by ilene - September 3rd, 2010 9:00 pm
Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist
The headline figure came in at 51.5 which was 1.5 points lower than expected – still expanding, but down sharply month on month. A look under the hood shows more alarming trends, however. Just like the manufacturing report on Wednesday the leading indicators in the services report were weaker than expected. New orders tanked 4.3 points to 52.4. Inventories and backlog also showed declines. The employment index, which includes government employees showed a contraction.
This is much more in-line with the regional reports and is likely a better representation of the US
by ilene - August 27th, 2010 3:51 pm
Courtesy of Mish
Today the DOW has crossed the 10K line for the umpteenth time (at least 3 times in the past 3 days alone depending on how you count), smack on the heels of "fantastic news" that second quarter GDP was 1.6%.
For a change, economists were a bit too pessimistic but to get to that point, their estimates had to be ratcheted down twice from 2.5% to 1.4%. Now the market, temporarily at least, thinks 1.6% is good.
It isn’t. More importantly, GDP expectations looking forward for 3rd quarter are in the neighborhood of 2.5%, a number that is from Fantasyland. I expect a negative print.
GDP News Release
Inquiring minds are digging into the BEA’s report National Income and Product Accounts Gross Domestic Product, 2nd quarter 2010 (second estimate) for additional details.
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter of 2010, (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 3.7 percent.
The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 2.4 percent (see "Revisions" on page 3).
The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from nonresidential fixed investment, personal consumption expenditures, exports, federal government spending, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected a sharp acceleration in imports and a sharp deceleration in private inventory investment that were partly offset by an upturn in residential fixed investment, an acceleration in nonresidential fixed investment, an upturn in state and local government spending, and an acceleration in federal government spending.
Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.0 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent in the first. Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 17.6 percent, compared with an increase of 7.8 percent. Nonresidential structures increased 0.4 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 17.8
Burning Down the House; New Home Sales Consensus 330K, Actual 276K, a Record Low; Nationwide, Zero New Homes Sold Above 750K
by ilene - August 27th, 2010 2:27 am
Burning Down the House; New Home Sales Consensus 330K, Actual 276K, a Record Low; Nationwide, Zero New Homes Sold Above 750K
Courtesy of Mish
I failed to comment yesterday on the huge miss by economists on consensus new home sales, but Rosenberg has some nice comments today in Breakfast with Dave.
Once again, the consensus was fooled. It was looking for 330k on new home sales for July and instead they sank to a record low of 276k units at an annual rate. And, just to add insult to injury, June was revised down, to 315k from 330k. Just as resales undercut the 2009 depressed low by 15%, new home sales have done so by 19%. Imagine that even with mortgage rates down 100 basis points in the past year to historic lows, not to mention at least eight different government programs to spur homeownership, home sales have undercut the recession lows by double-digits.
in the aftermath of a credit bubble burst and a massive asset deflation, trauma has set in. The rupture to confidence and spending from our central bankers’ and policymakers’ willingness to allow the prior credit cycle to go parabolic has come at a heavy price in terms of future economic performance. Attitudes towards discretionary spending, credit and housing have been altered, likely for a generation.
The scars have apparently not healed from the horrific experience with defaults, delinquencies and deleveraging of the past two years — talk about a horror flick in 3D. The number of unsold homes on the market exceeds four million and that does include the shadow bank inventory, which jumped 12% alone in August, according to the venerable housing analyst Ivy Zelman.
Nearly 1 in 4 of the population with a mortgage are “upside down” and as a result are now prisoners in their own home. We have over five million homeowners now either in the foreclosure process or seriously delinquent. The government’s HAMP program was supposed to bail out between 3 and 4 million distressed homeowners and instead we have only had a success rate of fewer than half a million.
Now back to the new home sales data. Every region in the U.S. was down, and down sharply. The homebuilders did not cut their inventory levels and as a result, the backlog of new homes surged to 9.1 months’ supply from 8.0
by ilene - August 25th, 2010 8:09 pm
Courtesy of Mish
Spending on durable goods rose slightly in July but only on the back of an unsustainable spike in aircraft orders. The rest of the data ranged from weak to abysmal.
As has been the case recently, economists missed the mark by a mile. Economists expected a 3% rise, what they got was a .3% rise.
The Washington Post discusses the situation in Durable goods orders disappoint in latest sign of economic weakness
Overall, orders for durable goods rose 0.3 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, well below the 3 percent that analysts had expected. But even that slight rise was driven by a spike in aircraft orders, a volatile category. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders fell 3.8 percent.
Most worrisome, orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 8 percent. That indicator tends to predict future equipment spending by businesses, Business spending on equipment and software rose at more than a 20 percent annual rate in the first half of 2010, one of the bright spots in the economic picture; the new data suggest that such spending may not be as strong in the second half of the year.
Inquiring minds are digging a bit deeper into the Advance Report on Durable Goods Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders July 2010.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in July increased $0.6 billion or 0.3 percent to $193.0 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase followed two consecutive monthly decreases including a 0.1 percent June decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 3.8 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.3 percent.
Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, had the largest increase, $6.1 billion or 13.1 percent to $52.6 billion. This was due to nondefense aircraft and parts, which increased $4.0 billion.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in July, down following three consecutive monthly increases, decreased $1.1 billion or 0.1 percent to $802.8 billion. This followed a 0.1 percent June increase. Computers and electronic products, down following four consecutive monthly increases, had the largest decrease, $0.5 billion or 0.4 percent to $121.1 billion.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods in July, up seven consecutive months, increased $1.8 billion or 0.6 percent to $311.2 billion. This followed a 1.3 percent June increase. Machinery, up
by ilene - July 31st, 2010 4:01 pm
Courtesy of James D. Hamilton at Econbrowser
"We have met the enemy and he is us," Pogo used to say. Well, we’ve also now met the recovery, and he is ugly.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported today that U.S. real GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.4% during the second quarter. The latest GDP numbers bring our Econbrowser Recession Indicator Index for 2010:Q1 down to 5.4%. This index is based on a very simple pattern-recognition algorithm for characterizing economic recessions. It is not a prediction of where the economy is headed, but rather a backward-looking assessment of where the economy stood as of the first quarter, using today’s 2010:Q2 data release to help inform that assessment.
University of Oregon Professor Jeremy Piger maintains a related index which has been at or below 1% for each month so far of 2010, while the most recent value calculated by U.C. Riverside Professor Marcelle Chauvet‘s algorithm is 7.8%. All three approaches agree that the economy remains in a growth phase that began in the third quarter of last year. A subsequent economic downturn would be described as the beginning of a new recession rather than a continuation of the previous recession.
*The plotted value for each date is based solely on information as it would have been publicly available and reported as of one quarter after the indicated date, with 2010:Q1 the last date shown on the graph. Shaded regions (with the exception of 2007:Q4-2009:Q2) represent dates of NBER recessions, which were not used in any way in constructing the index, and which were sometimes not reported until two years after the date. The most recent recession is shown on the graph as ending in 2009:Q2 as implied by the index; as of this writing the NBER has not yet assigned an end date for this recession.
But a pretty recovery it’s not. The economy has grown by 3.2% in real terms over the last year, about the average annual historical growth rate since World War II. But since recessions are characterized by below-average growth, expansions should typically exhibit above-average growth, and particularly in the first year of an expansion we often see very strong growth as a result of the positive contribution…
by ilene - July 23rd, 2010 1:59 pm
Courtesy of Robert Reich
We’re not in a double-dip recession yet. We’re in a one and a half dip recession.
Consumer confidence is down. Retail sales are down. Home sales are down. Permits for single-family starts are down. The average work week is down. The only things not down are inventories – unsold stuff is piling up in warehouses and inventories of unsold homes are rising – and defaults on loans.
The 1.5 dip recession should be causing alarm bells to ring all over official Washington. It should cause deficit hawks to stop squawking about future debt, blue-dog Democrats to stop acting like Republicans, and mainstream Democrats to get some backbone.
The 1.5 dip recession should cause the President to demand a large-scale national jobs program including a new WPA that gets millions of Americans back to work even if government has to pay their wages directly. Included would be zero-interest loans to strapped states and locales, so they didn’t have to cut vital services and raise taxes. They could repay when the economy picked up and revenues came in. The national jobs program would also include a one-year payroll tax holiday on the first $20,000 of income.
The President should stop talking and acting on anything else – not the deficit, not energy, not the environment, not immigration, not implementing the health care law, not education. He should make the whole upcoming mid-term election a national referendum on putting Americans back to work, and his jobs bill. Are you for it or against it?
But none of this is happening. The hawks and blue dogs are still commanding the attention. Herbert Hoover’s ghost seems to have captured the nation’s capital. We’re back to 1932 (or 1937) and the prevailing sentiment is government can’t and mustn’t do anything but aim to reduce the deficit, even though the economy is going down.
It looks like there’ll be an extension of unemployment benefits. (If it weren’t for the human suffering involved, I wish the Republicans had been forced to filibuster that bill all summer and show the nation just how much they care about people without jobs.) But the fiscal stimulus resulting from this will be tiny. Jobless benefits are humane but they alone don’t get jobs back.
by ilene - June 17th, 2010 11:58 pm
Courtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns
Comstock Partners latest weekly note called "Why it’s Still A Secular Bear Market" is in line with my view of the economy and market. They see the core issue as a longer-term deleveraging that cannot be solved by fiscal and monetary stimulus. I have said that this likely means lower inflation-adjusted stock prices when the stimulus-induced recovery fades. This is a view they also hold.
However, they also provide ten specific reasons why we should see the recovery as already under attack.
- While May retail sales were up 8% from the early 2009 low they are still 4.4% below the peak reached 2 1/2 years ago in November 2007. By way of comparison, over the last 43 years retail sales have seldom declined at all, even in recessions.
- May industrial production (IP) was 8.1%% over its June 2009 trough, but still 7.9% below the late 2007 peak. At its current level, IP is still where it was over 10 years ago in early 2000.. Never since the 1930’s depression has IP failed to exceed a level attained 10 years earlier.
