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Economy Writer
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As a professional who started an individual investor for almost 30 years ago, I quickly focused on economic cycles and the order in which they typically proceed. I have been writing about the economy for nearly 15 of those years, developing several alternate systems that include mid-cycle, long ... more

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Initial Claims Still Positive, Negative Near-Term Recession
Initial claims continue to be very close to their expansion lows. The 4 week moving average of claims Is 213,500, only 12,500, or 6.1%.
August JOLTS Report: Nearly All Employment Measures Now Neutral
This morning’s JOLTS report for August showed a decline in all metrics m/m as well as a slowing trend overall.
Scenes From The September Jobs Report
Let’s look at the bad news, which comes from examining the leading indicators for employment.
Have We Finally Reached "Full Employment"?
Gains in employment as measured by the household survey, as opposed to the larger payrolls survey, were 590,000 and 391,000 in the last two months, respectively.
September Jobs Report: Excellent In Coincident And Lagging Sectors, Cautionary In Leading Sectors
This was an excellent report in almost all respects outside of the headline jobs number. New expansion lows were set for unemployment, underemployment, short term unemployment, and those who want a job now but have not looked.
September 2019 Motor Vehicle Sales
Motor vehicle sales are a short leading indicator. In particular, on the consumer side, they have typically rolled over after housing but before consumer nondurables, so they are useful in gauging the health of the consumer.
Expect A Weak Report For The Leading Jobs Sectors On Friday
September motor vehicle sales will be reported later today, after the domestic US manufacturers post their numbers.
Once Again, Two Sharply Contrasting Reports To Start The Month
One month ago the first reports in September, construction spending and the ISM manufacturing index, showed two contrasting views of the economy. That was again the case today.
Personal Spending Shows Consumers Ok; Durable Goods Shows Producers Still Struggling
This morning’s reports on personal income and spending continue to show a consumer that is doing alright. Meanwhile, durable goods orders continue to show a production sector that is struggling.
Initial Jobless Claims Continue Near Expansion Lows
As of this week, initial claims continue to be very close to their expansion lows.
August New Home Sales Continue Rebounding Trend
August new home sales confirms that lower mortgage rates have caused sales to increase, prices appear to be beginning to follow, and inventory remains slightly reduced.
The Incipient Housing Choke Collar: July Prices Update
We are probably close to the peak that house-purchasing households can bear relative to their incomes. Unless mortgage rates decline further housing sales growth, and its positive leading effect on the economy as a whole is likely to be muted.
A Closer Look At The Housing Rebound
Over the next 3 years, culminating with the Brexit panic low of summer 2016, rates went back down to 3.4%. Between the election of Trump and the Fed raising rates, by last November mortgage rates had risen to 5%.
Initial Claims Increasingly Foreclose 2019-Early 2020 Downturn
I’ve been monitoring initial jobless claims closely for the past several months, to see if there are any signs of stress.
Housing: Boom!
This morning’s report on housing permits and starts showed new expansion highs in both overall permits and starts.
Last Week’s Initial Jobless Claims Still Show Slowdown, No Recession
At 204,000, last week’s number of initial claims is close to the bottom of the number of claims even in the past year.
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