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 31, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1361994
Larry Kudlow wrote an absurd piece at CNBC today.

Of course Kudlow is usually wrong and frequently absurd ... as an example, in June 2005 Kudlow wrote "The Housing Bears are Wrong Again" and called me (or people like me) "bubbleheads".

Homebuilders led the stock parade this ...

October 31, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1361898
This is one of my favorite GDP graphs. The graph below shows the contribution to GDP from residential investment, equipment and software, and nonresidential structures (3 quarter trailing average). This is important to follow because residential investment tends to lead the economy, equipment and software is generally coincident, and nonresidential ...

October 31, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1361736
The BEA has released the underlying details for the Q3 advance GDP report today.

Investment in single family structures is now back to being the top category for residential investment (see first graph). Home improvement was the top category for twenty one consecutive quarters following the housing bust ... ...

October 31, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1361655
The NAHB released their 2015 housing forecast today. Towards the end of each year I collect some housing forecasts for the following year, and it looks like most analysts are optimistic for 2015.

Here is a summary of forecasts for 2014. In 2014, new home sales ...

October 31, 2014, 11:03 am, 1361569

Click on graph for larger image.

The final Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for October was at 86.9, up from the preliminary reading of ...

October 31, 2014, 9:03 am, 1361492
The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for September:

Personal income increased $22.7 billion, or 0.2 percent ... in September, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $19.0 billion, or 0.2 percent.
Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove ...

October 30, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1361035
From Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Rebound, Remain Below Four Percent

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving higher across the board this week and rebounding from the lowest rates of the year.

30-year fixed-rate ...

October 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1360872
From STR: US results for week ending 25 October

The U.S. hotel industry recorded positive results in the three key performance measurements during the week of 19-25 October 2014, according to data from STR, Inc.

In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy rose 5.4 percent to 69.4 percent. ...

October 30, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1360782
From housing economist Tom Lawler: M.D.C. Holdings: Net Orders Up, Orders per Community Down; Margins Fall on Higher Incentives

M.D.C. Holdings reported that net home orders in the quarter ended September 30, 2014 totaled 1,081, up 17.0% from the comparable quarter of 2013. Net orders per active ...

October 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1360702
Earlier the DOL reported:

In the week ending October 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 287,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 283,000 to 284,000. The 4-week moving average was 281,000, ...