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March
24
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Week In Review

Durable Goods

U.S. durable goods orders rose 1.7% in February. This was a slowdown from 2.0% in January, but better than expectations. Capital goods shipments increased 1%, and this was also above expectations.

Our Take

These reports indicate that the U.S. economy is continuing to expand at a moderate pace. It will be important to see how lower oil prices and the recent Fed tightening impact these trends.


Brexit

Juncker stated that the UK’s exit bill due to the EU will likely be around £50 billion. May has stated that the final amount due from the UK will be subject to negotiation. Barnier, the lead EU negotiator, stated that negotiations over Britain’s exit and any amount due must be completed before Britain can begin negotiations on any trade deals with the EU.

Our Take

The EU leadership is taking a hard line in public statements about Brexit. Many of the leaders of the EU member nations want to be more accommodating. A smoother exit with minimal disruptions to trade and capital flows would be best for all parties involved, but it remains to be seen how the negotiations will play out.


Municipals

The Census Bureau released a report that detailed population increases and decreases for the year ending July 1, 2016. Cook County, Illinois, experienced a population drop of slightly more than 21,000 residents. This marks the largest decline of any county in the nation. Wayne County, Michigan, lost almost 7,700 residents, the second most in the nation. Maricopa County, Arizona, experienced the largest population gain of around 81,000, a 1.95% increase.

Our Take

The population of Cook County is slightly more than 5.2 million. A decrease of 21,000 residents amounts to a decline of 0.41%. Cook County has experienced a population decline for three years in a row. Cook County cannot afford to lose residents, even a small percentage, as it reduces the county’s tax base.