Economics

Initial Claims Signal End of Bubble – May Cause Really Stupid, Futile Gesture on Fed’s Part

Initial Claims and Annual Rate of Change

A 2 year string of record lows in initial unemployment claims finally appears to be ending. First time claims in the September 5 week were not materially lower than last year, and were actually slightly above the first week in the record setting string which began in September 2013. From then until now almost every…

Shocking JOLTS for Janet

Hires to Job Openings Ratio- Click to enlarge

Janet Yellen’s favorite labor market indicator the JOLTS survey showed record job openings and hires in July but the ratio of hires to job openings continued to fall to new record lows. The plunge in this ratio is a metaphor for the maladjustment and distortion which ZIRP and QE induced in the labor market by incentivizing useless speculation…

Still No Recession Signal In Initial Claims Advance Decline Line (Breadth Index)

Capture

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 Show Employers Are Still Asleep So Payrolls Should Beat Consensus

Initial Claims and Stock Prices

The stock market broke, but initial claims are still at record levels. This is how it has historically works as bubbles start to deflate. Employers are the last to get the news. But the very fact of their record long term ebullience was warning enough, as I have repeatedly chronicled here over the past year.…

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…