3:28 PM, Mar 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Expectations unexpectedly fell with is something many have come to expect … if you know what we mean.
As Kathleen Madigan of the Wall Street Journal reports:
The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary March sentiment index unexpectedly slipped to 79.9 from an end-February reading of 81.6, according to an economist who has seen the numbers. The early-March reading was well below the 81.8 reading expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.
The numbers bounce around. Some are good and some are bad. Many are unexpected. Yesterday’s first-time claims number was good and gave hope to those who believe that there may be more jobs out there for people who are looking for work. But we have been traveling that road for a long time and one tends not to let those expectations get too far out ahead of reality.
Which is … more than half the country believes the economy is still in recession. Which makes for some not very hopeful expectations.
Economy's better, but headwinds ahead.12:00 AM, Mar 8, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Five years ago this Sunday share prices hit a 13-year low: the S&P index of 500 shares fell to 676.53.
8:50 AM, Mar 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Non-farm payrolls surprised to the upside in February with 175,000 jobs added. The number was “unexpectedly” high with forecasts running in the 150,000 range and some going much lower.
8:39 AM, Mar 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Labor Department report on first time unemployment claims came in slightly below expectations: 323,000 against an expected 336,000 and the best figure in three months.
2:21 PM, Mar 4, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The administration has produced a budget that includes various predictions not least of which concerns GDP growth. The White House, as Jeffry Bartash of Marketwatch reports, is looking for sunny days ahead and:
12:17 PM, Mar 4, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Here's a rather harsh assessment of the last four years under the Obama administration's economic policies:
11:00 AM, Feb 20, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
A recently released Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on the "Food Assistance Landscape" for the fiscal year 2013 shows that for the second year in a row, participation in the federal government's SNAP (food stamps)
10:40 AM, Feb 19, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
What we have been told is a “recovery” has a way of throwing off false trails. We were told to expect a robust performance, this year, from the housing sector yet, yesterday, for example, we learn that home-builder confidence has not merely fallen, but cratered. As Reuters reports:
9:09 AM, Feb 13, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Braving the weather, the BLS has released the weekly first-time claims numbers. They were off, a bit, on the high side. The “expected” figure: 330,000.
Actual and, of course, “unexpected” number: 339,000. Close enough for government work, anyway.
Blame the weather.
And the recovery keeps rolling along.
12:00 AM, Feb 8, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
When economic forecasts prove wrong, it is customary to blame the weather. So cold that consumers stayed home, or so hot that consumers, well, stayed home. So cold that outdoor construction was unexpectedly low, unless of course unusually high temperatures made such work impossible lest heat stroke afflict the workers. In short, weather is the straw at which sinking forecasters often grasp.
1:03 PM, Feb 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The monthly employment numbers are out and even the New York Times is dismayed. The economy added 113,000 jobs in January, which was (all together now) unexpectedly short of the 180,000 economists were predicting. This news:
12:00 AM, Feb 1, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
President Obama surely deserves to relax this weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl after an arduous week in which he prepared and delivered his fifth State of the Union message, one the White House admits set forth a rather limited agenda, and then took to the hustings for stops in four states on the campaign trail that has become his natural home. The president might have been spared the chore had Woodrow Wilson, in 1913, not overturned Thomas Jefferson’s 1801 decision to deliver only a written message, a move explicitly designed to avoid mimicking the pomp of Britain’s King’s Speech. Thanks to the Wilson and the forward march of communications technology we now are treated to the spectacle of congressmen vying for seats on the aisle so that they might touch the flesh of the president as he enters the chamber.