So who is lying then?

Last week Mr Obama went on what some might call a victory lap, crowing about his Administration’s economic accomplishments, all but calling those who criticise the current state of the American economy “liars”. Hmmm. Why not stop with the name calling, please?

Sure, GDP is positive, but eager to distribute the Happy News Mr [...]

No New Deal for America

Lots of excitement in The United States about upcoming elections. Many of the most enthusiastic are backing what might be called “outsider candidates” — Trump on the (far) right and Sanders on the (far) left. As usual, from my perspective of an ex-patriate Investment Banker-cum-University Lecturer, I tend to see things differently from my stateside [...]

Higher government spending leads to slower growth

ok so US Q3 GDP just revised down to 2.0% from the flash number of 2.1%,. We expect GDP to further disappoint into Q4 2015 and 2016. Why?

The chart below shows the annual change in US real GDP (red line) compared to US Government Expenditures (aka, “spending”) divided by US real GDP (black [...]

Temporary employment is booming

Lots of happy news in the US media recently about unemployment, specifically the continuing improvement in jobless claims.

Its probably best to look at the composition of the new jobs rather than then absolute number itself; the chart above shows. Specifically, two series – temporary help services (TEMPHELPS) is divided by total nonfarm [...]

UhOh, deflation in Q2

I’ve previously written about falling commodity prices, a trend that seems that have intensified over the past three months.

There are two charts in this post, each reflecting performance of various commodities or commodity groups over the last quarter. The chart above shows four broad commodity price series, specifically $DJAAG (agricultural commodity prices, [...]

Memo to Bernanke – its not working!

Capital Goods Orders are carefully studied by market analysts since this metric provides critical information about the state of the manufacturing sector.

The chart above shows Capital Goods Orders received by nondefense, non aircraft manufacturers (NEWORDER, monthly), measured as percent change year on year for the period May, 2003 to May, 2013. In [...]

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 debt, slowing growth

A combination of the latest US GDP numbers failing to inspire and The Fed’s waffling on further stimulus (seriously, if the economy were on track they should be talking about decreasing further debt purchases) has led people to begin to question the current policy of relentlessly increasing debt.

Just to clarify things I [...]

Housing is booming, right?

Wrong. The Fed is buying. But let’s look deeper: the latest news on US housing was promising, with prices gaining some 9.3% YOY in 20 cities. An old expression claims as housing goes so goes the US economy so what’s not to like about this picture?

Unfortunately, much of this growth is being [...]

Growth at what cost?

The chart above shows two series: Real Gross Domestic Product (GDPC1, black line) and Total Public Debt (GFDEBTN, red area curve). Both are measured quarterly in billions and millions of dollars respectively. Three different recessions, illustrated with vertical grey bars are covered: the Early 1990s recession (July 1990 to Mar 1991), the Early 2000s [...]