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”

December 18, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1391819
• At 10:00 AM ET, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) for November 2014

• At 11:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for December.

From Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Find New Lows for 2014

Freddie Mac today released the results of its ...

December 18, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1391706
Here is a price index for commercial real estate that I follow.

From CoStar: Commercial Real Estate Prices Post Steady Gains In October

CRE PRICES ROSE STEADILY IN OCTOBER, SUPPORTED BY BROAD BASE OF POSITIVE TRENDS. Most major property types continued to benefit from minimal speculative ...

December 18, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1391629
Note: West coast ports were impacted by a trucker strike in November, and ongoing labor negotiations (and some slowdown). The trucker strike ended after 9 days on November 22nd.

Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported - and possibly ...

December 18, 2014, 11:03 am, 1391468
From the Philly Fed:December Manufacturing Survey

The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, decreased 16 points, from a reading of 40.8 in November to 24.5 this month ... The new orders [to 19.7] and current shipments indexes also weakened significantly.
... ...

December 18, 2014, 9:03 am, 1391390
From the DOL reported:

In the week ending December 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 289,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 294,000 to 295,000. The 4-week moving average was 298,750, ...

December 17, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1391109
A few key takeaways:
• There has been no change in FOMC policy. Replacing "considerable time" with "patient" was because we are moving further in time from the end of QE3 . The first rate hike will be a "considerable time" from October.

• "Patient" means it is ...

December 17, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1390977
From Zillow: Negative Equity Down By Almost Half Since 2012 Peak, But There’s Still a Ways to Go

The national negative equity rate continued to decline in the third quarter, falling to 16.9 percent, according to the third quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report, down almost half from its 31.4 ...

December 17, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1390891
FOMC Statement:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in October suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace. Labor market conditions improved further, with solid job gains and a lower unemployment rate. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization ...

December 17, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1390890
Statement here "Considerable time" replaced with "patient" - viewed as consistent with previous statement.

As far as the "Appropriate timing of policy firming", participant views were mostly unchanged (15 participants expect the first rate hike in 2015, and 2 in 2016).

The FOMC projections for inflation are ...

December 17, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1390812
The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning:

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% (1.8% annualized rate) in November. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% (1.0% annualized rate) during the month. The median ...