Reclaiming Common Sense

The Week started with forecast article for Retail and Real Estate

The week ended with Retail, Unemployment and New Construction

The week started with a New Construction, New Home Sales, and Existing Home sales forecast for the month of June. There was also a June MARTS Retail forecast article. We received the New Home Construction report, the June Retail Report, and the Weekly Unemployment claims report.

(July 15)  We are in a Retail Renaissance. We have set current month records for total retail sales each of the first five months of the year. "June Retail Should Soar 4%-8% from Last June" was anticipating significant strength June to June even with virtually across the board declines in all categories month to month except Sporting Goods, Hobbies, Books and Music (SGHBM.) The article examined the seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted data.

(July 16)  New Home Sales, New Home Construction, and Existing Home Sales are economic multipliers. The article "June Real Estate Forecast: Modest Growth from Last June" projected that there could be a decline in starts or the potential to break through 84,000 units started. Completions were expected to improve month to month and June to June.Under Construction properties were expected to break through 1.14 million units. New home sales and existing home sales were expected to be remarkable.

(June 18)  They still produce weekly unemployment claims reports. The seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims streak has been ongoing since March 7, 2015. The Continuing C;aims (SA CC) Streak has been ignored. This streak really has been ongoing since April 1, 2017 (No April Fools here.) The Insured Unemployment Rate is significantly lower than it was the same week last year. "Strong Start to July Continuing Claims" goes into the details of the seriously low first-time unemployment claims, the remarkably low continuing claims, and the low IUR.

(July 19)  The June Retail report was remarkable. We have now had four consecutive months of greater than $500 billion total sales. "New June Record Retail Month" detailed some surprises, including revisions to the non-seasonal and seasonal data.

(July 19) The New Home Starts data, the New Home Completions, and the Units under construction were  good, not great. The new home starts data declined for the second June in a row. That said the number of starts is better than what was recorded, year to date, than 2017 and slightly slower than 2018 year to date. The completions data declined for back to back Junes and they still ahead of schedule year to date compared to 2008 through 2018. The Units under construction are exceeding those of 2008-2018. This all matters because one month does not determine the results of a quarter or a year. "New Home Completions Still Ahead of 2018" digs into the data.

This column has been attempting, during the past five years, to tie together the reports. The rest of the media is focused for the moment on the report du jour. Seasonally adjusted data is not worthless; it is close to worthless. Low unemployment coupled with record levels of non-seasonally adjusted workers and non-seasonally adjusted weekly wages means more gross income earned. Last week we had comparable tax revenue from individuals and corporations even with lower tax rates. If people are earning more and sending less to the government, relatively speaking, that frees up more for spurring the economy. We should see an increase in units sold and average sales prices for new home sales next week. That will boost Gross Private Domestic Investments and Personal Consumption Expenditures and GDP.

It's the Economy