Friday , October 22 2021
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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

New housing construction for September shows a big decline on the surface, but underneath shows stabilization

 - by New Deal democratThis morning’s report on September housing permits and starts looks very negative on the surface, but on closer examination shows continuing stabilization in new home construction, following the general stabilization of mortgage rates this year.Housing starts (violet in the graphs below) decreased -1.6% m/m, and total permits (blue) decreased a whopping 7.7%(!), but only after a downwardly revised 5.6% increase in August. The less volatile single family permits (red)...

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September industrial production turns down, but no major cause for concern

 - by New Deal democratIndustrial production is the King of Coincident Indicators. This morning’s report for September was negative, and August was revised downward, taking total production back below pre-pandemic levels.Total production decreased -1.3% in September, and the manufacturing component decreased -0.8%. The August reading for each was revised downward by -0.3%.  Nothing particularly special about that; in fact the manufacturing component was a little weak compared with most...

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Weekly Indicators for October 11 – 15 at Seeking Alpha

 - by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.There are a couple of signs that the inflationary surge may be at or just past its peak, mainly in that the costs for ship transportation, which have been soaring for months, have stopped doing so and in one case have reversed. Meanwhile on the production side, some commodity costs are still increasing sharply.As usual, clicking over and reading will bring you up to the virtual moment as to the economic picture. It will...

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Another strong month for real retail sales growth; to cope, employers are going to have to sweeten the pot to add employees

 - by New Deal democratReal retail sales, perhaps my favorite monthly economic indicator since they tell us so much about average consumer behavior, and are also a good short leading indicator for jobs, were reported this morning for September, and they were positive.Nominally retail sales increased +0.7%, after a +0.2% upward revision to +0.9% for August.  After taking into account +0.4% inflation, real retail sales increased +0.3%. Although real retail sales are down -3.2% from their April...

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Jobless claims: a renewed downward trend?

 - by New Deal democratJobless claims declined 36,000 this week to 293,000, another pandemic low. The 4 week average also declined 10,500 to 334,500, also another pandemic low:With the exception of the last few years of the last expansion, this level of weekly initial claims would be very low for any point in the last 50 years, and the 4 week average would be average for an expansion:Continuing claims declined 134,000 to 2,593,000, also a new pandemic low:This level would also be normal for...

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Continuing accelerated consumer inflation points to sharp slowdown, but no recession imminent

 - by New Deal democratInflation, along with the expiration of the emergency pandemic payments, is one of the two big threats to this expansion. This morning’s report on consumer inflation for September, at 0.4%, was certainly elevated compared with its typical pre-pandemic reading of 0.2%/month, but on the other hand was the third month in a row of sharp deceleration from springtime, during which inflation averaged 0.8%/month. Typically inflation has not been a concern unless inflation...

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August JOLTS report: progress towards a new jobs equilibrium?

 - by New Deal democratThis morning’s JOLTS report covers August, which you may recall featured a disappointing jobs report (since revised somewhat higher ), during which the Delta wave was growing to its worst levels, and two months after a number of GOP-controlled States terminated enhanced unemployment benefits, on the theory that they were excessive and were coddling idle workers. Despite this, last month we did not see a big drop in unfilled job openings. This month we did - but we saw...

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Weekly Indicators for October 3 – 7 at Seeking Alpha

 - by New Deal democratMy Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha.Although I have read a few pieces this past week about deep downgrades to Q3 GDP estimates, and other problems with sales, the fact remains that the high frequency indicators are almost all positive, across all timeframes.As usual, clicking over and reading will bring you fully up to date on the economic trends, and bring me a little pocket change as well.

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September jobs report: once again, two very different surveys net to a “relatively” disappointing gain

 - by New Deal democratAs I previously indicated, two items I was particularly watching for in this morning’s report were (1) manufacturing hours and payrolls - to see if that white-hot sector was holding up in the face of supply bottlenecks, and (2) whether there were continued gains in leisure and hospitality jobs, or whether Delta had caused those to stall. While this morning’s report came in well short of expectations, with the big positive revisions to previous months the 6 month...

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A slow grind in new and continued claims as Covid’s effects gradually transition from pandemic to endemic

 - by New Deal democratJobless claims declined 38,000 this week to 326,000, still 14,000 above the September 4 pandemic low of 312,000. The 4 week average rose 3,500 to 344,000, 8,250 above their September 18 pandemic low of 335,750:Continuing claims declined 97,000 to 2,714,000, a new pandemic low:Here is the YoY% change of continuing claims:Based on the YoY change, it appears that the ending of all of the emergency pandemic assistance programs has had very little effect on continuing...

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