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The Congressional Budget Office reports that the 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in history, cost the economy $3 billion that won’t be recovered. The Internal Revenue Service was among the agencies affected. Because it had to cut down compliance activities during the shutdown, the government’s tax revenue will be $2 billion lower this fiscal year. The CBO does not estimate indirect costs that were certainly related to the shutdown, such as risks to the health of...

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New research from the National Association of Realtors found that existing home sales have hit a three year low. 2018 was the worst year for sales of previously-owned homes since 2015. The month of December 2018 was especially bad for the housing market. Sales of previously-owned homes, which make up the vast majority of housing sales, were down 6.4% for the month and 10.3% lower than December 2017. At the same time, stocks fell the most in almost...

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With the stock market more volatile than ever and the biggest overall drop in 2018 in a decade, concerns in the U.S. are growing over contracting economic growth and the economy slowing down. Across the Atlantic, Europeans are facing similar realities: Breitbart reports that German factory orders dropped, a good indicator of the overall economic conditions in the eurozone. The Brexit situation is far from resolved with it looking more and more likely the United Kingdom will...

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The Chinese economy is slowing down, which is a double-edged sword for the U.S. On the one hand, President Trump thinks the economic slowdown in the world’s second largest economy gives him more leverage in ongoing U.S.-China negotiations over trade and tariffs. On the other hand, whether we like it or not, there are some interconnections between our economy and U.S. stock market and economies abroad. Trump’s tariffs may drive China to the negotiating table,...

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Nancy Pelosi is officially back in charge in the House of Representatives and the Democrats voted Thursday to re-open the government without meeting President Trump’s demand for $5B for the border wall. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t even willing to bring the bill up for a vote in the Senate so things are still at an impasse. In the meantime, the Smithsonian Museums in Washington and the National Zoo are officially out of money...

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Expectations were low for US manufacturing growth last month, but no one saw this coming: The ISM manufacturing index fell to 54.1 in December, its lowest level since November 2016. Below is the by-the-numbers breakdown: The New Orders Index was 51.1%, a decrease of 11.0 percentage points from November. The Production Index was 54.3%, 6.3-percentage point decrease. The Employment Index was 56.2%, a decrease of 2.2 percentage points. The Supplier Deliveries Index was 57.5%, a...