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

New Deal Democrats Weekly Indicators March 25-29 2024

 – by New Deal democrat My “Weekly Indicators” post is up at Seeking Alpha. Regional Manufacturing Declines Again After several weeks of flirting with full recovery, the remaining regional Fed’s weighed in with their monthly manufacturing indexes, and they all went in the tank again. On the bright side, payroll tax withholding has had its best month […]

Real personal income and spending: if last month was “Goldilocks”, this month was close to “anti-Goldilocks”

 – by New Deal democrat The Bonddad Blog Personal income and spending has become one of the two most important monthly reports I follow, because it nets out the impacts of higher interest rates and abating inflation due to the unlinking of the supply chain. To repeat, the big question this year is whether the […]

Open Thread March 29 2024 CA Fast Food Workers get a boost in hourly wage

Starting April 1, fast-food workers in California will be paid at least $20 an hour, thanks to legislation passed last fall that raised the industry-wide minimum wage. Why? “the difference between the prices consumers pay and the cost of production—have increased sharply over the past decade of growth for the industry.” Roosevelt Institute Open Thread March […]

Initial claims remain somnolent, while continuing claims pop slightly

 – by New Deal democrat The divergence in the trends between initial and continuing claims continued this week, as the former continued their somnolent good news, while the latter had a slightly disconcerting pop. Initial claims declined -2,000 to 210,000, and the four week average declined -750 to 211,000. On the other hand, with the […]

You can’t fool Mother Nature

Back when we lived in Chapel Hill NC, we made a few trips to the Outer Banks where my wife had an uncle who built fishing boats in Buxton NC. Back then, nobody was talking about sea levels rising because of global warming and yet it was obvious back then (early 1980s) that these sandy […]

Correcting 11 Washington Post’s Charts That Are Supposed to Tell How the Economy Changed Since Covid

by Dean Baker CEPR Not much of a surprise here the 11 Washington Post’s Charts need some explaining to correct the misinterpretation of them by WaPo. The issue here is the amount of bad or false information floating around in the news media today. People tend to believe what they initially read and go no […]

A detailed look at manufacturing, and an update on freight

 – by New Deal democrat As I wrote on Monday, the big question for this year is whether the recessionary effects of the Fed rate hikes have just been delayed. Or whether, because the rate hikes have stopped, so has the headwind they normally produce. Watching manufacturing and construction, especially housing construction, is what I expect […]

Repeat home sales price declined slightly in January; expect deceleration in the CPI measures of shelter to continue

 – by New Deal democrat As I noted again yesterday, house prices lag home sales, which in turn lag mortgage rates. Yesterday we got the final February reading on sales. This morning we got the final January read on prices, for repeat sales of existing homes. Last week’s report on existing home sales showed a […]

As mortgage rates remain rangebound, so do new home sales

 – by New Deal democrat Let’s begin this post by putting why I am watching new home sales in context. The economy was kept out of recession last year, despite aggressive Fed rate hikes, in large part by commodity price deflation, much or most of which was triggered by the un-kinking of supply chains after […]