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

Positive real retail sales in August, but YoY flatness continues

Positive real retail sales in August, but YoY flatness continues  – by New Deal democrat Retail sales, probably my favorite monthly economic datapoint, increased 0.3% in August. Since consumer prices rose 0.1%, real retail sales rose 0.2%: That’s certainly good news. Now here’s the bad news: July’s retail sales were revised downward by -0.4%, so […]

Improvement in initial jobless claims continues

I have been following New Deal democrat for a long time now. What NDd is reporting in this post is a big deal going into November’s Elections. In spite of all the negativism being reported by political interests, the economy is still moving forward. People are still working. I keep having to remind people about […]

PPI, without the lagging phantom of Owners Equivalent Rent, declines in August, decelerates YoY

PPI, without the lagging phantom of Owners Equivalent Rent, declines in August, decelerates YoY  – by New Deal democrat What a difference it makes that PPI does not have a concept like “owners equivalent rent!” Overall PPI declined by -0.1%, following a -0.4% reading in July, together the two lowest readings since the pandemic lockdown […]

Housing: permits and average starts decline, while construction remains at peak

Housing: permits and average starts decline, while construction remains at peak The data on housing construction this month was mixed. While starts rose, their 3 month average, at 1.511 million annualized, was the lowest since September through November 2020. Meanwhile total and single family permits both declined, both to the lowest since June 2020: This […]

Previewing CPI

Previewing CPI No economic news today. Tomorrow the August CPI will be reported. Recall that in July there was no inflation whatsoever. In August last year prices increased 0.3%, so any number lower than that will lower YoY CPI from its July level of 8.5% (June’s 9.0% YoY inflation having been the peak). The big […]

Another week of good news on jobless claims

Another week of good news on jobless claims  – by New Deal democrat Initial jobless claims had been in an almost relentless uptrend from the end of March through early August. Since then, they have completely reversed. This week initial claims declined another -6,000 to 222,000, and the 4 week average declined -7,500 to 233,000. […]

Small Ag Has the Same Issues as Big Ag: Age and Fresh Blood

The average age of the American farmer has been stuck at 57.5 since 2017 and hasn’t seemed to budged into 2021 despite an explosion of new farmer operators choosing to quit their pandemic day jobs and head for the fields to participate in small plot farming and local market vending. Generationally, the unfortunate circumstance with […]

China and the Debt Crisis

by Joseph Joyce China and the Debt Crisis Sri Lanka is not the first developing economy to default on its foreign debt, and certainly won’t be the last. The Economist has identified 53 countries as most vulnerable to a combination of “heavy debt burdens, slowing global growth and tightening financial conditions.” The response of China to what will be […]