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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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)….

201801.05
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The Reluctant Labor Force Is Reluctant For A Reason (and it’s not booming growth)

In 2017, the BLS estimates that just 861k Americans were added to the official labor force, the denominator, of course, for the unemployment rate. That’s out of an increase of 1.4 million in the Civilian Non-Institutional Population, the overall prospective pool of workers. Both of those rises were about half the rate experienced in 2016….

201801.05
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Payrolls Hit The Trifecta of Awful

Last year was an objectively bad year for American workers. The latest payroll figures from the BLS for December 2017 fill out what was an awful picture. According to its Establishment Survey, the data that’s taken as the definitive source on the US labor market, total payrolls expanded by 2.055 million in 2017. That annual…

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,…

201801.04
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That’s Some ‘Sweet Spot’

December 2014 was something of a high-water mark. Early on in that month, the BLS had published payroll numbers (Establishment Survey) that to many confirmed the narrative. For the previous month, November, the US economy purportedly added a massive 321k new jobs. The media was predictably uncontrolled in its glee. Any survey of mainstream headlines…

201801.03
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The Anti-Reflation Story Is The One That Mattered, And The Treasury Market Isn’t The Only One Telling It

The Treasury market isn’t the only place where the idea of “globally synchronized growth” is proving a tough sell. The collapse of the yield curve suggests, in fact, it isn’t being bought one bit. Apart from bonds, US companies aren’t warming to the economic warming, either. The labor market apart from the unemployment rate remains…

201712.21
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Taking Turns With The B(L)S

The worst aspect of this economy is by far the real effects pressed upon especially American workers. Of that there is no doubt, including young adults who would be working rather than “studying” if the economy was at all like it has been described. The second worst part is watching politicians trade their descriptions for…

201712.20
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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…

201712.15
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The Economy Likes Its IP Less Lumpy

Industrial Production rose 3.4% year-over-year in November 2017, the highest growth rate in exactly three years. The increase was boosted by the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, leaving more doubt than optimism for where US industry is in 2017. For one thing, of that 3.4% growth rate, more than two-thirds was attributable to just two months….