Posts Tagged ‘consumer metrics institute’

What the Revised 1st Quarter GDP Numbers Really Mean

What the Revised 1st Quarter GDP Numbers Really Mean

Courtesy of Rick Davis at  Consumer Metrics Institute

On June 25th the BEA quietly revised its measurement of GDP growth for the first quarter of 2010 down for the second time, this time to 2.7%. The newly revised growth estimate nearly matches the Consumer Metrics Institute’s original projection for the first quarter, which was 2.62%. The big difference is that the Consumer Metrics Institute’s projection (based on our Daily Growth Index) was available on November 30, 2009 — seven months ago.

Because the Consumer Metrics Institute’s Daily Growth Index only lags the real-time consumer economy by several days and has a day-by-day time resolution, the Daily Growth Index can also tell us something totally missing in the BEA report: that the newly revised GDP ‘freeze frame’ picture captures a moment in time when consumer demand was dropping at a rate of about .08% per day. This means that the difference between the revised GDP and our original projection represents only a single day of economic change. But more importantly, our Daily Growth Index shows the dynamics of the economy at the point in time when the BEA ‘still picture’ was taken.

One other important note should be made about the June 25th BEA release: in it the BEA also increased the inventory component within the 2.7% number from 1.65% to 1.88%. That means that the net-after-inventory-adjustments number was less than 0.9%, and over two-thirds of the reported aggregate growth was from relatively unpredictable inventory swings.

If factories were unwittingly growing inventories during the first quarter in the face of what was really slackening consumer demand, the official GDP numbers for both the second quarter and the third quarter (to be released 4 days before the U.S. mid-term elections) could be interesting, since factories could very well over-correct again — but in the opposite direction.

Because Friday’s BEA release mirrors our Daily Growth Index from November 30th, the index’s subsequent course provides some insight into where the economy has been heading since then. Roughly half a quarter later (on January 15th, 2010) the index fell into net year-over-year contraction. During the nearly two quarters since then the index has been showing mild but continued contraction. When that contraction is charted along with similar contraction ‘events’ from 2006 and 2008 it can be seen that 2010 is shaping up as…
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Consumer Demand Continues to Contract

Consumer Demand Continues to Contract

Courtesy of Larry Doyle at Sense on Cents, based on the work of Rick Davis at Consumer Metrics Institute 

For those inclined to monitor the pulse of the American consumer, please make it a habit to regularly visit the Consumer Metrics Institute. Rick Davis and team do fabulous, cutting edge, and real-time analysis of consumer activity in our domestic economy. Recall that Rick is already way ahead of the curve in calling for -1.5% 2nd quarter GDP and has an early call for a -2% 3rd quarter GDP.

What has Rick seen over the last ten days? Continued contraction in consumer spending. Let’s navigate.

‘Daily Growth Index’ Continues to Weaken:

Our ‘Daily Growth Index’ represents the average ‘growth’ value of our ‘Weighted Composite Index’ over a trailing 91-day ‘quarter’, and it is intended to be a daily proxy for the ‘demand’ side of the economy’s GDP. Over the last 60 days that index has been slowly dropping, and it has now surpassed a 2% year-over-year rate of contraction.

Chart

The downturn over the past week has emphasized the lack of a clearly formed bottom in this most recent episode of consumer ‘demand’ contraction. Compared with similar contraction events of 2006 and 2008, the current 2010 contraction is still tracking the mildest course, but unlike the other two it has now progressed over 140 days without an identifiable bottom.

Chart

As we have mentioned before, this pattern is unique and unlike the ‘V’ shaped recovery (or even the ‘W’ shaped double-dip) that many had expected. From our perspective the unique pattern is more interesting than the simple fact of an ongoing contraction event. At best the pattern suggests an extended but mild slowdown in the recovery process. But at worse the pattern may be the early signs of a structural change in the economy.

Not everything has been doom-and-gloom over the past two weeks. The Retail Index rebounded nicely, reflecting increased strength in transaction levels at major chains during the Memorial Day weekend and the first week of June, even though the relatively low quality of the transactions did not result in corresponding movement in the ‘Weighted Composite Index’.

