Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Welcome To The Slowdown

Welcome to the slowdown. It isn’t much – yet – and it may just be a passing phase, but there is little doubt that the US economy has slowed somewhat. The rise in short term interest rates has stalled and the long end of the curve has rallied. The result is a flatter yield curve…


Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Ignore The Idiot

Of the economic releases of the past two weeks the one that got the most attention was the employment report. That report is seen by many market analysts as one of the most important and of course the Fed puts a lot of emphasis on it so the press spends an inordinate amount of time…

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Attention Shoppers

The majority of the economic reports over the last two weeks have been disappointing, less than the consensus expectations. The minor rebound in activity we’ve been tracking since last summer appears to have stalled. Retail sales continue to disappoint and inventory/sales ratios are once again rising – from already elevated levels. Even the positive reports…


Bi-Weekly Economic Review: The Return of Economic Ennui

The economic reports released since the last of these updates was generally not all that bad but the reports considered more important were disappointing. And it should be noted that economic reports lately have generally been worse than expected which, if you believe the market to be fairly efficient, is what really matters. The disappointing…


Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Economic Reports Scorecard The economic data since my last update has improved somewhat. It isn’t across the board and it isn’t huge but it must be acknowledged. As usual though there are positives and negatives, just with a slight emphasis on positive right now. Interestingly, the bond market has not responded to these slightly more…


The Last Ride Of The Unemployment Rate

It’s easy to set aside the nostalgia, so to speak, since this is likely the last Christmas holiday season to be talked about in the media in the positively glowing terms of the unemployment rate. Ever since the “recovery” began, each and every year the internet and TV channels are filled with stories about how…


The Conspicuous Temperature Gradient of Finicky US Consumers

Janet Yellen and orthodox economists claim that the economy can only be gaining, and that word is taken, on faith, as if some updated, modern gold standard for meaning. No matter the contrary in actual evidence and observation, the “word” remains as if diktat were the only employ. It has produced some very strange dichotomies,…


Durable And Capital Goods Still Contracting

At some point, these continuous divergences between seasonally-adjusted extrapolations and unadjusted year-over-year comparisons will cease to provide so much apparent relief. Time after time, the smallest jump in the monthly variation is taken as cause for completely discarding all prior economic worries even though the more measured and consistent unadjusted growth rates continue to press…


The ‘Dollar’s’ Grand Masterpiece Almost In Full View

When US retail sales jumped in May on seasonal adjustments alone, economists and mainstream commentary lost all composure as they were certain that meant the “slump” was over and the dominant narrative would continue. The same occurred in Europe over a slight pickup in overall lending, not even in the household or business sectors, which…


Disinflation Is Not Cash

Personal spending had fallen, seasonally-adjusted, for two consecutive months placing warning upon the household sector. The just-released estimates for January show only the smallest of rebounds, just +0.1%, in February suggesting that nothing yet has been resolved in either direction. Unlike last year, there is no surge that would indicate a temporary straying from the…