Updated Nov 4, 2018

Global budgets are loosening up amid fiscal sunshine

Americans are enjoying year-on-year wage gains above 3% for the first time in over a decade according to two economic reports this week, including a monthly jobs report that came in comfortably above expectations.

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

September was the 97th consecutive month that the economy has created jobs. That's an all-time record. Fiscal policy is goosing the economy. The Treasury is going to have to borrow $1.34 trillion this year, more than double the number in 2017. Enjoy the good times while they last.

  • The Fed's economists expect an economic deceleration ahead. They're projecting 2.5% growth in 2019, 2% in 2020 and just 1.8% in 2021.

The big picture: This isn't purely an American story. Budgets are getting looser around the world.

This year's U.K. budget marked the official end of austerity. Finance Minister Philip Hammond is "basking in the largest sustained windfall from improved public finance forecasts since the Office for Budget Responsibility was created in 2010," per the Financial Times.

  • Hammond did warn that austerity could return in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It's not clear whether the Euroskeptic wing of his party believes him.

Italy's government intends to run a budget deficit of 2.4% of GDP next year, which is unacceptable to the EU.

  • Italy's sovereign bonds are now just one notch above junk-bond status, per Moody's.

The other side: The euro-area economy grew at the slowest pace in four years during the most recent quarter. And in the U.S., inflation has been running at more than 2% per year, which makes 3% wage gains rather unimpressive.

Go deeper: Wages rise, but so does inflation

Go deeper

Deficit balloons to $356.6 billion in first quarter of fiscal year

Photo: Bloomberg Creative Photos/Getty Images

The U.S. budget deficit hit $356.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, up 11.8% compared to the same period the previous year, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The deficit, which President Trump pledged in 2016 to eliminate within eight years, is on pace to exceed $1 trillion by the end of 2020. The U.S. has not seen $1 trillion annual deficits since the three years that followed the 2008 financial crisis, per the New York Times.

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020

An unsettling future for millions of American jobs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. economy is besting expectations for job growth, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest in several decades — but the other side of the story is that millions of jobs out there just aren't good enough.

Why it matters: Almost half of all American workers are stuck in low-wage jobs that often don't pay enough to support their lives, lack benefits and sit squarely inside the automation bullseye.

Unemployment fell to 50-year low in 2019 but wages stagnated

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's jobs report missed expectations, but still delivered solid numbers, showing the U.S. economy added well over 100,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained near a 50-year low.

The big picture: BLS reported that the number of people who were employed part time but would rather be full-time employees declined by 507,000 over the year.