About the Author

Rhea Thomas

Senior Economist

Rhea is a Senior Economist at Wilmington Trust, responsible for monitoring and analyzing economic developments in domestic and international economies.

Prior to joining Wilmington Trust, Rhea served as Vice President in Foreign Exchange Sales at Lehman Brothers, where she provided primary sales coverage to institutional clients. Earlier in her career, she focused on foreign exchange research, where she helped to build models and write publications to explain currency market movements and trade ideas.

Rhea holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Studies with Distinction from Yale University.


By the Author

Recession or No Recession? Depends on your Definition

Rhea Thomas and Luke Tilley |
Wilmington Wire
Business arrow increase of success graph and growth stock market earnings financial on profit income background with diagram chart investment.

July 26, 2022—It’s hard to avoid the “R” word these days. The question of whether the economy is headed toward a recession has been front and center, almost superseding concerns about inflation. During our May webinar “Growth Scare or Recession?”, we explained our reasoning for the U.S. to avoid the latter, but since that time the risks have risen noticeably.

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Federal Reserve: Taking away the Punch Bowl to Sober Up Inflationary Pressure

Rhea Thomas |
Wilmington Wire
Dollar currency growth concept with upward arrows on charts and coins background.

March 18, 2022—William McChesney Martin Jr., former Federal Reserve (Fed) chair from 1951–1970, is credited with the now-famous “punchbowl” analogy, referring to the Fed as “the chaperone who has ordered the punch bowl removed just when the party was really warming up.”1   Today, the Fed finds itself in the position of taking away the punchbowl again, but in the midst of a party that has been raging, rather than just warming up.

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Inflation

Luke Tilley and Rhea Thomas |
Investment Management
Dollar currency growth concept with upward arrows on charts and coins background.

September 14, 2022Topics shared in this publication are:Headline CPI decelerated to 8.3%, down from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022. The sharp decline in energy prices in August were the key reason for that decline.Core CPI nudged up, uncomfortably to 6.3%, within a whisker (technically, two whiskers) of the 6.5% peak back in March 2022.The Fed’s preferred index, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, moved lower to 6.3%y/y  in July.

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Labor Market

Luke Tilley and Rhea Thomas |
Investment Management
Global communication network concept. Worldwide business. Human resources.

August 5, 2022Topics shared in this publication are:Job growth surged in July, pointing to ongoing momentum in the labor market.Businesses indicate demand for labor remains strong but may be plateauing, with job openings having declined relative to the start of the year.Labor force participation has stalled in recent months, bringing back the upside risk for wages that prevailed for most of 2021.On a three-month annualized basis, wage growth in July 2022 moved up to 5.2% (from 4.

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A High Wire Act in Congress, With All Eyes on the (Debt) Ceiling

Rhea Thomas |
Wilmington Wire
Highline walker balancing on the rope concept of risk taking and challenge

September 23, 2021Debt ceiling negotiations in Congress have returned to the spotlight, as they do every few years. Current estimates suggest the U.S. Treasury will be unable to meet its payment obligations starting between mid-October to early November.Markets are watching closely because failure on the part of Congress to raise or suspend the debt ceiling ahead of that deadline could raise the risk of the U.S. Treasury defaulting on its debt, which would be an unprecedented event.

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