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

A bold forecast: there will be no autumn surge in housing this year

A bold forecast: there will be no autumn surge in housing this year The big issue this year in housing is whether increased mortgage rates and higher prices have merely resulted in a deceleration in the increase in new housing sales and construction, or whether housing is actually rolling over. As I’ve written several times […]

A hypothesis for Prof. Krugman: the transmission method was FEAR

A hypothesis for Prof. Krugman: the transmission method was FEAR In his recent column disagreeing with Ben Bernanke, Paul Krugman asks for an explanation as to how a financial panic could lead to years thereafter of a slow recovery. Specifically, Krugman says that he “really really wants to hear about the transmission mechanism.” After all, […]

Housing: a big miss in permits with important ramifications

Housing: a big miss in permits with important ramifications NOTE: I’ll have a more comprehensive report up at Seeking Alpha later, and will link to it once it is posted. Despite a smart month over month increase in starts, this morning’s report on housing permits and starts, taken as a whole, was a sharp negative. […]

A detailed look at Industrial Production during this expansion

A detailed look at Industrial Production during this expansion In the past week there’s been a little highbrow relitigation of the drivers of the “Great Recession” between Paul Krugman and Ben Bernanke. Bernanke plumps for it having been a “credit event” — and as to the crisis of 2008, he is clearly correct — while Krugman says it was […]

The Taboo against raising wages is still thriving among small businesses

The Taboo against raising wages is still thriving among small businesses The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) put out its monthly confidence and hiring reports over the past few days. The confidence report soared to new high, so the economy is Teh Awesome and happy days are here again! Right? And look! It’s confirmed by […]

Subdued inflation helps gains in real average and aggregate wages

Subdued inflation helps gains in real average and aggregate wages With the consumer price report Tuesday morning, let’s conclude this weeklong focus on jobs and wages by updating real average and aggregate wages. Through July 2018, consumer prices are up 2.7% YoY, while wages for non-managerial workers are up 2.8%. Thus real wages have finally […]

August JOLTS report: thriving jobs market, and still-thriving Taboo against raising wages

August JOLTS report: thriving jobs market, and still-thriving Taboo against raising wages Tuesday’s JOLTS report once again confirmed the very good employment report from one month ago: Quits made a new all-time high Hires are just below their expansion high of two months ago Total separations made a new expansion high Layoffs and discharges improved, […]

Decelerating trends in 5 long leading indicators

 by New Deal democrat Decelerating trends in 5 long leading indicators I have a new post up at Seeking Alpha, “Five Long Leading Indicators ‘On the Cusp’.” The post follows up on my “Weekly Indicators” paradigm with graphs showing what the trends look like for aforesaid five series which have been hovering at the borderlines of […]

Real median household income rose 1.8% in 2017; poeverty rate declined

Real median household income rose 1.8% in 2017; poeverty rate declined The Census Bureau reported Sept. 12 that *real* median household earnings rose 1.8% in 2017.  Here’s their presentation graph: This is another score by Sentier Research, whose monthly estimates have accurately forecast the Census Bureau’s (very tardy) annual reports and showed, on an annualized basis, […]

Scenes from the August jobs report

Scenes from the August jobs report 1. The strong trend of people entering the jobs market and getting jobs remains intact Here’s a nice graph put together by Kevin Drum at Mother Jones showing both a linear and curvilinear trend line (which are nearly identical) (red) with the prime age employment to population ratio (blue): […]