Americans hitting peak debt?

Not a chance, there are always lenders looking for new & creative ways to offer Americans enough rope to hang themselves. For proof of this look no further than the growth of consumer credit in The United States, increasing at an annual growth rate of some 6.6%, MUCH faster than US GDP. So what’s the [...]

US recession looming?

In the wake of The Fed’s ill-advised rate hike , speculation is growing about a US recession in 2016.

But is this probable? Yes. Parts of the US economy, for example, energy, are already in recession. Meanwhile, the US economy is already slowing and sharply.

Keep in mind that higher interest rates, theoretically, [...]

An already jittery market …

Overnight Chinese markets dropped some 7%, after news that Chinese manufacturing contracted for a 10th straight month.

Some analysts now suggest China – who reportedly contributes between 0.5% to 1% of global GDP – will now drive a global recession in starting in Q2 2016.

Ok, that has looked to me to be [...]

Working to Live or Living to Work?

The US economy is starting to feel wage pressure, with American median incomes (finally) back to levels last seen before The Great Recession.

So a happy end to 2016, eh? Not really. Even as incomes are rising so are expenditures. The chart below shows how much Americans spend on Health Care and Housing, divided by [...]

Depression era crisis in farming?

In spite of stereotypes about the scale and pervasiveness of factory farming, in The United States some 99% of all working farms are family farms, and most farms have annual incomes of less than $350K.

Incomes that are rapidly collapsing, by as much as 50% according to some sources.

Why? The chart below [...]

A teetering economy

Lots of happy news about May’s increase in durable goods, with speculation about the impact on manufacturing.

Durable goods orders is a key economic indicator as this metric leads future economic activity to no small extent. Think of it this way: as orders for durable goods are placed, businesses will either increase or [...]

A trillion dollars lost

The chart above shows US Gross Domestic Product for the period 1973 to 2013 (GDP, thick black line), with recessions indicated by vertical gray bars. For each period of economic expansion I’ve added a flat trend line, essentially identifying the level of US GDP as if the recession had never happened. You’ll notice that [...]

Increasing unemployment and increasing debt

The chart above shows three series: the U3, Civilian Unemployment Rate (UNRATE, black line), U6, the Total unemployed (U6RATE, blue line) and Total Public Debt as Percent of Gross Domestic Product (GFDEGDQ188S, pink area curve in the background). All data is measured in percentage terms and sampled quarterly.

There are three periods of [...]

Retail sales plunge what happens to GDP?

Retail sales for the first week of April plunged 2.7%, when compared to the first week of March – what’s the driver and we should we care?

It seems the well known sequester and its effect on government spending is starting to bite. But the sequester is taking place in an overall trend [...]

A rather anemic recovery

The amount of money a business entity has left after all costs have been paid – corporate profits after tax – indicates the overall health of the economy. As these profits grow then businesses are expanding, hiring new workers, and investing in infrastructure.

The chart above shows Corporate Profits After Tax (CP, black [...]