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

Graphically Defining the economy in 2022

Three graphs which defined the economy in 2022; a look back at my forecasts In the summer of 2021, looking at the long leading indicators, I wrote: “while the long leading indicators confirm a firm, even strong expansion through the remainder of 2021, by spring of 2022 they are neutral, suggesting a much softer economy, […]

Further evidence of real declines since summer

House price indexes decline, unchanged in October; further evidence of real declines since summer The Case Shiller national house price index declined another -0.3% in November, and is now up 9.2% YoY, compared with a peak of +20.8% YoY in March (note that is in line with my rule of thumb that a decline of […]

New Deal democrat’s weekly indicators for December 19 – 23

Weekly Indicators for December 19 – 23 at Seeking Alpha My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha. Coincident indicators continue to ever so microscopically worsen – but not yet in recession territory; while there is an increasing suggestion from the long leading indicators that a recession could be relatively short. Provided, of course, that […]

New home sales for November: at last, a bright spot!

New home sales for November: at last, a bright spot! (relatively speaking) New home sales are very volatile, and heavily revised. But they frequently are the first housing metrics to turn. And November’s new home sales report suggests that they may indeed have made their low. Last month new home sales increased to 640,000 annualized, […]

Real personal income and spending

Real personal income and spending hold up (thank you, lower gas prices!) but still consistent with onset of recession This morning’s report on personal income and spending for November shows why I pay more attention to real retail sales as a forecasting tool. First, to the data: personal income increased nominally by 0.3% in November, […]

Durable goods orders appear to have peaked

Durable goods orders appear to have peaked  [Note: I’ll post about personal income and spending, as well as new home sales, later.] I normally don’t pay much attention to the monthly durable goods report, but this morning’s report for November appears significant. That’s because durable goods spending has been one of the few short leading […]

They will give us a lead on when the Sahm rule for recessions may be triggered

Initial claims continue in range; why they will give us a lead on when the Sahm rule for recessions may be triggered Initial claims ticked up 2,000 last week to 216,000. The 4 week moving average declined 6,250 to 221,750. Continued claims, with a one week delay, declined 6,000 to 1.670 million: To state the […]

November existing home sales: prices have unequivocally turned down

November existing home sales: prices have unequivocally turned down  – by New Deal democrat Existing home sales do not have much actual economic impact, since the primary economic activity generated by housing is the construction. But they do help tell us a great deal about pricing. For the record, sales continued their relentless decline this […]

November housing permits and starts: the biggest news is not even a headline

November housing permits and starts: the biggest news is not in the headlines  – by New Deal democrat The report on housing construction for November was very much a tale of two very different trends – and the most important one will almost certainly be under-reported. Housing permits issued declined to 1.342 million annualized, the lowest […]

Job growth beginning in Q2 looks to be substantially revised downward

Job growth beginning in Q2 looks to be substantially revised downward  – by New Deal democrat Last week the Philadelphia Fed published a working paper suggesting that in the second quarter of this year only 10,500 jobs were actually added, rather than the 1,047,000 as indicated by the monthly Establishment survey.  Here’s their graph: Here’s what you […]