Roreign direct investment, Construction spending, Durable goods orders, New home sales

Gone negative year over year adjusted for inflation: This series looks to me like it’s flattened and adjusted for inflation remains well below 2008 highs, and hasn’t fully recovered from the collapse of oil capex at the end of 2014: New home sales appear to have rolled over at very low levels. ...Read More

Small business index, BOJ on trade, China, Atlanta Fed

Trumped up expectations largely reversed: Highlights At 101.7, the small business optimism index fell short of expectations in February, recovering only 5 tenths of January’s 3.2 point dip. Econoday’s consensus was looking for 102.5 with the low estimate at 101.8. Employment plans lost ground for a second straight month with a turn ...Read More

Retail sales, Non financial corporate and federal debt

A bit of an uptic from a very low number, with last month’s data revised still lower and the outlook still looking very soft: Highlights For retail sales, no period has more seasonal extremes than the busy days of December vs the quiet days of January. This and weather make adjustment difficult ...Read More

Employment, Housing starts, Euro slowdow, China fiscal, Semiconductor market

It will take another few months to know if this is just ‘noise’ or it’s about to go negative. If you average the last two months, for example, it’s about 165,000 each: Highlights Averaging extremes is good advice to find an underlying path and February and January payrolls are an immediate example. ...Read More

Trade

Downward revisions for q4 GDP. And not how both imports and exports are down for the last 6 months or so as global trade decelerates: Highlights Revision estimates for fourth-quarter GDP will be coming down following an unexpectedly deep $59.8 billion trade deficit in December. Not helping the quarterly deficit are downward ...Read More

Construction spending, Auto sales, Personal income and spending, Trump on the $

Bad. All sectors decelerating and residential looking down year over year: U.S. auto sales tumbled 2.8 percent in February (Detroit News) Overall sales for the month tumbled 2.8 percent from the same month a year ago, according to Edmunds.com. Sales came in at 1.26 million for an annualized industry sales rate slowed ...Read More

MMT on CNBC, Oil sale, Growth forecast

Well done Professor Kelton! Stephanie Kelton explains Modern Monetary Theory This is particularly ridiculous: U.S. offers up to 6 million barrels of oil from emergency reserve (Reuters) The U.S. Energy Department said on Thursday it is offering up to six million barrels of sweet crude oil from the national emergency reserve in ...Read More

Trade, Factory Orders, Pending home sales

Can’t be making Tariff Man happy: Highlights The effects of cross-border trade actions have been difficult to pinpoint in the national economic data but outlines may be appearing in goods trade. The nation’s goods deficit swelled to a much larger-than-expected $79.5 billion in December as exports fell 2.8 percent in the month ...Read More

Car sales, HK, China default, capex, EU business lending, EU sentiment, Credit card data

Chinese state company defaults offshore, first time in 20 years (FT) A Chinese state-owned enterprise from the country’s remote north-west has failed to repay a US dollar bond in Hong Kong, the first offshore default in 20 years and the latest sign investors can no longer rely on Chinese authorities to bail ...Read More

MMT in the headlines, Housing starts

The notion behind what is called “Modern Monetary Theory,” or MMT, is that as long as the Fed can keep interest rates low without sparking inflation, the national debt and budget deficit won’t be an issue. MMT has been espoused by politicians including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. ...Read More