Personal income and consumption

Personal income, which includes gov transfer payments, is coming down in steps after spiking for the fiscal adjustments, and still remains a bit higher than it would have been as transfer payments wind down: Transfer payments are coming down, but remain elevated largely due to unemployment: Excluding transfer payments it’s still well short of where […]

Retail sales, Consumer Sentiment, Rails, Sea containers, Wholesale sales, Employment, Hours worked

Up a bit but still looking a lot lower than a few months ago: “Deep in contraction” Analyst Opinion of Container Movements Simply looking at this month versus last month – there were only marginal changes to weak numbers. The year-over-year rate of growth improved for imports and marginally worsened for exports. Still, year-to-date growth […]

A few comments on overnight news

The threshold may be high but there is one somewhere up there: Fed should be ‘very patient’ in cutting stimulus: Rosengren (Reuters) The high number of part-time workers who would rather work full-time, the still-high unemployment rate, and very low inflation suggest significant “slack” in labor markets and “call for a very patient approach to […]

The unconscious liberal

Macroeconomic Populism Returns By Paul Krugman February 1 (NYT) — Matthew Yglesias says what needs to be said about Argentina: theres no contradiction at all between saying that Argentina was right to follow heterodox policies in 2002, but it is wrong to be rejecting advice to curb deficits and control inflation now. I know some […]

Deficit maths redux- Faulty logic in 2014 GDP forecasts?

Pretty much all forecasters expect improvement in 2014 largely from what they call a reduction in fiscal drag. Their logic goes something like this (with the actual numbers varying a bit with different analysts): Without the deficit reduction in 2013 that subtracted 2% from growth, growth would have been 4%. Therefore, when the fiscal drag […]

Dallara Says Greek Euro Exit May Exceed 1 Trillion Euros

>    >    Apparently, MMT is a hard concept for the IIF to grasp. >    Yes! Incompetent disgrace. No reason an exit has to cost them anything in real terms. But because they believe otherwise they’ll work to keep Greece in. Dallara Says Greek Euro Exit May Exceed 1 Trillion Euros By Andrew Davis and Rebecca […]