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Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting
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21 мая, 02:12

No. 950: April Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Housing Starts, Freight and Benchmark Revisions

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(SGS Subscription required) • Benchmark Revisions Knocked Off Roughly Two-Percent Real Growth from Manufacturers' Shipments and Related Economic Activity Since 2015 • Monthly Gains of 0.7% in Both March and April 2018 Industrial Production Were a Decline of 0.1% (-0.1%) and a Gain of 0.1%, Net of Prior Months' Revisions • First-Quarter Industrial Production and Manufacturing Revised Sharply Lower: Production Now 0.43% (-0.43%) Below Fourth-Quarter 2014 Peak (Previously Recovered); First-Quarter Manufacturing Now 6.07% (-6.07%) Below Its Pre-Recession Peak • April Manufacturing Hit a Record 124 Months of Economic Non-Expansion • April Freight Index Rose to a Post-Recession High, With Strong Annual Growth, Albeit Off Peak, with Activity Still Shy by 6.65% (-6.65%) of a Full Recovery • April Real Retail Sales Gained 0.08% in the Month, 2.20% Year-to-Year, With Likely Major Downside Benchmark Revisions Looming on May 25th • Despite Upside Revisions to February and March Real Retail Sales, the Somewhat-Narrowed First-Quarter Contraction of 2.05% (-2.05%) Still Was Deepest Since the 2009 Depths of the Great Recession • Given No Apparent Improvement in Reporting Quality, Annual Revisions to Nonsensically-Volatile Housing Starts Were Nil; Inconsistent Building Permits Revised Higher by 2.1% Only in 2017 • Starts and Permits Continued in Low Level, Non-Recovering Stagnation, Still Down by 43.4% (-43.4%) and 40.3% (-40.3%) from Pre-Recession Highs

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12 мая, 03:41

No. 949: April Consumer and Producer Price Indices, Real Earnings

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(SGS Subscription required) • A Double-Whammy from Oil-Price-Driven Inflation: Surging Inflation Impairs Real Income, Liquidity and Economic Growth; Surging Prices Do Not Reflect Surging Economic Demand • April 2018 Inflation-Adjusted, Real Average Weekly Earnings Fell for All Employees (Rose for Production and Supervisory); Quarterly Contractions Held in Place • A Leading Indicator to Broad Economic Activity, April 2018 Real Annual Growth in Money Supply M3 Slowed to an Eight-Month Low • Unadjusted Annual CPI-U Inflation Rose to a 14-Month High of 2.46% in April 2018, Up from 2.36% in March 2018, Holding Well Shy of Common Experience • "Core" CPI-U Inflation (Ex-Food and Energy) Held at 2.1% in April, Above the Fed's 2.0% Target for a Second Straight Month • April Annual PPI Inflation Eased to a 7-Month Low of 2.57%, Backing Off the 74-Month High of 3.03% Seen in March • Nothing Like Massaged Inflation Numbers to Boost You into a Higher Tax Bracket

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09 мая, 23:45

No. 948: April Labor Data, Private Labor and Income Surveys, Trade Deficit, Construction Spending

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(SGS Subscription required) • New Private and Public Surveys Raise Serious Doubts as to the Quality and Significance of the Headline Economic Boom, Given Weakening Labor Conditions and Negligible Growth in Real Household Income • Intensifying Labor-Market Stress in April 2018 Was More Consistent with Headline U.3 Unemployment at 10.4%, Instead of the New 17-Year Low of 3.9% • April U.3 Eased to 3.93% from 4.07% in March, U.6 Declined to 7.79% from 8.00%, ShadowStats-Alternate Dropped to 21.5% from 21.7%, on Top of U.6 and U.3 • Headline Count of Employed in April Was Down from February by 34,000 (-34,000); Gaining Only 3,000 in the Month, Having Declined by 37,000 (-37,000) in March • April Payroll-Jobs Count Rose by 164,000 (up 194,000 Net of Revisions), with Annual Growth at 1.55%, Still in Recession-Signal Territory • First-Quarter Real Merchandise Trade Widened versus Fourth-Quarter, Contrary to Initial First-Quarter 2018 GDP Reporting • Real Construction Spending Held Shy of Its Pre-Recession Peak by 20.9% (-20.9%), Down by 2.4% (-2.4%) in March 2018, by 0.6% (-0.6%) Year-to-Year, Despite Large Upside Revisions to January and February Activity • Annual Money Supply Growth Weakened in April for All Measures, Along with a Contracting Monetary Base: Declining Real Liquidity Growth Threatens the Economy

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28 апреля, 00:48

No. 947: First-Quarter GDP, March New-Orders for Durable Goods, New- and Existing-Home Sales

