Data: New York Fed; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Fed's index of real-time data indicators perked up again last week after moving lower the previous week. The Weekly Economic Index has been choppy since July showing that U.S. growth continues to recover but is sputtering.

Behind the curtain: The increase in the WEI for the week of Oct. 3 was due to a slight decline in initial jobless claims and improving data on rail traffic as measured by the Association of American Railroads, as well as increases in fuel sales and electricity output, the Fed economists behind the index said on Thursday.

  • Those readings outweighed a decrease in tax withholding.

The big picture: In its latest quarterly outlook, HSBC says the global economy is entering the second, slower, phase of a two-stage “swoosh-shaped” recovery.

  • Mobility data indicates that the slowdown began in the third quarter and the previous strength in consumer spending is also starting to slow, Global Chief Strategist Joseph Little said in the report.

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 19, 2020 - Economy & Business

Report shows manufacturing tea kettle

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Manufacturing PMIs have surged over the past few months, showing a clear breakout V-shaped recovery that has put the indexes of sentiment at the highest levels since 2018, but the hard numbers continue to lag.

Driving the news: The Fed's index of industrial production, which tracks output at factories, mines and utilities, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.6% last month after consistent increases since May, and output remains 7.1% below where it was in February.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
19 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans' trust in the Fed keeps falling

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.3% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans' trust in the Federal Reserve fell again in October, with just 34% saying they have a fair amount or a great deal of trust in the central bank in the latest Axios/Ipsos poll.

What's happening: While trust in the Fed rises with age, income level and among those who say they know more about the institution, there was not a single group where even half of respondents said they trusted the Fed.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 19, 2020 - Economy & Business

The Fed is starting to question its own policies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several officials at the Fed are beginning to worry about asset bubbles and excessive risk-taking as a result of their extraordinary policy interventions, James Politi writes for the Financial Times, citing interviews with multiple Fed presidents and members of the Board of Governors.

Details: Some are now pushing for "tougher financial regulation" as concerns grow that monetary policy is "encouraging behavior detrimental to economic recovery and creating pressure for additional bailouts."