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Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting
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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

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09 января, 01:19

No. 930-B: December Labor, Private Surveying and M3, November Trade Deficit and Construction Spending

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(SGS Subscription required) • Weaker-Than-Consensus 148,000 Payroll Gain Was Boosted by Downside Revisions, Low-Level Annual Payroll Growth Continued to Signal a New Recession • Annual Household Survey Revisions Were Negligible for Headline U.3, but Not as Placid for Broader Unemployment and Other Measures • December 2017 Unemployment Rates Were Mixed Month-to-Month: U.3 Eased to 4.07% from 4.12%, U.6 Rose to 8.08% from 7.99% and the ShadowStats-Alternate Held at 21.7%: No Full Employment • Indicators of Stressed-Employment Conditions Have Re-Intensified, Following Brief, Hurricane-Distorted Improvements in September • Private Surveying of December Labor Conditions Showed Monthly Gains, but with Annual Contraction/No Growth and Ongoing Non-Expansion • Monthly Trade Deficit Topped $50 Billion for First Time in Five Years, with Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit on Solid Track for Worst Showing Since First-Quarter 2007 • Despite a November Gain on Top of Upside Revisions, Real Construction Spending Continued in Annual Decline, as Last Seen During the 2006 Housing Collapse, Still Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 21.4% (-21.4%) • December 2017 M3 Annual Growth Jumped to Back to a Two-Year of 4.8%, as Monetary-Base Annual Growth Jumped to a Three-Year High of 9.7%

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05 января, 22:10

No. 930-A: December Labor, Private Surveying and M3, November Trade Deficit and Construction Spending

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(SGS Subscription required) • Annual Household Survey Revisions Were Negligible for Headline U.3, but Not as Placid for Broader Unemployment and Other Measures • December 2017 Unemployment Rates Were Mixed Month-to-Month: U.3 Eased to 4.07% from 4.12%, U.6 Rose to 8.08% from 7.99%, and the ShadowStats-Alternate Held at 21.7% • Low-Level Annual Payroll Growth Continued to Signal a New Recession • Private Surveying of December Labor Conditions Showed Monthly Gains, but with Annual Contraction/No Growth and Ongoing Non-Expansion • Trade Deficit Widened Month-to-Month and Year-to-Year with the Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit Still on Solid Track for Worst Showing Since First-Quarter 2007 • Despite a November Gain on Top of Upside Revisions, Real Construction Spending Continued in Annual Decline, as Last Seen During the 2006 Housing Collapse, Still Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 21.4% (-21.4%) • December 2017 M3 Annual Growth Jumped Back to a Two-Year High of 4.8%, as Monetary-Base Annual Growth Jumped to a Three-Year High of 9.3%

22 декабря 2017, 19:56

No. 928: November Durable Goods Orders, Home Sales and Revised GDP

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(SGS Subscription required) • New-Home Sales Reporting-Illusion Reflected Absurd Volatility: Multi-Decade-High Surge of 17.5% in November 2017 Sales Was a Gimmick; Considering Massive Downside Revisions, Recast Sales Boom Contracted by 1.9% (-1.9%); Headline Detail Still Shy by 47.2% (-47.2%) of Recovering Pre-Recession Peak • Boosted Heavily by Unstable Seasonal Adjustments, November Existing-Home Sales Jumped 5.6% Month-to-Month, Still Holding Shy by 20.0% (-20.0%) of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak • As Hurricane-Disruptions Work Out of the New Orders System, Real Annual Durable Goods Growth Slowed Sharply, Ex-Volatile Commercial Aircraft • Real New Orders for Durable Goods Remained Down by 9.7% (-9.7%) from Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak • Third Estimate of Real Third-Quarter 2017 GDP Revised to 3.16% (Previously 3.30%), versus 3.06% in Second-Quarter 2017 • Second Estimate of Third-Quarter Gross National Product (GNP) Revised to 3.65% (was 3.47%); Gross Domestic Income (GDI) Revised to 2.03% (was 2.53%) • Better-Quality Economic Measures Still Show No Full Recovery from the Collapse into 2009 and No Economic Expansion

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20 декабря 2017, 00:51

No. 927: November Housing Starts, Freight Index, Outlook for the Markets, Dollar and Gold

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(SGS Subscription required) • Stocks Continue to Boom, with Extreme Downside Vulnerability to Near-Term Negative Economic Surprises and Otherwise • Pending Run on the U.S. Dollar Should Mirror a Flight into Gold and Silver • Economic Reporting Does Not Reflect Costs of Destruction from Natural Disasters, but It Does Reflect Gains from Temporary Relief and Recovery Activity • Freight Index Continued in Non-Recovered, Low-Level Stagnation • Nonsense Volatility and Revisions Hit November 2017 Housing Starts, Amidst a Continued Likely Boost from Disaster Recovery • Headline Gain of 3.3% Was 0.5% Net of Revisions • Activity Remained in Low-Level, Non-Recovered Stagnation, with Housing Starts Still Shy of Their Pre-Recession High by 42.9% (-42.9%) and Single-Unit Starts Shy of Recovery by 51.6% (-51.6%) • Multiple-Unit Starts Recovered in 2015, but Have Fallen Back Since by 18.4% (-18.4%) from Their Pre-Recession Peak • Building Permits Remained Shy of Recovery by 42.6% (-42.6%)

