Author Archive

Existing home sales, Oil rig count

Now down year over year, and in line with the deceleration in bank mortgage lending: Highlights Existing home sales posted their first gain in four months, rising 0.7 percent in September to a 5.390 million annualized rate that is near Econoday’s top forecast. Hurricane effects are hard to gauge with the National ...Read More

Fed surveys

These surveys are the ‘soft data’ that’s looking good. They all gapped higher around election time and have remained elevated. In fact it looks like there’s already been a recession followed by a recovery: Unfortunately the ‘hard data’ isn’t looking so good: ...Read More

Housing starts, Spending, Trump comments, Car comment

Continuing evidence that the slowdown in bank lending is reflecting slowdowns in the macro economy: Highlights Single-family permits continue to rise in what, however, is the main positive in an otherwise weaker-than-expected housing starts and permits report. Looking first at headline totals, starts fell 4.7 percent in September to a 1.127 million ...Read More

JOLTS, IBD survey, Trump comments

I read this as weakening demand and employers unwilling to pay up to hire, and maybe even posting openings to replace existing workers at lower wages: Highlights Job openings held steady at a very abundant 6.082 million in August while hirings remained far behind, at 5.430 million. In an early indication of ...Read More

Small business survey, Commercial construction index, Buybacks comments

Trumped up expectations continue to unwind, though still above pre election levels, and note the details: Highlights The small business optimism fell 2.3 points in September to 103.0, led by a sharp drop in sales expectations, not only in states affected by hurricanes in Texas and Florida, but across the country. The ...Read More

Credit check

Appears to be leveling off at much lower rates of growth than last year, as reflected by weaker than expected data releases and revisions: ...Read More

Employment, Consumer credit, Social security comment, Corporate debt, Party affiliation

Year over year growth has been decelerating for all practical purposes in a straight line, as per the chart. And the downward revisions in prior months are further evidence of the weakness which began with the collapse in oil capex at the end of 2014. And wage growth increased at least partially ...Read More

Factory orders, Corp spending, Equity comment

You can see from the longer term charts not much to write home about here: Highlights Increasing strength in capital goods is the good news in today’s factory orders report where a headline 1.2 percent gain is 2 tenths above Econoday’s consensus. The split between the report’s two main components shows a ...Read More

Vehicle sales, Trump comments, Greek comments

Nice spike after the hurricane lull: Highlights In the strongest monthly sales performance in 12 years, unit vehicle sales shot up to a hurricane-fueled 18.6 million annualized rate in September vs a hurricane-depressed 16.1 million rate in August. September’s rate points squarely at replacement demand following Hurricane Harvey’s flooding of Houston just ...Read More

Trade, Jobless claims, Kelton NYT op ed

Late in 2014, when oil prices collapsed along with oil capital expenditures, it was widely proclaimed to be an unambiguous positive for the US economy. This included a forecast for a lower trade deficit due to lower oil prices. However, I suggested that, to the contrary, the trade gap might, if anything, ...Read More