While the actual numbers don’t look bad…


The surveys look ominous.

2008-03-01 Retail Sales

And retail hit a soft spot at year end.

2008-03-01 Initial & Continuing Claims

Employment data not a recession levels but weaker nonetheless.

2008-03-01 Housing Starts, Housing Affordability

2008-03-01 NAHB

2008-03-01 OFHEO Home Prices

Housing subtracted 1.25% for Q4, but some signs that while weak, it won’t be nearly as negative for GDP going forward.

2008-03-01 Trading Balance

Exports (non-residents reducing their accumulation of $US financial assets) are doing their thing and supporting GDP.

2008-03-01 Government Spending, Government Revenue

Government spending making a comeback and revenues not near recession levels yet.

2008-03-01 CPI, PCE

2008-03-01 PPI, Import Prices

2008-03-01 Export Prices, CRB Index

2008-03-01 ISM, Chicago PMI

2008-03-01 Metals

2008-03-01 Traded Weighted Dollar

These charts say it all about prices.

2008-03-01 Unit Labor Costs, Employment Cost Index

These look okay. Some FOMC members are waiting for them to turn up before they are convinced we have an inflation problem. Others think it will be too late when that happens.

2008-03-01 ABC

And confidence is at an all time low.

Not the least because higher prices are making it tougher for households to make ends meet.

Might that be an inflation problem???