Reclaiming Common Sense

Great Economic News This Week - It's a Conspiracy

This week we received multiple reports that were very good. The data that was reported here pertained to the New Home Sales Data, The Weekly Unemployment Claims Data, and the Gross Domestic Product data. New home sales were lower during 2009 than they were during 1979. Weekly Unemployment Claims were lower this week than they were for the same week of October 1970. This column often called the GDP the Grossly Distorted Product. This week the underlying data, Retail Sales, Consumer Spending, Housing Growth, and Import/Export Data were pointing to a higher GDP. Now GDP may stand for Growing Domestic Power.

(Oct. 23)  One of the "most important" pieces of economic data is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) number. A number over 3% for a full year of growth is considered to be a sign of prosperity. We managed to have a few quarters under President Obama where real GDP exceed 3%. We never had a full year of over 3%. The best President Obama could do was 2.9% during 2015 and 2.6% during 2014. "Could Q3 Headline GDP Exceed 4%" details how the annualized GDP could blow through the 3% level for the annualized GDP rate and how it could reach 2.5% to 2.7% for the Real GDP.

(Oct. 24) How have the recent hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria, impacted the jobs and unemployment data? The authors of the weekly unemployment claims report they have inferred that they have impacted the jobs markets in affected areas negatively. So why do we have weekly claims level lower than what was recorded during the 1970s? "Economic Hurricanes: September" details how these regions are recovering quickly and, for the most part, are doing better than they were during September of 2016. The main exception is Puerto Rico where data collection has been all but impossible.

(Oct. 25) New Home Sales are a strong economic indicator. New home sales generate jobs and retail sales as demand for new homes spur the building of more homes. New Home Construction spurs jobs in the construction industry and in other retail sectors as furniture and furnishings and other retail sectors are called upon to provide goods (and services.)The Great Recession was three recessions rolled into one: A Housing Recession (New and Existing Homes,) a Jobs Recession (As full-time jobs were shed and part-time jobs were created,) and a Retail Recession (as people could not afford to spend money after losing one or more full-time jobs.) "Sept, New Home Sales Exceed Expectations" details how new home sales exceeded 50,000 units and how the target for the end of the year data could be over 615,000 - up from 561,000 units during 2016, and better than we have seen since 2008.

(Oct. 26) Do you remember how the weekly unemployment claims data used to be breaking news at 8:30 AM ET for weeks and years on end? They still publish that weekly report. Do you remember how the administration was touting 60, 70, 80, and 90 consecutive weeks of sub-300,000 seasonally adjusted first-time claims? That streak is ongoing, if you use the claims data from the past year that have been reported in the press. Readers of this column know that this is a FACT (False Assertion Considered to be True.) The streak never got traction. It ended most recently during Thanksgiving week of 2016. "Astonishingly Good Unemployment Claims Data" details how we had fewer first-time claims for the third week of October than were recorded during the third week of October 1970. The same is true for the second week of October continuing claims data.

(Oct. 27) The Gross Domestic Product Number is a lagging economic indicator. It tells us where we have been during the past quarter. A number over 3% is considered healthy. We used to have values  over 5% during the 1980s and 1990s. We failed to break through 3% on an end of year annual basis since 2009.  It is amazing that the mainstream media isn't proclaiming a national disaster as the third quarter advance GDP dropped from 3.1% to 3.0%. "GDP Solid 3.0% for Third Quarter" details how the advance value for the Real GDP grew even as the annualized GDP ticked down slightly. It also details how these numbers, plural, should be revised higher next month when the preliminary third quarter GDP data is released. It may even head higher when the final GDP data is released two months from now.

The economy is showing strength. We have record levels of full-time jobs right now. Participation is improving. Unemployment is dropping. New home sales are on the rise. Existing home sales are on the rise despite a lack of inventory when compared to "historic norms." Retail sales are on track for a record year despite a "Retail Ice Age."  If you watch the regular news you will be hearing about the JFK files, Fusion GPS, Hillary Gate Part Whatever, Halloweengate where people are seeing Halloween banned in schools, a ten-year old kid joyriding, the "Take a Knee Story," or the continuing saga of attempting to demean our founding fathers, including George Washington. Seriously.

It's the economy.