More Positive Outlook for Contract Negotiations as Economy Appears to Gather Some Momentum Going into 2014

By Jim Cline

Most of our recent blogs on economic developments have emphasized the modest nature of recent economic improvement, but a series of reports over the past few weeks have signaled that the economy may, at last, be gathering a bit of momentum as it heads into 2014. While the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate seemed to place a chill on the economy this fall, these new economic releases have often exceeded economists’ expectations and point to a possible improved economy in the year ahead. [Read more...]

Why Does the Fed Keep Missing Its 2% Inflation Target?

By Jim Cline

Last week, we reported the sudden drop in the National and Seattle CPI numbers and also discussed the potential impact on 2014 and 2015 negotiations.  In October, we had also written about the 2% inflation target established by the Federal Reserve Bank as they use monetary policy to attempt to control inflation.  We explained how the Fed seems to be falling short on those 2% goals:

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How Will the Lower Inflation Rate Affect Negotiations?

By Jim Cline, Kate Kremer and Chris Casillas

In our last blog, we reported the significant drop in inflation reported in the October CPI report. With current CPI standing at 0.8% and 0.6% for the “All-Cities” and Seattle index, respectively, how might this sudden drop affect bargaining?

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Low CPI Falls Even Further in October

BY Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

Just last month, we noted that inflation appeared to be “trending downward” at that inflation at 2% or less might be the “new normal.”  This week’s CPI report further reflects that downward trend.

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Quarter 2 Retail Sales Report Shows Continued Rebound

By Jim Cline

The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council just released their November report on the State and national economy and like their report last month, it provided mixed news about the state of the economy. [Read more...]

Latest State Economic Forecast Report Continues to Present Mixed Signals

By Jim Cline

The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council just released their November report on the State and national economy and like their report last month, it provided mixed news about the state of the economy. [Read more...]

Latest State Economic and Revenue Report Provides “Mixed Signals”

By Jim Cline

The latest report  of the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council,  provides a mixed picture of economic strength both nationally and locally. 

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Latest CPI Report and Other Indicators Suggest Low Inflation May be the “New Normal”

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

As we had suggested in our last article on inflation trends, inflation seems to be trending downward.  The CPI numbers confirm that trend.  The latest inflation report both for Seattle and All-Cities is sub-2% and other recent inflation projections suggest that trend might continue. The recently released August CPI numbers report the National inflation index (All-Cities-W) at 1.5% and the Seattle-W even lower — 1.1%.  A year ago, the corresponding were 1.7% (All-Cities) and 2.7% (Seattle): This graph shows the declining rate over the past year: [Read more...]

Surge in Sales Tax Revenue Presages Improved Negotiation Outlook

By Jim Cline

Recent economic news has been characterized as tepid at best, but the most recent Washington State Department of Revenue report offers one of our clearest recent indicators that a solid economic recovery may be underway, at least in Washington State.  The recently released Department of Revenue First Quarter Sales tax numbers show a statewide jump from the preceding 12 months (Quarter 1, 2012) of 8 percent.  The City sales tax numbers can be found here. The County numbers can be found here. [Read more...]

June CPI Report Shows Continued Low Inflation

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

The just-released June CPI numbers show that inflation continues to be low.  The Seattle CPI-W index came in at 1.2% up 1/10 of a percentage from April but down from 2.7% from last June.  The All-Cities index came in at 1.8%, up from 0.9 in April and slightly up from last June’s 1.6%. This graph shows the movement over the past year.

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