Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting
19 марта, 20:38

No. 941: February Industrial Production and Housing Starts

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(SGS Subscription required) • Subject to Likely, Downside Annual Benchmark Revisions this Coming Friday, February Industrial Production Jumped by 1.1% (0.9% Net of Revisions), Reflecting Strength in Manufacturing and Mining • Given a Record 122 Months of Non-Expansion, Manufacturing Still Holds Shy of Its Pre-Recession Peak by 3.7% (-3.7%) • Manufacturing Gains Likely Reflected Some Inventory Rebuilding Against Weakening Sales, As Disaster-Recovery Bloat Passes from the System • Continuing in Nonsensical Monthly Booms and Busts, February Housing Starts Activity Fell by 7.0% (-7.0%), Still Shy by 45.6% (-45.6%) of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak • First-Quarter 2018 GDP Outlook Continued to Weaken • Nonetheless, the FOMC Appears Set for a Rate Hike on Wednesday

15 марта, 23:48

No. 940: February Retail Sales, Real Income, CPI, PPI and the Financial Markets

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(SGS Subscription required) • As a Weakening Economy Threatens Fed Policy, Watch the Dollar! • Headline Retail Sales Helped Put the Lie to the Happy Jobs Report; Recession Signal Remained Heavily in Place • February Real Retail Sales Declined Month-to-Month by 0.22% (-0.22%), but the Monthly Decline was 0.48% (-0.48%), Net of Seasonal-Factor Reporting Inconsistencies • With Three Consecutive Monthly Contractions in Place Real Sales Are on Solid Course for a First-Quarter Contraction, Increasingly, So Is the GDP • Real Average Weekly Earnings on Track for Third-Consecutive Quarterly Decline, the Fifth Headline Quarter-to-Quarter Decline in the Last Six Quarters • A Leading Indicator to Broad Economic Activity, February Real Annual Growth in Money Supply M3 Slowed to a Five-Month Low • Unadjusted Annual CPI-U Inflation Rose to 2.21% in February, from 2.07% in January, Annual PPI Inflation Rose to 2.77% from 2.69%, Well Shy of Common Experience, Still Dominated by Irregular Volatility in Adjusted, Monthly Gasoline Prices • Fed's Targeted 2.0% "Core" Inflation Held Range-Bound at 1.8% for the 11th Month

10 марта, 04:48

No. 939: February Employment and Unemployment, Private Surveying, M3, January Trade Deficit

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(SGS Subscription required) • Worst-Ever Real Merchandise Trade Deficit Looms, Pushing Trade Policy and Dollar Concerns to the Fore • Unstable Numbers Were Inconsistent with Related Economic Data, In an Otherwise Not Credible Employment and Unemployment Report • Non-Comparable, Shifting Seasonal Adjustments Bloated Payroll Growth • Payroll Jobs Jumped by 313,000, While the Count of the Household Survey Employed Jumped by 785,000, Yet the Number of Unemployed Rose, Too? • February 2018 Unemployment Rates Changed Minimally Month-to-Month: U.3 Eased to 4.14% versus 4.15%, U.6 Rose to 8.24% from 8.19%, and the ShadowStats-Alternate Held at 21.8% • Private Surveying of February Labor Conditions Showed Monthly Contractions, Annual Growth but No Economic Expansion • Fed Policy to be Pressured by a Faltering Economy and Dollar Issues • February Money Supply M1, M2 and M3 and the Monetary Base Slowed Sharply

02 марта, 01:00

No. 938: Revised Fourth-Quarter 2017 GDP, January 2018 Construction Spending

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(SGS Subscription required) • Headline Fourth-Quarter GDP Revision from 2.6% to 2.5% Was Just a 0.01% Rounding Difference, from 2.55% to 2.54% • Fortuitously, a Sharp Downside Revision to the Goods Sector Was Just Offset by Revised Gains in the Structures and Nebulous Services Sectors • First-Quarter 2018 GDP Increasingly Looks Like a Contraction • Better-Quality Economic Measures Still Show No Economic Expansion • Boosted by Public Spending, January Real Construction Spending Still Dropped 0.2% (-0.2%) Month-to-Month, 0.2% (-0.2%) Year-to-Year, Holding Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 21.0% (-21.0%) • Faltering Annual Real Growth in Construction Spending Continued in a Pattern Last Seen Leading into the 2007 Recession

28 февраля, 00:45

No. 937: January Durable Goods Orders, New- and Existing-Home Sales, Trade, Freight Index

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(SGS Subscription required) • First-Quarter 2018 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit on Early Track for Worst Shortfall in Modern Reporting • January 2018 New Orders for Durable Goods Tumbled Month-to-Month, Both Before and After Considering Inflation and Commercial Aircraft Orders • New- and Existing-Home Sales Declined Month-to-Month and Year-to-Year, Holding Shy of Pre-Recession Peaks by 57.3% (-57.3%) and 26.0% (-26.0%) • Freight Index Jumped Sharply Year-to-Year But Continued in Non-Expansion, Still Shy by 12.0% (-12.0%) of Recovering Its Pre-Recession High

