Economics Roundtable

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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Calculated Risk

"Random thoughts on Politics and Economics”

October 1, 2016, 9:03 am, 1680047
The key report this week is the September employment report on Friday.

Other key indicators include the September ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes, September auto sales, and the August trade deficit.

Also the quarterly Reis surveys for office, apartment and malls will be released this week.

A ...

September 30, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1679977
From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Mixed, But Closer to Recent Lows

Mortgage Rates were mixed today, with some lenders in slightly weaker territory while others offered modest improvements versus yesterday. The dichotomy has to do with the timing of yesterday's market movements. Bond ...

September 30, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679909
Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: RPI drops into contraction territory

Due in large part to declines in both same-store sales and customer traffic, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell below 100 in August. The RPI stood at 99.6, down ...

September 30, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1679868
Chicago PMI: September Chicago Business Barometer Up 2.7 Points to 54.2

The MNI Chicago Business Barometer increased 2.7 points to 54.2 in September from 51.5 in August, recovering most of lost ground experienced in the previous month.
In response to September’s special question, 79% of Chicago panellists ...

September 30, 2016, 9:03 am, 1679792
The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for August:

Personal income increased $39.3 billion (0.2 percent) in August according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. ... personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $6.2 billion (less than 0.1 percent).
Real PCE decreased 0.1 ...

September 29, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1679712
From Merrill Lynch: Elections: what keeps us up at night?

The US elections are quickly approaching and, in our view, have become one of the most significant near-term risks for the economy and markets. The facts are changing quickly, both in terms of the policies that each candidate supports ...

September 29, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1679698
Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in August to 1.24%, down from 1.30% in July. The serious delinquency rate is down from 1.62% in August 2015.

These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure". 

September 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679615
The Case-Shiller house price indexes for July were released Tuesday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shiller a month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: August Case-Shiller Forecast: New Home Price Peaks Within Sight

According to Zillow’s August Case-Shiller forecast, ...

September 29, 2016, 11:03 am, 1679524
From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Retreat in August

After bouncing back in July, pending home sales cooled in August for the third time in four months and to their lowest level since January, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking ...

September 29, 2016, 9:03 am, 1679486
The DOL reported:

In the week ending September 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 254,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 252,000 to 251,000. The 4-week moving average was 256,000, a ...