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

Have we finally reached “full employment”?

Have we finally reached “full employment”? As I noted on Friday, the household report – the one that tells us about unemployment, underemployment, and labor force participation – was particularly good. In fact, the last two months together have been so good that, at least by some measures, we may finally have arrived at “full […]

September jobs report: excellent in coincident and lagging sectors, cautionary in leading sectors

September jobs report: excellent in coincident and lagging sectors, cautionary in leading sectors HEADLINES: +136,000 jobs added (+135,000 ex-Census) U3 unemployment rate declined -0.2% from 3.7% to 3.5% (NEW LOW) U6 underemployment rate declined -0.3% from 7.2% to 6.9% (NEW LOW) Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession I am highlighting these because many […]

Once again, two sharply contrasting reports to start the month

Once again, two sharply contrasting reports to start the month One month ago, I wrote that the first reports in September, construction spending and the ISM manufacturing index, showed two contrasting views of the economy. That was again the case today. As in last month, residential construction spending increased for the month. Below I show […]

Expect a weak report for the leading jobs sectors on Friday

Expect a weak report for the leading jobs sectors on Friday September motor vehicle sales will be reported later today, after the domestic US manufacturers post their numbers. Sales of all other vehicles were down -13% YoY, but that is without seasonal adjustment including for Labor Day, so the seasonally adjusted sales might tell a […]

Personal spending shows consumers OK; durable goods shows producers still struggling

Personal spending shows consumers OK; durable goods shows producers still struggling This morning’s reports on personal income and spending continue to show a consumer that is doing alright. Meanwhile durable goods orders continue to show a production sector that is struggling. First, real personal income (red in the graph below) rose +0.4% in August, while […]

Initial jobless claims continue near expansion lows

Initial jobless claims continue near expansion lows I’ve been monitoring initial jobless claims closely for the past several months, to see if there are any signs of stress. This is because the long leading indicators were negative one year ago, and many – but not a majority – of the short leading indicators have recently […]

August new home sales continue rebounding trend

August new home sales continue rebounding trend Let me start out my look at this morning’s August new home sales report with my typical housing mantra: Interest rates lead sales Sales lead prices Prices lead inventory We saw all of that in this morning’s report. First, the trend of rising single family sales continues, and […]

The incipient housing choke collar: July prices update

The incipient housing choke collar: July prices update Three months ago I first wrote about the concept of a “housing choke collar” constraining economic growth, to wit: The FHFA and Case-Shiller price indexes have only decelerated to a point where they roughly match median household income growth. This makes me wonder if prices for new homes will […]

What Kurt Eichenwald says – Saving the Republic

What Kurt Eichenwald says – Saving the Republic When I’m not reading and writing about the economy, I do occasionally comment elsewhere on political topics. So it was on Thursday when, in response to this post asserting that Democrats were powerless to do anything – (including enforcing THEIR OWN GODDAM SUBPOENAS!) – and that it was “green […]

A closer look at the housing rebound

A closer look at the housing rebound On Wednesday we got some excellent new residential construction numbers. I went into a lot more detail, showing how – exactly as I forecast – the turn in interest rates led the turn in housing sales by about six months, over at Seeking Alpha. As usual, clicking over and […]