Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.


Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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.


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.


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Blitz Bits (Steve Blitz)

"Blitz Bits on Capital Markets & the Economy

Policymakers’ Doings, Economic Data, and Capital Market Pricing”


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848061
The "cash-for-clunkers" program has been the subject of more negative comments and bad puns than anything an administration has put out for a long long time. Most of the comments have focused on the program's inevitable failure to permanently raise the level of spending for autos and/or anything else. By ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848062
Pronouncements that the “Great Recession” is over require third quarter spending to continue into the final three months of the year. While it looks like Wall Street employees will have the cash to buy holiday gifts, the country is a lot bigger and today’s retail sales give some pause to ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848063
In the past several years there have been some divergent valuations between the credit and equity markets, with the equity market tending towards the more optimistic. The chart below compares the P/E ratio of the S&P500 Industrial sector to the option adjusted spread (OAS) of the Merrill Lynch BBB Coporate ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848064
The price of gold is up sharply and so is the chatter about inflation, debt, and the demise of Western Civilization. At a time when the critical global economic issue is unbalanced growth the golden chatter ignores gold’s price in real dollars versus gold’s nominal price in yen, euros, and ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848060
The production and capacity numbers released this morning indicate that the recession likely ended in June. But it as important, if not more so, to recognize that the reported 70.45% capacity utilization rate only just reaches the 70.93% low of the 1981-82 recession (the previous worst economic crisis since the ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848059
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke today on "Asia and the Global Financial Crisis" at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Conference on Asia and the Global Financial Crisis, Santa Barbara, California. This call for balanced growth policies in Asia has been made before by Bernanke, Geithner, Summers and ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848056
The obvious truism is that turning monthly job losses into gains means getting firms to hire and the Diffusion Index shows that along those lines the number of firms adding workers has only managed to improve to levels equal to the lows of previous post-war recessions.

To Read ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848057
Even after accounting for government-program induced spending on cars and homes, there were enough positive signs in the data this morning to signal that a statistical end to the recession has occurred. The big jump in GDP will. . . .


To read the whole article ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848058
We are all guilty of converting data into changes, percent changes or percent changes of the percent change for the purpose of identifying early a change in trend. I thought it would be a good idea today to just look at the dollar amount of new orders for durable goods ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848055
The headline number showed the trade balance worsening by $996 million in March and the culprit was oil prices. The balance of trade in services improved by $813 million and the balance of trade in goods net of oil improved by $296 million – a $1.1 billion improvement in the ...