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June jobs report: the last hurrah of the wished-for “V-shaped” coronavirus recovery

1 day ago

– by New Deal democrat
HEADLINES:
4,800,000 million jobs added. This makes up about 22% of the 22.1 million job losses in March and April.
U3 unemployment rate improved 2.2% from 13.3% to 11.1%, compared with the January low of 3.5%.
U6 underemployment rate improved 3.2% from 21.2% to 18.0%, compared with the January low of 6.9%.
Those on temporary layoff declined 4,778,000 to 10.565 million.
Permanent job losers increased by 588,000.
April was revised downward by -100,000. May was revised higher by 190,000 respectively, for a net of 90,000 more jobs gained compared with previous reports.

Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession

I am still highlighting these because of their leading nature for the economy overall.  These were uniformly very positive: 
the average

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June data starts out with a bright spot in manufacturing

2 days ago

– by New Deal democrat
Earlier this week the last of the regional Fed Districts, Dallas, reported their manufacturing indexes for June. The overall picture has been a strong rebound:

Regional Fed New Orders Indexes

(*indicates report this week) 
Empire State up +41.8 to -0.6
Philly up +42.4 to +16.7
Richmond up +30 to +5
Kansas City  up +32 to +7
*Dallas up +33.5 to +2.9 

On a month over month basis, the average is up +36 from -30 to +6

The regional Fed indexes almost always telegraph the direction, and sometimes the amplitude, of the ISM manufacturing index for the entire country. That was certainly the case for June.

This morning the ISM reported that manufacturing in the US rebounded strongly, up +9.5 from a contracting reading of 43.1 to an expanding reading of 52.6. The even

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Coronavirus dashboard for June 29: renewed exponential growth in infections, decline in deaths has stalled

4 days ago

– by New Deal democratTotal US infections: 2,549,069,  42,161 in last day
Total US deaths: 125,803,  273 in last dayHere is the regional breakdown of the 7 day average of new cases per capita: 

There is renewed exponential growth in the South and West. The Midwest also is beginning to look bad.

Also, here is some more evidence that, when you recklessly reopen, and the pandemic roars back, customers pull back, thus defeating the entire purpose of “reopening the economy:”

The scientific phrase for this phenomenon is, “Well, duh!”

The “top 10” States for new infections per capita are now dominated by the Confederacy, plus Arizona and Utah:

However, while Arizona now heads the “top 10” jurisdictions for deaths per capita, and Louisiana, Arkansas, and Florida have joined

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The US Presidential election as forecast by State polling: tending towards a Biden blowout?

5 days ago

– by New Deal democrat
Last week I posted a projection of the Electoral College vote based solely on State rather than national polls (since after all that is how the College operates) that have been reported in the last 30 days. There has been extensive polling in the past week, so I have updated the map.Here’s how it works:- States where the race is closer than 3% are shown as toss-ups.- States where the range is between 3% to 5% are light colors.- States where the range is between 5% and 10% are medium colors.- States where the candidate is leading by 10% plus are dark colors.Here is the updated map:The most important change since last week is that we got extensive polling for Pennsylvania, that moves that State from toss-up into likely Biden. Florida and Minnesota both moved one

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Coronavirus dashboard for June 27: infections -> hospitalizations -> deaths

6 days ago

– by New Deal democrat
Total US infections: 2,480,786,  44,373 new casesTotal US deaths: 125,120,  619 new deathsA quandary over the past month has been why deaths declined so much more than new cases, while cases were declining; and more recently why deaths have continued to decline in the face of soaring new infections.Is it because of better treatments? Changing demographics – e.g., fewer nursing home cases, more younger people? Or is something more even more fundamental with the nature of the virus itself going on? In short, should we expect deaths to continue to decline, or to turn up following the increase in new infections?I am expecting deaths to begin to rise again, imminently.Here’s why: the progression is:- first, infections increase/decrease-second, hospitalizations

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Weekly Indicators for June 22 – 26 at Seeking Alpha

