A tale of two Christmas’

The 2016 Christmas run up saw the shares of retailers ( tracked by XRT, first chart ) rise an anaemic 1%, while in 2017 the same stocks BOOMED, soaring some 5.17 during the last two weeks of December. Why?

Well, MasterCard reports record Christmas spending of some $800B this year. In fact, this was [...]

Jobs up but what about wage growth?

The United States reported a fairly decent jobs number today, with a surge of 292K positions added. BLS release is here should you wish to read it direct from The Source.

This is, of course, before the usual revisions. Which generally fail to capture as much public attention as the flash number that was [...]

Another housing bubble?

I’ve written before about the recent surge of house prices in The United States – much of which is being driven by hedge funds and private equity groups acquiring property at knock down prices to rent. The chart above shows two series: first, the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index (SPCS20RSA, black line) compared [...]

Poor wage growth, poor recovery

The chart above shows Total Private Job Openings (JTS1000JOL, black line, measured monthly in thousands and seasonally adjusted) compared to Total Private Average Hourly Earnings (AHETPI, % change from one year ago, measured monthly and seasonally adjusted). I’m comparing The Great Recession which ended in June 2009 to the Early 2000s Recession, which ended [...]

Wages are growing nowhere

The chart above shows year on year percentage change of the average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees (i.e., non management staff, AHETPI, black line), measured monthly. I’ve modelled this across the last two US recessions and some observations are immediately apparent. First, considering what economists call the “early 2000′s recession” that ended [...]