The weakest sector indexes during the prior week were the Technology Index and the Housing Index. However, the Housing sector has by far the greatest impact


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No green shoots here

Consumer Metrics Institute Personal Finance Index Continues to Deteriorate

Courtesy of Rick Davis at Consumer Metrics Institute

Below is an addendum to the update sent out on Tuesday, addressing new data reflecting changes in consumer behavior concerning their debt:

The Consumer Metrics Institute’s Personal Finance Index continued its decline for the sixth consecutive week, with it now showing a year-over-year decline in consumer confidence in excess of 40%.

This contrasted sharply with the situation as recently as the end of January 2010, when the same measure of confidence was showing a year-over-year gain in excess of 7%. The Consumer Metrics Institute’s Personal Finance Index is composed of a number of data series, some of which collect transactions that are precursors to the initiation of default and/or foreclosure activities. The levels of these negative activities are inverted before being included in the ‘Personal Finance Index’, so that a rapid rise in Consumer transactions with default and foreclosure counseling services, for example, will drive that particular index down. 

[http://www.consumerindexes.com/weekly_personal_finance.png]

The Personal Finance Index is not alone in reflecting continued weakness. In fact, our ‘Weighted Composite Index’ (which is by far our best daily aggregate measure of the consumer ‘demand’ side of the economy) has shown a relatively steady deterioration since peaking in August 2009, with the trailing month now recording contraction in excess of 2%.

[http://www.consumerindexes.com/monthly_weighted_composite.png]

The sliding ‘trailing quarter’ as reflected in our ‘Daily Growth Index’ has also reached a level consistent with a year-over-year contraction rate of about 2%, after initially dropping into net contraction on January 15th. When compared to previous contraction events in 2006 an 2008 this particular episode of contraction in consumer demand is following a unique profile: at it’s worst it is still milder than the mild 2006 event but it has gone on longer than even the 2008 event without forming a clear bottom.

[http://www.consumerindexes.com/commentary_2010_contraction_watch.png]

If the housing market is expected to recover soon, a significant increase in demand for residential real estate loans will need to be occurring in the near future. Although there has been a recent minor upturn in consumer interest in refinancing on a year-over-year basis, it may only be a sign that consumers are beginning to expect that the historically low mortgage rates are nearing an end.

[http://www.consumerindexes.com/weekly_refinance.png]

A more telling development would be for a similar upturn in consumer interest in new loans, which we…
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Consumer Metrics Institute Previews 3rd Quarter GDP

Consumer Metrics Institute Previews 3rd Quarter GDP

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.

CMI1 CONSUMER METRICS: THE ECONOMY IS SPUTTERING

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.

CMI2 CONSUMER METRICS: THE ECONOMY IS SPUTTERING

Since we first reported that our ‘trailing quarter’…
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Lagging GDP Confirms Consumer Slowdown

Lagging GDP Confirms Consumer Slowdown
The Information that was Missing from Last Friday’s GDP Report

[See also my interview with Rick, here. And more on Rick's data, here. - Ilene]

Courtesy of Richard Davis of the Consumer Metrics Institute, Inc.

The April 30th GDP report issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis ("BEA") of the U. S. Department of Commerce was a freeze-frame quarterly snapshot of a highly dynamic economy — an economy that another source indicates was in significant transition while the snapshot was being taken.

Compared to the 4th quarter of 2009, the annualized growth rate of the GDP had dropped by 43%. Depending on your point of view this could be interpreted either as a glass that is "half-full" or a glass that is "half-empty":

1) The "half-full" reading would mean that the GDP numbers confirm that the recovery had at least moderated to a historically normal growth rate. In this scenario the good news would have been that "the economy is still growing," albeit at a historically normal rate. The bad news would have been that a normal growth rate would only warrant normal P/E ratios in the equity
markets.

2) The "half-empty" reading would have meant that the near halving of the GDP’s growth rate confirmed that (at the factory level) the economy had finally begun to "roll over". If so, the BEA’s announcement portends even lower readings in the quarters to follow.

