Jeffrey P. Snider

The Irony of Stable Inflation

In February 2000, the FOMC quietly switched from the CPI to the PCE Deflator as its standard for inflation measurement. There were various technical reasons for doing so, including the CPI’s employment of a geometric mean basis (which was in 2015 finally altered to a Constant Elasticity of Substitution formula). But it was one phrase…

Case Study In Depression And Denial

Back on March 10, the New York Fed’s attempt at real-time GDP forecasting predicted that the Q1 2017 estimate would be 3.2%. That would have qualified as another decent quarter, the second out of the past three and somewhat in keeping with “reflation.” As we know today, the advance figure calculated by the Commerce Department…

This Is Not Expansion

Back in October, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released GDP figures that suggested what those behind “reflation” had hoped. After a near miss to start 2016, the economy had shaken off the effects of “transitory” weakness, mainly manufacturing and oil, poised to perform in a manner consistent with monetary policy rhetoric. The Federal Reserve had…

Durable Goods Grow Indicating Lack of Growth

Total new orders for durable goods, including orders for new transportation equipment, were estimated to have been $238.7 billion in March 2017 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. That is 9% better than the most recent low point figured for June last year. It remains substantially less than the record high reached in July 2014, though an…

Maybe A Bit More Complex Still?

One of the defining characteristics of the 2011 crisis was dollar swaps. Almost all attention was paid to PIIGS and focus on the European banks holding their debt, as well as the very real possibility that all would break up the euro. Behind all that was the same dollar troubles as in 2008, and for…

More Small Things

On April 23, 2015, the US Treasury auctioned off $18 billion in inflation-indexed bonds maturing in April 2020. These 5-year TIPS stopped out at the lowest yield for that particular security class in almost a year before then. Coming as it did during the spring of 2015, it was met with the usual textbook applied…

Broken Employment

For the third consecutive month real average weekly earnings fell year-over-year. In March, at least, with the CPI starting its downward leg the decline was by the smallest amount; essentially flat but fractionally less than zero. It was the first time real wages have fallen three in a row since early 2012. The six-month average…