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

Real personal income and spending both decline in May – but that’s OK

Real personal income and spending both decline in May – but that’s OK, as it was mainly expiration of stimulus; NBER likely to declare end of recession soon The last of the 4 monthly coincident markers for whether the economy is in recession vs. expansion was reported this morning for May. Let’s take a look. […]

May’s Personal Income Down 2.0%, Spending Unchanged

2 Months PCE Would Add 7.36 Percentage Points to Q2 GDP Angry Bear Commenter RJS and Marketwatch 666 blogger computes the impact of real PCE from this report on GDP and explains his math. The May report Personal Income and Outlays from the Bureau of Economic Analysis gives us nearly half the data that will go […]

Coronavirus dashboard for June 17: big progress since 1 year ago; big “Delta” challenge still ahead

Coronavirus dashboard for June 17: big progress since 1 year ago; big “Delta” challenge still ahead One year ago today, in my Coronavirus Dashboard for June 17, here was my graph of cases Which I described as: As shown in the graph above, [after Arizona at 214 per million population] the remaining “top 10” are all […]

May housing permits and starts continue down from recent peak

May housing permits and starts continue down from recent peak In May housing permits (blue in the graph below), including the least volatile single-family permits (red, right scale), continued to decline from their January peak. Meanwhile, the more volatile and slightly lagging housing starts (green) increased, but remained below their March peak: The level of […]

The decline in new jobless claims stalls, as the “delta” variant is ready to strike the unvaccinated States

The decline in new jobless claims stalls, as the “delta” variant is ready to strike the unvaccinated States New jobless claims continue to be the most important weekly economic data point, as increasing numbers of vaccinated people and outdoor activities have led to an abatement of the pandemic, with both new infections and deaths at […]

May Retail Sales Fell 1.3% After April Sales Were Revised 1.4% Higher

Commenter RJS and MarketWatch 666 blogger Seasonally adjusted retail sales fell 1.3% in May after retail sales for April were revised 1.4% higher . . . the Advance Retail Sales Report for May (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated that our seasonally adjusted retail and food services sales totaled $620.2 billion for the month, which was a […]

Why Are Infrastructure Costs So High In The US?

Why Are Infrastructure Costs So High In The US? Sorry, but anybody wanting some simple answer on this one, especially an ideologically neat one, sorry, there is not one, Indeed, on this important issue, there is a large problem, but not remotely a clear answer regarding why there is this large and important problem. For […]

Hook and Peg

Your money or your life. Highway robbery has been around since. On the high seas, was known as piracy. Been writ that pirates didn’t always even offer the choice. All made for generations of good bedtime reading for youth. And, for mock sword, and bow and arrow, fights. And, really bad movies. Thanks, Howard Pyle, […]

Industrial production on the verge of exceeding pre-pandemic level

Industrial production on the verge of exceeding pre-pandemic level Industrial production is the King of Coincident Indicators. It is the single datum that most frequently coincides with the NBER determination of the beginning and end of recessions. In May, total production increased +0.8%. Manufacturing production increased +0.9%. Both current readings are the highest since the […]

“An estimate of the impact of revisions to 1st Qtr GDP are here” . . . Commenter RJS

May Retail Sales Fell 1.3% After April Sales Were Revised 1.4% Higher Seasonally adjusted retail sales fell 1.3% in May after retail sales for April were revised 1.4% higher . . . the Advance Retail Sales Report for May (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated that our seasonally adjusted retail and food services sales totaled $620.2 billion […]