19 февраля, 16:20

No. 936: January Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Housing Starts, CPI and PPI

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(SGS Subscription required) • Natural-Disaster Boost to the Economy Topped Out in November 2017; Now Backing Off with a Vengeance, as Predicted • Watch the Dollar! • January 2018 Industrial Production Declined 0.1% (-0.1%) Month-to-Month, On Top of Downside Revisions to December Activity • Production Peaked in November, Net of a Record, Winter-Driven Utility Surge • January Real Retail Sales Plunged 0.8% (-0.8%), Dropping 1.2% (-1.2%) Net of Sharp Downside Revisions to December and Holiday-Season Activity; Annual Growth Fell Deep into Recession-Warning Territory • Real Average Weekly Earnings Head into Third-Consecutive Quarterly Decline, the Fifth Headline Quarter-to-Quarter Decline in the Last Six Quarters • "Surging" Housing Starts Activity Was Statistically Insignificant, as Usual, Still Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession High by 41.7% (-41.7%) • Someone Used Contrary Hype to Boost Interest Rates or to Spook Stocks: Headline "Fears of Soaring Inflation" Greeted Annual "Core" CPI-U Inflation Holding Predictably Range-Bound at 1.8%, for the Tenth Month, versus the Fed's 2.0% Target • Monthly Inflation Gains of 0.54% and 0.44% in the January CPI-U and PPI Were Dominated by Irregular Volatility in Adjusted, Monthly Gasoline Prices • Common Inflation Experience Is Much Worse than the Headline Numbers

13 февраля, 04:36

No. 935 - SPECIAL COMMENTARY, ANNUAL REVIEW - PART ONE Economic and Financial Review and Preview

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(SGS Subscription required) • Did the Fed Trigger the Stock Sell-Off? • How Can the Economy Be Booming, Given Ten Years of Ongoing Non-Expansion in Manufacturing, Real Construction Spending, Housing Starts and Home Sales, Domestic Freight Activity, Domestic Petroleum Consumption, Real Consumer Credit (Ex-Federal Student Loans) and Given a Decade of Stressed-Employment Conditions? • As Natural-Disaster Spending Boosts Wane, Stagnant Economic Conditions Face a Renewed Tumble in Months Ahead • Renewed Downturn Could Trigger Resurgent Fed Pressures for Expanded Quantitative Easing and Intensified Dollar Debasement • Budget-Deficit Issues Should Become Focus of the Currency Markets • Long-Range U.S. Economic and Financial-Market Health Depend on Resolving Both Misdirected Policies of the Federal Reserve and Intensifying U.S. Sovereign-Solvency Concerns of the Global Markets • Massive U.S. Dollar Selling, Debasement and Eventual Hyperinflation Continue as the Primary Risks to Domestic Economic and Political Stability; Precious Metals Remain the Proven and Established Primary Hedge to Same

06 февраля, 17:00

934-B Market Turmoil, January Labor, Payroll Benchmarking, December Trade Deficit

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(SGS Subscription required) • Unexpected Faltering in U.S. Economic Activity Likely Will Not Benefit Disorderly Markets • Annual 2017 Real Merchandise-Trade Deficit Was Worst Since 2007, with the Fourth-Quarter 2017 Deficit Worst Since Second-Quarter 2007 • Trade Deficit Exploded Versus China, NAFTA and OPEC • Widened Deficit Adds Downside-Revision Pressure to Fourth-Quarter GDP • Sinking Annual Payroll Growth Intensified Its Recession Signal, Despite Upside Benchmark Revisions to Payroll Levels • Population Re-Estimation Added 488,000 Working-Age People, Boosting a Magical (Illusioned) 409,000 Surge in January Employment • January 2018 Unemployment Rates Notched Higher Month-to-Month: U.3 Firmed to 4.15% from 4.07%, U.6 Rose to 8.19% from 8.08%, and the ShadowStats-Alternate Rose to 21.8% from 21.7%

03 февраля, 01:15

No. 934-A: January Labor, Payroll Benchmark, Private Surveying, M3, December Construction Spending

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(SGS Subscription required) • Recession Signal Intensified from Sinking Annual Growth in Payrolls, Despite Upside Benchmark Revisions to Payroll Levels • Population Re-Estimation Added 488,000 Working-Age People • January 2018 Unemployment Rates Notched Higher Month-to-Month: U.3 Firmed to 4.15% from 4.07%, U.6 Rose to 8.19% from 8.08%, and the ShadowStats-Alternate Rose to 21.8% from 21.7% • Private Surveying of January Labor Conditions Showed Flat Activity with Annual Contraction/No Growth and Ongoing Non-Expansion • December Monthly Gain in Real Construction Spending Contracted Net of Downside Revisions • Annual Growth in Real Construction Spending Declined for Seventh Straight Month, an Intensifying Recession Signal Last Seen During the 2006 Housing Collapse • Real Spending Is Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 21.4% (-21.4%) • Amidst Annual Benchmark Revisions by the Fed, January 2018 M3 Annual Growth Eased Back to 4.5%, with Monetary-Base Annual Growth Softening to 4.9%

