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Housing starts, Apple repatriation

Starts were quite a bit lower than expected while permits held steady: From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions Housing Starts: Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,192,000. This is 8.2 percent below the revised November estimate of 1,299,000 and is 6.0 percent below ...Read More

Housing index, Industrial production, Redbook same store sales, Healthcare comments

Up more than expected this month, but last month revised down, inline with a recent pattern of reporting a better than expected number that subsequently gets revised down to where it no longer looks so good: The year end blip up, funded by out sized credit card advances, may have reversed: Highlights ...Read More

Bank lending review, $US, Dementia signs

I’m using monthly totals this week to take some of the ‘noise’ out of the weekly numbers surrounding year end: Pretty clear here there’s been almost no loan growth over the last year or so: The growth rate of real estate lending also shifted around election time: Consumer credit, however, expanded into ...Read More

Retail sales, $US

Highlights It was a very good holiday shopping season but perhaps not a great one. Retail sales rose a solid 0.4 percent in December which is just shy of Econoday’s consensus though November is revised 1 tenth higher to what is a standout gain of 0.9 percent. Core readings show similar strength ...Read More

Jobless claims, Producer prices, Savings rate chart

Yes, they have been made very hard to get, and now economists are getting concerned that they are moving higher: Highlights In what might be an early sign of loosening in the labor market, initial jobless claims rose 11,000 in the January 6 week to a higher-than-expected 261,000. The gain is widespread ...Read More

Consumer Credit, Small business index, JOLTS, Rig counts

Things are starting to add up better with this jump in consumer borrowing. With real disposable personal income growth near 0, and spending growing at just over 2.5% through November, it’s now looking like consumers ‘dipped into savings’ by running up their credit card balances which tends to be followed by reductions ...Read More

Bank loans and macro analysis

Bank lending began to decelerate after oil related capital spending collapsed late in 2014, and then collapsed further about the time of the presidential election: Note the consumer ‘dipping into savings’ some to sustain consumption via borrowing into year end as personal income flattened: Real disposable personal income flattened and consumer spending ...Read More

Employment, International trade

Weaker than expected, with the prior two months revised downward by a net 9,000 jobs. In any case employment growth continues its multi-year deceleration that began with the collapse of oil capex: Highlights Hiring cooled though employment levels are very high and there’s also a hint of wage inflation in December’s employment ...Read More

ADP, Light vehicle sales, Wolf quote

This is ADP’s forecast of tomorrow’s employment number. We’ll see tomorrow how well accurate they were: A bit higher than expected but down for 2017 vs 2016 (negative growth): Highlights Unit vehicle sales proved solid in December, at a 17.9 million annualized rate vs 17.5 million in November. Outside of October and ...Read More

Construction spending, Saudi Pricing, NY real estate

Prior month revised down, keeping the chart looking very weak for this ‘hard data’ release: Looks like the Saudis mean to keep a bit of upward pressure on prices. Perhaps to offset the weak $US, in which case the higher oil prices work to further weaken the $US: Saudis Seen Keeping Feb. ...Read More