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

Housing permits continue decline in June; more challenging YoY comparisons ahead

Housing permits continue decline in June; more challenging YoY comparison First, a brief comment about the NBER’s declaration yesterday that the COVID recession ended in April 2020. I am not surprised at all that they chose that date. It has been clear for a year that the trough in economic activity across the board was […]

The Vaccination/Infection/Political Divergence Where I Am

The Vaccination/Infection/Political Divergence Where I Am  In Virginia, cities and counties are separate, not one containing the other as in most of the US. So I live in the City of Harrisonburg, population about 53,000, which is surrounded by Rockingham County, population about 82,000, both in the Shenandoah Valley about 120 miles southwest of Washington. […]

June retail sales decline after taking inflation into account, but overall pandemic gains “stick”

June retail sales decline after taking inflation into account, but overall pandemic gains “stick” As usual, retail sales is one of my favorite indicators, because it gives us so much information about the consumer economy.  The news for June was mixed. Nominally retail sales were up +0.6% for the month. But after taking into account […]

Focus on Fracking

DUC well report for June, Focus on Fracking, RJS Monday of this past week saw the release of the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report for July, which includes the EIA’s June data for drilled but uncompleted (DUC) oil and gas wells in the 7 most productive shale regions….that data showed a decrease in uncompleted wells nationally for the 13th […]

“Our pamphleteer overlooks two things”

Socially Ambivalent Labour Time VI: TSV part 3, chapter 21: “Our pamphleteer overlooks two things” Although Marx discussed socially necessary labour time in chapters 4, 8, 9, 16, 17, and 20, he didn’t mention it in chapter 21 where he discussed the 1821 pamphlet, The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties by Charles Wentworth Dilke. Marx’s […]

Industrial production slightly positive overall, but with negative revisions

Industrial production slightly positive overall, but with negative revisions 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. Production increased 0.4% in June, but May’s result was reduced by -0.2%. The manufacturing component declined less than […]

June Producer Price Index for Final Demand and Intermediate Services

MarketWatch 666, R.J.S., June Producer Price Index Sets YoY Records for Final Demand and Intermediate Services; 46 year High for Prices of Intermediate Goods The seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand rose 1.0% in June, as prices for finished wholesale goods rose 1.2% while margins of final services providers rose 0.8%…that increase followed a […]