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The “Boom” Is Off the Rose

The employment number was a shock to the “boom” economy narrative; it was the biggest consensus miss in history! The majority of forecasters, even those with scores of economists and huge budgets, simply got the “boom” narrative wrong.  The Payroll Survey employment number was an “aberration” they hastily said.  But the sister Household Survey tells the same story. While Initial Unemployment Claims (ICs) are falling, they are still at recessionary …Read More

The “Economic Boom” Illusion

Upbeat data continues to make headlines. (The not-so-upbeat are relegated to the back pages.)  This week it was the +6.4% spurt in real GDP.  And, while the financial markets do feel a bit toppy, the S&P 500 still managed to eke out another record close on Thursday, April 29 (4211.47).  “Help Wanted” signs continue to be ubiquitous.  Companies are raising wages just to attract applicants.  The prices of lumber and …Read More

U.S. Data Says “Boom:” Part Base Effect, Part Transient, Part Real

Prologue The much anticipated economic boom has finally arrived!  The NY Fed Weekly Economic Index exploded to the upside in late March and early April (see chart above).  Retail Sales were up an amazing +9.8% M/M in March!  That number is not Y/Y.  The Y/Y number was +27.7%, but was greatly influenced by depressed Retail Sales last March when the economy was beginning to shut down.  April’s Y/Y number will …Read More

Unwarranted Inflation Fears Could Impact Recovery

Interest rates steadied this past week (March 22-26) after the Fed altered the rules, vowing not to cave to market whims or pressures, instead waiting for the “actual data” to dictate the path of monetary policy.  We agree with the Fed’s approach, but worry that the markets’ uneducated view of the causes of systemic “inflation” may push market rates to the point of endangering any chance of a robust recovery. …Read More

Careful Mr. Powell; Higher Rates Will Kill the Recovery

Treasury yields rose again this week; blame this one on Fed Chairman Powell.  In an interview at the Wall Street Journal’s Job Summit, he said that the Fed isn’t ready to stop the run-up in yields “until financial conditions tighten.”  In so saying, he paved the way for those financial conditions to tighten as markets immediately obliged.  We can’t help but think that it would have been better if he …Read More

The Rate Spike Will Damage the Recovery

Fed Intervention Needed There was quite a spike in interest rates the last week of February with the 10-Year T-Note spiking from a 1.36% level as of the close on Wednesday to as high as 1.60% intraday with a close of 1.55% on Thursday.  Friday’s close was 1.45%.  But, a lot of damage was done. It is naïve to think that this spike was caused by the inflation narrative, i.e., …Read More