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(SGS Subscription required) • The Consumer Suffered Heavily in First-Quarter 2018, Reflected in Contracting Goods Consumption and Unchanged Residential Investment • It Is the U.S. Consumer Who Fundamentally Drives the Economy, Not the Healthcare, Insurance or Financial-Services Industries • Consumer Liquidity Conditions Bode Poorly for Near-Term Activity • First-Quarter 2018 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Annualized Real Growth Slowed to an Upwardly-Gimmicked 2.32% from 2.89% in Fourth-Quarter 2017, Amidst Unusual Inflation- and Trade-Deficit-Reporting Patterns • Better-Quality Economic Measures Show No Economic Expansion • Some Pick-Up in the Velocity of Broader Money Supply • First-Quarter 2018 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit, Indicated as Worst Since Third-Quarter 2006, Backed Off Its Worst-Ever Reading • First-Quarter Real Durable Goods Orders Were Flat, Ex-Commercial Aircraft • First-Quarter 2018 Existing-Home Sales Fell by an Annualized 6.1% (-6.1%) in the Quarter, by 1.7% (-1.7%) Year-to-Year, Despite Gains in Wildly-Unstable and Volatile New-Home Sales Reporting • Major Downside Benchmark Revisions Loom for Series Such as New Orders for Durable Goods and Retail Sales, and a Widened the Trade Deficit; Beware the GDP Comprehensive Benchmark Revision in July

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23 апреля, 01:04

No. 946: March Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Freight Index, Housing Starts, GDP Outlook

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(SGS Subscription required) • First-Quarter 2018 Real GDP Should Slow Much More Sharply Than Expected • Nothing Supports the Existing Purported Post-Recession GDP Expansion of 15.3%, Including Headline Production and Manufacturing, Retail Sales, Construction, Payroll Employment and Civilian Employed, Trade Deficit, Credit Growth, Freight Activity and Domestic Petroleum Consumption • April Consumer Outlook Took a Hit, Amidst Faltering Earnings and Credit • First-Quarter 2018 Real Retail Sales Contraction of 2.6% (-2.6%) Was Deepest Since Depths of the Great Recession • Real Sales Growth Backed Off from Fourth-Quarter Natural-Disaster Boosts, Yet, Annual Real Growth Also Fell Deep into Recession-Warning Territory, versus First-Quarter 2017, Which Was Not Disaster-Impacted • March Freight Index Continued Higher with Strong Annual Growth, Still Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak Activity by 7.4% (-7.4%) • Given a Record 41 Quarters, 123 Months of Economic Non-Expansion, March Manufacturing Still Held Shy of Its Pre-Recession Peak by 5.4% (-5.4%) • Continuing in Nonsensical Monthly Booms and Busts, March 2018 Housing Starts Gained 1.9% on Top of Sharp Upside Revisions to February, Still in Low Level, Non-Recovering Stagnation and Shy by 42.0% (-42.0%) of Beginning Its Economic Expansion

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12 апреля, 02:57

No. 945: March Consumer and Producer Price Indices, Real Earnings

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(SGS Subscription required) • For All Employees, First-Quarter 2018 Real Average Weekly Earnings Contracted 0.4% (-0.4%), along with Slowing Real Growth in Consumer Credit • Quarterly Real Average Weekly Earnings Contracted 1.5% (-1.5%) for Production and Nonsupervisory Employees, the Third Consecutive Quarterly Decline, the Fifth in the Last Six Quarters • Unadjusted Annual CPI-U Inflation Rose to a 12-Month High 2.36% in March 2018, Up from 2.21% in February 2018, Still Holding Well Shy of Common Experience • Fed's Targeted "Core" Inflation Broke Above 2.0%, to 2.1% in March 2018, Highest Level in 13 Months • Annual PPI Inflation Rose to a 74-Month High of 3.03% in March 2018, Reflecting Jumps in Food Prices and Outpatient Costs • A Leading Indicator to Broad Economic Activity, March 2018 Real Annual Growth in Money Supply M3 Slowed to a Six-Month Low • Next Week's Headline Economic Reporting Could Lock in a First-Quarter 2018 Real GDP Contraction • Nonetheless, While Not Close to an Economic Expansion, Some Positive Anecdotal Evidence on the Economy Is Surfacing

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09 апреля, 01:33

No. 944: March Labor Conditions, Private Surveying, Trade Deficit, Construction Spending

