Mickey Levy is the chief economist of Berenberg Capital markets, LLC for the Americas and Asia and a member of the Shadow Open Market Committee. The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not reflect those of Berenberg Capital Markets, LLC.

My Articles

September 10, 2018, 12:29 PM EDT
The U.S. labor market continued a solid performance in August, with a healthy increase in nonfarm payrolls, sustained low unemployment, a big 0.4 percent increase in average hourly earnings since last month—the best gain this year—and an increase in aggregate hours worked. Businesses are sufficiently confident in the outlook to continue boosting hiring, and households are pocketing higher wages, which should support healthy consumption gains.
August 1, 2018, 12:28 PM EDT
Last week’s announcement of the second quarter (Q2) GDP numbers shows that the U.S. economy is in good shape. Real GDP advanced 4.1%, the fastest rate of growth since the third quarter of 2014. That puts average growth in the first half of 2018 at 3.1%.
July 19, 2018, 2:48 PM EDT
Trump’s proposed new tariffs on $200 billion of imported goods from China escalate the U.S.-China trade conflict and intensify the debate about the economic and political implications of trade negotiations.  Clearly, the tariffs will be costly to some U.S. industries, but they also put China in a bind.  Also, markets are speculating that China may devalue its currency as a retaliatory measure.  These issues are more complex on many dimensions than they seem on the surface. 
June 12, 2018, 4:16 PM EDT
Amid strong momentum in the economy and inflation virtually at the Fed’s longer-run 2 percent inflation target, the Fed is expected to increase its policy rate from 1.75 to 2.0 percent at the conclusion of its June 12-13 FOMC meeting, and announce the next step in its balance sheet normalization policy. Beginning in July, it will roll over maturing US Treasury securities that exceed $24 billion (up from $18 billion) during each calendar month and reinvest principal mortgage-backed security payments that exceed $16 billion (up from $12 billion). The Fed will also publish its quarterly Summary of Economic Projections and Fed Chairman Powell will host his second post-meeting press conference.
May 30, 2018, 3:18 PM EDT
The Minutes to the May FOMC meeting released last week reiterated increased confidence in inflation stabilizing near two percent and diminished downside inflation risks, as well as confidence in expectations of above-potential medium-term GDP growth. Most Fed participants judged that another policy rate hike would be appropriate soon—a nod to a June rate hike that is widely expected.
May 17, 2018, 10:00 AM EDT
Encouraging data on U.S. consumers and businesses suggest that GDP growth is on pace for a rebound in Q2 after a shaky and quirky Q1.
May 7, 2018, 3:35 PM EDT
The Fed left its policy rate unchanged at 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent at its May 1–2 FOMC meeting, as expected, and its official post-meeting policy statement reflected an upgraded assessment of inflation conditions.
December 12, 2017, 11:02 AM EST
The House of Representatives and Senate have now approved separate plans to overhaul the federal tax system.  It now appears likely that a reconciliation process will quickly produce legislation that can pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Trump.  Though far from perfect – it still leaves us with a tax code that is far too complex and riddled with inefficiencies – the final bill, if passed, should nevertheless provide a noticeable boost to the US economy.