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

A “Big Picture” look at housing

A “Big Picture” look at housing at Seeking Alpha; plus an in-depth look at existing home sales and inventory I have one of my periodic “Big Picture” looks at housing up over at Seeking Alpha. One economic relationship – whether sales lead inventory for existing homes as well as new ones – has been extremely difficult […]

April jobs report: strong Establishment survey, very weak Household survey

April jobs report: strong Establishment survey, very weak Household survey (UPDATED)  I got a late start on this report today (May 6). I’ll add much more detail shortly, but for now, be advised in summary that while the establishment report was strong, with mainly positive internals, the household report was very weak, with some very […]

New jobless claims: a possible reversal with a slight rising trend

New jobless claims: a possible reversal with a slight rising trend Initial jobless claims rose 19,000 to 200,000, continuing above the recent 50+ year low of 166,000 set in March. The 4 week average also rose by 8,000 to 188,000, compared with the all-time low of 170,500 set four weeks ago. On the other hand, […]

The impact of supply constraints on the US economy in 3 easy graphs

The impact of supply constraints on the US economy in 3 easy graphs The two most important purchases ever made by most consumers are (1) their houses, followed by (2) their motor vehicles. Indeed, according to Prof. Edward Leamer‘s forecasting model, ever since the end of World War 2 almost all American recessions have been […]

Construction Revisions Add 28 Basis Points to 1st Qtr GDP

RJS, MarketWatch 666 Summary: Construction Spending Rose 0.1% in March after Prior Months Were Revised Higher The Census Bureau’s report on construction spending for March (pdf) estimated that the month’s seasonally adjusted construction spending would work out to $1,730.5 billion annually if extrapolated over an entire year, which was 0.1 percent (±0.7%)* above the revised annualized February […]

The game of musical chairs in the jobs market intensifies to all-time highs

March JOLTS report: the game of musical chairs in the jobs market intensifies to all-time highs In March, as this morning’s Census Bureau JOLTS report shows, the game of musical job chairs in the jobs market has actually intensified to all-time levels. Specifically, both job openings and quits made all-time highs, and total separations during […]

Manufacturing and construction start out the month with positive prints

Manufacturing and construction start out the month with positive prints As per usual, the new month starts with updates on manufacturing and construction. The ISM manufacturing index, and especially its new orders subindex, is an important short leading indicator for the production sector. This remained positive, but there has been a definite slowing in the […]

March New Home Sales Reported 8.6% Lower on Record Prices

RJS, MarketWatch 666 Summary: New Home Sales Reported 8.6% Lower on Record Prices in March, after Prior Months Sales Revised Much Higher The Census report on New Residential Sales for March (pdf) estimated that new single family homes were selling at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 763,000 homes during the month, which was 8.6 percent (±12.9 […]