Tag Archive: employment

Weekly Market Pulse: Time For A Taper Tantrum?

The Fed meets this week and is widely expected to say that it is talking about maybe reducing bond purchases sometime later this year or maybe next year or at least, someday. Jerome Powell will hold a press conference at which he’ll tell us that markets have nothing to worry about because even if they taper QE, interest rates aren’t going up for a long, long time.

Read More »

Do Rising ‘Global’ Growth Concerns Include An Already *Slowing* US Economy?

Global factors, meaning that the wave of significantly higher deflationary potential (therefore, diminishing inflationary chances which were never good to begin with) in global bond yields the past five months have seemingly focused on troubles brewing outside the US. Overseas turmoil, it was called back in 2015, leaving by default a picture of relative American strength and harmony.

Read More »

ISM’s Nasty Little Surprise Isn’t Actually A Surprise

Completing the monthly cycle, the ISM released its estimates for non-manufacturing in the US during the month of June 2021. The headline index dropped nearly four points, more than expected. From 64.0 in May, at 60.1 while still quite high it’s the implication of being the lowest in four months which got so much attention.

Read More »

Weekly Market Pulse: Nothing To See Here. No, Really. Nothing.

The answer to the question, “What should I do to my portfolio today (this week, this month)? is almost always nothing. Humans, and especially portfolio managers, have a hard time believing that doing nothing is the right response….to anything…or nothing. We are programmed to believe that success comes from doing things, not not doing things.

Read More »

Weekly Market Pulse – Real Rates Finally Make A Move

Last week was only four days due to the President’s day holiday but it was eventful. The big news of the week was the  spike in interest rates, which according to the press reports I read, “came out of nowhere”. In other words, the writers couldn’t find an obvious cause for a 14 basis point rise in the 10 year Treasury note yield so they just chalked it up to mystery.

Read More »

Uncle Sam Was Back Having Consumers’ Backs

American consumers were back in action in January 2021. The “unemployment cliff” along with the slowdown and contraction in the labor market during the last quarter of 2020 had left retail sales falling backward with employment. Seasonally-adjusted, total retail spending had declined for three straight months to end last year.

Read More »

Consumers, Producers, and the Unsettled End of 2020

The months of November and December aren’t always easily comparable year to year when it comes to American shopping habits. For a retailer, these are the big ones. The Christmas shopping season and the amount of spending which takes place during it makes or breaks the typical year (though last year, there was that whole thing in March and April which has had a say in each’s final annual condition).

Read More »

What Did Hamper Growth ‘In A Few Months’

Over here, on the other side of that ocean, the US economy can only dream of the low levels Chinese industry has been putting up this late into 2020. At least those in the East are back positive year-over-year. Here in America, manufacturing and industry can’t even manage anything like a plus sign.

Read More »

Polar Opposite Sides of Consumer Credit End Up in the Same Place: Jobs

If anything is going to be charged off, it might be student loans. All the rage nowadays, the government, approximately half of it, is busily working out how it “should” be done and by just how much. A matter of economic stimulus, loan cancellation proponents are correct that students have burdened themselves with unprofitable college “education” investments.

Read More »

Don’t Really Need ‘Em, Few More Nails Anyway

The ISM’s Non-manufacturing PMI continued to decelerate from its high registered all the way back in July 2020. In that month, the headline index reached 58.1, the best since early 2019, and for many signaling that everything was coming up “V.”

Read More »

There Have Actually Been Some Jobs Saved, Only In Place of Recovery

The ISM reported a small decline in its manufacturing PMI today. The index had moved up to 59.3 for the month of October 2020 in what had been its highest since September 2018. For November, the setback was nearly two points, bringing the headline down to an estimate of 57.5.

Read More »

Good Payrolls Still Say Slowdown

The payroll report for the month of October 2020 was a very good one. This shouldn’t be surprising, perfect BLS publications appear with regularity even during the most challenging of circumstances. Headlines and underneath, everything looked fine last month.

Read More »

*These* Are The Real Huge Jobs Numbers, And They Will Make Your Blood Run Cold

There is simply no way to spin these figures as anything good. Not just the usual ones were talking about here, but more so some new data that you probably haven’t seen before. Beginning with the regular, it doesn’t matter that the level of initial jobless claims has declined substantially over the past few weeks

Read More »

Purchasing Managers Indigestion

There’s already doubt given how the two major series supposedly measuring the same thing seemingly can’t agree. If the rebound was truly robust, it would show up unambiguously everywhere. But IHS Markit’s purchasing managers indices struggled to get back above 50 in July, barely getting there, suggesting the economy might be slowing or even stalling way too close to the bottom.

Read More »

Reality Beckons: Even Bigger Payroll Gains, Much Less Fuss Over Them

What a difference a month makes. The euphoria clearly fading even as the positive numbers grow bigger still. The era of gigantic pluses is only reaching its prime, which might seem a touch pessimistic given the context. In terms of employment and the labor market, reaction to the Current Employment Situation (CES) report seems to indicate widespread recognition of this situation. And that means how there are actually two labor markets at the moment.

Read More »

A Second Against Consumer Credit And Interest ‘Stimulus’

Credit card use entails a degree of risk appreciated at the most basic level. Americans had certainly become more comfortable with debt in all its forms over the many decades since the Great Depression, but the regular employment of revolving credit was perhaps the apex of this transformation. Does any commercial package on TV today not include one or more credit card offers? It certainly remains a staple of junk mail.

Read More »

It’s Hard To See Anything But Enormous Long-term Cost

The unemployment rate wins again. In a saner era, back when what was called economic growth was actually economic growth, this primary labor ratio did a commendable job accurately indicating the relative conditions in the labor market. You didn’t go looking for corroboration because it was all around; harmony in numbers for a far more peaceful and serene period.

Read More »

For Labor And Recession, The Bad One

There’s a couple of different ways that Unit Labor Costs can rise. Or even surge. The first is the good way, the one we all want to see because it is consistent with the idea of an economy that is actually booming. If workers have become truly scarce as macro forces sustain actual growth such that all labor market slack is absorbed, then businesses have to compete for them bidding up the price of marginal labor.

Read More »

From Friends to Nemeses: JO and Jay

It was one of the first major speeches of his tenure. Speaking to the Economic Club of Chicago in April 2018, newly crowned Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was full of optimism. At that time, however, optimism was being framed as some sort of bad thing. This was the height of inflation hysteria, where any sort of official upgrade to the economic condition was taken as further “hawkishness.”

Read More »

Monthly Macro Monitor: Doom & Gloom, Good Grief

When I first got in this business oh so many years ago, my mentor told me that I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about the things everyone else was worrying about. As I’ve related in these missives before, he called those things “well worried”. His point was that once everyone was aware of something it was priced into the market and not worth your time.

Read More »