Reclaiming Common Sense

Existing Home Sales disappointed, New Home Sales surprised, First-time Claims Fell, and the GDP revisions credited the former President

This week the economic data focused on home sales, weekly unemployment claims, and the Gross Domestic Product. Existing home sales saw a record average sales price for the month of June and Improving inventory. The headline units sold was a disappointment. New home sales were the best for June since June 2007. We saw out tenth week this year with unadjusted first-time claims recorded under 200,000. The GDP revisions pushed more of President Trump's growth back to 2016.

(July 23)  The real estate market is an economic multiplier. The Great Recession was really three recessions rolled into one: A Housing Recession, a Jobs Recession, and a Retail Recession which was rolled into the Gross Domestic Production Recession. "June Existing Home Sales: Units Down, Sales Price Up" details the June record average sales price and the improving inventory situation.

(July 24) The June New Home Sales report was better than the June Existing Home Report. We saw the most June units sold since 2007, twelve years ago, and approached the June Average Sales Price Record. Inventory is up from last June and remains withing the 300,000 to 400,000 units range."June New Home Sales Reveal Strength" explains how we are not in a recession. New Home sales are still in recovery mode.

(July 25) The first-time unemployment claims data used to be headline news at the bottom of the hour most Thursdays during the Obama Presidency. Did you know that last year we had 21 weeks where the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) first-time unemployment (FTU) claims data was recorded under 200,000 claims? The benchmark was under 300,000 seasonally adjusted claims. "First-time Unemployment Claims Dropped" details how this is the tenth week this year with NSA FTU claims under 200,000 claims. We had one week under 200,000 claims during 2015, two weeks during 2016, four weeks during 2017. Last year we had a record setting 21 weeks with NSA FTU claims under 200,000 claims. We are ahead of last year's pace. Crickets make more noise than the mainstream media.

(July 26) This month we received the Advance Second Quarter GDP data and the revisions of the data back to 2014. Last year the "annual revision" included revisions back to 1929. They must have needed to update the automobile and car sales data. There was a considerable amount of things to discuss, including how the annualized data for 2014 and 2016 were revised higher, boosting former President Obama's data, and revised lower for 2017. This was the second time that the 2017 data was revised lower.  These revisions also impacted the same quarter GDP data. Instead of having eleven consecutive quarters of Same Quarter GDP growth we are now off the peak set during the second quarter of 2018.  What was ignored elsewhere is the increase in disposable income and the increase in Personal Savings. "Second quarter GDP and Revisions: Some Surprises" details how the personal savings rate has improved from 6.8% (2016) %  and 7.0% (2017) and then 7.7% (2018) to this quarter. Could people be boosting their savings because of the "inevitable recession" that is/was supposed to happen because Donald J. Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election? It also details how the annual revisions to the data have boosted the second quarter GDP for 2015Q2. It was  was originally reported at 2.3% and revised  to 2.6%, to  after the 2016Q2 revisions to 2.7% to 2.8% to 3.0%. The former President STILL does not have an entire year of 3.0% GDP growth. There is always next year.

This week was "Mueller Time." The man whose name was on the report did not have a full comprehension of what was inside the report. He promised to stay to the four corners of the report. He failed to recognize the importance of the impetus of the report. His testimony, the pre-mortem, and post-mortem, and the eulogy gobbled up valuable airtime in which strong Durable Goods data, remarkably low unemployment claims data, a near record June new home average sales price, a record June Existing Home Average Sales Price, improving existing home inventory, and a "better than expected" second quarter GDP could have been discussed. A cursory look at the Annualized GDP histogram shows that we have a steady economy, compared to the massive spikes and troughs that happened between 2009 and 2015. Watch the data. "Ignore" the reports.

It's the Economy.