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Constantin Gurdgiev: True Economics

Constantin Gurdgiev, a Russian economist based in Dublin, is the creator of True Economics. His blog covers economic ideas and analysis on current news stories and global economic events. Given the level of detail, this blog is more suited for people familiar with intermediate macroeconomic concepts.

8/8/19: Upbeat Jobs Reports Miss Some Real Points

Unemployment claims down, the weekly jobs report seemed to have triggered the usual litany of positive commentary in the business media But all is not cheerful in the U.S. labor markets, once you start scratching below the surface. Here are two broader metrics of labor markets health: the civilian employment to population ratio and the labor force participation rate, based on monthly data through July: The above shows thatCivilian labor force participation rate is running still below...

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6/8/19: El Paso and Dayton mark 2019 as the worst year for mass shooting violence in America on record

In the wake of the extremely sad events of the last two weeks, it took me some time to run through the data from the on mass shootings in the U.S. 2014-2019 (to-date), and the numbers are shocking. The El Paso, TX shooting of August 3, followed by the Dayton, OH incident on August 4  (with combined numbers of those killed or injured at 82 with 30 people dead, may they rest in peace) have shaken the world (see, for example,...

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1/8/19: Wages vs GDP growth: when economic growth stops benefiting workers

I have posted earlier some data on the gap between real GDP and real disposable income per capita in the U.S. (see here: that evidences the longer-term nature of the ongoing debasement of real incomes in the repeated cycles of financialisation of the U.S. economy. Here is another view of the same subject matter: Per chart above, consistent with my arguments in the case of disposable income, U.S. labor...

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1/9/19: ‘Losin Spectacularly’: Trump Trade Wars and net exports

U.S. net exports of goods and services are in a tailspin and Trump Trade Wars have been anything but 'winning' for American exporters. You can read about the effects of Trade Wars on corporate revenues and earnings here: And you can see the trends in net exports here: This clearly shows that 'Winning Bigly' is really, materially, about 'Losin Spectacularly'. Tremendous stuff!

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1/8/19: Debasement of Real Disposable Income share of GDP: Historical Trends

I have been crunching some data recently on the historical gap between real GDP growth and wages/income of households. Some of this work will be forthcoming in an article due later this month, so keep an eye out for it. Some of it is post-dating the article submission. Here is an example of the latter. The following chart plots index of real GDP from 1Q 1959 through 1Q 2019 against the index of real disposable income per capita. Both indices are set at 100 at 1959 average. There are 5...

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31/7/19: Fed rate cut won’t move the needle on ‘Losing Globally’ Trade Wars impacts

Dear investors, welcome to the Trump Trade Wars, where 'winning bigly' is really about 'losing globally': As the chart above, via FactSet, indicates, companies in the S&P500 with global trading exposures are carrying the hefty cost of the Trump wars. In 2Q 2019, expected earnings for those S&P500 firms with more than 50% revenues exposure to global (ex-US markets) are expected to fall a massive 13.6 percent. Revenue declines for these companies are forecast at 2.4%.This is hardly...

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27/7/19: A Cautionary Tale of Irish-UK Trade Numbers

Per recent discussion on Twitter, I decided to post some summary stats on changes in Irish total trade with the UK in recent years.Here is the summary of period-averages for 2003-2017 data (note: pre-2003 data does not provide the same quality of coverage for Services trade and is harder to compare to more modern data vintage). So, overall, across three periods (pre-Great Recession, 2003-2008), during the Great Recession (2009-2013) and in the current recovery period (2014-2017, with a...

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26/7/19: Stop Equating Low Unemployment Rate to High Employment Rate

There is always a lot of excitement around the unemployment stats these days. Why, with near-historical lows, and the talk about 'full employment', there is much to be celebrated and traded on in the non-farm payrolls stats and Labor Department press releases. But the problem with all the hoopla around these numbers is that it too often mixes together things that should not be mixed together. Like, say, mangos and frogs, or apples and moths.Take a look at the following data: Yes,...

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22/7/19: What Import Price Indices Do Not Say About Trump’s Trade War

A few days ago, I saw on Twitter some economics commentators, not quite analysts, presenting the following 'evidence' that Trump tariffs are being paid for by China: the U.S Import Price index has declined in recent months, to below 100. In the view of some commentators, this signifies the fact that the U.S. is now paying less for imports from the ret of the world because Chinese producers are taking a hit on tariffs imposed onto their goods by the Trump Administration and do not pass...

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