Reclaiming Common Sense

What Government Shutdown? A Shutdown of Data?

Last week started where we left off the prior week: in a partial Government Shutdown. This week the week in data was more a week in missed reports than a week in data.

(Jan. 14) The media talking point regarding this Government Shutdown is that every week that the government is shutdown costs us 0.1% to 0.2% in GDP. The "problem" with this talking point is that the starts of the shutdown began at the end of the fourth quarter. Another problem is that the continuation of the Shutdown is hitting the first quarter.  The article  "The Government Shutdown May Not Show Up in the Government Data" goes into detail how the economy has been growing and that growth should offset the "slowing" of the partial government shutdown.

(Jan. 16) The monthly Real Estate Forecast Article used to be two or three articles. It takes a considerable amount of data crunching to publish the forecast. This month the question is why exert the effort to publish a forecast article if the government workers were not going to publish their reports? "December Real Estate Surprise Forecasted" was anticipating the best new construct year since 2008, the best new construction sales year since 2008, and improving existing home sales and existing home inventory.

(Jan. 16) There was no December MARTS Retail Report published. Too bad.

(Jan. 17) There was no New Construction Report Published.

(Jan. 17)  Weekly claims for the second week of January were the third lowest for this week of the year since 1967. It was even better than that when you factor in the change in the workforce population. The continuing Unemployment Claims level was the lowest it had been for the first week of January since 1973. The insured unemployment rate, which spikes to the highest level for most years during the first week of January, was lower than the best week of 1988.  You would think that if the weekly unemployment claims report is the only game in town that someone would cover the good news.

We aren't receiving some of the economic reports upon which investors and business rely to make decisions. If the employees who produce these reports are non-essential are they reports non-essential?

Day 31 this Monday. We spent $521 billion on interest on the debt during the prior fiscal year. This means that we spent $1.427 billion dollars a day on "nothing." We have spent $44.237 billion since the Shutdown started over a $5.7 billion dollar investment on border security.

It's the economy.