Reclaiming Common Sense

Remarkable Retail Data. Low Inflation. Low First-time Claims Data. New Construction Banging Higher. Two Trade Deals. Winning.


This week was a dichotomy of events. We received strong economic data and the House of Representative sent Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.


(Jan. 13) The Week started where last week ended with analysis of the December Jobs Report. "Dec. Workers and Wages: Annual Gains Across the Board" details how we saw worker gains December to December in all sectors except mining and logging. We saw average hourly wage gains in all sectors. This means that we saw total wage growth over 4% last year.


(Jan. 14) Another way to look at the jobs data is to compare the number of jobs created and the changes in unemployment and participation for President Trump at 35 months and compare his accomplishments with former Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W Bush, and Obama. "Five President at 35 months" details how President Trump has created more full-time jobs during his first 35 months in office than the other four Presidents combined (140 months of activity.)


(Jan 14) One of the major reports of the month is the Monthly and Annual Retail Trade Survey (MARTS) report on retail spending. All of the data was pointing towards a record December and our second consecutive $6 trillion retail sales year. The data was supposed to be remarkable for December to December growth. "Dec. Retail Forecast: Sleighful of Sales" explained that even with all the good news there could be some interesting declines as more sales shift to Non-store retail (NSR.)


(Jan. 14) There are some in the media that are attempting to downplay the wage gains. They say that it doesn't reflect what is really happening because we have to consider inflation.What inflation? "Modest December Inflation at 2.31%" continues the monthly discussion regarding Shelter Inflation, Service Inflation, Commodity Deflation, and Health Insurance inflation (for something that supposedly is only 1% of our monthly expenses.


(Jan. 15) It is the author of this column's belief that you have to know what to expect with regard to some of the economic data in order to understand what is reported. It is called managed expectations. "Dec. Real Estate Forecast: New Home Strength" looked at the data for New Home Construction, New Home Sales, and Existing Home Sales and projected the possibility for seriously strong New Home Starts, New Home Completions, and Units under Construction data, as well as potentially strong new home sales data. The question was how much was low existing home inventory going to hold back existing home sales?


(Jan. 16) Thursday was "Weekly Unemployment Claims Day" and "December Retail Sales Report" day. The December retail report revealed a record level of monthly retail sales, any month, any year. Record December Non-Store Retail Sales. It also recorded and reported over $6.2T in total retail sales. This was the second consecutive year, and second time ever, with more than $6T in total retail sales in a given year. "Dec. Retail: Ho Ho Higher" breaks down the data by sector.


(Jan. 16) Seasonally adjusted first-time claims were reported under 300,000 for the 253rd consecutive week. Seasonally adjusted continuing claims were reported under 2.0 million claims for the 143rd consecutive week. "Low First-time Claims: 204,000 Seasonally Adjusted" tells you what the Legacy Media will not tell you. The streaks continue.


(Jan. 17) It appears that the Legacy Media were caught off guard by the remarkable December New Construction data. "New Construction Ends the Year Spiking Higher" explains how now matter how you look at the data, same month data, seasonally adjusted, non-seasonally adjusted, or seasonally adjusted annual rate, Starts spiked, completions spiked, units under construction spiked. This bodes well for the New Home Sales data for December and beyond.


This week was big for economic data. It was a big week for Trade agreements with Phase One of the China Deal and the Signing into law of the USMCA trade deal between the US, Canada, and Mexico. It was also a week where Fancy Nancy Pelosi had a signing ceremony for the impeachment papers.


It's the Economy.