What was clearly missing in the "half-full/half-empty" debate was a feel for whether the level seen in the snapshot’s glass was stable or still dropping. At the Consumer Metrics Institute our measurements of the web-based consumer "demand" side economy support the "half-empty" reading of the new GDP data. The new GDP numbers (which are subject to at least two revisions) agree with where our "Daily Growth Index" was on November 24th, 2009, 18 weeks prior to the end of 2010′s first calendar quarter — and when that index was in precipitous decline.

Our indexes capture consumer activities in the "demand" side of the economy by mining consumer internet tracking data on a daily basis. This consumer "demand" flows downstream economically to the "supply" side factories over the following 18 weeks:

http://www.consumerindexes.com/commentary_2010_dailygrowthindexvsgdp_full.gif

A look at our "Daily Growth Index" also shows that towards the end of November 2009 the "demand" side economic activity was dropping so quickly that a two week change in the sampling period would make a huge difference in the numbers being reported. If the sampling period had…
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Interview with Rick Davis of the Consumer Metrics Institute

Interview with Rick Davis of the Consumer Metrics Institute

 

By Ilene

Introduction: Richard Davis is President of the Consumer Metrics Institute (CMI). At the Institute, Rick measures real-time consumer transactions as an objective indicator of consumer demand and the associated health of the US economy. In this interview, we explore the history behind the government-published numbers and the reasons prompting Rick to devise better ways to measure the state of the economy.

History

Ilene: Rick, what got you interested in measuring economic numbers?

Rick: I first became frustrated with the current state of economic data after learning about the history of the collection process and the government’s continued reliance on 70 year old concepts. The government began collecting economic data during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s (FDR) second term, around 1937. There was concern that the recovery from the 1937-1938 recession (i.e., a recession nested within the Great Depression) was stalling. The economy had been improving significantly from early 1933 through 1936 before the wheels came off the recovery in mid-1937.  FDR’s administration realized it did not have adequate data to monitor the economy and the administration asked the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) to look into this problem. Wesley Clair Mitchell set out to find data that would help FDR’s administration address its concerns about the U.S. economy.

Wesley Clair Mitchell was a once-in-a-generation economic genius when it came to data collection. He collected over 500 interesting data sets measuring items such as sales, employment, railcar loadings--items that would allow him to constantly monitor the health of the economy. Most of these things are still measured, and the numbers have evolved into the core reports put out by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

What frustrated me was that the data sets measured by Dr. Mitchell were developed in the 1930s and designed to capture those things that were important to the 1930s economy. They are not geared for today’s economy. Things that mattered in the mid-20th century simply cannot completely describe what is happening in the 2010 economy.

For instance, to find out what was happening in the music industry in 1950, someone could have gone to a neighborhood music store, counted the Doris Day 45’s in the retail bins…
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Contraction Tracked by the Consumer Metrics Institute Traces Unique Pattern

Three women shoppers

This is fascinating data that Phil brought to my attention. Richard Davis, President of the Consumer Metrics Institute, measures real-time consumer transactions as an objective indicator of consumer demand and associated economic health.

As Richard explains,

We simply report what consumers have been doing on a day by day basis by mining on-line U.S. consumer tracking data for purchases of discretionary durable goods. We only look for discretionary durable goods transactions because we believe the discretionary durable goods segment of the consumer economy is the most volatile and stimulative portion of the economy. Consequently, we are not capturing grocery or gasoline purchases; but we are, for example, collecting automotive and housing purchases. We divide the captured transactions daily into the following sectors of the consumer economy: automotive, entertainment, financial, health, household, housing, recreation, retail, technology and travel.

Additionally, we are aware that our sampling process may have some biases built into it because it uses the internet as the collection tool. For that reason, our consumers may have a different socioeconomic profile than the average American consumer. We are also collecting only U.S. originated transactions conducted in English. That said, however, we feel that our data does fairly represent the most variable parts of the consumer economy.

