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Hale Stewart: Bonddad Blog

The Bonddad Blog is authored by Hale Stewart, a financial advisor. His blog publishes an invaluable weekly economic review on the Bond Market, International Economics, and Equity and Economics. These links along with his highly detailed review of economic trends makes this one of the top economics blogs

Weekly Indicators for February 10 – 14 at Seeking Alpha

 - by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.Several of the coincident indicators that turned positive one week ago turned right back to negative this week. The bifurcation between the producer and consumer sides of the economy continues.As usual, clicking over and reading should be educational for you, and ever so slightly enumerative for me.

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Real retail sales continue flat in January; production sector still in recession

 - by New Deal democratRetail sales increased nominally by +0.3% in January, while December was revised downward by -0.1%, for a net gain of +0.2%. Since consumer inflation increased by +0.4% during those two months, real retail sales were unchanged.  On a per capita basis, they declined less than -0.1%.This means that neither real retail sales, and real retail sales per capita have made new highs since last August. The former is off -0.4% and the latter -0.6%. Here are both measures, normed...

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Live-blogging the Fifteenth Amendment: February 9, 1869 (2) The Senate votes to reform the Electoral College

 - by New Deal democrat As I mentioned several days ago, the Senate endured a pair of marathon sessions on February 8 and 9, 1869, and considered a variety of subjects. Perhaps most breathtakingly, they discussed further amending the Constitution to ensure that the winner of the popular vote was elected President. Sen. Morton [Republican, Indiana]: I desire to renew the amendment I offered in regard to electing electors directly by the people.... It is very important. It will popularize the...

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Have we reached “full employment”? An update

 - by New Deal democrat As an initial matter, this morning’s initial and continuing jobless claims report were positive as to all metrics by which I judge them. They are near the bottom of their recent ranges and/or are lower YoY (lower being good). I’ll add a graph once the info is available at FRED.  UPDATE: Here it is: Here is something I haven’t updated in a couple of months: given recent gains in labor force participation and declines in unemployment, have we finally, by at least by...

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Where is the puzzling growth in service jobs coming from?

 - by New Deal democratContinuing with my week of follow-up stories based on last Friday’s jobs report, I noted last Friday that there was a completely anomalous upwards revision of nearly 100,000 jobs in the last 8 months of 2019. This after a -500,000 decrease, based on full data, in the previous 12 months!So I took two approaches: a bottoms-up micro view, and a top-down macro view — and got contradictory answers. This post is up at Seeking Alpha.Since that article was posted, a...

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December JOLTS report continues the trend of confusing jobs data

 - by New Deal democrat The December JOLTS report came out this morning, and it continues the streak of confusing employment data. To recapitulate, the JOLTS report decomposes the jobs numbers into openings, hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, and total separations. Since the series is only 20 years old,  however, it only covers one full business cycle, so is of limited forecasting use. The order in which the JOLTS series peaked during the 2000s expansion was as follows: Hires...

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Why I expect further declines in manufacturing jobs

 - by New Deal democratThis is the week I highlight further information from last Friday’s jobs report.  One thing that struck me is that we’ve now had two months of declines in manufacturing jobs. This is something I have been anticipating since about the middle of last year, because the manufacturing work week had been declining significantly, and it has a reliable 80+ year history of leading manufacturing jobs. Here’s the entire history measured as YoY% changes:  The manufacturing...

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Live-blogging the Fifteenth Amendment: February 9, 1869 (1)

 - by New Deal democrat The Senate continued its debate on the proposed amendment for a second long day after only a one hour break. Ninety percent of the debate centered on four topics: whether and how to exclude Asians in general and Chinese in particular from voting; whether of not to extend the amendment’s prohibitions to other preconditions from voting; extending the amendment to include State office-holding conditions as well; and de facto abolition of the Electoral College.Because...

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Live-blogging the Fifteenth Amendment: February 8 – 9, 1869

 - by New Deal democrat Note: I fell a little behind on this project. I hope to be fully up to date by the end of this weekend.On February 8 and 9, 1869, the Senate did something I daresay it would never consider now: it pulled an all-nighter! Despite numerous requests to adjourn, the session ran nearly 24 hours straight, only ending at about 11:30 AM on the 9th (and picked up again at 1 pm). The text goes on for close to 100 pages, so I can only hope to hit a few highlights here. Numerous...

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Weekly Indicators for February 3 – 7 at Seeking Alpha

 - by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.There were some changes in all of the timeframes this week. Of particular note, the coincident indicators of rail and steel, which were negative for almost all of 2019, have switched over to positive.As usual, clicking over and reading helps reward me a little bit for my efforts, as well as bringing you up to date about the economy.

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