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

Housing construction essentially stable in January

Housing construction essentially stable in January  – by New Deal democrat I’m on the road, so I need to keep this brief, but fortunately I can give you the essence of this most important housing report with little difficulty. Mortgage rates have declined about 1% from their peak during the autumn, and are about equal to […]

Report revisions changes the picture in the January Establishment Survey

Scenes from the January jobs report: revisions changed the picture in the Establishment Survey  – by New Deal democrat Last Friday’s jobs report contained a number of annual revisions which change what the trend line for the last year looks like. Particularly the extent to which there has been continued deceleration, or even a downturn, […]

Jobless claims: bar one week, the lowest number of layoffs in over half a century

Jobless claims: bar one week, the lowest number of layoffs in over half a century  – by New Deal democrat To reiterate my theme from last week, we’re back to the virtuous scenario where almost nobody is getting laid off. Initial jobless claims last week declined -16,000 to 187,000. Except for one week in September […]

December real retail sales: the good economic news keeps on coming

December real retail sales: the good economic news keeps on coming  – by New Deal democrat The good economic news kept coming with this morning’s retail sales report for December. Remember that this is one of my favorite indicators because, adjusted for population, it is a fairly good long leading indicator, and on a short […]

Sales lead employment: real aggregate payrolls update

Sales lead employment: real aggregate payrolls update  – by New Deal democrat The drought in new data ends tomorrow with consumer inflation. In preparation, let’s take a look at real aggregate payrolls. These increased 0.2% in December, one of the lower readings in the past 2 years: On a YoY basis, aggregate nonsupervisory payrolls increased […]