The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -1.8% last week, with purchases down -1.0% and re-fis down -2.0%.
The Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations indicates inflation expectations for the next year of 1.9% in October.
The Treasury Budget for October shows a deficit of $91.6 billion for the month.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.3 points in October to 91.6.
ICSC-Goldman Store Sales rose 1.2% for the week, and 2.3% for the year. Redbook, meanwhile, shows a retail sales drop from 3.8% to 3.3% on a year-ago basis.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index was unchanged at 0.14 in September, with the 3-month moving average at -0.03.
This week, Bruce, Michael and Dale discuss Obamacare and the end of antibiotics.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.
Non-farm payrolls increased by 204,000 in October, while the unemployment rate rose to 7.3%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.1%, while the average workweek declined to 34.4 hours. These headlines hide a lot. 720,000 people left the labor force, bringing the labor force participation rate down to 62.8%, the lowest since March, 1978. Meanwhile, an additional 17,000 people were counted as unemployed, while an additional 735,000 dropped out of the ranks of the employed. Overall, the total number of persons not in the labor force increased by 932,000. As a result, using the historical average labor force participation rate, the real unemployment rate rose from 11.45% to 11.98%, the highest in two years. Much of this oddness probably comes from skewing from the government shutdown.
Personal income rose 0.5% in September, while personal spending rose 0.2%. The PCE Price Index rose 0.1% both at the headline and core level. On a year-over-year basis, prices are up 0.9% overall, and 1.2% at the core level, i.e., ex-food and -gas.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell 1.2 points to 72.0 in the early November reading.
Chain stores reported October sales today. They were slightly positive, though the government shutdown seems to have had a negative effect.
3rd Quarter real GDP came is surprisingly high at an annual 2.8%, but inventory increases played an outsized role, contribution 0.83%. Personal consumption expenditure growth declined from 1.8% last quarter to 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. The GDP Price Index rose 1.9%
Initial jobless claims fell 9,000 last week, to 336,000. The 4-week moving average fell 12,000 to 348,250. Continuing claims rose 4,000 to 2.868 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was essentially unchanged at -37.9 for the week.
The government’s expanding student loan portfolio is inflating consumer credit, which was up $13.7 billion in September.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $8.2 billion last week, with total assets of $3.852 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $7.6 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply fell by $-7.8 billion last week.
Thanks to an unfortunate set of circumstances, I’m in the market to buy a replacement car. I wrote about my short list of prospective cars at the other place. Please feel free to go there and offer comments and suggestions.
In other news, next week I begin a new part-time job. Assuming the students sign up for the course, I will start my first class as Adjunct Professor of Business for Park University. I will be teaching MGT352, “Principles of Management”, in the Fall 2 Alternative term at the Camp Pendleton Campus.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -7.0% last week, with purchases falling -5.0% and refinancings -8.0%. The index is now at its lowest reading of the year.
The Challenger Job-Cut Report shows that layoffs are trending up, with 45,730 in October. Layoffs have averaged more than 45,000 per month for the last three months, vice the previous four months, when layoffs averaged under 38,000.
The Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index fell 2 points to 19 in October.
The Conference Board’s index of Leading Indicators rose 0.7% for the second straight month.
Well, I suppose this was inevitable.
FYI last night at the Great Falls Grange debate, Democrat delegate candidate Kathleen Murphy said that since many doctors are not accepting Medicaid and Medicare patients, she advocates making it a legal requirement for those people to be accepted.
But of course she is. What other option could there possibly be but forcing doctors to see those patients? It’s clearly not possible to pay doctors an economically justifiable payment for seeing such patients. I mean, if you’re not willing to take substandard payment for Medicare patients, you probably shouldn’t be a doctor anyway, what with being a greedy bastard and all. You have a $250,000 annual malpractice insurance payment? Too bad. You got a couple of nurses that cost you $100,000 per year, and $50,000 a year in office rent? That’s on you, bucko. You’ll take my $50 Medicare payment and be happy to get it, or maybe we’ll just levy some really serious fines on you.
If you’re a doctor—and really, if you’re, well, anyone—you belong to the state. Oh, we might not lower the boom on you until we really need to, but let’s make no mistake. The collective has a claim on you. Your labor. Your income. Maybe we let you keep most of it. Maybe we don’t. Either way, if we need your stuff, we’ll take it, because we have a right to it. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, man. And if you don’t think so, we can always just clap you in prison to help you come around to the right way of thinking.
We’re gonna get our medical care. And our unemployment benefits and food stamps. And our social security. Somebody’s gotta pay for it. If we decide that somebody is you, then you just need to suck it up. That’s what we got the law for, after all: to make you suck it up whenever we say.
In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a strong 3.8% increase in same-store sales from the last year. ICSC-Goldman’s chain-sample is much weaker, with a weekly sales decrease of -0.6%, and only a 1.9% increase on a year-over-year basis.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index fell a sharp 16 points to -35 in October, the sharpest monthly drop since 2008, when the index began.
The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose a point in October to 55.4.