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

Clear signs of *deceleration* in house price increases, but no sign of actual declines yet

Clear signs of *deceleration* in house price increases, but no sign of actual declines yet The veritable explosive increase in house prices has been one of the biggest economic stories of the past year. And because it feeds into “owner’s equivalent rent” with a lag, is likely to have a big effect on consumer inflation […]

The Debut of the Deranged DOOOMers, 2021 edition: No, the strong advance of the Index of Leading Indicators is not forecasting a recession

The Debut of the Deranged DOOOMers, 2021 edition: No, the strong advance of the Index of Leading Indicators is not forecasting a recession Five to ten years ago, I used to have a lot of fun taking the hide off DOOOMers. You know, the pundits who always find some new statistic or other that absolutely […]

Half of what you read about Omicron is wrong, but you won’t know which half for weeks

Coronavirus dashboard for November 29: half of what you read about Omicron is wrong, but you won’t know which half for weeks, New Deal democrat As with any “Breaking News!” event, about half of what you read will be wrong. The problem is, nobody knows which item falls in which half. Recognizing that you need to step […]

Pessimistic and optimistic scenarios for the winter wave

Coronavirus dashboard for November 26: pessimistic and optimistic scenarios for the winter wave, New Deal democrat I hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Since I haven’t posted one in a bit, here is an update on the pandemic.As an initial matter, in the last day or two, there has been a mini-panic about […]

New home sales for October continue slow upward trend

New home sales for October continue slow upward trend New home sales, while very noisy and heavily revised, tend to lead all of the other housing indicators, even permits. The heavy revisions figure, well, heavily, into this morning’s report. New home sales (blue in the graphs below) usually slightly lead to the much less volatile […]

The consumer spending spree continued in October

The consumer spending spree continued in October, New Deal democrat Real personal income and spending held up well throughout the pandemic, due to a vigorous government response. With special benefits ended, the question has been: will they hold up? This month, the answer was a definite “yes.”In nominal terms, personal income increased 0.5% and spending […]

Lowest new jobless claims in over half a century

Lowest new jobless claims in over half a century The first two of four data releases this morning were corporate profits for Q3 and jobless claims for last week.Corporate profits, a long leading indicator, increased slightly in Q3 over Q2, by 1.9% or 4.2% depending on whether you include various inventory adjustments. Deflated by unit […]

Existing home sales and prices, increase slightly; inventory declines slightly

Existing home sales and prices, increase slightly; inventory declines slightly [Programming note: There will be at least 4 significant reports tomorrow (Nov: 23): jobless claims, personal income and spending, new home sales, and corporate profits for Q3. Then nothing for the rest of the week. I may or may not report on everything tomorrow. I […]

As the winter wave takes hold, how much will resistance from prior infections hold numbers down?

Coronavirus dashboard: As the winter wave takes hold, how much will resistance from prior infections hold numbers down? Europe and North America, the winter wave is underway. While vaccinations clearly work, in most countries of the West there is a reservoir of defiant anti-vaxxers, who are not going to get vaccinated unless they are absolutely […]