After two successive months of contraction in retail sales (in real terms), April’s estimated balance was a bounce higher. Given the volatile nature of economic data, this upward move is not unexpected. Total retail sales (including food, autos and gasoline) grew 4.5% in April 2013 Y/Y, much better than the 0.98% and 1.95% in February .. read more
…does not always equal causation, but sometimes the data fits the inference.
Late Friday the Treasury Department released its semi-annual report on global exchange rates or as I like to call it, the semi-annual report on why all other countries on planet earth should let their currencies rise against the UD Dollar. Or maybe the semi-annual report on how easy monetary policy by other countries’ central banks .. read more
This morning’s retail sales figure from the Census Bureau shows a Y/Y increase (unadjusted) of only 1.79%. That is the second worst month since the recovery took hold in later 2009. The worst month was actually last month, which means the current condition in retail trade is, by far, the worst two months since the .. read more
Again, better than expected data buoys markets as the tepid recovery appears not to be worse than tepid. Today the Department of Labor reported a drop in initial jobless claims that seems to confirm the employment or jobs headline from last Friday. Low initial claims do tend to correlate with rising employment levels, so it .. read more
Year over year retail sales in January were the best in a few months, but on an adjusted basis were rather lackluster. Again, I don’t find the pursuit of month-to-month precision illuminating and it has clearly caused disconnects between adjusted and unadjusted data (I know, a recurring theme). The adjustment factor (the divisor) for January .. read more
Seasonal adjustments or unadulterated data? Imputations and trend-cycle analysis or extrapolating trends from raw data? After beating consensus estimates for two months in August and September, seasonally-adjusted retail sales came back down to earth in October. One of the primary drags on growth was a rather large decline in automobile sales – a topic we .. read more
Last week’s data continued the recent trend of better than expected reports on the US economy. Unfortunately, the investing world chose to focus on the latest blip in Italian and Spanish bond yields and equity markets turned in their worst week since September. The S&P 500 fell 3.81% on the week, while Europe and Emerging .. read more