6 days ago

– by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha. The coincident indicators, as well as the short leading indicators, have continued to improve gradually each week.But this week may be the near term peak, as the reality of renewed exponential spread of the coronavirus in recklessly reopened States starts to hit home. You cannot force people to patronize businesses if they believe it is unsafe, and when complacency leads to new outbreaks, the pain threshold will be hit at which people pull back again. Most noteworthy is that restaurant reservations did not improve in the past week – people are shying away from danger.As usual, clicking over and reading rewards me with a little jingle in my pocket as well as bringing you right up to date with what is happening in the

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All 4 coincident indicators of recession improved in May vs. April

7 days ago

– by New Deal democratWith this morning’s release of personal income and spending, we now have all 4 coincident indicators for May that the NBER uses to determine whether the economy is in recession or recovery/expansion. And all 4 improved from their “most horrible” readings in April.

A recession is a generalized downturn in production, employment, sales, and income. The “income” metric that the NBER uses is “real personal income excluding current transfer receipts,” (basically, government program payments to individuals) and as shown in the graph below, it improved from April: 

Still a horrible decline from February, but “less horrible” compared to April.

Since industrial production, nonfarm payrolls, and real retail sales also all improved in May from April, that makes it 4

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Initial jobless claims improve slightly; continuing claims resume decline

8 days ago

– by New Deal democratWeekly initial and continuing jobless claims give us the most up-to-date  snapshot of the continuing  economic impacts of the coronavirus on employment. More than three full months after the initial shock, the overall damage remains huge, with large spreading new secondary impacts. The positive news is that the total number of claims, including continuing claims, has resumed being “less awful,” likely meaning more people have been recalled to their jobs than have newly lost them.First, here are initial jobless claims both seasonally adjusted (blue) and non- seasonally adjusted (red). The non-seasonally adjusted number is of added importance since seasonal adjustments should not have more than a trivial effect on the huge real numbers:

There were 1.457 million new

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Housing rebounded sharply in May

9 days ago

– by New Deal democratOne aspect of the economy that is important in terms of how well things will go once the pandemic ultimately recedes (which won’t occur until after next January 20) remains housing.And low interest rates brought housing back from the depths in May.My look at the current state of mortgage rates, housing sales, and prices is up over at Seeking Alpha.

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Coronavirus dashboard for June 23: focusing on deaths, and the Trumpist South and Southwest

10 days ago

– by New Deal democratConfirmed total US infections: 2,312,302. (+31,433 in past 24 hours)
Confirmed total US deaths: 120,402 (+425 in past 24 hours)

We know that new cases are accelerating again. Is it translating into an increase in deaths? The answer appears to be: not yet, but getting close.

Here is the 7 day average of new deaths in the US: 

In the past 3 days, the decline has ceased at roughly 610/day.

A regional look shows that the decline in new deaths has stopped everywhere except in the Northeast.

The first graph shows the 7 day average of deaths in the Northeast and Midwest; the second the South and West:

The Northeast still has the highest death rate per capita, at 2.8 deaths per day per million, with the Midwest at 2, the South at 1.6, and the West at

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Coronavirus dashboard for June 22: a pandemic newly focused on the young appears to be changing the dynamics

11 days ago

– by New Deal democratConfirmed US coronavirus infections: 2,280,969Confirmed US coronavirus deaths: 119,977The 7 day average of new infections in the US has risen 30% from its low of 20,357 on June 9 to 26,546 yesterday:On a per capita basis, US infections are now roughly 4x those in Europe:Curiously, the 7 day average of deaths has continued to decline, to 605 as of yesterday: On a per capita basis, US deaths from coronavirus are only 2x those in Europe:Within the US, the per capita rate of infections has continued to fall in the Northeast megalopolis, risen slightly in the Midwest, but is rising at what may be exponential rates in the South and West:The poster child for confirmed new exponential spread remains Arizona, which now has a rate of new infections 2/3’s that of NY at its

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The 2020 Presidential election as forecast by State polling

12 days ago

– by New Deal democratAs we all know, in the US Presidential election national polls are of limited use, as the election is actually decided on a State by State basis.I’ve seen lots of projections of the Electoral College vote based on national polls, but what if we go just by State polls, and in particular State polls that have been reported in the last 30 days?That, dear reader, is what the following map looks like:
I prepared this map after a slew of State polling was reported on Wednesday. Here’s how it works:
 – States where the race is closer than 3% are shown as toss-ups.
 – States where the range is between 3% to 5% are light colors.
 – States where the range is between 5% and 10% are medium colors.
 – States where the candidate is leading by 10% plus are dark colors.The only

