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

May new manufacturing orders slide, truck sales rise, construction spending close to unchanged

 – by New Deal democrat As usual, the month starts out with important data on manufacturing and construction. The news was mixed this month and weighted more to the downside in my opinion. First, the ISM report on manufacturing declined again slightly to 48.7. This is the second month in a row that this index […]

April personal income and spending: a flat report consistent with either a temporary pause or weakness ahead

 – by New Deal democrat Personal income and spending have become one of the two most important monthly reports I follow. This is in large part because the big question this year is whether the contractionary effects of Fed tightening have just been delayed until this year, or whether the fact that there have been […]

Slight increasing trend in initial jobless claims, but continuing claims continue slightly lower

 – by New Deal democrat Initial jobless claims rose 3,000 last week to 219,000. More importantly, the 4 week moving average rose another 2,500 to 222,500, the highest level in 9 months. With the usual one week lag, continuing claims rose 4,000 to 1.791 million: On the one hand, it does appear that claims have been […]

Repeat home sales indexes renew favorable YoY comparisons, suggest slow deceleration in shelter CPI to continue

 – by New Deal democrat The FHFA and Case Shiller repeat sales indexes are the last home sales and price data for the month. Two months ago I wrote that “for the next seven months the comparisons will be against an average 0.7% increase per month in 2023. Because house price indexes have shown a […]

Real disposable personal income per capita is also hoisting a yellow caution flag

 – by New Deal democrat To reiterate my Big Picture theme for this year, now that the supply chain tailwind has ended, will the effects of the 2022-23 Fed rate hikes drag the economy down towards recession at last, or will there be a “soft landing” (or no landing at all) instead, because interest rates […]

After a two-week excursion, initial claims fall back into range; the “quick and dirty” forecast model stays positive

 – by New Deal democrat Initial claims declined -8,000 last week to 215,000, well within its recent nine month range, after a two week elevated excursion. The four week moving average, reflecting that excursion, increased to a nine month high of 219,750. Continuing claims, with the usual one week delay, rose 8,000 to 1.794 million, […]

Real retail sales back to negative YoY

 – by New Deal democrat The Bonddad Blog Here is today’s update on one of my favorite indicators: retail sales. In April they were unchanged on a nominal basis. Adjusted for inflation they declined -0.3% for the month. They are also down -6.2% from their 2021 peak and -2.9% since January 2023: On a YoY basis, they […]

The snooze-a-than in jobless claims continues; what I am looking for in tomorrow’s jobs report

 – by New Deal democrat  The snooze-a-thon in jobless claims continues, as both initial and continuing claims are well-behaved within the narrow range where they have been generally for the past six months. Initial claims were unchanged least week at 208,000, while the four week moving average declilned -3,500 to 210,00. With the usual one […]