Two Weeks in Review
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Started by TimNew - March 19, 2021, 6:14 a.m.

NFIB Small Business Optimism   M/MFeb-2195.0095.80C+
Empire State Mfg M/MMar-2112.1017.40B-
Philly Fed Mfg M/MMar-2121.1053.80B
Industrial Production M/MFeb-210.90-2.20C-
Leading Indicators M/MFeb-210.500.20C+
Housing Market Index M/MMar-2184.0082.00C-
Housing Starts M/MFeb-211.580M1.421MC-
Housing Permits M/MFeb-211.881M1.682MC-
Quartely Services Q/QQ4:204.304.60C+
Consumer Sentiment M/MMar-2176.8083.00B
Retail Sales M/MFeb-215.30-3.00C-
RedBook 1 W/W3/6/20214.608.00B-
RedBook 2 W/W3/13/20218.008.50C+
Jobless Claims 1 W/W3/6/2021745K712KC+
Jobless Claims 2 W/W3/13/2021712K770KC-
Job Openings (JOLTS)M/MJan-216.646M6.917MC+

No metrics I report on today, so off we go.   Somewhat mixed bag this week,  but mostly positive.

Housing Market is showing early signs of contraction with Starts, Permits and the Index all down.  Builders cite concerns over increasing material costs and Interest Rates.

Retail Sales came in with a negative 3%,  but the prior was revised up to 7.6 and RedBook shows lots of strength.  Let's see what happens next month. Stimulus has to be a factor in the upcoming reading for March.

Jobless Claims are still far too high tho last week saw the lowest level (712K) in several months. Openings also took a hit,  but are well above Long Term Jobless Claims.

Leading Indicators remain in the green with a string of several months,  in spite of Housing Permits which weigh heavily on this metric.

Small Business Optimism showed a slight gain but remains in a slightly low historic range.

Quarterly Services (IT Spending) remains positive, and as I have mentioned, always considered to be a good leading indicator.  IT Spending is the 1st to go during slow down, and the 1st to pick up during growth.

Consumer Sentiment had a nice bump.  Stimulus related?

In spite of a retraction in Industrial Production, after months of solid gains, MFG remains a bright spot with Empire State, and especially Philly,  showing very positive.  I don't recall a reading for that in the 50's. 

I'll go with a solid C+ this week.   Suck Factor remains at 7.  Jobless CLaims have to come down for that to get much lower.

By metmike - March 19, 2021, 11:54 a.m.
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Wonderful to have your review back Tim.......thanks much!

Especially with a bit of a positive tone to it!

By TimNew - March 19, 2021, 1:13 p.m.
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Other than jobless claims,  I think the numbers paint a pretty good picture.   Housing?  Been overheated for a while.   We'll have to see. A little cooling short term will not bother me a bit.

By wglassfo - March 19, 2021, 11:13 p.m.
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Some comments on manufacturing as that is part of family business

1: Lots of orders for sales book


1: Lack of skilled workers. There needs to be a program to teach hands on skills. If you invest in training the risk is employee will leave for higher wages. How can you pay to train and then pay higher wage vs. somebody in the next town. We need skilled welders, for our fab shop, but I imagine lots of different skilled workers are needed. Why can't stimulus money be used to train in college or on the job apprentice with real world training. Mechanics used to apprentice for mechanics license, but worked for low wages while learning a skill. Garage would hire apprentice as low wage paid was incentive for employer No idea what happens today. Highly skilled heavy machine operators can earn 100,000/yr with over time. I was offered 100,000.00 /yr CAD 20 yrs ago straight wage, plus over time.. When I went broke I had a skill and drove long haul truck. True gone from home all week but money is what I wanted to get a fresh start in farming. Paid for a 112 acre farm by long haul trucking. [8 yrs] But: I was lucky, I had a skill.

2: Shortages of raw material. We have to order 3-4 months ahead. Hard to know how much is needed as orders come in 1 month in advance. Even at low int rates, 1 million of unused raw material inventory adds to cost. We carry excess inventory, just so we have sufficient material to manufacture

3: Supply chains are a mess. Container rate has gone up, ships are backed up trying to get unloaded at ports, containers end up in wrong position, a real mess. Domestic steel is superior in quality, but, believe it or not, we are on a quota for x amount of domestic steel from the mill. Any extra has to come from steel jockeys, at a premium price.

4: I think inflation may be a problem as the non core CPI goods and service cost gets passed along to consumer, not just manufacturing, but clothes, furniture, appliances etc etc.

JMO but a population that has lived off uncle sam for almost a yr or longer might think the gov't will keep the money tree flowing and the work ethic may be destroyed for many people. It isn't everybody that has lived on free money for a yr, who can suddenly set the alarm clock, go to bed on time so next day is tolerable, and get back into a work routine. Having children at home has been an excuse to live off uncle sam and when they go back to school, then the work day schedule will be a hard adjustment. 1st they have to find a job.

I can see some who will have a hard time adjusting to a work schedule and also inflation for scarce goods as raw material cost, transportation etc. is passed along to consumer

I know this is more long term than Tim's week in review, but I think adjustments will have to happen

I hope Tim doesn't mind my thoughts for the long term


By TimNew - March 20, 2021, 5:39 a.m.
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Not a problem Wayne...

I agree with your idea that adjustments will have to be made.   A lot of people who are not working right now are chosing not to work. It would be a cut in pay. That will get worked out one way or the other, hopefully not in a way that will make the rest of us suffer too much.  Really depends on the "generosity" of our governments.

By metmike - March 20, 2021, 1:20 p.m.
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Chart Book: Tracking the Post-Great Recession Economy

Longest Economic Expansion on Record Ended by COVID-19

By metmike - March 20, 2021, 1:21 p.m.
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The Economy Grew from Mid-2009 into Early 2020

By metmike - March 20, 2021, 1:22 p.m.
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COVID Losses Wipe Out Large Share of 2010-2019 Job Gains

By metmike - March 20, 2021, 1:23 p.m.
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Job Growth Greater Than in 2001-2007 Ended in March 2020

By metmike - March 20, 2021, 1:24 p.m.
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Unemployment Fell Slowly During Most Recent Expansion to Below Rates Reached in 1990s, But Surged in the COVID Recession

By metmike - March 20, 2021, 1:24 p.m.
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Recent Surge in Workers' Earnings Due to Massive Low-Wage Job Losses, Not Broad Wage Gains

By metmike - March 20, 2021, 1:29 p.m.
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Growth in Purchasing Power of Workers’ Wages and Benefits Has Not Kept Pace With Productivity Growth

By metmike - March 20, 2021, 1:32 p.m.
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Trade Surpluses in Services and Net Payments From Foreigners Partly Offset Goods Deficit