Author Archive

Small business optimism index, record budget surplus, commodities

Not good: This is the automatic fiscal stabilizers doing their thing to slow things down during a recovery, and they keep increasing the pressure until growth goes negative. Additionally, with some $30 trillion of public debt, an 8% increase in prices means the value of the public debt- the net money supply ...Read More


My take is we’ve had a one time upward adjustment in prices due to increased costs from Covid-related supply issues, along with supply side disruptions from the Trump/Biden tariffs. Prices seem to have begun to level off and go sideways, which would mean CPI increases returning to the lower, pre-Covid monthly increases: ...Read More

Employment, China

Employment generates income and spending. The gap vs the pre-covid path is closing at an ever slowing rate. And the cost of living is rising faster than wages, which exacts a toll as well. These are inflation-adjusted: This came out last week: ...Read More

Personal income and spending

This series keeps drifting lower as personal income isn’t keeping up with price increases: And the economy itself isn’t growing real personal income the way it did pre-covid: Likewise, personal consumption is sluggish: People are saving less and less every month: ...Read More

GDP, jobless claims

Typical post war recession type of outcome, as previously discussed:   One reason for the low unemployment in the US is that for a lot of people you need a job to get health insurance:   Reported inflation will fall rapidly unless energy prices increase from current levels, which is likely ...Read More

Consumer sentiment, real retail sales, industrial production, wages

A bit of an uptick but still trending lower: Sales going sideways on an inflation adjusted basis: This sector seems to be doing ok: Not keeping up with inflation so probably not causing it: Lowest income earners (no college) have been catching up some, but also lagging inflation: ...Read More

New manufacturers orders, vehicle sales, unemployment claims, rents, oil prices

This component is going nowhere: Still trying to catch up from the oil capex collapse of 2016 and covid collapse: Not good: This is an all time low as people scramble to get extra jobs to deal with higher prices, like paying rent, for example: Oil prices taking a breather with the ...Read More

Saudi price hike, private payrolls, new hires, corporate profits

This could easily drive oil up past $200/barrel and trigger a serious recession. This survey/forecast is higher than precovid. The full employment report comes out Friday: Gross new hires have been trending lower: Corporate profits jumped after the covid dip and have recently flattened: ...Read More

Pending home sales, Durable goods orders, oil rigs and production

Recovered to trend but only because this chart isn’t adjusted for inflation: Nor does the narrative that consumers have gone crazy buying goods seem to be holding up: Not a lot of growth here: ...Read More

Retail sales, Consumer sentiment, NY manufacturing survey

Gone flat post covid, adjusted for inflation: The post covid slump continues, and now there are war disruptions: US Consumer Sentiment Lowest since 2011 The University of Michigan consumer sentiment for the US fell to 59.7 in March of 2022 from 62.8 in February, below market forecasts of 61.4, preliminary estimates showed. ...Read More