More than 60 percent of the chief financial officers of Southeast companies are optimistic about the U.S. economy, but inflation is a growing concern, according to a new survey released today by the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd., global audit, tax and advisory organization.
Sixty-one percent of the CFOs from the Southeast (Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia ) believe the economy will improve in the next six months.
That’s almost double the percentage of optimistic CFOs (31 percent) in the previous survey six months ago.
Registration for the Knoxville Economics Forum’s spring event featuring Dennis Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve and a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, will be closed on Monday, the forum announced.
The event will be held Friday, April 8, at Club LeConte in the First Tennessee Building, 800 S. Gay St. The breakfast meeting starts at 7:30 a.m. Lockhart is scheduled to speak at 8 a.m.
Tickets are $20, payable at the door.
Click here to reserve a seat.
Should be interesting when Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart hits town next week for a speech to the Knoxville Economics Forum.
The dreaded “I” word — inflation — is turning up in more headlines these days, but in remarks reported Monday, Lockhart said he sees no reason to be concerned about runaway inflation.
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State personal income increased in all but two states and inflation declined in the first quarter, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The national average increase in earnings was 0.9 percent. Inflation fell to 0.4 percent from 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Tennessee posted better 1Q results than most states with personal income rising 1.4 percent, up from from 0.8 percent in the prior quarter.
All in all, a pretty good report. However, there are some numbers that give us pause.
Breaking down earnings by industry, BEA reports that construction and real estate earnings were down again.
On the positive side, healthcare provided the biggest boost to earnings. A 3.4 percent pay raise for the military and a 2 percent increase for federal civilian workers also helped.
Read the full BEA report here.
We all need something to worry about. Here’s a sampling of what’s being said on inflation by the government, Web talkers and other assorted experts.
Barron’s Stocks to Watch blog: Producer Prices, Jobless Data Spell Inflation
TheStreet: Wholesale Inflation Up 0.7% in March
MSNBC: Jump in food prices boosts wholesale inflation
Associated Press: Wholesale prices rise in March as food costs jump
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum think tank, and a commissioner of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, presented an interesting take on the economy, politics and the future in a speech Wednesday night at the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy.
Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and economic adviser to presidents, definitely leans right of center but he’s not to be confused with the screamers on talk radio.
I certainly didn’t agree with all of his assertions, but Holtz-Eakin made several points that all us would do well to consider.
Highlights from the Rant$ and Rave$ blog roll:
As if U.S. auto makers didn’t have enough trouble, China appears ready to push its way into the global auto market.
The Curious Capitalist describes what Chinese auto maker Geely’s purchase of Volvo from Ford really means.
Barron’s Stocks To Watch talks about gold, oil, inflation and the U.S. Treasury announcement that it will sell its Citigroup shares this year.
The Curious Capitalist asks an interesting question: Is Inflation Coming Back?
Pain was widespread during the Great Recession, but the one bright spot experts and pundits always talked about was the absence of runaway inflation.
A few months ago in my News Sentinel column on the up-and-down recovery, University of Tennessee economist William Fox asid that until consumer demand perks up inflation would be minimal.
“(Inflation) might eventually be a problem, but you have to think of it in phases and over the next year or two it’s not going to be a problem,” Fox said.
Let’s hope that’s the still the tiemtable. The economy — and my bank account — could use a little more cushion before inflation becomes an problem. And you know that eventually it will.