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”

July 23, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1304278
The scams never end, and this one was really disgusting (ripping off people in financial trouble) ... from the LA Times: Authorities crack down on mortgage-relief scams nationwide

Federal and state officials filed lawsuits accusing dozens of companies of ripping off struggling homeowners by falsely promising help in ...

July 23, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1304220
From Gavyn Davies at the Financial Times: Another false alarm on US inflation?

There have been a few false alarms about a possible upsurge in inflation in the US in the past few years, even as core inflation on most measures has remained extremely subdued. ... Another such ...

July 23, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1303862
Here is another weekly update on housing inventory ...

There is a clear seasonal pattern for inventory, with the low point for inventory in late December or early January, and then usually peaking in mid-to-late summer.

The Realtor (NAR) data is monthly and released with a lag (the most ...

July 23, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1303863
The Chicago Fed released the national activity index (a composite index of other indicators): Index shows economic growth decelerated slightly in June

Led by slower growth in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) edged down to +0.12 in June from +0.16 in May. Two of the ...

July 23, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1303861
CR Note: If you want to understand subprime lending, I strongly suggest the following post from my former co-blogger Doris "Tanta" Dungey. This was written in 2007, but the concepts are forever. Read it all.

What Is "Subprime"?

For other Tanta posts, see: The ...

July 23, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1303860
From housing economist Tom Lawler:

NVR, Inc. the fourth largest US home builder with a heavy concentration in the Mid-Atlantic region, reported that net home orders in the quarter ended June 30, 2014 totaled 3,415, up 4.2% from the comparable quarter of 2013. Net orders per active community ...

July 23, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1303859
Here is a followup on an earlier article concerning short sale fraud, from E. Scott Reckard at the LA Times: Former BofA short-sales employee gets prison term for taking bribes

A former Bank of America mortgage employee was sentenced to 30 months in prison for pocketing $1.2 ...

July 23, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1303851
According to Black Knight's First Look report for June, the percent of loans delinquent increased slightly in June compared to May, and declined by 15.0% year-over-year.

Also the percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined further in June and were down 36% over the last year.  Foreclosure ...

July 23, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1303849
I've been using weekly inventory numbers from Housing Tracker ("DeptofNumbers") to track changes in listed inventory and it might be useful to compared the Housing Tracker numbers to the Realtor (NAR) numbers for inventory.

According to Housing Tracker for (54 metro areas), inventory is up 15.0% compared to ...

July 23, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1303850
Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment.

From AIA: Momentum Increasing for Architecture Billings Index

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is signaling improving conditions for the overall design and construction industry. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, ...