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United States of America
Nathaniel Karp
Chief Economist
The unit’s work is centred on analysis of the US economy and the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. Its macroeconomic analysis incorporates the development of models and forecasts of growth, inflation, monetary policy and the interest rate curve. The unit, under Nathaniel Karp’s guidance, also specialises in the energy sector and carries out analyses of the automotive, real estate, financial and other sectors. The team also conducts regional studies of states and cities, with particular emphasis on the Sun Belt states where BBVA is present.
Personal Assistant | Erika Gersch

Latest Publications

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U.S. | The case of missing wage growth

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The General Purpose Technology advancements, Information Communication Technology and digitization, are the common factors behind three major trickle-down structural contributors to stagnant real wage growth – low productivity growth, the decline in labor income share, and the rise in wage growth distribution inequality.

Available in Spanish, English

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Electric vehicles: the race for the mass market

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The car industry is definitely turning to developing and marketing electric vehicles. Worldwide, the investment already announced is around $90 billion, and it is forecast to continue growing. It is also expected that big car manufacturers will have dozens of new electric models on sale to the public in the next few years.

Available in Spanish, English

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U.S. | Auto Industry Chartbook 1Q18

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Economic fundamentals and financial conditions remain supportive of demand. However, increasing off-lease returns will continue to exert downward pressures on sales and prices of new vehicles.

Available in English

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U.S. | Interest Rates Chartbook. March 2018

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At the March meeting, the FOMC voted unanimously to raise the Fed funds rate to 1.5%-1.75%. Resumed downward pressure on term premium. The yield curve slope between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes flattened to 48 basis points, the lowest since August 2007.

Available in English

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Got symptoms? High U.S. healthcare spending and its long-term impact on economic growth

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Systemic inefficiencies explain the high level of healthcare spending in the U.S. Reducing deadweight losses and redirecting resources to more productive uses could boost output by $8 trillion over 30 years.

Available in Spanish, English

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U.S. | Whites of Inflation’s Eyes in Powell’s Crosshairs

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Factors that pre-date the crisis such as globalization, innovation, demographics and productivity explain bulk of persistent undershooting of the inflation target. Although there is a more tenuous relationship between labor market slack and wages, some further tightening could help lift prices above the 2% target in the medium-run.

Available in Spanish, English

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FOMC Meeting March 20th-21st

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FOMC: Powell, an Advocate for Optimism. As we expected, the FOMC increased the Fed funds rate to 1.5%-1.75%, confirming that newly appointed Chairman is committed to maintaining continuity with his predecessor.

Geographies:USA

Available in Spanish, English

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U.S. | Oil Prices Outlook. First quarter 2018

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Financial market volatility and concerns on raising U.S. production have weighted on prices through 1Q18. However, fundamentals have not changed significantly; thus, we maintain our baseline scenario. Demand will remain supportive of higher prices, but its impact will be compensated by growing non-OPEC supply.

Available in English

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U.S. | Regional Economic Outlook 2018

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The bright U.S. macroeconomic outlook is reflected in strong expected performance across all states. The adoption of new technologies in the O&G industry is indicative of peak employment rather than peak production levels in the mining sector and will benefit high-value added service niches and regions that can adapt to the new technological demands.

Available in Spanish, English

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U.S. | Natural gas prices after the shale boom

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Shale production fundamentally altered the relationship between oil and natural gas prices. Although most of the natural gas produced is consumed domestically, exports have also flourished. Henry Hub natural gas prices are likely to increase gradually supported by solid demand

Available in Spanish, English

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U.S. | Interest Rates Chartbook. February 2018

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The FOMC March meeting will be Powell’s first as Chair. The January minutes confirm that the Committee views the tax cuts with optimism and developments abroad as an additional tailwind, expecting the economy to run above potential for the medium-run. Markets have interpreted Chairman Powell’s stance at the two-day Congressional testimony as hawkish.

Available in English

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United States Economic Outlook. First quarter 2018

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In an environment of persistently low inflation and real equilibrium interest rates, the Fed will not be able to raise rates much further, limiting the space to cut interest rates during the next downturn. On average, the Fed has cut interest rates by 500 basis points during recessions.

Available in Spanish, English

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U.S. | Interest Rates Chartbook. January 2018

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The ​FOMC left Fed funds rate unchanged. An increase in yields is supported by a soft but sustained increase in Inflation expectations. Term premium remains negative coupled with a low market volatility environment. The baseline remains for a gradual increase in long-term yields with an upward bias for 2018 year-end long-term rates.

Available in English

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U.S. | Weekly podcast: financial stability

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Weekly economic update focusing on the state of prolonged low interest rates and financial stability

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U.S. | Weekly podcast: 4Q17 GDP preview

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Weekly economic update focusing on the upcoming 4Q GDP data