16 декабря 2017, 02:48

No. 926: November Industrial Production and Retail Sales

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(SGS Subscription required) • Despite Mixed Headline Economic Numbers, Uncertainty Is Holding Back Real-World Business Activity • Booming Retail Sales Reflected Complications with Non-Seasonal, Residual Hurricane Distortions Combined with Concurrent Seasonal Adjustments • November 2017 Retail Sales Jumped by 0.79%, up by 0.40% Net of Inflation, On Top of Sharp Upside Revisions to September and October Activity • Running Contrary to the Strong Retail Sales Report, November 2017 Consumer Goods Production Dropped by 0.39% (-0.39%) and Revised Sharply Lower in October, September, August, July and June • November 2017 Total Industrial Production Rose 0.2% from an Unrevised, Hurricane-Distorted/Boosted October Production Level, in the Context of Sharp Downside Revisions to September and Earlier Activity • Net of an Oil Production Boost from Hurricane Nate Recovery, November Industrial Production was "Unchanged" Month-to-Month, per the Fed • Dominant Manufacturing Sector of Industrial Production Remained Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 4.7% (-4.7%) • November Manufacturing Showed 119 Months of Continuous Non-Expansion, the Longest Such Period in the 100-Year History of the Industrial Production Series; Second Worst: 96-Months of Post-World War II Retooling from War to Consumer Production; Third Worst: 88-Months of the First Down-Leg in the Great Depression

14 декабря 2017, 01:34

No. 925: November CPI and PPI Inflation, FOMC

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(SGS Subscription required) • Unable to Escape 2008, FOMC Boosted Rates a Quarter-Point, Nonetheless, Amidst Fed Projections of Lower Unemployment and a Stronger GDP • Yet, Fundamentals Still Point to a Weaker Economy as Fed Chair Janet Yellen Described the Economic Outlook as "Highly Uncertain" • Prospects for U.S. Economic and Financial-Market Activity Continued to Darken; Faltering Real Consumer Credit and Earnings Do Not Support the Purported Boom • Amidst Downside Prior-Period Revisions, Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Average Weekly Earnings Were on Track for Second Consecutive Quarterly Contraction • Monthly and Annual Jumps in CPI and PPI Were Due to Gasoline Price Swings; Headline Inflation Gains Were Not Due to Strong or Over-Heating Economic Activity • November 2017 CPI-U Monthly Inflation Jumped by 0.39% (Was 0.11%) Pulling Annual CPI-U Inflation Higher to 2.20% (Was 2.04%), with CPI-W at 2.32% (Was 2.06%) and ShadowStats at 9.9% (Was 9.8%) • November 2017 Final-Demand PPI Inflation Monthly Gain of 0.44% Pulled Annual Gain to a 70-Month High of 3.07%, versus 2.79% in October 2017 • Continuing Monthly Jump of 0.44% in November PPI was Dominated by Gain of 0.98% in Goods Inflation (4.63% Energy Gain), Versus Gain of 0.17% in Services • Inflation Will Soften November Real Retail Sales Growth versus Nominal Growth by 0.4% (-0.4%) Month-to-Month, 2.2% (-2.2%) Year-to-Year

09 декабря 2017, 01:04

No. 924: November Labor, Private Surveying and M3, October Trade Deficit and Construction Spending

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(SGS Subscription required) • Private Surveying of November Labor Conditions Showed Continuing Annual Contraction and Ongoing Non-Expansion • Still-Heavily-Distorted, November Unemployment Rates Notched Minimally Higher: U.3 Rose to 4.12% versus 4.07%, U.6 Rose to 7.96% from 7.91%, and the ShadowStats-Alternate Rose to 21.7% from 21.6% • Hurricane-Warped Unemployment and Employment Household-Survey Details Face Near-Term Corrections with the January 5th Benchmark Revisions • Low-Level Annual Payroll Growth Continued to Signal New Recession • Seasonal-Adjustment Gimmicks Bloated Headline Payroll Gains, where Unadjusted Payrolls Revised Lower but Adjusted Levels Revised Higher; Payroll-Survey Benchmark Revisions Loom for February 2nd • Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit on Early Track for Worst Showing Since First-Quarter 2007 • October 2017 Nominal Balance of Payments Trade Deficit Increased by 8.6% versus September 2017, by 13.1% versus October 2016 • Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 22.0% (-22.0%), Real Construction Spending Continued in Annual Decline, as Last Seen During the 2006 Housing Collapse • Amidst Expectations of a December 13th FOMC Rate Hike, November 2017 M3 Annual Growth Eased Back to 4.6% from 4.8% in October, as Monetary-Base Annual Growth Jumped to a Four-Year High of 8.1%

