Author Archive

Housing starts, Industrial production

As previously discussed, the spike in multi family reported in Jan has reversed in Feb: Highlights Home sales turned lower in January as did housing starts and permits in February, and noticeably so. Housing starts fell 7.0 percent in the month to a much lower-than-expected annualized rate of 1.236 million while building ...Read More

Inventory to sales ratio, New economic adviser, Tax refunds

Still elevated: Didn’t take him long to sell out: Federal tax refunds have caught up which may have slowed spending in Feb: ...Read More

Retail Sales, Fed Atlanta

Worse than expected and now down for the last three months, not adjusted for inflation. And all in line with the narrative about personal income going flat and the falling savings rate: Highlights The big tax cut isn’t being passed to the nation’s retailers. Retail sales once again missed expectations badly, at ...Read More

Real earnings, Saudi output and pricing

Real Earnings News Release All employees Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from January to February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.1-percent increase in average hourly earnings offset by a 0.2-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All ...Read More

Bank loans, Cell phone sales

Actually dropped a bit last week: ...Read More


Nice surprise on the upside, though there’s discussion it’s weather-related, as highlighted below. The growth rate moved up some as per the chart shows, but remains in a multi-year downtrend, with the low growth in hourly earnings an indication that demand remains very weak; Highlights There’s still no wage inflation underway but ...Read More

Trade with China, Bank loans, Chain store sales

Killing the goose that’s laying the golden eggs: Trump says China has been asked for plan to cut trade imbalance with U.S. Mar 7 (Reuters) — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that China has been asked to develop a plan to reduce its trade surplus with the United States. Trump ...Read More

Factory orders, Trade, Consumer credit, Fed beige book, Las Vegas real estate sales

Highlights Today’s factory orders report, down 1.4 percent at the headline level but showing life underneath, closes the book on what was a mixed to soft month of January for manufacturing. Aircraft has been a bright spot for the factory sector and mitigates what is a 28 percent downswing in January. Excluding ...Read More

Light vehicle sales, Trump tariffs

Blaming interest rates for a decline that started about two years ago: U.S. Car Sales Fall as Credit Terms, Higher Payments Squeeze Buyers (WSJ) Overall U.S. vehicle sales dropped 2.4% in February, to 1.3 million, according to Autodata Corp. J.D. Power estimates incentive spending in February—averaging $3,850 per vehicle—was down slightly from ...Read More

Personal income and expenditures, Construction spending

About as expected, with a relatively small increase from the tax cuts, which are a one time event. And the weakness in consumption hints at those receiving the cuts having a low propensity to spend. Also, the still too low personal savings rate suggests continuing weakness: Highlights Core inflation did noticeably rise ...Read More