10:37 AM, Jun 2, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
That negative 1st quarter GDP has been widely passed off as the effect of a particularly severe winter. Things, we were assured, were not that bad and would be getting better as the weather warmed. Well, not so fast. The Commerce Department came out this morning with a report on factory orders that was supposed to be in positive territory. However, as reported on MarketWatch:
Orders for goods produced in U.S. factories slipped 0.4% in April, marking the eighth decline in nine months, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected orders to dip 0.1% after a slightly revised 2.2% increase in the prior month. Orders for durable goods -- products meant to last at least three years -- fell 1% in April. Orders for nondurable goods rose 0.2%.
All the talk of recovery and an end to quantitative easing seems increasingly like the sound of experts whistling past the graveyard of a possible recession
We are, after all, already halfway there.
'Things are fine...really they are.'12:00 PM, May 31, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Let’s say that next Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes out with a really handsome non-farm-payrolls report. Something close to 300,000 new jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate by a couple of tenths of a point. How do you suppose the president and his staff would deal with the news?
May 18, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 34 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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5:09 PM, Apr 30, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
After yesterday’s disappointing GDP number (it grew by a meager .2% in the last quarter) we got this from Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors:
12:01 AM, Apr 4, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The economy might, but only might, be slowing. In March we added only 126,000 jobs, the lowest increase since December 2013, barely enough to absorb new entrants into the workforce. Almost all measures of the health of the labor market -- the unemployment rate, the number of workers jobless for more than 27 weeks, the number involuntarily working short hours or too discouraged to continue looking for a job -- remain more or less stuck at present levels.
3:20 PM, Apr 3, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Expectations were for more than 200,000 new jobs. The report, this morning, crushed those expectations. In the old fashioned sense of “crushed.” As Joseph Lawler of the Washington Examiner writes:
11:12 AM, Mar 27, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Bloomberg reports that:
The U.S. economy expanded at 2.2 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter, led by the biggest gain in consumer spending in eight years.
9:50 AM, Mar 25, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Water, Water Everywhere
And in some places in drought-ravished California even where it proves an embarrassment.