MainStreet Macro

FEATURED POST

February 6, 2023

MainStreet Macro: Deciphering January data

The start of the year often brings confusing economic data, and this January was no exception. Extreme weather across most of the U.S. muddled the picture even more. Here’s a guide to making sense of last month’s numbers.
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MainStreet Macro: Nela’s Recession Playbook

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

The biggest economic debate of 2023 is whether the U.S. is heading toward a recession. And the reason it’s being debated is because the data shows evidence for both sides. In the no-recession camp, the economy grew by 2.9 percent last quarter, besting analysts estimates, and inflation slowed for the second straight month in December. And while we’ve seen big headlines on corporate layoffs, these job losses aren’t yet reflected in the data. Jobless claims for the first three weeks of January were near record lows.
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MainStreet Macro: Shaking off the gloom in Davos

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

The annual World Economic Forum gathering in the mountainside retreat of Davos, Switzerland, is most commonly described with a single word: elite. After attending the meetings last week, I’d like to offer three more words that perhaps more constructively capture the ethos of Davos this year: Optimism, dealmaking, and hope.
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MainStreet Macro: Minimum wages are rising. But is it enough?

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

Last week, data for December showed that the rate of inflation had fallen to 6.5 percent from 7.1 percent a year earlier. The decline was driven mainly by a steep drop in gas prices. While overall inflation might (thankfully) be losing steam, workers, especially those with smaller paychecks, continue to suffer an erosion of the pay gains they reaped during 2022’s tight labor market.
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MainStreet Macro: Five Global Trends Reshaping the World of Work

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

As we welcome 2023, the global economy is in a precarious place, with the growth outlook likely to slow for a second straight year in 2023. In addition to global growth, there are other trends that could be as important, if not more important, to the economy this year and in years ahead. As you plan for the new year, keep in mind these five global growth trends that are reshaping the world of work.
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MainStreet Macro: An economy in transition

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

As we round out 2022, one of the most frequent questions I get is, “Are we heading toward a recession?” Economic downturns are notoriously hard to call in real time. In fact, recessions aren’t officially designated until several months after the economy has moved out of one.
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MainStreet Macro: The labor market’s winning streak still has legs – for now

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

The labor market has had an incredible run in 2022. But with the Federal Reserve continuing to hike interest rates and companies announcing layoffs and hiring freezes, we might ask if that winning streak is coming to an end.
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MainStreet Macro: Robots need a human hand

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

Before the holiday break, I left MainStreet Macro readers with a bit of a cliffhanger. We had just heard about layoffs at some of the biggest technology companies, a sector that has seen a lot of growth over the past several years.
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