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Tag Archives: US EConomics

With the Fed already having begun to “stomp on the brakes,” inflation is still running very hot

With the Fed already having begun to “stomp on the brakes,” inflation is still running very hot As promised, here is my second post on the April CPI number. The YoY advance in consumer prices, +8.3%, is down from last month’s 8.6%, which was the highest 12 month rate since 1981. As I suggested last month, “the spike in gas prices may be – to use a recently dreaded word – transitory,” since gas prices had declined 5% month over month at the time...

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Real wages unchanged, real aggregate payrolls rose slightly in April

Real wages unchanged, real aggregate payrolls rose slightly in April Consumer inflation for April was +0.3%, the lowest monthly advance since last August. The number was helped by a big decline in energy prices, down -2.7% for the month, and also by used cars, down -0.4% for the month. In this post I’ll report on the impact on wages. I’ll put up a separate post with more general comments later. Since nominal nonsupervisory wages rose 0.4% in...

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Strong demand for loans, but accommodation ends

Q1 Senior Loan Officer Survey: strong demand for loans, but accommodation ends The Senior Loan Officer Survey for Q1 was published yesterday (May 10), generally covering the supply of, and demand for, bank credit. It has two components that qualify as long leading indicators for the economy, as they have typically turned about one year before the onset of a recession over their 30+ year history. First, the below graph is of the percentage of...

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A “Big Picture” look at housing

A “Big Picture” look at housing at Seeking Alpha; plus an in-depth look at existing home sales and inventory I have one of my periodic “Big Picture” looks at housing up over at Seeking Alpha. One economic relationship – whether sales lead inventory for existing homes as well as new ones – has been extremely difficult to nail down, since for the past number of years the NAR has only allowed FRED to post the last one year of its data.  Well,...

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The Passing Of Axel Leijonhufvud

The Passing Of Axel Leijonhufvud  On May 5, Swedish economist Axel Leijonhufvud died at age 88. I only met him once when he attended a seminar I gave in Trento, Italy a decade ago. I always admired his work and felt lots of sympathy with it, and I think he liked what I had to say at least in my seminar that day.  He was someone who stood outside of orthodoxy while not being clearly tied to any particular school of economic thought.  However, he...

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April jobs report: strong Establishment survey, very weak Household survey

April jobs report: strong Establishment survey, very weak Household survey (UPDATED)  I got a late start on this report today (May 6). I’ll add much more detail shortly, but for now, be advised in summary that while the establishment report was strong, with mainly positive internals, the household report was very weak, with some very weak, albeit mainly still positive, internals. To be continued . . .  ——-UPDATE:Just as one month ago, I was...

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New jobless claims: a possible reversal with a slight rising trend

Initial jobless claims rose 19,000 to 200,000, continuing above the recent 50+ year low of 166,000 set in March. The 4 week average also rose by 8,000 to 188,000, compared with the all-time low of 170,500 set four weeks ago. On the other hand, continuing claims declined -19,000 to 1,384,000, yet another new 50 year low (but still well above their 1968 all-time low of 988,000): The “job openings” component of the March JOLTS report...

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The impact of supply constraints on the US economy in 3 easy graphs

The impact of supply constraints on the US economy in 3 easy graphs The two most important purchases ever made by most consumers are (1) their houses, followed by (2) their motor vehicles. Indeed, according to Prof. Edward Leamer‘s forecasting model, ever since the end of World War 2 almost all American recessions have been preceded by, first of all, a decline in new home purchases about 6-7 quarters before, followed by a decline in the purchase...

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Construction Revisions Add 28 Basis Points to 1st Qtr GDP

RJS, MarketWatch 666 Summary: Construction Spending Rose 0.1% in March after Prior Months Were Revised Higher The Census Bureau’s report on construction spending for March (pdf) estimated that the month’s seasonally adjusted construction spending would work out to $1,730.5 billion annually if extrapolated over an entire year, which was 0.1 percent (±0.7%)* above the revised annualized February estimate of $1,728.6 billion, and 11.7 percent...

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The game of musical chairs in the jobs market intensifies to all-time highs

March JOLTS report: the game of musical chairs in the jobs market intensifies to all-time highs In March, as this morning’s Census Bureau JOLTS report shows, the game of musical job chairs in the jobs market has actually intensified to all-time levels. Specifically, both job openings and quits made all-time highs, and total separations during their entire 20 year history were only higher in March and April 2020. As a refresher, some months ago...

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