- Governor Gavin Newsom said C.A. would face a $22.5 billion budget deficit in the coming fiscal year, the first for the most populous U.S. state since 2018, as the global stock market rout and efforts to cool inflation hammer its tax collections.
- Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman said the Central Bank has more work to curb inflation, noting that further interest-rate increases are needed, and officials should hold them at restrictive levels for some time to stabilize prices. “In recent months, we’ve seen a decline in some measures of inflation, but we have a lot more work to do, so I expect the FOMC will continue raising interest rates to tighten monetary policy, as we stated after our December meeting,." Nothing new here, nothing we do not know. The only question is how high they will raise rates. How long will they continue to raise rates to try to manage
- Texas is forecasting a record $32.7 billion budget surplus as a surge in sales taxes boosted the government’s revenue by billions more than what analysts had estimated.
- Although recession fears and effects from coronavirus variants pose headwinds for the overall U.S. transportation sector in 2023, pent-up demand will propel air travel to pre-pandemic normalcy, while public transit and parking will face a slower recovery as remote work reshapes commuter patterns, according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings published Monday. Public transit will recover about 70% of pre-pandemic passenger levels by the end of 2023 and only 85% by the end of 2026, according to S&P's baseline activity estimates. This recovery is good for bonds in those sectors that were so highly affected during the pandemic. I believe we will continue to see opportunities here.
- Job growth exceeded expectations last month, the unemployment rate fell, and wage gains slowed more than anticipated, suggesting some modest easing in inflation pressures. According to the Labor Department, nonfarm payrolls increased by 223,000 in December, capping a near-record year for job growth. The advance followed a revised 256,000 gain in November. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% from a month earlier and 4.6% from December 2021 after a downward revision to November. The deceleration is welcome news for Fed officials, who see wage pressures, particularly in the service sector, as a critical hurdle to achieving their 2% inflation goal. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 3.5% as participation increased. The median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists had called for a 203,000 advance in payrolls and for wage growth to moderate to a 0.4% monthly pace.
- Primary market: Visible supply began the week at $6.2 billion, well below the 2022 average of $9.8 billion. This week's most significant underwriting deals are a $680.7 million issue for the Plano Independent School District, TX, and a $441 million deal for the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.
- According to Fitch, most public finance ratings and outlooks are expected to remain stable despite a worsening macroeconomic environment. More good news for Munis. We should have a strong year coming off 2022.
605-B Park Grove
Katy, TX 77450
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