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Weekly Indicators for June 15 – 19 at Seeking Alpha

13 days ago

– by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.Almost all of the metrics have improved off of their worst readings. Enough of the short leading indicators have improved so much that the short term forecast was upgraded to neutral as of this week.As usual, clicking over and reading should bring you “up to the moment” on the economy, and it also rewards me with a penny or two for the effort I put into the endeavor.

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Coronavirus dashboard for June 19: infections and hospitalizations have increased; it may be too late for Arizona

14 days ago

– by New Deal democrat
Let’s start with the basics: total US coronavirus infections are 2,191,371. Total US deaths from coronavirus are 118,436. Those are official numbers; the real numbers are obviously higher.

The number of daily new infections averaged over a week has started to rise decisively. After a low of 20,357 on June 9, as of the 18th it has risen to 23,923: 

Not all States keep track of hospitalizations, so most dashboards don’t cover them. Conor Kelly does, and his measure shows that hospitalizations have also increased over the past three days as well:

Deaths, however, have continued to decrease, down to 679 over the past 7 days vs. the peak of 2,210 on April 18:

One Stanford statistician claims that COVID-19 deaths are following a “Gompertz function,”

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New and continued jobless claims level off, as spreading secondary impacts and job recalls balance

15 days ago

– by New Deal democratWeekly initial and continuing jobless claims give us the most up-to-date  snapshot of the continuing  economic impacts of the coronavirus on employment. Three full months after the initial shock, the overall damage remains huge, with recalls to work roughly balanced with spreading new secondary impacts.First, here are initial jobless claims both seasonally adjusted (blue) and non- seasonally adjusted (red). The non-seasonally adjusted number is of added importance since seasonal adjustments should not have more than a trivial effect on the huge real numbers: 

There were 1.433 million new claims, which after the seasonal adjustment became 1.508 million. This is “only” 58,000 less than last week’s number – the smallest weekly decline since the worst reading in

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Coronavirus dashboard for June 17: the second wave of the tsunami comes ashore

16 days ago

– New Deal democratAs of yesterday, there were 2,137,731 total documented coronavirus infections in the US. Total known deaths were 116,963.

As I have stated several times in the past month, I believe that coronavirus infections and deaths will wax and wane around the April-May plateau of roughly 20-25,000 new daily infections and 500-2000 daily deaths, at least as long as Trump remains President. This is because, absent competent Federal leadership, the US lacks the political and social will to do what is necessary – distancing + mask-wearing + tracing – in order to “crush the curve” as almost every other industrialized European and Asian country has been able to do.

The current situation in the US is divided by region. In the early hard-hit areas of the Northeast and Midwest,

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The Coronavirus Recession may already (technically) have ended: sales and production both increased in May

17 days ago

– by New Deal democratSales and production are two of the four things that economists look for in gauging whether the economy is in expansion or recession, and this morning both of them – retail sales and industrial production – were released for May.

So it’s true: as defined by the NBER, the Coronavirus Recession may have only lasted two months, from February through April. That’s because, just as February was the peak of economic activity before the coronavirus hit, April may well have been the trough. And recessions technically end, not when the economy becomes objectively “good” or “fair,” but simply when the level of activity is less awful than before. If the trajectory is positive, and activity goes from really awful, to slightly less really awful, the recession has ended, even

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Abbreviated Coronavirus dashboard for June 15: tracking the four horsemen of the reopening apocalypse

18 days ago

– by New Deal democratThere’s no big economic news out today. So let me follow up on my post Friday about the cost of reopening recklessly coming due.Here is the graph from 91.divoc.com of the 10 States with the highest per capita infection rate over the past 7 days ending Saturday:
With the exception of rapidly declining Maryland, the focus has almost entirely shifted away from the Northeast and Midwest and instead to the Confederacy plus Iowa, Utah, and Arizona. The 4 “leading” States are Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, and South Carolina.I’m having problems with the 91-divoc site this morning, but the raw data through Sunday shows a slight decline for Arizona, but a 12% increase for Alabama and a whopping 25% increase for Arkansas, bringing it up to Arizona’s level. South Carolina is

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Weekly Indicators for June 8 – 12 at Seeking Alpha

20 days ago

– by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.The short leading indicators have continued to improve, from awful, to less awful, to merely really bad.But that the NASDAQ briefly made a new high last week, while the S&P was only 5% from one, while the coronavirus pandemic rages on, was simply insane.As usual, clicking over and reading should bring you up to the moment on the economy, and reward me a little bit for my efforts.

