201801.17
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The Dissonance Book

I’ve found the word “dissonance” has become more common in regular usage beyond just my own. Whether that’s a function of my limited observational capacities or something more meaningful than personal bias isn’t at all clear. Still, the word does seem to fit in economic terms more and more as we carry on uncorrected by…

201801.08
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0

Two Potentially Important Notes For Consumer Credit

As expected, the Federal Reserve reported today that consumer credit expanded by an unusually large amount in November. Non-revolving debt rose by $16.6 billion, which is only slightly more than the recent average, and less than the average flow three years ago. It was instead revolving consumer credit where balances expanded the most (+$11.2 billion)….

201801.04
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Big Difference Between Wanting To and Having To

According to the Federal Reserve, US consumers in October added a large $8.3 billion (SA) to their credit card balances. That was the third largest monthly increase since 2007. For some, that’s an indication of risk-taking and therefore recovery-like behavior on the part of American consumers. Given that it’s been this way for some time,…

201801.02
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Housing Market Accelerates

The economy ended 2017 with current growth just slightly above trend. In general the reports of the last two weeks of the year were pretty good with housing a standout performer going into the new year. We are still trying to get past the impact – positive and negative – from the hurricanes a few…

201712.26
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Always, Always Income

Just before Christmas 2014, the Bureau of Economic Analysis upgraded Q3 2014 Real GDP to +5.0%. That represented a huge acceleration from earlier that year when during the depths of its Polar Vortex infused winter Q1 2014 GDP had contracted sharply (according to contemporary estimates). One need not be a betting man to hazard a…

201712.20
3
1

Existing Home Sales Jump Right In The Middle (of what?)

Sales of existing homes soared in November 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Up 5.6% in just the one month, at 5.81mm (SAAR) homes sold that’s the highest pace for resales since December 2006. After several months of glaring weakness, either a delayed rebound from hurricane disrupted activity or a burst of…

201712.14
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1

Retail Sales Bounce (Way) Too Much

Retail sales had a good month of November, or at least what counts as decent over the last five and a half years. Total retail sales (unadjusted) rose 6.35% last month, up from 4.9% (revised higher) in October. It was the highest rate of growth since the 29-day month of February 2016. For retailers, what…

201710.30
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The (Economic) Difference Between Stocks and Bonds

Real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) rose 0.6% in September 2017 above August. That was the largest monthly increase (SAAR) in almost three years. Given that Real PCE declined month-over-month in August, it is reasonable to assume hurricane effects for both. Across the two months, Real PCE rose by a far more modest 0.5% total, or…

201709.26
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The Full Employment Enigma, Housing Version

For the second consecutive month, the Census Bureau estimates that sales of newly constructed homes fell year-over-year as well as month-over-month. The data provided by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for the resale market suggests there isn’t nearly enough supply of homes for sale. Other estimates also published by Census Bureau (permits/starts) declare again…

201709.20
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The Real Estate View For A Second Lost Decade

The National Association of Realtor (NAR) reports today that sales of existing homes in the US were down 1.7% in August 2017 from July. At a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million, that’s the lowest pace for resales since July 2016. It is yet another data point reflecting the almost certain end of “reflation” in…