201606.29
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The Income of ‘Full’ Employment

In some contrast to spending or even “demand”, the economic problem is and has always been the lack of income growth. The difference in economy between income and spending is debt. As noted earlier, it was clear that the asset bubbles, based on debt via eurudollar expansion, created a boost in overall “demand” as represented…

201606.29
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Revisions Don’t Change The Great Dislocation

The final revision to Q1 GDP changed very little, at least in its natural format given that there are benchmark revisions coming in less than a month that could significantly alter all of this. Even with “residual seasonality” there is every reason to suspect that the economy is weak even as compared only to the…

201606.28
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GDP Corporate Profits And Cash Flows Rebound in Q1, But Not Really

Accompanying the final estimate for Q1 GDP is the first estimate for the corporate profits and cash flow components. Profits rebounded from a dismal Q4, but that actually means much less than it sounds especially in the more important segments. Corporate profits before tax (without IVA and CCadj) were an estimated $1.86 trillion in Q1,…

201606.24
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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….

201606.22
3
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The Full Measure of Slack

Near the start of her tenure, Janet Yellen in a speech given on April 16, 2014, at the Economic Club of New York declared monetary policy concerned with three big factors. The first was inflation and whether or not it was moving back to the 2% target, even though by then it had been almost…

201606.21
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Re-investigating The Simple Assumptions

In February 1999, the Bank of Japan announced that its call money rate would be zero “until deflationary concerns subside.” Other than a temporary shift in 2001 and 2006, deflationary concerns remain. How effective was monetary policy? That point has been partially answered by the introduction of QE over and over and over again. The…

201606.20
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The European Basis For New Monetary Science

Looking back it almost sounds like a completely different world. In the end, however, the world hasn’t changed, perceptions have. On May 10, 2012, German newspaper Spiegel reported that Bundesbank’s (Germany’s central bank) chief of its economics department, Jens Ulbricht, testified in the German parliament that German inflation was likely to be, “somewhat above the…

201606.15
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Industrial Production Slumps Still; Auto Production In Particular

Industrial production fell year-over-year in May 2016 for the ninth consecutive month. At -1.4%, it is the same kind of slow, steady contraction now that we find in so many other places. This is not the typical recession response, instead more consistent with the slowdown turning into serious than just insufficient growth while still at…

201606.14
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Full Employment Math: 2 + 2 = 5

Inventory is an exceedingly simple concept spaced between the most basic economic fundamentals. Because the modern economy operates upon mass production, the flow of goods is not direct. Thus, there are structural differences between demand and supply, with inventory as the pivot in between. If end demand rises it still gets filled even though production…

201606.14
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Retail Sales Slump Back; Auto Sales In Particular

As with other economic accounts, retail sales dropped back in May after the temporary rebound coincident to calendar effects. Overall sales, including autos, grew just 1.9% over May 2015, well below the 3% level that historically defines recessionary conditions. That growth rate was the 39th worst in the entire data series (out of 281 months),…