No, the Economy Isn’t Plunging Into a Recession



The S&P 500 got off to one of its worst starts in history this year. While many are preparing for another significant economic downturn, at this time, we do not believe current economic factors are pointing toward a recession in 2016.

To start, the labor market represents one particularly bright area of the economy. In January, the unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent for the first time in eight years and the manufacturing sector added 29,000 jobs after seeing little change in 2015. After the strong non-farm jobs report of December 2015 (+262,000), the January slowdown (+151,000) concerned some investors. However, we view these fears as overblown given that a slower pace is to be expected this time of year due to seasonal adjustments. Non-manufacturing segments of the economy are still growing at a moderate pace. Read more »

5 Things to Know about Darrell Clarke’s Massive Jobs Plan

City Council President Darrell L. Clarke. | Copyright of the Philadelphia City Council. Produced and Edited by Michael Falconi

City Council President Darrell L. Clarke. | Copyright of the Philadelphia City Council

On Inauguration Day, City Council President Darrell Clarke announced in a semi-mayoral speech that he would soon unveil an energy savings program that would create more than 10,000 jobs. “Stay tuned for more on that,” he said.

On Monday, with numerous bigwigs flanking him in the Mayor’s Reception Room, Clarke finally revealed the details of the massive, $1 billion, 10-year plan. Well, sort of. Here are five things you need to know about it: Read more »

In Philly, Ben Bernanke Says Individuals Should Have Been Charged in Economic Crisis

Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernake.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke.

According to Ben Bernanke, the United States economy is doing just fine.

During a recent talk at the Philadelphia Free Library, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve said he’s optimistic about the country’s economic future, saying there’s no new housing bubble and that the country is moving towards full employment.

“The domestic economy is moving forward pretty well. Households are in pretty good financial shape overall. They reduced their debt and interest payments quite a bit. The housing market is coming back,” said Bernanke, in town to promote his book The Courage to Act. “There are a lot of things moving the economy forward.” Read more »

This Nifty New Tool Shows How Much It Costs to Live in Philly

Last month, we reported that an analysis by the Tax Foundation found that $100 doesn’t go very far in Philadelphia compared to other parts of the country. In other words, the cost of living here is relatively high.

Now, the Economic Policy Institute has developed a nifty new tool that shows exactly how much money you have to shell out to live in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and other regions throughout the country. Here’s what the think tank found it takes for a family with two adults and two children to survive here: Read more »

U.S. Stocks Down After Early Rally, Philly Companies Feel the Heat



After “Black Monday,” U.S. stock prices seemed poised to rebound on Tuesday — until a late-day tumble saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average fall 205 points. Stocks began rising on Tuesday after China lowered interest rates one-quarter of a percentage point, fueling hopes that the country will take measures to strengthen its economy.

Stocks were in free fall for a few minutes on Monday morning on fears about China’s economy and debt. After a volatile day, the Dow ended Monday down 588 points, a 3.6 percent drop. Philadelphia-based public companies felt the pain on Monday, as the top 10 local businesses on the Fortune 500 list saw their stock prices fall significantly. Tuesday was no different, as nine out of 10 saw stock prices fall, while one stayed the same.

Read more »

This Philly Business Guru Predicted the Chinese Financial Crisis Plaguing the U.S. Stock Market

Richard Vague (photo from YouTube)

Richard Vague has some scary economic predictions. (photo from YouTube)

At Monday’s opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped an astounding 1,000 points in minutes, then stock prices rose and fell in a volatile roller coaster throughout the day.

It all stemmed from fears about the Chinese economy and the country’s ability to remain a strong catalyst of economic growth. It was even dubbed “Black Monday” by some. Read more »

Donald Trump Thinks the Unemployment Rate is 42%

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The more that Donald Trump emerges as a viable presidential candidate, the more people will want to know about his views on the economy. In an interview with Time (you know, the one where he posed for a photo with an American bald eagle), Trump said “our real unemployment rate is 42 percent.”

Read more »

Hillary Clinton vs. Uber and the Sharing Economy

hillary clinton free library

(Photo by HughE Dillon)

Hillary Clinton has put Uber, Airbnb and the sharing economy in her crosshairs as she runs for president.

In a speech laying out her economic agenda on Monday, Clinton acknowledged that “many Americans are making extra money renting out a spare room,” or even “driving their own car.” But, she cautioned that it’s “raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.” Read more »

MAP: Where Income Inequality Is the Worst in Philly

We’re starting to wonder why the Occupy movement didn’t start in Philadelphia.

For the umpteenth time in the last few years, a study has just come out showing that the Philly region is one of most unequal areas in the country. The Urban Institute looked at income and educational inequality in the nation’s largest “commuting zones” — which are similar to metropolitan areas — and found that Philadelphia had the second-highest degree of disparity in 2010. Read more »

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