Reclaiming Common Sense

The Week Brought Record Setting  Data regarding Unemployment, Excellent New Construction Data, and Record setting Retail Data


The Government produces data on varying aspects of the economy every week of the year. We were supposed to receive the monthly Treasury statement on revenue and outlays. That is being delayed. We received record setting unemployment claims data. That was not reported elsewhere. We received record Retail Sales data, That wasn't covered. It was reported as being "weaker than expected." We received information that there was not a 2 year and 10 year bond rate inversion on a monthly basis. The inversion has to last months, not moments, to have significance.


(Oct.14) The media was breathless regarding the "2-10 Rate Inversion" during August. What if it "never really happened." The article "What Bond Yield Inversion" details how the monthly bond rates did not invert while the daily bond yield inverted for just one day.


(Oct. 15) This column often publishes forecast articles for various important economic reports. One forecast article this month and this week was the article "September Retail Forecast: Another Half Trillion Dollar Month" projected the possibility of another $500 billion non-seasonally adjusted retail sale month. It also projected a potential $525 Billion Seasonally adjusted Month. All sectors were expected to drop month to month, non-seasonally adjusted. There was uncertainty regarding whether or not we would see a seasonally adjusted month similar to last September when some sectors grew and others contracted September to September.


(Oct. 16) We received record setting retail data on Wednesday. You would not know this by the mainstream media coverage. Nine straight months of more than $500 billion in monthly MARTS retails sales.  The seasonally adjusted sales data came in at a September Record of $525 billion.The non-seasonally adjusted data was recorded just under $500 billion at  a September Record of $499 billion. "Record Setting September Retail Sales" digs into the details and found that, yes, non-seasonally adjusted sales fell across the board, as expected. Some sectors saw September to September declines, seasonally adjusted, as was thought could happen.


(Oct. 17) If a record is set and nobody realizes it, did it happen? Yes. Two Unemployment claims records were set this week. We had a record setting 22nd week this year with the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims recorded under 200,000 claims. The Insured Unemployment Rate fell to an all-time record low of 0.94%. Ho Hum.


(Oct. 18) The September New Construction Report was released at the same time as the weekly unemployment claims data. We had the most September new single family starts since September 2006 with 80,600 starts. We had the most September  new home units under construction since September 2006. The media provided a collective yawn. "September Starts and Under Construction Surge" explains this  and how there may be some surprises for the New Home Sales data and the Existing Home Sales data.


We received excellent New Construction data. We received record setting weekly unemployment claims data. We received record setting Retail data. Next week we should set a September record average sales price for new and existing homes. We may or may not receive data on a record September Federal Surplus next week. It may come out next week, it may not. It is anticipated that the surplus will be between $100 billion and $125 billion.


It's the Economy.