by New Deal democrat
I’m still traveling, so light posting for a couple days more.
In fact, I neglected to post a link to my Weekly Indicators on Saturday. A bit tardy, here it is. Conditions across all time frames do not look so good, and with Friday’s poor inflation report, I expect the Fed to continue stomping on the brakes – especially since we know that the YoY change in rents and “owners’ equivalent rent,” which together make up about 1/3rd of all inflation, are likely to keep rising (since they lag house price indexes, which are still at or near their YoY high growth rates, by a year or more).
Meanwhile, there’s good news and bad news on the COVID front. For the last three weeks, cases have plateaued at roughly 105,000 per day, and deaths have varied between 275 and 340. So BA.4/5 does not seem to be creating any new “wave” at this point. Further, between April 4, the recent trough in cases, and one month ago, there were a cumulative total of about 2.150 million cases. With a one month lag, deaths totaled 12,300. That’s about a 0.6% fatality rate, or about 1 in 400 cases. So the good news is, over the population as a whole, COVID has recently had about a similar death rate to a bad year for seasonal flu.
The bad news is that the death rate is heavily concentrated towards the elderly. Among people under 50 years of age, in May there were only about 125 deaths total. For age 50-65, there were another 400; for 65-74, 700; for 75-84, 1000, and 85 and older, 1500. In other words, for seniors, and particularly those over age 80, COVID remains a deadly serious disease.