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

September industrial production turns down, but no major cause for concern

September industrial production turns down, but no major cause for concern Industrial production is the King of Coincident Indicators. This morning’s report for September was negative, and August was revised downward, taking total production back below pre-pandemic levels. Total production decreased -1.3% in September, and the manufacturing component decreased -0.8%. The August reading for each […]

Analyzing the impact of biodiesel and it causing a potential issue

Michael Smith Farmer and Agricultural Economist, “Farmers need more space for crops to meet mounting demand”- AgResource | Reuters Dan Basse of AgResource Co. analyzes the impacts of biodiesel and is throwing up a potential issue.  Reuters interviewed an agronomist who is closely watching the budget reconciliations and the spending of a $350 billion yearly […]

Quality Issues, Kawasaki Subway Car Wheels are Moving Outwards

Kawasaki Heavy Industries plans (2018) to restructure rolling-stock operations amid heavy losses, exploring such options as quitting the business and teaming up with other companies. This is unusual for a major Japanese firm to pull out of an industry, a country, and the United States. Or at least I find it unusual having worked for a Japanese company […]

Globally; oil short at 2,400,000 barrels/day; OPEC output is 375,000 barrels/day short of quota

Focus on Fracking: US oil price at a 7 year high; largest US oil inventory build in 7 months; global oil shortage at 2,400,000 barrels per day as OPEC output is ​375,000 barrels per day short of​ quota​. Commenter and Blogger RJS OPEC’s October Oil Market Report Wednesday of this week saw the release of OPEC’s […]

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 […]