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Coronavirus dashboard for June 12: the costs of recklessly reopening begin to come due

21 days ago

– by New Deal democratIt is pretty clear now that in general those States (but not all) which left lockdowns the earliest and with the most lax continuing restrictions are suffering renewed outbreaks of the coronavirus, *possibly* in several cases verging on exponential spread.

For the US in total, the 7 day average of deaths has continued to decline, now at 803 per day vs. 2,201 on the April 18 peak:

Among the 40 States that consistently report hospitalizations, the number has still also declined:

But new cases averaged over the past 7 days have started to rise again, now at 21,527 vs. the low of 20,658 on May 28:

The increase cannot be put down to increased testing, as the 7 day average has leveled off in the past week:

Here is the breakdown of new infections by

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Initial jobless claims decline further, but continuing claims fail to make meaningful progress

22 days ago

– by New Deal democratWeekly initial and continuing jobless claims give us the most up-to-date  snapshot of the continuing  economic impacts of the coronavirus to the average worker. Twelve weeks after calamity first struck, the theme remains “less awful.”First, here are initial jobless claims both seasonally adjusted (blue) and non- seasonally adjusted (red). The non-seasonally adjusted number is of added importance since seasonal adjustments should not have more than a trivial effect on the huge real numbers:
There were 1.542 million new claims , which after the seasonal adjustment became 1.537 million. This is a -355,000 decline from last week’s number, and the lowest so far since the virus struck – but still almost twice as bad as the worst week during the “Great Recession.”Since we

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May inflation steadies: meanwhile, an artificial all time high in “real” wages

23 days ago

– by New Deal democrat
In May, overall consumer prices declined by -0.1% (blue in the graph below), while consumer prices excluding energy (gas) rose +0.1% (red):  

Note that in 2015 when gas prices collapsed, prices otherwise continued to increase, showing the underlying strength of the economy. But in March and April of this year, even prices outside of gas declined, showing underlying weakness. This is a typical recessionary scenario. May’s increase in prices ex-energy may be a good sign.

YoY inflation is now only +0.2%, while YoY inflation ex-energy is up +1.6%:

Last month I didn’t look at “real” inflation-adjusted wages. As it turns out, an important milestone was made – but was totally an artifact of the relative decimation of lower wage jobs. 

“Real”

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Coronavirus update for June 8: declining trend in new infections has stopped

25 days ago

– by New Deal democrat
I haven’t updated the Coronavirus Dashboard in awhile. Last time I indicated I would do so if there was a significant change in trend.

Well, there has been. New infections are not declining anymore. In the last week, the 7 day average has increased slightly, and there has been only a 1% decline of the 7 day average in the past 2 weeks:

On Saturday, the 7 day average was 21.4k new infections, higher than the 21.0 cases of 10 days ago. Two weeks ago there were 21.7k new infections.

The 7 day moving average of deaths, which lags by 1 to 2 weeks, is still in decline, although I expect this to follow suit:

Because increased testing can be expected to find more cases, it might be argued that that is the cause of the recent reported increase in

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Weekly Indicators for June 1 – 5 at Seeking Alpha

27 days ago

– by New Deal democratMy Weekly indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.The interest rate-sensitive long leading indicators largely turned positive as soon as the coronavirus crisis hit. As lockdowns have eased, several of the short leading indicators have also now turned – or at least are a lot less awful.If the easing up and/or the huge protests result in a surge of new coronavirus cases, that could certainly reverse itself. But for now, “less awful” is the trend.As usual, clicking over and reading rewards me with a penny or two for the effort I put into the endeavor.

