Tuesday , April 23 2019
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Doug Short

Doug Short

My original dshort.com website was launched in February 2005 using a domain name based on my real name, Doug Short. I'm a first wave boomer with a Ph.D. in English from Duke and a lifelong interest in economics and finance. In 2011 my website was acquired by Advisor Perspectives.

Articles by Doug Short

The Big Four Economic Indicators: March Real Retail Sales

5 days ago

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Note: With the release of March Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index, we’ve updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in March increased by 1.6% (1.57% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, increased by 1.15%.

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January Retail Sales: 1.57% Jump in March

5 days ago

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The Census Bureau’s Advance Retail Sales Report for March was released this morning. HHeadline sales came in at 1.6% month-over-month to one decimal and was better than the Investing.com forecast of 0.9%. Core sales (ex Autos) came in at 1.17% MoM (to two decimals).

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Five Decades of Middle-Class Wages: March 2019 Update

5 days ago

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We’ve updated this series to include the March release of the Consumer Price Index as the deflator and the March monthly employment update. The latest hypothetical real (inflation-adjusted) annual earnings are at $38,159, down 11.5% from 45-plus years ago.

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ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update: WLI YoY Approaching Positive

5 days ago

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This morning’s release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 148.1, up 0.5 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at -1.25%, up from last week and its highest in 22 weeks. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 1.24, also up from the previous week.

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Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: Continued Growth in April

5 days ago

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The latest Manufacturing Index came in at 8.5, down 5.2 from last month’s 13.7. The 3-month moving average came in at 6.0, down from 8.9 last month. Since this is a diffusion index, negative readings indicate contraction, positive ones indicate expansion. The Six-Month Outlook came in at 19.1, down from the previous month’s 21.8.

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RecessionAlert Weekly Leading Index Update

5 days ago

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The Weekly Leading Economic Index (WLEI) uses fifty different time series from these categories: Corporate Bond Composite, Treasury Bond Composite, Stock Market Composite, Labor Market Composite, Credit Market Composite.

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February Trade Deficit at $49.385B, Better Than Forecast

6 days ago

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The U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, also known as the FT-900, is published monthly by the Bureau of Economic Analysis with data going back to 199 and details U.S. exports and imports of goods and services. Today’s headline number of -49.38B was better than the Investing.com forecast of -53.50B.

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February Trade Deficit at $49.38B, Better Than Forecast

6 days ago

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The U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, also known as the FT-900, is published monthly by the Bureau of Economic Analysis with data going back to 199 and details U.S. exports and imports of goods and services. Today’s headline number of -49.38B was better than the Investing.com forecast of -53.50B.

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NAHB Housing Market Index: “Builder Confidence Edges Higher in April”

7 days ago

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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI) is a gauge of builder opinion on the relative level of current and future single-family home sales. It is a diffusion index, which means that a reading above 50 indicates a favorable outlook on home sales; below 50 indicates a negative outlook. The latest reading of 63 is up 1 from last month.

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World Markets Update

8 days ago

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All eight indexes on our world watch list posted gains through April 15, 2019. The top performer is the Shanghai SSE with a 28.9% gain and in second is Hong Kong’s Hang Seng with a gain of 18.62%. In third is France’s CAC 40 with a gain of 17.47%. Coming in last is India’s BSE SENSEX with a gain of 8.40%.

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Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Regular Up Eight Cents

8 days ago

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The price of Regular and Premium are up eight and nine cents each, respectively, from last week. According to GasBuddy.com, California has the highest average price for Regular at $4.00 and Alabama has the cheapest at $2.49. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 63.89, a 0.8% decrease from this time last week and a 32% increase since the beginning of the year.

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Empire State Manufacturing Survey: Modest Growth in April

8 days ago

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This morning we got the latest Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The diffusion index for General Business Conditions at 10.10 was an increase of 6.4 from the previous month’s 3.70. The Investing.com forecast was for a reading of 6.70.

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Dshort Offline Today

11 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Dshort will be offline today, Friday, April 12. We will publish Friday’s economic news on Monday.

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A Long-Term Look at Inflation

12 days ago

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The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) released yesterday morning puts the year-over-year inflation rate at 1.86%. It is below the 3.76% average since the end of the Second World War and above its 10-year moving average, now at 1.60%.

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March Producer Price Index: Core Final Demand Up 0.3% MoM

12 days ago

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Today’s release of the March Producer Price Index (PPI) for Final Demand came in at 0.6% month-over-month seasonally adjusted, up from 0.1% last month. It is at 2.2% year-over-year, up from 1.9% last month, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Core Final Demand (less food and energy) came in at 0.3% MoM, up from 0.1% the previous month and is up 2.4% YoY NSA. Investing.com MoM consensus forecasts were for 0.23% headline and 0.2% core.

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Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down 8K

12 days ago

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This morning’s seasonally adjusted 196K new claims, down 8K from the previous week’s revised 204K, was better than the Investing.com forecast of 211K.

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Inflation: An X-Ray View of the Components

13 days ago

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Here is a table showing the annualized change in Headline and Core CPI, not seasonally adjusted, for each of the past six months. Also included are the eight components of Headline CPI and a separate entry for Energy, which is a collection of sub-indexes in Housing and Transportation. We can make some inferences about how inflation is impacting our personal expenses depending on our relative exposure to the individual components.

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Baby Boomer Employment Across Time

13 days ago

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The 20th century Baby Boom was one of the most powerful demographic events in the history of the United States. We’ve created a series of charts to show seven age cohorts of the employed population from 1948 to the present.

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U.S. Workforce Recovery

13 days ago

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We’ve updated our monthly workforce analysis to include Friday’s Employment Report for February. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 196K.

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Demographic Trends for the 50-and-Older Work Force

13 days ago

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Note: This commentary has been updated with the latest numbers from Friday’s Employment Report. Consider: Today nearly one in three of the 65-69 cohort and one in five of the 70-74 cohort are in the labor force.

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Consumer Price Index: March Headline at 1.86%

13 days ago

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 1.86%, up from 1.52% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 2.04%, up from the previous month’s 2.08% and above the Fed’s 2% PCE target.

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Long-Term Trends in Employment by Age Group

14 days ago

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The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is a simple computation: You take the Civilian Labor Force (people age 16 and over employed or seeking employment) and divide it by the Civilian Noninstitutional Population (those 16 and over not in the military and or committed to an institution).

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