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2019: 3rd Quarter

The past month has had a remarkable amount of “breaking news” moments, however behind the relentless stream of headlines the U.S. economy has continued to function and experience growth, albeit at a moderate rate, but slow, persistent growth is still growth. Through September 2019, the U.S. economy has grown for 123 months without any significant decline in economic activity that would mark the beginning of a recession (National Bureau of Economic Research). Still recession fears persist, to which Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted, “clearly things are slowing a bit,” but as these slowdowns have occurred a few times in this expansion, “there’s no reason why the expansion can’t continue.” Amidst such fears, the Fed lowered rates for the second time this year, but Powell reassured that decisions will continue to be “data dependent,” and reiterated the Fed’s stance to “act as appropriate to support continued growth.” Additional rate changes appear unlikely given the balance of an unemployment rate at a 50-year low of 3.5%, a recovering inflation showing progress toward the Fed’s 2.0% target (CPI rose by 1.7%) and a continued unsteady pace of U.S. China negotiations (Northern Trust).

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