Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

August personal income and spending: major downward revisions overwhelm modestly positive monthly gains

August personal income and spending: major downward revisions overwhelm modestly positive monthly gains  – by New Deal democrat This morning’s personal income and spending report for August was positive month over month both in nominal and real terms, but the major story was in the revisions. Personal spending is the essentially the opposite side of […]

The positive trend in jobless claims continues

The positive trend in jobless claims continues For still another week, initial jobless claims continued their recent downtrend. Initial claims declined -16,000 to 193,000, a 5 month low. The 4 week average also declined -8,750 to a new 4 month low of 207,000. Continuing claims, which lag somewhat, declined -29,000 to a 2.5 month low […]

Interest rates, the yield curve, and the Fed chasing a Phantom (lagging) Menace

Interest rates, the yield curve, and the Fed chasing a Phantom (lagging) Menace There’s a lot going on with interest rates in the past few days. Mortgage rates have increased above 7%: This is the highest rate since 2008. Needless to say, if it lasts for any period of time it will further damage the […]

House price indexes: more evidence of a summer peak

House price indexes: more evidence of a summer peak  – by New Deal democrat The Case Shiller and FHFA house price indexes were updated through July (technically, the average of May through July) this morning. Ordinarily I do not pay them too much mind, but this year they are very important in confirming a peak in […]

Gas and oil price update: good news and bad news

Gas and oil price update: good news and bad news We’ll get some important house price information tomorrow, but there is no economic news of significance today, so let’s update gas and oil prices. As indicated in the title, there’s good news and bad news. I’ll start with the bad news first. According to GasBuddy, […]

Weekly Indicators for September 19 – 23

Weekly Indicators for September 19 – 23 at Seeking Alpha  – by New Deal democrat My Weekly Indicators column is up at Seeking Alpha. For the third week in a row, interest rates increased, and gas prices, along with the prices of other commodities, tumbled. While the decline in gas prices is good, the downturn in […]

Jobless claims: the positive trend continues

Jobless claims: the positive trend continues  – by New Deal democrat For yet another week, initial jobless claims continued their reversal from had been in an almost relentless uptrend from spring through early August. This week initial claims rose -5,000 to 213,000 from a revised 3 month low of 208,000, while the 4 week average […]

August existing home sales: confirmation of housing prices peaking

August existing home sales: confirmation that house prices have peaked Existing home sale by themselves are not that important economically, since there is a mere transfer in ownership, rather than a complete build. But they can help verify turning points, and in this case very importantly as to prices. But first, sales declined slightly (-2,000) […]

Housing: permits and average starts decline, while construction remains at peak

Housing: permits and average starts decline, while construction remains at peak The data on housing construction this month was mixed. While starts rose, their 3 month average, at 1.511 million annualized, was the lowest since September through November 2020. Meanwhile total and single family permits both declined, both to the lowest since June 2020: This […]