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

Retail Sales up .7%, July and August revised higher

Commenter and Blogger RJS at Market Watch 666 Retail Sales Increased by 0.7% in September after July and August Sales were Revised Higher Seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 0.7% in September after retail sales for July and August were revised higher . . . the Advance Retail Sales Report for September (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated […]

“Quit Your Whining” – Economists to Cattle Ranchers

Author, Farmer, and Economist Michael Smith briefly talking returns to Cattle Ranchers and profits to meat processors and retail. The beef industry is under fire, we’ve been seeing this for years. We first saw where Smithfield has taken over whole towns for pork production, vertically integrating as much as possible, even to take a cut of […]

Employers are going to have to sweeten the pot to add employees

Another strong month for real retail sales growth; to cope, employers are going to have to sweeten the pot to add employees Real retail sales, perhaps my favorite monthly economic indicator since they tell us so much about average consumer behavior, and are also a good short leading indicator for jobs, were reported this morning […]

Jobless claims: a renewed downward trend?

Jobless claims: a renewed downward trend? Jobless claims declined 36,000 this week to 293,000, another pandemic low. The 4 week average also declined 10,500 to 334,500, also another pandemic low: With the exception of the last few years of the last expansion, this level of weekly initial claims would be very low for any point […]

Agenda of Biden’s Build Back Better Bill

The same as the American Rescue Plan Act and the Improving Medicare Coverage Act, no one is talking of the detail within the Build Back Better Agenda bill. This makes it very vulnerable to pseudo Senators like Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin who are holding out for what ever reasons or just for spite. It […]

Continuing accelerated consumer inflation points to sharp slowdown, but no recession imminent

Continuing accelerated consumer inflation points to sharp slowdown, but no recession imminent Inflation, along with the expiration of the emergency pandemic payments, is one of the two big threats to this expansion. This morning’s report on consumer inflation for September, at 0.4%, was certainly elevated compared with its typical pre-pandemic reading of 0.2%/month, but on […]

August JOLTS report: progress towards a new jobs equilibrium?

August JOLTS report: progress towards a new jobs equilibrium? This morning’s JOLTS report covers August, which you may recall featured a disappointing jobs report (since revised somewhat higher ), during which the Delta wave was growing to its worst levels, and two months after a number of GOP-controlled States terminated enhanced unemployment benefits, on the […]

What Secretary and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen proposes

Farmer and Farm Economist Michael Smith on latest proposed business policies which can impact U.S. Farming. Secretary and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen recently went on CBS in order to sell the changes to the tax code provisions that would trigger events yet unknown at the $600 level,  and potentially beyond. I’ll leave this proposal […]

Oil Price highest since 2014; natural gas price falls from 12 year high – largest inventory build in 16 months

and gasoline exports at a 26 month low . . . Blogger and Commenter R.J.S., Focus on Fracking: “Oil price is highest since 2014; natural gas price fell from 12 year high after largest inventory increase in 16 months” Oil prices finished higher for the 7th straight week after OPEC decided to only add the […]

Bad Reporting On Latest Sveriges Riksbank Prize In Memory Of Nobel

Bad Reporting On Latest Sveriges Riksbank Prize In Memory Of Nobel  So the recipients are half of it to David Card for his 1994 study with the late Alan Krueger, who committed suicide not too long ago, on minimum wages, and how raising them might actually sometimes increase employment.  The other half was split between […]