Economics

With New Data Showing Housing Sales Slowing Here’s Why You’ll Want To Be In Cash

Housing Sales and Inventory

NAR data on housing sales showed the largest July decline since 2011, cutting the annual sales volume growth rate by 47% since March. However, while the growth rate is slowing, total sales volume was the heaviest for July since the peak of the housing bubble in 2005. Heavy but declining volume is a warning sign that…

Low Rates, Low Inventory, and Raging Inflation Create The Fed’s No Win Housing Situation

Record Low Inventory To Sales Ratio

The NAR reported that the median US existing home sale price for sales that settled in July was $234,000, which puts the annual inflation rate for house prices at 5.6%. That’s softer than the June closed sale price inflation rate of 6.5% but still way above what the BLS is recognizing for the housing inflation component…

Here’s Proof That Core CPI Is Really +3%, Not +1.8%

Undermeasurement of Rent Increases Grows

The BLS reported today that Owners Equivalent Rent, a fictitious input to the CPI which, with the similarly formulated lesser item rent of primary residence accounts for nearly 32% of the total weight in the index, rose by 3% between July 2014 and July 2015, including a seasonally adjusted, fictitious +0.3% month to month in June. The BLS…

Here Are Three Big Reasons You Should Feud With The NAHB Homebuilders Housing Market Index

How Survivorship Bias Infects The NAHB Survey- Click to enlarge

The Wall Street Journal reported today that: U.S. Home-Builder Confidence Hits Near-Decade High “An index of builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose one point to a seasonally adjusted level of 61 in August, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday. A reading over 50 means most builders generally see conditions…

Here’s What You Need to Know About Industrial Production That Big Media Didn’t Tell You

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U.S. Industrial Production Ratchets Up in July trumpeted the Wall Street Journal on Friday. It added that, “Industrial production, a measure of output in the manufacturing, utilities and mining sectors, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in July from June, the Federal Reserve said Friday. It was the largest gain since November and the second straight…

State By State Initial Unemployment Claims Weaken Slightly

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I look at an analysis of individual state claims as a kind of advance decline line for confirmation of the trend in the total numbers. The states report the data to the Department of Labor, which accumulates the data into its weekly national report. It’s also interesting to see how the big oil states are…

Initial Claims Send Longest Bubble Peak Warning In History

Historical Initial Claims and Bubbles

Actual initial unemployment claims counted by the 50 states totaled 239,899 last week, which is another record low for this calendar week. It continues a nearly uninterrupted string of record lows that began in September 2013. We have been able to see and track this trend because we focus on the trend of the actual data instead…

This Chart Shows How The Fed Fiddles On Inflation While The Middle Class Burns

CPI, PCE and Reality- Click to enlarge

There are a lot of ways to define “inflation.” There are a lot of ways to measure “inflation.” Economists, the Fed, and Wall Street define “inflation” to apply only to consumption goods, things we actually use and consume. Hence the name “Consumer Price Index.” The purpose of the CPI was never really to measure “inflation” however.…