Our Dollar, Your Problem

Since the middle of 2021, the US dollar has been strengthening at an alarming rate. The DXY, which measures the dollar’s trade value versus a handful of other currencies, is currently surpassing a twenty-year high. The strength can mostly be attributed to the increasingly dim outlook for the global economy, which is forcing investors to look for safety in the US dollar. Dollar strength has also been sped up by comparatively swift and dramatic rate hikes coming from the Fed that make US denominated debt more appealing creating USD demand.

Update on Foreclosures

Foreclosures rose for the second consecutive quarter after a decade-long continuous decline. We are still a ways off from any Great Financial Crisis-level of foreclosures. This comes as the average mortgage rate reached 6.02%, its highest level since the GFC. 

Consumer Snapshot

Google search trends point toward mostly diminishing consumer activity, though furniture, appliances, and apparel are exceptions where searches have increased on a three month basis.  

Gas, Naturally

Not long ago, there was nothing going for natural gas. It was cheap, very cheap. And there was going to be an eternal glut of it. After all, natural gas was a byproduct of oil drilling, and this “associated gas” was more than enough to satisfy demand. Power plants running on natural gas were considered “greenish” allowing for the cheap gas to provide cheap electricity. 

Global Food Prices

After holding steady for five years prior to 2020, global food prices have spiked due to supply complications brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and further exacerbated by the geopolitical fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But now we are seeing international food prices drop again, with most staples even falling to pre-war levels.

Global Workplace Mobility

With the work-from-home debate heating up as employers begin to call on workers to come back to the office, we look at how workplace mobility varies around the globe.