Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

How do you know if you are winning if you do not keep score.


How can you compare your accomplishments when you are playing three dimensional chess while everyone else is playing checkers? The federal government records non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) data and reports seasonally adjusted (SA) data, The seasonal factors that are used to convert the NSA data to SA data change by data source, week, month, season, and year. The jobs report data originates from two data sets with their seasonal factors. Up can be reported as down and down can be reported as up.


(Oct. 16) This week began where the last week finished, writing about the Monthly Jobs Report, or Employment Situation Report. There are many ways to examine the jobs/worker situation. Some people have blamed the drop in the workforce participation rate on the retiring Baby Boomers. "Our Aging Workforce this September" dispels that Urban Myth, again. The workforce participation rate has fallen for those under the age of 59.


(Oct. 17) There are many important reports released during the course of a week or month. Housing data impacts just about "everyone." If housing costs are too high people tend to rent. If rents are too high then people shift to ownership. There are two "sectors' in housing - new construction and existing homes. It is important to understand what can be expected to understand what is being reported. "September New Construction Forecast Hurricane Dependent" examined the potential changes in the new home starts, new home under construction, new home completion, and new home sales data expectations for September.


(Oct. 18) If you watched the news for the proper 15 minutes of the day on Wednesday you might have heard that the new construction permits were down during September. You might not have heard that the September new construction starts, under construction, and completion data were all the best since 2008. The New Construction Data is rolling higher.


(Oct. 19) The continuing claims data lags the new construction data by one week. This week we received the first-time unemployment claims data for the second week of October and the continuing claims data for the first week of October.The first time claims data was lower than it was during the second week of October 1970. The continuing claims data was lower than what was recorded during the first week of October 1970. These are "Rodney Dangerfield Unemployment Claims numbers" They do not get any respect. 


(Oct. 20) Friday we received the Existing Home Sales data. There are many ways to examine the data. The rolling year data, the combination of the past twelve months of sales, was better than what we have seen since September of 2008, and is better than what we had during September 2002. The Current Year data, the sales from January through September, are comparable to 2002 and better than 2008-2016 through September.  "September Existing Home Sales data on track for 5.5 million units, annually" shows that the Realtors estimate of 5.2 million units sold for 2017 is inaccurate.


The economy is important. The stock market is surging. Jobs are rising. Existing bs are rising. Home sales are rising. New home sales are rising. Let's obsess about "Empty Barrels." Let's talk about Hillary Clinton not wanting to go to the Inauguration. Let's talk about "Taking a Knee." Let;s talk about anything BUT the economy. Then let's watch the talking heads try and downplay the surging economy as a carryover from President Obama or how the economy is defying gravity. Remember, the election of President Trump was supposed to put us in a never ending recession.


It's the economy.