Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

The website was down several hours today, but is back up now.

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.

Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


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The Capital Speculator (J. Picerno)

"Money, Oil, Economics & the Search for the Bottom Line”

April 24, 2015, 8:35 am, 1461093
The outlook for first-quarter US growth has been cut to the bone, according to the current estimate of the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow data. But if the “wisdom” of the crowd is accurate this time, it’s only a temporary stumble. Most economists continue to expect a robust Q2 snapback. The Wall ...

April 24, 2015, 6:35 am, 1461061
● US jobless claims edge up, but trend signals firmer labor market | Reuters ● PMI: US manufacturing output growth slows in April | Markit ● New-home sales in US tumble from 7-year high | MarketWatch ● US consumer confidence fell for 2nd week after close to 8-year high | ...

April 23, 2015, 8:35 am, 1460325
Probing the link between financial markets and chaotic states, fractals, and related topics dates to the 1960s, when mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot effectively launched this line of research with his seminal study of cotton prices that documented “recurring patterns at every scale in data,” notes Wikipedia. The subject of chaos and ...

April 23, 2015, 6:35 am, 1460273
● US existing home sales surge to fastest pace in 18 months | USA Today ● US Mortgage Applications Rise for Fourth Time in Five Weeks | ON ● PMI: growth in Germany slows slightly at the start of Q2 | Markit ● PMI: Eurozone growth edges lower at start ...

April 22, 2015, 8:35 am, 1459610
The Fiscal Times advises that the “the housing market is about to perk up.” One of the reasons for the optimistic outlook, we’re told, is the recent rebound in sales. This upbeat forecast is due for a stress test this week with the monthly releases on sales of existing homes ...

April 22, 2015, 6:35 am, 1459539
● Greek bank shares slide as ECB considers pulling the plug | Telegraph ● Greek finance minister: Differences Narrowing in Creditor Talks | Bloomberg ● Italy retail sales dip in Feb; disappointing 0.1% y-o-y rise | Istat ● Italy Industrial Orders Rise In February | RTT ● Bank of England ...

April 21, 2015, 8:36 am, 1458875
The March report of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index reaffirms what’s been obvious for some time: US economic activity in this year’s first quarter has been soft. It’s premature to interpret the slowdown as anything more than another bump in an otherwise challenged and ongoing recovery. That, at least, ...

April 21, 2015, 6:35 am, 1458803
● US Economic Activity In March Brakes Hard As Manufacturing Weighs | IBD ● The U.S. Economy Keeps Disappointing | Bloomberg ● Fed’s Bill Dudley: alert to global liquidity storm, yet signals 3.5% rates | Telegraph ● ZEW: German economic outlook index dips in Apr–1st time since Oct 2014 | ...

April 20, 2015, 10:36 am, 1458236
Economic activity in March slumped to the softest pace in 31 months, according to this morning’s update of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index. The three-month moving average of this business cycle benchmark (CFNAI-MA3) decreased to -0.27 last month from February’s -0.12 reading. Last month’s estimate is the lowest since ...

April 20, 2015, 8:35 am, 1458156
The unusually wide spread at the outer edges for the trailing performances of the major asset classes via our standard set of ETF proxies has been squeezed a bit. The compression is due mostly to recent weakness in US real estate investment trusts (REITs). Securitized real estate is still in ...