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(SGS Subscription required) • No Such Thing as Free Trade • Worst-Ever Quarterly Real Merchandise Trade Deficit Remained on Track, Fueling Trade "Negotiations" and Dollar, Stock-Market and Economic Concerns • Increase in Nominal Balance-of-Payments Deficit in Goods and Services Reflected Services Import of Intellectual Property for Broadcasting the Winter Olympics • March 2018 Household-Survey Count of Employed Declined by 37,000 (-37,000), While Full-Time Employed Dropped by 311,000 (-311,000) • March Payroll-Jobs Count Rose by 103,000 (by 53,000 Net of Revisions) but the Gain Was Not Statistically Different from Zero at the 95% Confidence Level; Bloated January and February Payroll Levels Revised Lower • March 2018 Unemployment Rates Declined Month-to-Month: U.3 Eased to 4.07% versus 4.14%, U.6 Declined to 8.00% from 8.24%, and the ShadowStats-Alternate Declined to 21.7% from 21.8% • Private Surveying of March Labor Conditions Showed Weakening Annual Growth and No Economic Expansion • Mixed but Faltering Annual Real Growth in Construction Spending Continued in a Pattern Last Seen Leading into the 2007 Recession • Annual Growth in March Money Supply Measures Slowed Sharply; Monetary Base Declined Year-to-Year; Weakened Real Liquidity Growth Threatens Economic Activity

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29 марта, 19:15

No. 943: Gross Domestic Product, Gross National Product, Gross Domestic Income, Trade

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(SGS Subscription required) • Fourth-Quarter 2017 Gross Domestic Product GDP Annualized Real Growth Revised to 2.89% (Previously 2.54%), Down from 3.16% in Third-Quarter 2017 • Fourth-Quarter Gross Domestic Income (GDI), Theoretical GDP Equivalent, Slowed to 0.87% from 2.44% in Third-Quarter • Fourth-Quarter Gross National Product (GNP), Broadest Measure of the Economy, Slowed to 2.71% from 3.65% in Third-Quarter • First-Quarter 2018 Real Merchandise Trade Continued on Track for Worst Shortfall in Modern Reporting • March Economic Numbers Should Disappoint Expectations • First-Quarter GDP Increasingly Looks Like a Contraction • Better-Quality Economic Measures Still Show No Economic Expansion

28 марта, 04:09

No. 942-B: Industrial Production Benchmarking, February New Orders, Freight Index, Home Sales

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(SGS Subscription required) • Accompanying Graphs Show Basic Nature of Upside Biases Regularly Built into Official Economic Reporting • Industrial Production of Recent Years Revised Meaningfully Lower, Dominated by Much-Weaker Manufacturing, Including Weaker Auto Production • Production Now Shows a Formal Double-Dip Recession, from a December 2007 Peak and a Brief, Oil-Production-Driven Expansion to a Now, Non-Recovered November 2014 Peak • Manufacturing Now Is Shy by 5.5% (-5.5%) of Its Never-Recovered December 2007 Peak, Still Holding in a Record 122 Months of Non-Expansion • Pending Negative Benchmarkings Implied for Retail Sales, New Orders for Durable Goods and the Gross Domestic Product • Signals Continued for First-Quarter 2018 GDP Contraction, as the Fourth-Quarter 2017 Disaster-Recovery Boom Turns to Bust • Real Durable Goods Orders and New- and Existing-Home Sales All Showed Unfolding First-Quarter Contractions, versus Fourth-Quarter Booms, Despite Monthly Gains in February • Real New Orders Activity and New- and Existing-Home Sales All Remained Well Shy of Recovering Their Pre-2007 Recession Peaks • February 2018 Freight Index Hit a Post-2007 Recession High, Still Shy by 11.2% (-11.2%) of Recovering its Pre-2007 Recession Peak

23 марта, 21:29

No. 942-A: Industrial Production Benchmarking, February New Orders, Freight Index, Home Sales

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(SGS Subscription required) • Industrial Production Revised Meaningfully Lower, Dominated by Much-Weaker Manufacturing, As Predicted • Signals Mount for First-Quarter GDP Contraction, as the Fourth-Quarter 2017 Disaster-Recovery Boom Turns to a Bust • Real Durable Goods Orders, Both Aggregate and Ex-Commercial-Aircraft, Showed an Unfolding Flat-to-Minus First-Quarter, Versus a Fourth-Quarter Boom • Real New Orders Activity Remained Shy in Aggregate by 8.0% (-8.0%), and in Ex-Commercial Aircraft by 5.3% (-5.3%) from Recovering Pre-Recessions Highs • Still Shy by 11.2% (-11.2%) of Recovering its Pre-Recession Peak, February Freight Index Hit a Post-Recession High • Both New- and Existing-Home Sales Showed Large Fourth-Quarter Gains Turning into Large First-Quarter Contractions • Monthly New- and Existing-Home Sales Were Mixed, but Held Shy of Their Pre-Recession Peaks by 55.5% (-55.5%) and 23.8% (-23.8%)

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