201712.05 5

Giant Sucking Sound Sucks (Far) More Than US Industry Now

There are two possibilities with regard to stubbornly weak US imports in 2017. The first is the more obvious, meaning that the domestic goods economy despite its upturn last year isn’t actually doing anything positive other than no longer being in contraction. The second would be tremendously helpful given the circumstances of American labor in…

201710.05
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Factory Orders, Too

It stands to reason that if US demand for foreign goods is weak because of high inventory levels, then demand for domestic goods will be, too. As noted earlier, US imports are down this year after being substantially higher during the last half of last year. The same pattern to a varying degree is unsurprisingly…

201709.05
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Demand Dearth

The fundamental problem is that we don’t know what’s wrong. In many ways that is a worse condition because it is one step further removed from a solution. Even after ten years “we” still have to prove that the one thing everyone largely believes can’t be the depressing issue is. Earlier this year as the…

201708.07
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Irreführende Statistiken

Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (DeStatis) reported today disappointing figures for Industrial Production. The seasonally-adjusted series fell in June 2017 month-over-month for the first time this year, last declining in December 2016. The index had been on a tear, rising nearly 5% in the first five months of this year. The move was considered by many…

201707.25
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What Manufacturing Productivity Suggests About ‘Dollars’ And Stagnation

In a report released last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that Multi-Factor Productivity rose in only 21 of the 86 categories of the manufacturing industry in 2015. Unlike labor productivity which is more easily calculated, Multi-Factor Productivity measures attempt to take account of all business inputs (including labor). Capitalism is by its…

201707.05
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Economic Risk Imbalance Continues

Factory orders (unadjusted) in May 2017 were up 6% over those estimated for May 2016. The growth rate was better in that month compared to the one before, but not any faster than the rest so far this year. Year-to-date, factory orders are up just 4.8% from the first five months of 2016. Seasonally-adjusted, the…

201706.05
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Not Random; 2015 Still Matters For 2017

I have never understood the infatuation with randomness. When I was first introduced to statistics at a very young age, I had a hard time at first trying to comprehend the paradigm in my own intuitive fashion. It seemed like something was off about it, where random chance was the cornerstone of a philosophy trying…

201705.05
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Lackluster Trade

US imports rose 9% year-over-year (NSA) in March 2017, after being flat in February and up 12% in January. For the quarter overall, imports rose 7.3%, a rate that is slightly more than the 2013-14 comparison. The difference, however, is simply the price of oil. Removing petroleum, imports rose instead 6.3% in March and just…

201703.06
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Manufacturing Back To 2014

The ISM Manufacturing PMI registered 57.7 in February 2017, the highest value since August 2014 (revised). It was just slightly less than that peak in the 2014 “reflation” cycle. Given these comparisons, economic narratives have been spun further than even the past few years where “strong” was anything but. The ISM’s gauge of orders increased…

201702.03
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The Cycle Repeats (And Repeats)

Factory orders rose 2.0% in December 2016 year-over-year (NSA), the fourth positive number in the last five months. In what is a perfect commentary on the sorrowful state of the economy, it was highest growth rate since September 2014. It seems increasingly likely that the manufacturing recession attached to the “rising dollar”, the one that…