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Articles by New Deal Democrat

The 2020 Presidential election nowcasts and forecast: growing evidence for a likely Biden blowout

3 days ago

– by New Deal democratFor the past three weeks I have 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.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 through July 11:
There are no flips, except that I noticed I had overlooked a poll last month of Nebraska that actually showed a slight Biden lead. In Biden States, Arizona weakened and several others strengthened. In Trump States, a number in the

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Weekly Indicators for July 6 – 10 at Seeking Alpha

4 days ago

– by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha. While the forecasts remain inexplicably positive, the nowcast worsened slightly.As usual, clicking over and reading should bring you up to the moment on the economy, and will also reward me ever so slightly for my work.

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Initial and continuing claims, JOLTS show labor market “less awful” improvement continues – for now

6 days ago

– by New Deal democratWeekly initial and continuing jobless claims have been giving the most up-to-date  snapshot of the continuing  economic impacts of the coronavirus on employment. This week continues the trend of slightly improvement (or, more truly, slightly less awful).Below 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 1.400 million new claims, 31,000 less than one week ago. After seasonal adjustment this became 1.314 million, 99,000 less than last week’s number. The good news is, this is the smallest weekly decline since the worst reading in April. The bad news is, it is

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Coronavirus dashboard for July 8: deaths in the South and West finally suggest increasing trend

7 days ago

– by New Deal democratCoronavirus death statistics have been plagued recently by State data dumps, where months of deaths have been released on a single day. In the past 2 weeks, both NJ and NY’s such releases had skewed the numbers. As of today, both are out of the 7 day statistics, so I thought I would update again.

One bit of good news, statistics-wise, is that the COVID tracker now has the ability to include hospitalizations (although FL still isn’t fully releasing its numbers). So here are hospitalizations per capita in the 4 US regions:

In the past few weeks, hospitalizations have continued to decline in the Northeast, stayed flat in the Midwest, risen slightly in the West starting 14 days ago, and increased by more than 50% in the South starting 19 days ago.

Has the

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Coronavirus dashboard for July 7, 2020: deaths as a *very* lagging statistic

8 days ago

– by New Deal democrat
Total diagnosed US coronavirus cases: 2,928,4187 day average: 50,135Total US coronavirus deaths: 122,9157 day average: 480

The renewed exponential spread of coronavirus cases is continuing. We will probably be over 3 million cases within 48 hours. Including all of the undiagnosed cases (especially in April and May), probably about 2.5%-3% of the entire US population has been infected by this point.

There is still not enough medical mask production. There is still not a thorough testing program in place. There is still not a significant tracing or isolation protocol in place. There will be none of these until at least January 20, 2021. 

The big paradox remains why deaths have continued to decline, albeit very slowly, even while new cases have skyrocketed

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The 2020 Presidential election forecast from State polling: a Biden tsunami threatens to swamp the GOP Senate

9 days ago

– by New Deal democrat
For the past two weeks I have 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.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 as of the 4th of July:There is one change since last week and it is an important one: by the barest of margins North Carolina has moved from toss-up to lean Biden.As was the case last week, if Biden were simply win the States in which he leads by

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Weekly Indicators for June 29 – July 3 at Seeking Alpha

10 days ago

– by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.There is a theory of the “wisdom of the crowd.” It refers to a situation where a mass of people, all taking their best guess as to a true fact, are all individually wrong, but averaged together are correct.As to the economy, presently the “wisdom of the crowd” may be a ghastly, cold-blooded determination that there can be reasonable growth even with millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths on an ongoing basis. Maybe.As usual, clicking over and reading will bring you virtually up to the moment on the economy, and reward me a little bit for my efforts.P.S. This coming week will feature only two noteworthy pieces of data: the May JOLTS survey on Tuesday, and jobless claims on Thursday. So I will

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Frederick Douglass’s oration on the 4th of July (abridged)

11 days ago

– by New Deal democratThe middle portion of Douglass’s famous speech, delivered in 1852 to white abolitionists in Rochester, NY, where Douglass lived at the time, and is buried — “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” — is best known.But in the first portion he allowed for celebration of the principles enunciated by the Founders in the Declaration of Independence: “your fathers, the fathers of this republic, did, most deliberately, under the inspiration of a glorious patriotism, and with a sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom, lay deep the corner-stone of the national superstructure.”And in the Concluding portion, he “dr[e]w[ ] encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American

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Initial and continued claims show stalling progress in rehiring

12 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. Going on four full months after the initial shock, the overall damage remains huge, with large spreading new secondary impacts. The best that can be said is that the damage is not accelerating – but as is shown below, there is has been negligent progress in the past few weeks.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 1.445 million new claims, only 15,000 less than one week ago. After seasonal

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

13 days 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

14 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

16 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?

17 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

18 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

18 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

19 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

20 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

21 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

22 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

23 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

24 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

25 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

26 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

27 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

28 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

29 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

June 15, 2020

– 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

June 13, 2020

– 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

June 12, 2020

– 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

June 11, 2020

– 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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