Existing home sales, Architecture Billings, Commodity prices

You can see from the chart this is not any kind of ‘engine of growth’ at this point in time: Existing Home Sales Highlights Existing home sales rose more than expected in March, up 5.1 percent to a 5.330 million annualized rate that, however, fails to reverse a downwardly revised 7.3 percent ...Read More

Tech, Japan trade

3 out of top 4 stories not looking good: Global trade still in contraction and larger foreign surpluses most often imply larger US deficits: Japan Trade Surplus Largest in Over 5 Years Japan recorded a 754.9 JPY billion surplus in March of 2016, widening sharply from a 223.47 JPY billion surplus a ...Read More

Housing starts, Redbook retail sales

Starts and permits down and below expectations. I see this as removing any hope of any kind of sustainable growth. The traditional sources of private sector credit expansion- housing, vehicles, and general investment are continuing to decelerate when acceleration is needed just to replace the capital expenditures that were being generated by ...Read More

Hiring index, Saudi pricing, business economy survey

U.S. business conditions strongest since 2014 (Reuters) U.S. business conditions are the strongest since the summer of 2014 as sentiment has recovered from a weak start to the year, signaling companies’ willingness to make capital expenditures, Morgan Stanley economists said. The bank’s business conditions index rose 3 points to 68 in April, ...Read More

Saudi policy, Consumer sentiment

Confirms what had to be the case as a simple point of logic. Saudis set price and let quantity adjust: Saudi Arabia is producing below its potential capacity because it only responds to demand, the prince said. “If we produced more oil than there is demand, we would destroy many markets. So ...Read More

Industrial production, Euro zone trade, China debt, Empire survey

Serious setback, worse than expected and last month revised down as well. Look for more Q1 GDP reductions: Industrial Production From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization Industrial production decreased 0.6 percent in March for a second month in a row. For the first quarter as a whole, industrial production fell ...Read More

Jobless Claims, Mtg Purchase index, Railcars, CPI, China

Lowest leve of new jobless claims ever on a per capita basis. Yet U6 unemployment remains near the highs of the prior recession. Leads me to suspect the reason for the low claims is they’ve become a lot harder to get, shutting off an automatic fiscal stabilizer, as previously discussed: Nothing exciting ...Read More

Mtg purchase apps, Retail sales, Business inventories, Atlanta Fed

A bit of an increase after a dip, but still low and still depressed, as per the chart. And spikes up like this have most often subsequently reversed: MBA Mortgage Applications Highlights Driven by falling interest rates, mortgage application activity was brisk in the April 8 week both for home purchases, up ...Read More

NFIB small business optimism, Redbook retail sales, Import/export prices

When this we going up a bit it made headlines. Now when it’s flashing recession it doesn’t: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index Highlights Small business owners remain pessimistic, with the small business optimism index dipping another 0.3 points in March to 92.6, surpassing February’s two year low and remaining well below the ...Read More

pension funds, debt issuance, bank loans, earnings

Contributions reduce aggregate demand: US faces ‘disastrous’ $3.4tn pension funding hole (FT) — The US public pension system has developed a $3.4tn funding hole. The collective funding shortfall of US public pension funds is three times larger than official figures showed. Joshua Rauh, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, who carried ...Read More