Because conclusions are only as accurate as the data from which they are drawn (but may be far less accurate), this approach is particularly intriguing. It is refreshingly free of government processing and alterations, such as confusing seasonal adjustments. Richard also wrote, concerning what his data is saying to him now:

We are not professional doom-sayers. We were incredibly upbeat one year ago — when most economic indicators were preaching doom and gloom. Since August, however, consumers have been pulling in their spending, and our numbers have slowly turned upside down. From our perspective on the demand side of the economy, a contraction is already here, having started officially in the middle of January. The only question now is whether the 2010 contraction will revisit 2006 or 2008? Our daily updates will ultimately tell the story.

Coincidentally, Richard is going to be speaking with Larry Doyle from
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Phil's Favorites

Trump Tweeting As Much As Ever Amid Twitter Standoff

 

Trump Tweeting As Much As Ever Amid Twitter Standoff

By , Statista

President Trump has signed an executive order which aims to remove some of the legal protection given to social media companies, though it is expected to face significant legal hurdles. In a nutshell, it sets out to clarify the Communications Decency Act, handing regulators the power to file legal proceedings against social media companies for the way they police content on their platforms. Trump's decision to take action comes two days after Twitter attached a fact check to one of his tweets lambasting mail-in voting. He then threatened to close ...



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ValueWalk

Gold supply chain in recovery mode after pandemic shutdown

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The gold supply chain was largely shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world. However, things are starting to open back up, and production is beginning again. The World Gold Council studied the gold supply chain, how it was impacted by the pandemic, and how the disruption of the supply chain has affected investment demand for the yellow metal.

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Disruption to the gold supply chain

The World Gold Council said the gold supply chain is entirely global because the metal is mined on evert continent except Antarctica and refined in nume...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy - and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

 

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy – and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

Antibodies are incredibly good at finding the coronavirus. Antigen tests put them to work. Sergii Iaremenko/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Courtesy of Eugene Wu, University of Richmond

In late February, I fell ill with a fever and a cough. As a biochemist who teaches a class on viruses, I’d been tracking the outbreak of...



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Zero Hedge

Ted Cruz Accuses Twitter Of Violating Sanctions Against Iran, Demands DoJ Probe

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

We've mentioned in nearly every single one of our posts about this week's dustup between the president and Twitter that the Ayato...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Tech Indicator Suggesting A Historic Top Could Be Forming?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Tech stocks have been the clear leader of the stock market recovery rally, this year and since the lows back in 2007!

But within the ranks of leadership, and an important ratio may be sending a caution message to investors.

In today’s chart, we look at the ratio of large-cap tech stocks (the Nasdaq 100 Index) to the broader tech market (the Nasdaq Composite) on a “monthly” basis.

The large-cap concentrated Nasdaq 100 (only 100 stocks) has been the clear leader for several years versus the ...



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The Technical Traders

M2 Velocity Collapses - Could A Bottom In Capital Velocity Be Setting Up?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

M2 Velocity is the measurement of capital circulating within the economy.  The faster capital circulates within the economy, the more that capital is being deployed within the economy to create output and opportunities for economic growth.  When M2 Velocity contracts, capital is being deployed in investments or assets that prevent that capital from further circulation within the economy – thus preventing further output and opportunity growth features.

The decline in M2 Velocity over the past 10+ years has been dramatic and consistent with the dramatic new zero US Federal Reserve interest rates initiated since just after the 2008 credit crisis market colla...



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Lee's Free Thinking

US Southern States COVID19 Cases - Let's Give Credit Where Due

 

US Southern States COVID19 Cases – Let’s Give Credit Where Due

Courtesy of  

The number of new COVID 19 cases has been falling in the Northeast, but the South is not having the same experience. The number of new cases per day in each Southern state has been rangebound for the past month.

And that’s assuming that the numbers haven’t been manipulated. We know that in Georgia’s case at least, they have been. And there are suspicions about Florida as well, as the State now engages in a smear campaign against the fired employee who built its much praised COVID19 database and dashboar...



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Chart School

Is this your local response to COVID 19

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

This is off topic, but a bit of fun!


This is the standard reaction from the control freaks.








This is the song for post lock down!







What should be made mandatory? Vaccines, hell NO! This should be mandatory: Every one taking their tops off in the sun, they do in Africa!

Guess which family gets more Vitamin D and eats less sugary carbs, TV Show



...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.