Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

The economic data was solid this week. We received new home sales data and existing home sales data , as well as weekly unemployment claims data and the advance first quarter GDP report. Each of these stories received 15 seconds of fame this week.


(April 23)  The week started with the Existing Home Sales Report. "March Existing Homes: Record Average Sales Price" detailed how while sales of existing homes was slightly lower than March 2017 and higher than the March sales levels of 1999, 2000, 2008-2016. Once again we set a record low inventory level for the current month.


(April 24) The "March New Homes Sales Jumped" this past month. The Units sold jumped 10% over last March. The Average Sales price dropped from the level recorded last March while the median price rose.


(April 25) How do you know if the news is good if you do not know what to expect. The "First Quarter GDP Forecast" article detailed how the underlying data that had already been published projected a better "Table 1" headline Gross Domestic Product number and a better "Table 8" same quarter growth rate. Where "experts" were anticipating a headline number under 2%this column was projecting a number over 2% and approaching 2.6% or 2.7%.


(April 26) The weekly first tome unemployment claims data was remarkable, yet again. The non-seasonally adjusted claims data dropped below 200,000 again. This had not happened for decades until the Fall of 2015. This does not happen normally during the Spring. The non-seasonally adjusted continuing claims and the first-time claims were the lowest for the current week of the year since the 1970s.


(April 27) The "experts" were proven wrong. The "Table 1" GDP value came in at 2.3%, higher than first quarter 2017 GDP of 1.2% and higher than the first quarter 2016 GDP of 0.6%. The Table 8 GDP was up for the seventh consecutive quarter at 2.9%. There has been steady improvement in this value since  the third quarter of 2016. "First Quarter GDP Seriously Good" also projects that the preliminary first quarter GDP will be high than the advance value.


This week was a seriously good week of data. New Home sales were strong. Existing home sales set a new March average sales price. Unemployment claims were near historic lows for the current week of the year. The economy is picking up pace. The preliminary analysis is that next week's Employment Situation Report will be strong as unemployment has fallen between mid-March and Mid-April. The data has started to be crunched for the Employment Situation Report forecast article. It could be a "barn-burner."


It's the economy.