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Labor Market

For Nine Million, Unemployment Benefits Have Suddenly Ended

The Economic Implications One of the major Wall Street investment houses recently lowered their Q3 GDP growth rate from 6.5% to 2.9% (!!), apparently realizing that two-thirds of the quarter was history, that the data have all been weakening (like August auto sales), and that the fiscal stimulus (helicopter money) was now in the rear-view mirror.  Readers of this blog know that we have been discussing much slower growth than …Read More

Growth Will Slow Faster Than Expected

So Says the Current Data The systemic “inflation” and “labor shortage” myths persist in the financial media despite data to the contrary: Layoffs remain at recessionary levels; Wage growth is slowing, not accelerating; Bond yields are falling (where’s the inflation?); Housing and auto buying intentions are at 40 year lows. Inflation The one-year inflation expectation measure from the University of Michigan’s (U of M) Consumer Sentiment Survey did rise to …Read More

The Real Story Of Employment Data

There were two separate events of economic  significance the week ended September 5th. First, the financial markets displayed volatility that hasn’t been seen for several months. The S&P 500 began the week at 3,508, rose 2.5% to 3,587 on Wednesday, fell -3.7% to 3,455 on Thursday, and after falling to an intraday low of 3,374 (-6.0% from Wednesday’s high) closed at 3,427 on Friday. On the week, the index lost …Read More

“Normal,” It’s Not What You Think!

Most readers remember the pre-recession days of 4% GDP growth, interest rates at levels where savers had return choices worth pursuing (e.g., the 10 year T-Note at 4%), and workers could count on annual real wage growth.  Today, many refer to this as “normal,” and there is a desire, if not a movement, to return the economy back to such a state. You can see this in the political arena.  …Read More

Quarterly Economic Outlook: Q3/2016

The “Brexit” caused market swoon on Wall Street turned out to be a nasty 5.3% two day dive (S&P 500) that was all but reversed in the next 4 trading sessions.  The reason was clear early on – despite forecasts of immediate worldwide economic doom and gloom, the non-binding referendum was mostly a political statement about bureaucratic government, and the referendum split along demographic lines (older vs. younger, and rural …Read More

Investing in a slow-growth world

The first quarter provided quite a ride, featuring a rapid equity downdraft and chaos in the high-yield bond market accompanied by irrational fear about another implosion in the financial system and a resulting recession. All of this was brought on by the rapid fall in the price of oil, something that ordinarily would be a positive for the economy. Indeed, it still is likely to be a positive for consumers …Read More