201707.11
1
4

Wholesale: No Acceleration, No Liquidation

In the same way as durable goods orders and US imports, wholesale sales in May 2017 were up somewhat unadjusted but down for the third straight month according the seasonally-adjusted series. As with those other two, the difference is one of timing. In other words, combining the two sets, seasonal and not, we are left…

201606.24
3
0

Durable Goods Add To The Idea of Depression (Small ‘d’)

There wasn’t anything new or surprising in the advance durable goods report. Shipments (ex transportation) were flat and orders were up 1% year-over-year (NSA). Capital goods (non-defense, ex aircraft) shipments fell 3.4%, the tenth straight month of contraction, while new orders were down again (2.6%) for the sixteenth time out of the past nineteen months….

201606.08
3
0

Chinese Frame of Reference

Chinese imports fell for the 19th consecutive month in May, but it was the pace of the latest decline that has stirred (yet again) so much optimism. Year-over-year, Chinese imports were down just 0.4%, beating expectations for a 6% drop. From that, as you can guess, the media is awash in commentary that “stimulus” is…

201605.17 0

Without Recovery There Is Every Need To Examine The Worst Case

There is a great deal that is wrong with mainstream economic commentary, starting with its unwavering devotion to orthodox economics and unshakable faith in their “stimulus.” No matter how little is actually stimulated there is never any doubt that the media will simultaneously forget the last one while lavishing praise on the next one. It…

201510.30
1
0

Always Back To Income (Lack Of)

Spending and wage growth disappointed in September, particularly as incomes continue to register barely any growth. The fact that this stagnation has continued for several years allows commentary such as this: U.S. consumer spending in September recorded its smallest gain in eight months as income barely rose, suggesting some cooling in domestic demand after recent…

201509.09
1
0

Gallup Suggests More Like Sagging Hires

If on the fence trying to decide whether surging job openings or tailing hiring is the true representation of the economy (recognizing that these are not mutually exclusive propositions, just that it isn’t very likely they both coexist in anything but subjectively statistical fancy) Gallup just offered far more of the latter. Should actual job…

201509.04
2
0

Only Two Points Left Meaningful in Payrolls; Both Look Downward

There are only two numbers in the monthly payroll report that have any meaning, and both came up quite short yet again. The first, as always, is the labor force itself as that population estimate more than any other indicates the relative station of the US economy. There has never been any time in recorded…

201508.13
3
0

Retail Sales Still Down For Now Seven Months

Retail sales for June were revised upward by a significant amount, almost $2 billion, which has had the effect only of shuffling that month’s order among the worst. With higher auto sales growth, June overall retail sales were 3.31% year-over-year which remains about half of what would be considered healthy. For July, retail sales decelerated…

201504.13 0

This Is Not Good

If you go back and review the academic literature from the 1960’s up until the 1980’s as it related to monetary policy and recession, you find a rather solid foundation for credit as a means of deconstructing contractionary forces. The interface between expectations and actions had typically occurred within the realm of business credit, whereby…

201503.27
1
0

Cash Flow Seems To Explain Why 5% GDP Was A Myth (Among Other Discrepancies)

Coincident to the “final” release of quarterly GDP are the updated estimates for corporate profits. While the Q4 headline didn’t much alter from the preliminary version sent out a month ago, there was much in the profit section relevant to both economic cycle and structure. The BEA provides several different breakouts of business profits, but…