Saturday , January 18 2020
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The author Mike Shedlock
Mike Shedlock
Mike Shedlock (Mish) is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management (http://www.sitkapacific.com/). Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Mish’s Global Economic

China Posts Slowest Growth in 29 Years But Still Overstated

China posted another quarter of 6% annualized GDP. That's the slowest in 29 years. The Financial Times reports China GDP grows at slowest pace in 29 years China’s economy last year grew at the lowest rate since 1990 while the country’s birth rate fell to a record low, highlighting the domestic challenges facing Beijing despite a truce in its painful trade war with the US. Also note that State Grid, China's power utility, forecasts a dramatic fall in growth by 2025 with a risk of falling to...

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GAO Finds Trump’s Actions Illegal as Impeachment Trial Begins

A nonpartisan Congressional watchdog says Trump acted illegally on Ukraine. This is the heart of the impeachment trial. The Trump Impeachment Trial is now underway. This is only the third such occurrence in US history. Shortly after 2 p.m., Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding, was escorted into the Senate by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), Roy Blunt (R., Mo.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.). Everyone in the chamber rose to their feet, including members...

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Cass Year-Over-Year Freight Index Sinks to a 12-Year Low

Year-over-year, the Cass shipping index turned in its worst performance since the Great Recession. The Cass Freight Shipment Index is still sounding recession alarm bells. There is lots of hope in the stock market and the freight market for a better 2020, but the trends have yet to turn. Maybe with the January index readings? Doubtful, as the index (both shipments and expenditures) normally falls off sequentially from December to January, which would imply another negative y/y comp ahead....

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Retail Sales Mostly Solid But Department Stores Hit Again

Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in June, essentially in line with expectations after taking revisions into consideration. The U.S. Census Bureau announced the following Advance Estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for December 2019. Retail sales were $529.6 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent from November and 5.8 percent above December 2018. Total sales for the 12 months of 2019 were up 3.6 percent from 2018. Total sales for the October 2019 through December 2019 period were up 4.1...

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#NeverWarren Trends to Top Spot After Her Enormous Debate Fiasco

Elizabeth Warren made a fool out of herself after the debates Tuesday eve. She refused to shake Bernie Sanders' hand. Credibility Gap Leading up to the handshake gaffe, Elizabeth Warren made the claim Bernie Sanders told her early in the campaign that a woman could not win the 2020 election. Sanders vehemently denies the allegation. Thus we have a Giant Credibility Gap. As Current Affairs reports, Warren’s claim is highly dubious because: Bernie Sanders has a long history of saying the...

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Fed’s Beige Book Shows Modest Economic Expansion in Last 6 Weeks of 2019

The Fed's Beige Book, a regional economic report shows modest growth and labor shortages in the final 6 weeks of 2019. The Fed's "Beige Book" is a compilation of economic activity by each of twelve Federal Reserve districts produced approximately two weeks before each FOMC rate setting meeting. The next FOMC rate setting meeting will be on January 29. Overall Economic Activity Economic activity generally continued to expand modestly in the final six weeks of 2019. The Dallas and Richmond...

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Producer Price Inflation Weak and Below Expectations

The Producer Price Index missed expectations across the board: Even services have been weak. This morning the BLS released its report on the Producer Price Index for December 2019. Key PPI Points The Producer Price Index for final demand edged up 0.1 percent in December, seasonally adjusted. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index moved up 1.3 percent in 2019, after a 2.6-percent advance in 2018. The December increase in the final demand index was the result of a 0.3-percent rise in...

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Orders at Boeing Drop to a 16-Year Low

New plane orders at Boeing are the lowest since 2005 and deliveries the lowest since 2005. Blame the Boeing 737 Max. Due to never-ending 737 Max issues, plane orders at Airbus have soared while Boeing Orders Fall to 16-Year Low. Quick Comparison Facts Boeing New Orders: 246 new orders for commercial jets of all types before cancellations and model swaps is the lowest tally since 2003. Airbus New Orders: 1,131 new orders last year for a net total of 768 counting cancellations. Boeing...

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Real Wages Decline in December, Barely Up From Year Ago

Real wages for production workers fell 0.2% in Dec. Real wages for all employees fell 0.1%. Both barely up from yr ago. The BLS informs us that Real Earnings Declined in December. Real Wages All Employees Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.1 percent from November to December, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from an increase of 0.1 percent in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.2 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers...

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Medical Care Costs Soaring Out of Control

The cost of medical care services dramatically outpaces stated CPI inflation measures. Once again the BLS tells us inflation is under control. Once again, close inspection suggests something else. Let's investigate, starting with the BLS Consumer Price Index Report for December 2019. According to the BLS, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.2 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in November. The gasoline index increased 2.8...

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