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

Producer sector remains on fire, while two most important indicators of consumer sector falter

Producer sector remains on fire, while two most important indicators of consumer sector falter As has been the pattern for the last several months, August data started out with a strong reading on manufacturing, while July ended with weak data on housing construction. As a side note, the latest read on motor vehicle sales also […]

Jobless claims show continuing improvement, now well within normal expansion range

Jobless claims show continuing improvement, now well within normal expansion range Way back at the beginning of spring, I set a goal of initial claims being 400,000 or less by Labor Day as a marker for a good COVID recovery – which I was reminded of because the aforesaid holiday is this weekend. Well, we […]

Coronavirus dashboard: the Delta wave starts to recede in the South, and migrates North

Coronavirus dashboard: the Delta wave starts to recede in the South, and migrates North Ultimately, that I have to continue to post this material is depressing. At least 80% of all US adults and most teenagers should have been fully vaccinated by now, with the threat of mass outbreaks, even from Delta, retreating into the […]

The expansion is in good shape for now

A fundamentals-based look at the consumer indicates the expansion is in good shape for now I was going to update the Coronavirus dashboard today, but since half of the States no longer bother to report over the weekend, Monday is basically useless. There may be a few interesting things happening … but let’s wait until […]

July personal income and spending: return to normalcy, and normalcy is good

July personal income and spending return to normalcy. Normalcy is good How well personal income and spending held up throughout the pandemic is one of the best things about the government response. That has continued to be the case as of this morning’s report for July. Real personal income (blue) increased 0.7%, and is 4.2% […]

Initial and continuing jobless claims: the good news continues

Initial and continuing jobless claims: the good news continues The good news for both initial and continued claims continued this week. Initial jobless claims rose 4,000 to 353,000 from last week’s pandemic low. The 4 week average of claims declined by 11,500 to 366,500, another new pandemic low: Significant progress in the decline of initial […]

Coronavirus dashboard for August 25: is the Delta wave close to peaking?

Coronavirus dashboard for August 25: is the Delta wave close to peaking? I’ve been writing for about a month that, if the US outbreak followed the cycle of India and the UK, in which the Delta wave hit its peak about 6 to 8 weeks after onset, in the US the peak would be about […]

July new home sales down nearly 30% from peak, as prices perhaps start to plateau

July new home sales down nearly 30% from peak, as prices perhaps start to plateau Unlike yesterday’s existing home sales, today’s report on new home sales is much more economically significant. The reason I prefer single-family housing permits as a measure is that the sales data is extremely volatile, and heavily revised over the next […]

A note on existing home sales

A note on existing home sales Existing home sales are the least noteworthy of the housing data, because of the very limited economic activity moving into or out of an existing home provokes compared with the construction, furnishing, and landscaping of a new home. But it’s worth a brief look, so let’s note this month’s […]

July industrial production (good news) and retail sales (still being pretty good news)

July industrial production (good news) and retail sales (bad news still being pretty good news)  – by New Deal democrat This morning brought the July report for the King of Coincident Indicators, industrial production, as well as one of my favorite consumer side indicators, retail sales. Let’s take a look at each. Industrial sales increased strongly […]