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May jobs report: a welcome positive shock

28 days ago

–  by New Deal democrat
HEADLINES:
2,509,000 million jobs added. This makes up about 12% of the 22.1 million job losses in March and April.
U3 unemployment rate improved 1.4% to 13.3%, compared with the January low of 3.5%.
U6 underemployment rate improved 1.6% to 21.2%, compared with the January low of 6.9%.
March and April were both revised further downward, by -492,000 and 150,000 respectively, for a net of -642,000 more jobs lost compared with previous reports.

Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession

I am still highlighting these because of their leading nature for the economy overall.  These were uniformly very positive: 
the average manufacturing workweek rose 0.8 hours from 38.1 to 38.9 hours. This is one of the 10 components of the LEI and will be a positive.

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Jobless claims: “less awful” trend mainly continues – for now

29 days ago

– by New Deal democratFirst of all, I have a new post up at Seeking Alpha. The monthly May data has started to come in, giving us our first comparable data after the coronavirus recession struck. In housing, vehicle sales, and manufacturing, the theme is “less awful.” As usual, clicking over and reading is hopefully educational for you, as well as putting a penny or two in my pocket.Meanwhile, weekly initial and continuing jobless claims give us the most up-to-date  snapshot of the continuing  economic impacts of the coronavirus to the average worker. Eleven weeks after calamity first struck, the theme is the same: “less awful.”First, here are initial jobless claims both seasonally adjusted (blue) and non- seasonally adjusted (red). The non-seasonally adjusted number is of added

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Echoes and contrasts with 1968

June 3, 2020

– by New Deal democratAs I mention from time to time, I am a fossil. I am old enough to remember 1968, when I was a politically precocious teenybopper. In the past week, I have read a number of commentaries wondering if this year is similar to that. In short: yes.

In 1968 it appeared that the world was spiraling out of control. The Vietnam war was at its height, with 300 soldiers killer every week. Protests against the war were also reaching a crescendo, one that reached its apex during the Democratic Convention in Chicago, which was later described as a “police riot” that, among other things, targeted journalists. That was just a few weeks after the Soviet Army rolled into Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” of a progressive socialist government.

There were also race riots

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Coronavirus dashboard for June 2: the US has settled into a depressing status quo

June 2, 2020

– by New Deal democratThe US seems to have settled into a status quo where it accepts 20,000 new coronavirus infections and 1,500 deaths each day. This is what I forecast about a month ago, as lockdown regimens were abandoned in much if not most of the country: periods of waxing and waning waves of infection because there simply isn’t the political or social willpower to “crush the curve.”

Meanwhile Vietnam, a developing country with a 90,000,000 population, which immediately went on a regimen of testing and tracing per the WHO recommendations, and has nearly universal wearing of masks, has not recorded a single coronavirus death. Below I show cases, because there are no deaths in Vietnam to show!:

Domestically, it continues to be the case that only Oregon, with a population of

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Coronavirus dashboard for May 31: comparing US States and regions with European countries

May 31, 2020

– by New Deal democratAmong all countries in the world, Sweden has the worst death rate from coronavirus: 5.9 per million per day over the past week. But, even with massive declines from their peaks, most of the States in the US’s eastern megalopolis are worse.

To begin, here’s Kevin Drum’s dashboard of major European countries, plus Canada, as of May 27:

He doesn’t show it, but since Spain had the worst outbreak among major Western European countries, here it is:

And here, by comparison, is the US:

From worst to best, here are the death rates per million over the past week:

Sweden: 5.9

UK: 3.8

US: 3.0

Canada: 2.6

Italy: 1.5

Spain: 1.2

France: 1.1

Germany: 0.5

At its worst, the US as a whole had a death rate of 8.1 per million.

Now let’s see how US

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Weekly Indicators for May 24 – 28 at Seeking Alpha

May 30, 2020

– by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.The news can be summed up in two words: “less awful.” With the exception of one employment measure, every other indicator has bounced off their recent lows, some very substantially. Meanwhile lower interest rates are setting the stage for growth after the pandemic effects ebb.As usual, clicking over and reading helps reward me with a couple of pennies for my efforts.

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