Free Markets, Free People


Economic Statistics for 2/3 Jan 14

The Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index fell a point to 19, the first reading below 20 in several months.

Initial jobless claims fell 2,000 to 339,000 last week. The 4-week moving average rose 8,500 to a 357,250. Continuing claims fell 98,000, but the 4 week averages for both weekly and continuing claims are above the month-ago levels, so the trend is negative.

The Markit PMI Manufacturing Index rose 0.3 points to 55.0 in December.

The ISM Manufacturing Index fell -0.3 points in December to a still nicely positive 57.0.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.3 points to -28.7 .

Construction Spending is still going strong, up 1.0% in November, continuing a string of monthly gains.

Motor vehicle sales fell in December to an annualized 15.4 million rate. GM -6.3%, Ford 1.8%, Chrysler 6.0%, Toyota -1.4%.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-8.9 billion last week, with total assets of $4.024 trillion. Reserve Bank credit fell $-1.4 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $23.5 billion last week.


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2 Responses to Economic Statistics for 2/3 Jan 14

  • “The size of the problem suggests that restructurings will be needed, for example, in the periphery of Europe, far beyond anything discussed in public to this point,” said the paper, by Harvard professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.
    The paper said policy elites in the West are still clinging to the illusion that rich countries are different from poorer regions and can therefore chip away at their debts with a blend of austerity cuts, growth, and tinkering (“forbearance”).
    The presumption is that advanced economies “do not resort to such gimmicks” such as debt restructuring and repression, which would “give up hard-earned credibility” and throw the economy into a “vicious circle”.
    But the paper says this mantra borders on “collective amnesia” of European and US history, and is built on “overly optimistic” assumptions that risk doing far more damage to credibility in the end. It is causing the crisis to drag on, blocking a lasting solution. “This denial has led to policies that in some cases risk exacerbating the final costs,” it said.