Wednesday , April 1 2020
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The author Bill McBride
Bill McBride
A full time blogger, Mr. McBride retired as a senior executive from a small public company in the '90s. Mr. McBride holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and has a background in management, finance and economics.

Calculated Risk

Wednesday: ADP Employment, ISM Mfg, Construction Spending, Vehicle Sales

Wednesday:• At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.• At 8:15 AM, The ADP Employment Report for March. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 154,000 payroll jobs lost in March, down from 183,000 added in February. • At 10:00 AM, ISM Manufacturing Index for March. The consensus is for the ISM to be at 45.0, down from 50.1 in February.• At 10:00 AM, Construction Spending...

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March 31 Update: US COVID-19 Tests per Day #TestAndTrace

There is still far too little testing in the U.S.Test-and-trace is a key criteria in starting to reopen the country.   My current guess is test-and-trace will require around 300,000 tests per day at first since the US is far behind the curve.When I first started posting this data (thanks to the COVID Tracking Project), testing was so low, that just tracking the number of tests made sense.The percentage positive is also critical. Unfortunately some states and labs don't report all...

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The Economic Outlook

This is a healthcare crisis, and the economic outlook is based on presumptions about the course of the pandemic.  A key model suggests peak healthcare resource use will be around April 15th, but the peak will not be until May in many areas of the country.   Of course, this requires cooperation of the public.Before areas can start easing restrictions, the US will need to have sufficient healthcare services and equipment, masks for everyone (it seems likely that it will be recommended...

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Update: A few comments on the Seasonal Pattern for House Prices

Note: With COVID-19, there will be far fewer real estate transaction for several months. This could distort the house price indexes - since there will be far fewer repeat sales.CR Note: This is a repeat of earlier posts with updated graphs.A few key points:1) There is a clear seasonal pattern for house prices.2) The surge in distressed sales during the housing bust distorted the seasonal pattern.3) Even though distressed sales are down significantly, the seasonal factor is based on several...

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Case-Shiller: National House Price Index increased 3.9% year-over-year in January

S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for January ("January" is a 3 month average of November, December and January prices).This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the monthly National index.Note: Case-Shiller reports Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), I use the SA data for the graphs. From S&P: S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index Shows Continued Growth In Annual Home Price Gains To Start 2020The...

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March 30 Update: US COVID-19 Tests per Day #TestAndTrace

Test-and-trace is a key criteria in starting to reopen the country.   My current guess is test-and-trace will require around 300,000 tests per day.When I first started posting this data (thanks to the COVID Tracking Project), testing was so low, that just tracking the number of tests made sense.The percentage positive is also critical. Unfortunately some states and labs don't report all negative tests, although that is supposed to change soon.The real key is to have enough tests that...

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Movie Box Office

When the eventual recovery starts, it will be interesting to track hotel occupancy, restaurant traffic and movie box office data.Currently almost all theaters in the US are closed and box office is close to zero. Note: the 4-week average hasn't fallen to zero yet, but the average will be at zero in a couple of weeks. Click on graph for larger image.This data shows the 4-week average of domestic box office for this year (red) and the maximum and minimum for the previous four years.This data...

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Dallas Fed: "Texas Manufacturing Activity Contracts Suddenly, Outlook Worsens", Record Low Activity Index

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Expansion ContinuesTexas factory activity declined sharply in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, plummeted from 16.4 to -35.3, suggesting a notable contraction in output since last month.Other measures of manufacturing activity also point to a sudden decline in March. The new orders index dropped to -41.3, its lowest reading...

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