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

Weekly Indicators for May 17 – 21 at Seeking Alpha

 by New Deal democrat Weekly Indicators for May 17 – 21 at Seeking Alpha My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha. The theme of a supply-constrained economic Boom continues, with the addition this past week of the national average of gas prices going over $3 a gallon for the first time since 2014, probably […]

Big decline in new jobless claims continues, while decline in continuing claims has stalled

Big decline in new jobless claims continues, while decline in continuing claims has stalled New jobless claims continue to be the most important weekly economic datapoint, as increasing numbers of vaccinated people and outdoor activities have led to an abatement of the pandemic – both new infections and deaths are near their lowest points in […]

Further considerations on the disappointing April jobs report. Consider the averages!

Further considerations on the disappointing April jobs report. Consider the averages! I’ve been threatening for a couple of weeks to run some extended comments on the big miss in the April jobs report. As there’s no economic news of note today, here goes . . . . 1. It’s possible March was the outlier rather […]

Just Some More Interesting News

‘Cut the Bullsh*t‘ and Tax Rich People Like Us, Common Dreams, Kenny Stancil Monday is Tax Day in the United States this year and the Patriotic Millionaires—rich Americans who advocate for greater redistribution of wealth and power to working people in the U.S.—are using the occasion to launch “an offensive” against the “selfish billionaires, Wall […]

April housing permits and starts: a pullback from peak, but no recessionary signal UPDATED

April housing permits and starts: a pullback from peak, but no recessionary signal UPDATED The monthly statistics on housing permits and starts, reported this morning, were mixed, as permits increased slightly and starts declined: The less volatile single-family permits also declined slightly.

Grading the U.S. response to the pandemic

How should we grade our collective response to the covid pandemic?  What lessons should we draw for the future?  I believe that our response was poor.  To see why, just imagine where we would be today if effective vaccines had not been developed.  Our current strategy of moderate social distancing, intermittent partial lockdowns, and economic […]

New dashboard on the PRC Advisory Opinion on the change in service standards

Steve Hutkins from Save the Post Office. As you can see, postal service delivery would lengthen from a maximum of 3 – day delivery to 4 and 5-day delivery service for First Class mail and Periodicals. The impact of the changes in delivery would would slow approximately 20.7 billion pieces of First Class Mail, or […]

April retail sales “disappoint,” but maintain almost all of March’s surge

April retail sales “disappoint,” but maintain almost all of March’s surge [Note: I’ll comment on industrial production in a separate post later] At first glance, April’s retail sales report looks like another Big Miss. Nominally (blue) sales increased less than 0.1% (rounded to unchanged). Adjusted for inflation (red), they declined -0.7%: But the important point […]

April’s consumer and producer prices, etc.

April’s consumer and producer prices, retail sales, and industrial production; March business inventories and JOLTS, Commenter RJS, Market Watch 666 Retail Sales Unchanged in April after Big Revisions to Prior Months’ Sales Seasonally adjusted retail sales were statistically unchanged in April, after retail sales March were revised higher, while sales for February were revised much […]