Twin themes remain:

  • Weakening demand continues from Q2 2006
  • Price indexes continue higher as Saudis continue to hike prices and let quantity adjust
  • Markets are pricing in the end of Fed Funds cuts due to diminished systemic deflationary risk and escalating inflation readings.

    2008-04-25 Capacity Utilization, ISM Manufacturing

    Down, but not out.

    2008-04-25 ISM Non-Manufacturing, Empire Manufacturing Index

    Most surveys are still trending down but not in collapse.

    2008-04-25 Philly Fed Index Deliveries, Chicago PMI Deliveries, ISM Non-Manufacturing Deliveries, ISM Manufacturing Deliveries

    Actual deliveries still on the low side but exceeding expectations.

    2008-04-25 Retail Sales, Retail Sales ex. Autos, Total Vehicle Sales, Redbook Retail Sales

    Weak but could be worse. Looking more and more like an export economy.

    2008-04-25 Non-farm Payrolls, Average Hourly Earnings

    A weak first quarter for payrolls but above previous recession levels.

    2008-04-25 Total Hours Worked, Labor Participation Rate, Duration of Unemployment, Household Job Growth

    Weakness, but not all that bad yet, and jobless claims fell again last week.

    2008-04-25 Conf. Board of Business Conditions Good, Bad

    These kinds of surveys still looking very negative.

    2008-04-25 NAHB Housing Index, NAHB Present Sales Index, NAHB Future Sales Index, Conference Board Home Buying Intentions

    2008-04-25 Housing Affordability, Pending Home Sales

    Housing may have stopped subtracting from GDP as of Q2.

    2008-04-25 MBA Mortgage Applications, Quarterly OFHEO Home Prices, Monthly OFHEO Home Prices

    Applications may be turning up after a slow Q1. Some signs home prices are stabilizing as well.

    2008-04-25 Home Ownership, Rental Vacancy

    Low rental vacancies might support rent increases and the OER calculation in CPI.

    Low home ownership due to negative sentiment means pent up buying demand.

    2008-04-25 Corporate Debt, Household Debt, Consumer Credit, Mortgage Debt

    Households are recharging their debt batteries?

    2008-04-25 Fiscal Balance, Government Public Debt, Government Spending, Government Revenue

    Net Federal spending on the rise this year, with fiscal package kicking in next week.

    March government spending was down due to a timing issue – expect a strong increase in the June report.

    Revenues muddling through at better than recession levels.

    2008-04-25 CPI, Core CPI, PCE Price Index, Core PCE

    2008-04-25 PPI, Core PPI, Import Prices, Import Prices ex. Petro

    2008-04-25 Empire Prices Paid, Empire Prices Rcvd, Philly Fed Prices Paid, Philly Prices Rcvd

    2008-04-25 Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron & Steel Scrap Prices

    2008-04-25 Export Prices, U. of Mich 12 Month Inflation Expectations, CRB Index, Saudi Crude Production

    Inflation is ripping, and we will see next week if the Fed finally considers it the greater risk.

    Many in the mainstream have thought it the greater risk all along with only the threat of catastrophic systemic deflationary risk due to ‘market functioning’ possibly the greater risk.

    With the fear of catastrophic systemic risk fading and the Fed Funds rate below most inflation measures, markets have priced in a higher chance of the Fed not cutting the Fed Funds rate.

    Saudi production remains firm at current prices; so, I expect more hikes.

    2008-04-25 ABC Consumer Confidence, ABC Economic Component

    2008-04-25 U. of Michigan Confidence, U. of Michigan Conf. Current

    Confidence remains very low, as the realities of an export economy and reduced real terms of trade hurt the lower income groups disproportionately.

    2008-04-25 10Y Tips

    Tips are starting to discount higher real rates from the Fed.

    2008-04-25 Trade Weighted Dollar

    The dollar continues under pressure.

    Without the support of the CBs and Monetary authorities, it may continue lower until the US trade gap narrows substantially.