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

Nailed it!

Nailed it! Three weeks ago I wrote No, the Meuller report ***DID NOT*** “find no collusion!” in which I lambasted and parsed Barr’s conclusory snippet of the Mueller report, to wit, that “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” I pointed […]

March real retail sales very strong, but no “all clear” yet

March real retail sales very strong, but no “all clear” yet This morning’s retail sales report for March was very strong on both a nominal basis, up +1.6%, and also on a real, inflation-adjusted basis, up +1.2%. At the same time, it is still ever so slightly below its peak of five months ago, and […]

YoY Industrial production and structural changes to the US economy since 1980

YoY Industrial production and structural changes to the US economy since 1980 No big economic releases today, so let me follow up further with a few long-term comments on industrial production. This series goes back 100 years to the beginning of 1919. Since that time it has turned negative YoY 25 times: Of those 25 […]

Industrial production continues to decelerate

Industrial production continues to decelerate Industrial production is the King of Coincident Indicators. In dating the onset and end of recessions, in practice the NBER relies upon industrial production more than any other measure. March 2019 production continued a string of recent disappointments, with overall production declining -0.1%, and manufacturing production unchanged. For the first […]

I told you so: the March employment report showed a slowdown in the leading sectors

I told you so: the March employment report showed a slowdown in the leading sectors For the past few months, I have been forecasting a jobs slowdown. That has been based in part on the natural progression of a downturn in long leading indicators, then short leading indicators, and finally to coincident indicators of which […]

March jobs report: good nowcast, concerning forecast

March jobs report: good nowcast, concerning forecast HEADLINES: +196,000 jobs added U3 unemployment rate unchanged at 3.8% U6 underemployment rate unchanged at  7.3% Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession   I am highlighting these because many leading indicators overall strongly suggest that an employment slowdown is coming. The following more leading numbers in […]