201607.28
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What Is Truly Left of the ‘Recovery’

Oil prices are like an unfolding train wreck, as it is nearly impossible to look away now.  Day after day, not only are spot prices down but the entire WTI curve is now moving lower in almost perfect unison.  Prices have dropped six days in a row, more than $4, and at just above $41…

201607.27
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Durable Goods Start To Suggest Summer

The seasonal spring rebound seems to have reset all the economic narratives. When economic accounts, along with financial markets, started to seriously slide toward the end of last year, for the first time even the mainstream began to admit, grudgingly, that weakness wasn’t just some remote happenstance that was a minor nuisance to an otherwise…

201607.22 0

Depression And Confidence

Some people have impeccable timing. Even if by accident, there are occasions when what they say or write comes out in almost perfect sequence. At the end of August 2014, UC Berkeley economist J. Bradford DeLong wrote an article for Project Syndicate that argued in favor of proper categorization. The lack of recovery was so…

201607.22
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Housing Construction Just Isn’t What It ‘Should’ Be

The June 2016 FOMC statement included an admission that the labor market might not have been quite as unassailable as had been thought dating back to 2014. That was likely the reason for the assumed change in stance, as even KC Fed President Esther George was unable to bring herself (LINK HERE) to vote against…

201607.20
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Examining The ‘Abundance of Strong Data’ From A Realistic Perspective

Back in January and even into February, the idea of recession seemed no longer so far-fetched. The FOMC and orthodox economists had been claiming since late 2014 that the only economic fate was “full employment” and the satisfying economic conditions that accompany it. Instead, the latter half of 2015 turned uncomfortably close to the “impossible”…

201607.19
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IBM Still Provokes More Than Morbid Curiosity

At this point, maybe it’s more like a train or car wreck whose shocking carnage compels you to keep staring at it. I still think there is, however, relevant information in IBM’s ongoing crash though I can’t deny the degree of fascination with it as almost theater. The company yesterday reported its 17th consecutive quarter…

201607.19
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Nearly Two Years of Manufacturing Contraction, And No Progress In Inventory

Manufacturing sales were reported Friday to have declined 2.3% year-over-year in May, following a 4.7% contraction in April. Since sales in May 2015 were almost 6% less than May 2014, the manufacturing sector counts almost 8% less in revenue across two years of contraction. The worst part is, again, the time. In seasonally-adjusted terms, estimated…

201607.15
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The Problem Is Not So Much Retail Weakness But Prolonged Retail Weakness

Retail sales in June 2016 were up 3.14% from June 2015. That rate is slightly better than the average from the middle of last year, but not significantly so. The 6-month average continues to straddle the 3% range that traditionally marks recessionary circumstances, about 2% less than the average just before the “rising dollar” economy…

201607.15
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US IP Down For 10th Straight Month Indicating Growth Is Now The Outlier Scenario

Industrial production in the United States remains caught up in the latest downward shift of the 2012 slowdown. The Federal Reserve estimates that overall industrial production contracted for the 10th straight month, falling 0.7% in June 2016. The degree of decline is relatively small, but as with so many other accounts the lingering of the…

201607.15
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Now We Know Why China Authorities Panicked; An Actual Negative Number In The One Place They Can’t Afford One

In August 2014, Chinese industrial production was estimated to have slowed sharply from +9.0% that July to just 6.9%. Consensus at the time expected only a minor variation, an insignificant change to +8.8%. Chinese industrial statistics had suggested some minor (relatively speaking) weakness at the start of the year before rebounding throughout the spring in…