27 января, 02:52

No. 933: Dollar Turmoil, Fourth-Quarter GDP, New Orders, Freight Index, Home Sales

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(SGS Subscription required) • As the U.S. Dollar Weakens, and Gold and Oil Prices Jump, Watch Out for the Stock Market! • The Worst Trade Deficit Since 2007 Clobbered Fourth-Quarter GDP; Deteriorating Net Exports Knocked 1.13% (-1.13%) Off Quarterly Growth • Fourth- Versus Third-Quarter Real GDP Growth Slowed to 2.55% from 3.16%, with Inventory Liquidation and a Soaring Trade Deficit Offsetting Some of the Gains from Surging Defense Spending and Disaster-Boosted Demand for Goods and Structures • Net of Trade and Inventories, Fourth- Versus Third-Quarter Real GDP Growth Jumped to 4.35% from 2.01% • Better-Quality Economic Measures Still Show No Full Recovery from the Recession: U.S. Durable Goods Orders, Freight Activity and Manufacturing All Have Completed a Full Decade of No Economic Expansion • Defense Spending Boosted December Durable Goods Orders Sharply • Faltering Consumer Outlook • Foreclosures Appear to Be on the Rise, as Existing-Home Sales Sink Anew • On Top of Sharp Downside Revisions to November Home Sales, December Activity Plunged Monthly by 9.3% (-9.3%) and by 3.6% (-3.6%) for New and Existing Homes, Shy of Respective Pre-Recession Peaks by 55.0% (-55.0%) and 23.4% (-23.4%)

19 января, 01:59

No. 932: December Industrial Production and Housing Starts

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(SGS Subscription required) • Hurricane Distortions to Economic Reporting Start to Unwind • Two-Thirds of the 0.9% Monthly Jump in December 2017 Industrial Production Reflected Unseasonably-Bad Weather Boosting Utility Usage • Full-Year 2017 Production Rose by 1.95%, Following Full-Year Annual Declines of 1.22% (-1.22%) in 2016 and 0.71% (-0.71%) in 2015 • Big Swings in Mining Activity (Oil Production) Drove Those Full-Year Changes, versus Annual Stagnation in Utilities and in the Much-Larger Manufacturing Sector, Despite a Late-2017 Manufacturing Surge for Hurricane-Damaged-Vehicle Replacement • Fourth Quarter Industrial Production Regained Its Pre-Recession Peak for a Second Time • Dominant Manufacturing Sector Held Shy of Its Pre-Recession Peak by 4.54% (-4.54%), Just Having Passed a Full 10 Years, 120 Months or 40 Quarters of Continuous Non-Expansion; Longest Period of Non-Expansion in the 100-Year History of the Production Series • In Ongoing Extreme, Monthly Volatility, December Housing Starts Plunged by 8.2% (-8.2%), Reflecting Some Negative Catch Up, as Hurricane-Distorted Boosts Began to Unwind • New Residential Construction Remained in Low-Level, Downtrending Stagnation, with Building Permits Shy by 42.5% (-42.5%), Housing Starts Shy by 47.6% (-47.6%) and Single-Unit Starts Shy by 54.1% (-54.1%) of Recovering Pre-Great Recession Peak Activity • Multiple-Unit Starts Recovered in 2015, but Have Fallen Back Since by 20.9% (-20.9%) from Their Pre-Recession High

16 января, 01:27

No. 931: December Retail Sales, Consumer and Producer Price Indices, Financial Markets

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(SGS Subscription required) • Headline Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Average Weekly Earnings Contracted; Annual Real Earnings Growth Fell to a Five-Year Low • December Real Retail Sales Softened, but Headline Activity Surged for the Holiday Season, Despite Contracting Real Earnings and Slowing Real Growth in Consumer Credit • Nominal Fourth-Quarter Sales Jump Reflected Higher Inflation and Insurance Payments • CPI-U Monthly Inflation Slowed to 0.15% in December 2017, Annual Growth Slowed to 2.11%, with Core Inflation at 1.78%, Still Below FOMC Target • Final-Demand PPI Monthly Inflation Declined by 0.09% (-0.09%) in December 2017, Annual Gain Pulled Back to 2.61%, from a 70-Month High of 3.07% in November 2017 • Dampened PPI Inflation Reflected a Reversal from Hurricane-Disrupted Energy Prices, with Monthly Goods Inflation at 0.00% and Services Down by 0.17% (-0.17%) • Despite the Booming Headline Numbers, Prospects Continue to Darken for U.S. Economic and Financial-Market Activity • Tax Cuts and High Stock Prices Are Positive for the Economy, but Do Not Mistake Inflation and a Declining Dollar for Increased Wealth or Income