- New orders for durable goods in April were up 21% from the low of March 2009, but still 22% below the top in December 2007. In fact new orders are at the same level as in late 1999, over ten years ago.
- Initial weekly unemployment claims steadily declined from 651,000 in March 2009 to 477,000 by Mid-November, but have been range-bound with no improvement in the last 6 ½ months. Furthermore the current number of claims is still in recession territory.
- April new home sales were up 14.8% from a month earlier and are up a seemingly robust 48% since the low. However, the current number is still a whopping 64% below the 2005 monthly peak. Prior to the current recession the last time new home sales were this low was in February 1991.
- Existing home sales in April were up 27% from the low in late 2008, but still 20% below the peak in late 2005. We also note that both new and existing home sales were boosted by the homebuyers tax credit that has already expired, and that the housing market has weakened considerably since that time.
- May vehicle sales of 11.6 million annualized were up
by ilene - June 1st, 2010 7:54 pm
Courtesy of Rick at Consumer Metrics Institute
On May 27th the BEA released its first revision to its 1st Quarter 2010 GDP growth rate measurement, lowering the number from a 3.2% annualized growth rate to 3.0% annualized growth. One day later the Consumer Metrics Institute’s ‘Daily Growth Index’ was signalling what we should expect the BEA’s measurement of the 3rd Quarter 2010 GDP growth rate to be: contracting at about a 2.0% rate.
The prior BEA estimate of 1st Quarter 2010 GDP growth trailed our ‘Daily Growth Index’ by 127 days, and because of the rapid rate that the economy was cooling when the measurements were being made, the newly adjusted estimate is now trailing our ‘Daily Growth Index’ by 125 days. The 3rd Quarter of 2010 ends 125 days after May 28th, when our ‘Daily Growth Index’ was recording a ‘growth’ rate of -1.99%. If the BEA estimates continue to trail our ‘Daily Growth Index’ in a consistent manner we should expect that the 3rd Quarter’s GDP ‘growth’ rate will be in the -2.0% neighborhood.
Several things were interesting about the BEA announcement, which seems to have been largely ignored by the equity markets on a day when the Dow Industrials were up over 280 points. Not only was the total growth rate revised downward by .2%, but the impact of inventory building was adjusted upward from 1.57% to 1.64%, meaning that the end growth rate of consumer demand (net of inventory build-ups) was dropped from about 1.63% to something closer to 1.36% — a 17% reduction that was hardly worthy of a 280 point rally in the markets. Perhaps the U.S. equity markets should obsess less about Greece and Spain and pay more attention to what is happening with consumers in their own domestic economy.
by ilene - December 4th, 2009 2:28 pm
Courtesy of Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns
The Census Bureau came out this morning with a report on “Manufacturer’s Shipments, Inventories and Orders” for October. The report was bullish as it showed new orders for manufactured goods rising for the sixth time in seven months. But, more importantly, it also showed that manufacturers are adding inventory which means that production is now outstripping demand, adding to upside potential for GDP this quarter.
The report states:
New orders for manufactured
goodsin October, up six of the last seven months, increased $2.1 billion or 0.6 percent to $360.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 1.6 percent September increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5 percent.
Shipments, up four of the last five months, increased $3.1 billion or 0.8 percent to $368.0 billion. This followed a 1.3 percent September increase.
Unfilled orders, down thirteen consecutive months, decreased $2.9 billion or 0.4 percent to $730.8 billion. This was the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992. This followed a 0.4 percent September decrease. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 5.82, up from 5.79 in September.
Inventories, up following thirteen consecutive monthly decreases, increased $1.8 billion or 0.4 percent to $493.0 billion. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.34, down from 1.35 in September.
While inventories have been pared less slowly in the past, they have now dropped to the point where producers are increasing production so much they are adding inventories.
We should expect this to increase hours worked and income for existing workers first. Only then will temp staff and then permanent staff be taken on. Nevertheless, this is another welcome sign of recovery.
Full Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders, October 2009 (pdf) – U.S. Census Bureau
by ilene - August 11th, 2009 1:41 pm
Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker
The green shoots are in fact marijuana plants and the media has been smoking them.
Month/over/month inventories down 1.7%, annual y/o/y down 10.8%.
Durables down 1.5%, annual down 10.4%.
I am especially interested in the internals of this report, particularly, paper goods as these are a good indicator of packaging demand, along with metals (industrial demand.)
Those numbers are just plain nasty: Paper was down 2.7% m/o/m while metals were down 6.2% m/o/m.
The sales numbers weren’t any better:
Sales. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that June 2009 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $313.1 billion, up 0.4 percent (+/-0.7%)* from the revised May level, but were down 21.0 percent (+/-1.4%) from the June 2008 level.
Note the sampling error on the monthlies – we’re inside the uncertainty, which means that basically the number was flat. But the annual change is just plain nasty, given that we were well into the recession (according to the NBER) last summer, and as such were well down the demand curve.
There’s nothing in this report to indicate that "the recession is easing."