Extraordinary challenges. The pandemic of 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to individuals, companies, and governments. The government has imposed restrictions on movements and commerce and consumers have adjusted behavior patterns, forcing businesses to cope with the rules and changes in consumer spending.
Economic data is lagged and often confusing. Economic reports on the employment situation, retail sales, inflation, real GDP, etc., are released with varying lags and are often revised. In this crisis, the data sometimes contain significant caveats, highlighting challenges in the collection process.
Nowcasting with alternative data. Monitoring economic developments in real-time has rarely been more important as the virus shifts course, and the government, consumers, and businesses are forced to react on short notice. We will explore a variety of alternative data sources, ranging from airline passengers going though security checkpoints, to diners inside restaurants, to credit card spending patterns, to mass transit utilization, and others.
Sentiment shifts and the evolving narrative. Starting with traditional economic data and supplementing with alternative data improves our understanding of the current state of the US economy and allows us to better appreciate how the changing narrative impacts sentiment in different markets including rates, equities, oil, FX, and gold.
Read Chief Economist, Blu Putnam's latest white paper on the current state of the economy.
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