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Posted in Uncategorized |

more seriously worrisome releases today

Chicago PMI
New Home Sales

Pending Home Sales Index

Personal Income and Outlays

Jobless Claims


Durable Goods Orders

The headline number for durables looked good for October but the core number notably disappointed.

Durables orders rebounded 0.4 percent in October after September’s decline of 0.9 percent. Market expectations were for a 0.5 percent decline.

The core fell 0.9 percent in October after a rise 0.2 percent the month before. Analysts projected a 0.5 percent gain for October. Transportation increased a monthly 3.4 percent after falling a monthly 3.3 percent in September.

MBA Purchase Applications
Data that are weekly are often subject to volatility, wild volatility in the case of the purchase index over the last two weeks which fell 10.0 percent in the November 21 week after surging 12.0 percent in the prior week. The trend, based on the 4-week average, is again clearly negative, at minus 10.0 percent year-on-year.

Consumer Sentiment




Posted in Economic Releases, Employment, GDP |

euro update, q3 gdp update

Seems trade flows and ‘inflation’ continue make the euro fundamentally stronger even as portfolios shifting due to ECB rhetoric keep it under pressure. Should the shifting run its course, I would not be surprised dramatic appreciation.



New figures released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Tuesday show that mortgage lending is running at its lowest level in 13 years, with 2014 on pace to be the weakest for new loans since 2000.

Q3 GDP revised up a bit, year over year still low and down a bit, profits low and down a bit, and there is growing evidence the suspect sources of growth- govt and exports and inventories- that added about 2% are reversing:


Corporate Profits




Consumer Confidence


Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index

Posted in Currencies, EU, GDP |

Credit check, CBO suggestions

Nothing happening on the credit expansion side of consequence that I can detect:







Seems the CBO should stick to simple reporting:

CBO Presents Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2015 to 2024

from the Congressional Budget Office

The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it confronts the prospect of large annual budget deficits and further increases in the already-large government debt that are projected to occur in coming decades under current law. To help inform lawmakers about the budgetary implications of changing federal policies, CBO periodically issues volumes of policy options and their effects on the federal budget, of which this is the most recent. The agency also issues separate reports that present policy options in particular areas.

Posted in Credit, Government Spending |

The week so far

First, thanks to all for contributing to the record $41 million raised this year for Dana Farber by the PMC!!!

This all directly funds the discretionary research that makes Dana Farber what they are- the best!

If you are looking for good news on the economy don’t read the rest…

Industrial Production



The builders may be a bit more optimistic than before, and there are fewer of them, but housing starts and sales remain weak a about half the usual rate for this point in the cycle,
and a higher % are the smaller/cheaper multifamily units:

Housing Market Index

Housing Starts


The architectural index slowed some and remains at relative weak levels:

And mtg purchase apps were up some due to seasonal adjustments but remain down 6% year over year:


Again, seems nothing is growing faster this year vs last year, which as a point of logic means overall growth is less than last year.

And reports of capital spending cuts on energy related investments continue to be reported, while money saved by consumers at the pump is not yet
translating into spending elsewhere.

Exports remain under pressure as well, including reports of containers for export at Long Beach way down, etc.

Q3 GDP had two ‘suspect’ prints that added 2% to Q3’s 3.5% GDP print- an outsized export increase and an outsized govt spending increase, both of which historically ‘mean revert’ with the subsequent report. So excluding those two, Q3 would have only grown by 1.5%, and Q4, if anything, is so far slowing some since Q3. So if the two suspect releases do revert, Q4 could easily be negative.

Posted in Economic Releases, GDP, Housing |

Small bus optimism index, wholesale inventories and trade

Going nowhere as it struggles to maintain what were the recession lows of prior cycles:


Wholesale Trade
Wholesale inventories, up 0.3 percent in September, held steady relative to sales at only a slightly elevated level. Wholesale sales rose only 0.2 percent in the month, keeping the stock-to-sales ratio in the sector unchanged at 1.19, a reading that is at the high end of recent trend.

Wholesale auto inventories, which rose heavily relative to sales in August, fell back slightly, to a ratio of 1.58 from 1.59. Unit vehicle sales, released last week by manufacturers, firmed slightly in September which suggests that wholesale auto inventories may be a little on the light side right now which is good news for manufacturers.

Apparel wholesale inventories also lightened up as did hardware inventories. But there are sectors showing unwanted builds including computers, machinery, drugs, and paper products.

Data released last week in the factory orders report showed no unwanted inventory pressures for manufacturers in September. The missing piece for September inventories, retail inventories, will be released Friday with the business inventories report. Lean levels of inventories may be a negative for GDP calculations but are a plus for the production and employment outlooks.

Posted in Trade |

Euclid Advance retail

Euclid asserts that its metrics illustrate a cautious outlook for industry revenues, and estimates sales growth in the following retail verticals of:

  • 5.7% decline year-over-year in general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other (GAFO) retail sales
  • 0.9% growth year-over-year in clothing and apparel sales
  • 2.7% decline year-over-year in general merchandise sales
Posted in Uncategorized |

mortgage purchase apps

Up 1% for the week, but down 11% vs same week last year.

Back to where we were some 20 years ago when the economy was bad and the population was a whole lot lower…

MBA Purchase Applications
Low mortgage rates have yet to give much of a lift to purchase applications for home mortgages. The purchase index rose only 1.0 percent in the November 7 week and is down 11 percent from a year ago. The year-on-year rate is little changed from September when rates started to move lower. The refinancing index did move higher earlier but has been in retreat in recent weeks, down a sharp 11.0 percent from the prior week. The average rate for 30-year conforming mortgages ($417,000 or less) rose 2 basis points in the week to 4.19 percent.


Posted in Housing |

State and local govt charts

The bulk of the boost is coming from state and municipal governments. After tightening their budgets for three years following the end of the recession, they began stepping up spending in 2013 and continued to do so this year

Except state taxes are growing faster, a headwind for the private sector.

But income taxes down- not sure why.


Not sure what this is about either:


Total tax collections still rising:



Up some but still historically low:


Very minor increases here:



Overall the states are still running deficits and are motivated eliminate them:


Posted in Deficit, Government Spending |

My Tuesday New School presentation has been postponed until May

Posted in Uncategorized |

Obama- small govt conservative champion!

Also interesting: For the first time since 2008, the public sector will add jobs in 2014.  State and local governments started adding a few jobs last year, but austerity has been ongoing at the Federal level.  According to the WSJ The Federal Government Now Employs the Fewest People Since 1966

Not since July 1966 has the federal government’s workforce been so small. … But that’s only the raw numbers! As a share of the total workforce … data going back to 1939 would show no point where the federal government’s share of employment was so low.

In the last 75 years (when the BLS started tracking the data), the public sector (non-military) shed jobs in 12 years. Three of those years were at the end of WWII, two in the early ’80s, and the last five consecutive years (unprecedented streak since the Great Depression).

Posted in Uncategorized |