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29 ноября 2017, 23:47

No. 923: Revised Third-Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), October Freight Index, New-Home Sales

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(SGS Subscription required) • Third-Quarter 2017 Real Per Capita Take-Home Pay (Disposable Personal Income) Contracted at an Annualized Pace of 0.29% (-0.29%) versus Second-Quarter 2017 • That Was on Top of Downside Revisions to Second-Quarter Real Disposable Income, Which Reflected More-Substantive Information from Bureau of Labor Statistics Surveying • Such Supports Neither a Booming Economy Nor a Soaring Consumer Outlook • Consumer Surveying, Driven by a Headline Faux-Economic Boom in the Press (Hurricane-Bloated Activity), Remained Strongest Since Collapsing into the 2001 Recession • Second Estimate of Real Third-Quarter 2017 GDP Revised to 3.30% (Previously 2.99%), versus 3.06% in Second-Quarter 2017 • Initial Estimate of Third-Quarter Gross National Product (GNP) at 3.47%, versus Second-Quarter at 2.77%; Third-Quarter Gross Domestic Income (GDI) at 2.53%, versus a Downwardly-Revised Second-Quarter of 2.28% (Previously 2.89%) • Better-Quality Economic Measures Continue to Show No Full Recovery from the Collapse into 2009 and No Economic Expansion • October 2017 Advance Merchandise Trade Deficit Widened Sharply, Suggesting a Potential Early Hit to Fourth-Quarter GDP • With Monthly New- and Existing-Home Sales Still Shy of Recovering Pre-Recession Highs, Respectively by 50.7% (-50.7%) and 24.6% (-24.6%), Six-Month Smoothed Home Sales Continued in Low-Level, Faltering Stagnation

22 ноября 2017, 20:15

No. 922: October 2017 New Orders for Durable Goods, Existing-Home Sales

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(SGS Subscription required) • Market Irrationality and Vulnerability Amidst Expectations for a Booming Economy in 2018 • Hurricane-Disruptions Boosted Recent Headline Economic Activity, With Continued Upside Impact on October 2017 Durable Goods Orders • Nonetheless, Orders Contracted Both Before and After Consideration of Inflation and Volatile Commercial Aircraft Orders • Real Orders Remained Down by 11.6% (-11.6%) from Recovering Pre-Recession Peak • Monthly Gain of 2.0% in October Existing-Home Sales Included a Downside Revision to September Activity and Some Hurricane Recovery, Along With a Year-to-Year Sales Decline of 0.9% (-0.9%) • With Monthly Activity Still Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession High by 24.6% (-24.6%), Smoothed Existing-Home Sales Continued in Low-Level, Faltering Stagnation

17 ноября 2017, 22:12

No. 921: October 2017 Industrial Production, New Residential Construction

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(SGS Subscription required) • Hurricane-Boosted October 2017 Industrial Production Recovered Its 2007 Pre-Recession High for a Second Time, At Least Briefly • Nonrecurring Surge in Headline Production Growth Ranged from a Return to Normal Operations to the Manufacturing of Replacements for Storm-Damaged Automobiles • Showing a Record 118 Months of Continuous Non-Expansion, the Dominant Manufacturing Sector of Production Remained Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 4.7% (-4.7%) • Regularly-Volatile Housing Starts and Building Permits Surged in October, Including Some Temporary Hurricane-Driven Boost • Housing Starts Are Shy of Recovering Their Pre-Recession High by 43.2% (-43.2%), Building Permits Still Are Shy by 42.7% (-42.7%)

16 ноября 2017, 00:49

No. 920: October 2017 Retail Sales, Consumer and Produce Price Indices

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(SGS Subscription required) • Outlook for U.S. Economic and Financial-Market Activity Continues to Darken • That Former Malarial Swamp on the Potomac Offers a Tax Bill Penalizing U.S. Tax Payers with the First Formal Use of the Chained-CPI-U • Unwinding Hurricane Impact Softened October CPI Inflation • October CPI-U Monthly Inflation Slowed to 0.11% (Was 0.55%) Pulling Annual CPI-U Inflation Lower to 2.04% (Was 2.23%), with CPI-W at 2.05% (Was 2.31%) and ShadowStats at 9.8% (Was 10.0%) • A Nonsense October PPI Surge Was Due to Collapsing Gasoline Prices • October 2017 Final-Demand PPI Inflation Monthly Gain of 0.44% Pulled Annual Gain to a 69-Month High of 2.79%, from 2.62% in September 2017 • Unrevised Real Average Weekly Earnings Declined Minimally in Third-Quarter, on Early Track for a Meaningful Fourth-Quarter 2017 Contraction • Storm Impact Still Boosted October Retail Sales, While Long-Range, Non-Recovering and Downtrending Economic Trends Remained in Play •