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

More Bad News in Manufacturing and Construction

“Manufacturing and construction start out the second half of 2022 with more bad news“  – by New Deal democrat Let’s take a look at the new month’s first data, on manufacturing and construction. The ISM manufacturing index, and especially its new orders subindex, is an important short leading indicator for the production sector. In June, […]

Income and Spending Decline, Savings Rate Increases

Real personal income and spending decline in May, while the saving rate increases (not good!) In May nominal personal income rose 0.5%, and spending rose 0.2%. But since the personal consumption deflator, i.e., the relevant measure of inflation, rose 0.6%, real income fell -0.1%, and real personal spending fell -0.4%. While both real income and spending […]

Initial claims continue weakening trend, not signaling recession this year

Initial claims continue weakening trend, but are not signaling recession this year Initial jobless claims declined -2,000 (from an upwardly revised 233,000), to 231,000 last week, vs. the 50+ year low of 166,000 set in March. The 4 week average rose further, by 7,250 to 231,750, compared with the all-time low of 170,500 twelve weeks […]

Two long leading indicators – real money supply and credit conditions – worsen

Two long leading indicators – real money supply and credit conditions – worsen  – by New Deal democrat ~~~~~~~ M1 and M2 money supply for May was reported yesterday by the Fed. The former was unchanged for the month, and the latter was up a tiny 0.1%: That is significant. Why? Because real money supply […]

A Comment on Housing, Inflation, and Fed Policy

A comment on housing, inflation, and Fed policy (and a side comment on spending) No big economic news today, and as usual little State reporting on COVID over the weekend, so let me make a couple of points. As an initial note, the big report I will be paying attention to this week is personal […]

Existing home sales: the freight train of price appreciation rolls on

Existing home sales: the freight train of price appreciation rolls on Although existing home sales are less economically important than new home sales, what has been happening with their prices, given the experience of the housing bubble and bust 15 years ago, is of added importance. The simple summary is that sales have declined substantially, […]

Coronavirus dashboard for June 19: documenting the transition from pandemic to endemic

Coronavirus dashboard for June 19: documenting the transition from pandemic to endemic ~~~~~~~ The COVID-19 pandemic is ever so gradually transforming into an endemic illness, the major risks of which still mainly fall on seniors. Here is the long-term view of cases (dotted line) and deaths (solid line) in the US: While cases are similar […]

Positive Production Points to Continued Economic Expansion in May

Positive production print points to continued economic expansion in May The usual suspects are out, claiming that a recession has either already started or is imminent. Well, the big reason I call industrial production the King of Coincident Indicators is because empirically is the one whose peaks and troughs coincide most definitively with NBER recession […]

Downturn in housing permits and starts in May

An across the board downturn for housing permits and starts in May Housing permits and starts declined across the board in May. In the past year there has been a unique divergence between permits and starts due to construction supply shortages.  This has been reflected in the number of housing units authorized but not started […]

Consumer prices rise 1% in May alone; owners’ equivalent rent at 30 year high

Consumer prices rise 1% in May alone; owners’ equivalent rent at 30 year high; expect the Fed to keep stomping on the brakes Today is a travel day for me, so I’ll keep this relatively brief. People who were hoping inflation would abate did not get the news they wanted from the May CPI. Consumer […]