate as Inflation Approaches 2% Target

US created 235,000 jobs in Feb, vs 190,000 expected

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 in February and the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in the first full month of President Donald Trump’s term, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Read more at CNBC: US created 235,000 jobs in Feb, vs 190,000 expected

Construction led the way, growing by 58,000, the most in almost a decade, while manufacturing also posted strong gains with 28,000 new jobs.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected the economy to add 190,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to tick down to 4.7 percent. That contrasts with the upwardly revised January numbers of 238,000 new positions and an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

Read more at CNBC: US created 235,000 jobs in Feb, vs 190,000 expected

How Trump could soon be at war with Fed Chair Yellen

Janet Yellen is heading toward a potential war with President Donald Trump. A hike in interest rates could put a lid on a stock market rally the president loves to celebrate.

Read more at Politico: How Trump could soon be at war with Yellen – POLITICO

The Federal Reserve chair, with one year left in her tenure as the world’s most powerful central banker, is almost certain to announce a hike in interest rates by one-quarter point next Wednesday.

She and her Fed colleagues could boost rates further throughout this year, potentially putting a lid on a stock market rally the president loves to celebrate and taking the punch out of a package of tax cuts and infrastructure spending the White House hopes will juice the economy next year and beyond.

And if the Fed conducts an aggressive campaign of rate increases, economists say it could spur a recession in Trump’s first term that dogs Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections and complicates the president’s potential reelection bid in 2020.

Read more at Politico: How Trump could soon be at war with Yellen – POLITICO

NYTimes: Huge January Trade Deficit Shows Trump’s Hard Job Ahead

President Trump says that the United States’ persistent trade deficit is a scourge that must be eliminated. But new data Tuesday shows the complexity of the costs and benefits of trade — and how reducing the trade deficit, if not done right, could leave Americans worse off.

What really matters is not whether the trade deficit is rising or falling. What matters is why.

The trade deficit rose 9.6 percent in January, to the highest level since 2012 (though it remains lower as a share of the total economy). It’s in the details of that $48.5 billion gap between what the United States exported and what it imported, though, that you see why the economy is more complex than the “trade deficits are bad” framing of the Trump administration.

Read more at The New York Times: The Huge January Trade Deficit Shows Trump’s Hard Job Ahead – NYTimes.com

Join Us! Take AP Micro and AP Macro in 2017-2018!

 

 

(click on image to view descriptions, college majors, careers and read flyer in detail)

 

AP Microeconomics is offered in the fall semester and studies the individual decision making process.

AP Macroeconomics is offered in the spring semester and studies the entire economic system.

  • How does a business maximize profits?
  • How much does that college education really cost?
  • Why should you stop eating when you’re full, even if you leave food on your plate

The Microeconomics course will address:

  • How and why people make individual decisions
  • The differences between efficient and inefficient types of markets (monopolies, oligopolies, perfect competition)
  • Supply and demand, product specialization, production possibilities and comparative advantage

The Macroeconomics course will address:

  • What are the causes and effects of inflation, unemployment and growth?
  • Why doesn’t the U.S. just make more stuff?
  • Why should I care about how much the government wants to spend?

See Mr. Miller in Room 114 or Mr. Rodman in Room 110 for more information.

College Majors & Economics? Check out all of the college majors in which having a course in AP Micro and/or AP Macro would be most helpful: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/social-sciences-economics

Careers Using Economics? Check out all of the career areas where a background in economics is advantageous: https://www.aeaweb.org/resources/students/careers

 

 

US construction spending hits more than 10-year high in November

U.S. construction spending rose more than expected in November, reaching its highest level in 10-1/2 years, which could provide a lift to fourth-quarter economic growth.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that construction spending increased 0.9 percent to $1.18 trillion, the highest level since April 2006. It was boosted by gains in both private and public sector investment

Read more at CNBC: US construction spending hits more than 10-year high in November

Construction spending in October was revised up to show a 0.6 percent rise instead of the previously reported 0.5 percent increase. Construction spending was up 4.1 percent from a year ago in November.

Read more at CNBC: US construction spending hits more than 10-year high in November

Trump taps China trade critic and economics professor Peter Navarro for new White House post

The new office will advise Trump on trade negotiation strategies and work to boost domestic manufacturing and defense jobs

President-elect Donald Trump will tap Peter Navarro, an economics and public policy professor who helped craft Trump’s trade policies during the campaign, to lead a new trade council inside the White House, his transition office announced Wednesday.

Read more at Politico: Trump taps China trade critic Navarro for new White House post

The University of California-Irvine professor has been closely connected to Trump since the campaign, advising the president-elect on a number of economic areas and contributing to the trade policy platform he called “defensive” but “not protectionist.”

“The formation of the National Trade Council further demonstrates the President-elect’s determination to make American manufacturing great again and to provide every American the opportunity to work in a decent job at a decent wage,” the transition office said in a news release. “Navarro is a visionary economist and will develop trade policies that shrink our trade deficit, expand our growth, and help stop the exodus of jobs from our shores.”

Read more at Politico: Trump taps China trade critic Navarro for new White House post

The new office will advise Trump on trade negotiation strategies and work to boost domestic manufacturing and defense jobs. Its creation will almost surely cut the influence of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which has traditionally had authority over trade negotiations.

Navarro has long been a critic of China and its trade relationship with the United States. He has written books on the subject and created a documentary film titled, “DEATH BY CHINA: How America lost its manufacturing base.”

Read more at Politico: Trump taps China trade critic Navarro for new White House post

Fed Raises Rates, Boosts Outlook for Borrowing Costs in 2017

 

Federal Reserve officials raised interest rates for the first time this year and forecast a steeper path for borrowing costs in 2017, saying inflation expectations have increased “considerably” and suggesting the labor market is tightening.

The Federal Open Market Committee cited “realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation” in increasing its benchmark rate a quarter percentage point, according to a statement Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Washington. New projections show central

Source: Fed Raises Rates, Boosts Outlook for Borrowing Costs in 2017 – Bloomberg