THE YEAR'S END

WHAT WILL THE YEAR-END BRING?

Throughout 2022, the United States Federal Reserve has been trying to slow inflation by putting the brakes on the U.S. economy. So far, the Fed has raised rates six times, but the economy continues to grow. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the economy grew faster than originally thought from July through September 2022. The value of all goods and services produced by the U.S. was up 2.9 percent, annualized, rather than 2.6 percent as the advance estimate had indicated.


UNEMPLOYMENT

The early December unemployment report also suggested the economy remains strong. More jobs were added than economists expected, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent. Average hourly earnings also increased faster than expected, up 5.1 percent over the last 12 months.


STOCKS AND BONDS

Recent stock and bond markets rallied following Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s mid-week speech, in which he confirmed it was likely that December’s rate increase would be smaller than the last few increases. The way I see it, the country is between inflation and recession debates and policy. Once the path is more clearly defined, the markets will have a more consistent picture.


CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S DECEMBER ALREADY?

According to Andy Williams, Garth Brooks, and Kylie Minogue, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” During December, holiday enthusiasts don ugly sweaters, wheedle recipes out of relatives, light candles, and celebrate a diversity of holidays. See what you know about this magical time of the year by taking our brief quiz.

Which of the following holidays is NOT celebrated in December?
  • a. International Ninja Day
  • b. Sacher-Torte Day
  • c. Dewey-Decimal System Day
  • d. National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day





Scientists have studied the psychology of gift-giving. They find that the most valued presents are:
  • a. Expensive gifts that make others envious
  • b. Beautifully wrapped gifts that are pleasing to the eye
  • c. Sentimental gifts that bring joy and happiness
  • d. Thoughtful gifts that reflect the recipient’s hobbies and interests





Which generation is expected to spend the most ($1,823) on gifts, travel, and entertainment this holiday season?
  • a. Gen Z (Ages 9 to 24)
  • b. Millennials (Ages 25 to 40)
  • c. Gen X (Ages 41 to 56
  • d. Boomers (Ages 57 to 75)





When did the New Year’s Eve ball drop first take place in New York’s Times Square? (Hint: Teddy Roosevelt was President.)
  • a. 1893
  • b. 1907
  • c. 1920
  • d. 1945





If you have any questions, please call Santa.


WEEKLY FOCUS

“I’d rather have Peace on Earth than pieces of earth.”

– Child, age 9



As always, I am here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Let’s remember that success is walking the journey together!



Quiz Answers: 1) D; 2) C; 3) B; 4) B


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SOURCES

https://www.cnn.com/2001/US/05/15/runaway.train.05/
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/us-economy-added-263000-jobs-november-expected-fed-rate-hikes-rcna59775
https://www.bea.gov/news/2022/gross-domestic-product-second-estimate-and-corporate-profits-preliminary-third-quarter
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm (or go to
https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/12-05-22_Barrons_Why%20the%20Fed%20Must%20Cause%20More%20Pain%20to%20the%20Job%20Market_4.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/fed-interest-rate-hike-inflation-wage-growth-job-market-51670025045 (or go to
https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/12-05-22_Barrons_Stocks%20Rise%20on%20Cooling%20Inflation%20and%20Fed%20Moderation_5.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-dow-nasdaq-sp500-inflation-fed-51670031738?mod=hp_LEAD_2
https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value=2022
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_the_Most_Wonderful_Time_of_the_Year
https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/melody-beattie-quotes
https://nationaltoday.com/january-holidays/#jan-6
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S105774081730044X
https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/consumer-markets/library/2022-holiday-outlook-trends.html
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/
https://timessquareball.net/ball-history/