Philly Fed Finds Economic Conditions For Low And Moderate-Income Families Deteriorated Under The "Wealth Effect" Mandate

Tyler Durden's picture

While many outside observers have correctly been arguing that the Fed's third mandate, that of the "wealth effect" has done little if anything to improve the lives of those not at the very top of the wealth food chain, there has been no confirmation of this "speculation" from the Fed. Not for much longer though. In its first quarter community outlook survey looking at the economic factors of services focused on low- and moderate-income households in the Third Fed District, the Philly Fed finds the the lower and middle classes are not only not benefiting from the Fed's financial experimentation, but that they are in fact being adversely affected by changes in the broader economy from Q4 2010 to Q1 2010 as the table below demonstrates. As the Fed confirms: "Overall, the negative trend identified in the first Community Outlook Survey
in January 2011 continued.
All diffusion index values remained below 50 except
for demand for service providers’ services. All seven indicators for this survey
were below the future expectations reported by respondents to the previous
" In other words, while the lower and middle classes, as proxied by services geared toward them, continue to hold on the "hope and change" their current existence and living conditions are deteriorating.

The table below says it all:

Note the red change in current conditions between Q4 2010 and Q1 2011.

And in case the table is insufficient, here is summary.

The diffusion index for the availability of jobs, at 47, indicates that service providers had a slightly negative view of the availability of jobs in this survey. Although still unfavorable, the index is 7 points higher than it was in the previous survey. Additionally, respondents had more favorable expectations for the availability of jobs over the next three months; that index stands at 64, compared with a diffusion index of 60 when respondents were asked about future expectations in the previous survey. However, the index of their responses about the availability of jobs in this survey, at 47, did not meet the future expectations they indicated in the previous survey (60).

Respondents reported a decline in the availability of affordable housing in the current survey as they did in the last survey. The majority of respondents indicated that there was no change in the availability of affordable housing (60 percent), but many more reported a decline (32 percent) than an increase (8 percent), resulting in a diffusion index of 38, similar to the last survey’s result (39). Expectations three months from now are neutral (50) and close to the index for expectations from the previous survey (48), although the diffusion index of 38 in the current survey did not meet the future expectations (48) from the previous survey.

As in the previous survey, respondents have an unfavorable opinion of their clients’ financial well-being and access to credit. The diffusion index for financial well-being was 21 for this survey, similar to the last survey’s index of 23: Only 1 percent of survey takers saw their clients’ financial well-being increase, while 59 percent saw it decrease. Relative to the diffusion index from the current survey (21), the index of expectations about clients’ financial well-being three months from now is higher (41), but that value is still under the 50 mark, indicating that respondents are still somewhat pessimistic. Moreover, respondents had similar future expectations in the previous survey (42).

Attitudes about their clients’ access to credit continued to deteriorate, as the diffusion index fell from 28 in the previous survey to 22 in this survey. However, respondents were relatively optimistic about access to credit three months from now: 10 percent anticipate an increase, while most expect it to stay the same (58 percent), yielding an overall diffusion index of 39. This value, though, is lower than that for respondents’ future expectations in the previous survey (43).

And it gets worse:

As these economic factors affecting their clients continue to show weakness, service providers find themselves in a more difficult position. They reported that demand for their services increased strongly once again (87), similar to the last survey (84). Moreover, service providers expect demand for their services to increase again over the next three months. This is the only indicator for which the last survey’s future expectations (88) come close to matching what we see in the current survey (87).

As demand for their services continues to increase, service providers are facing an increasingly difficult environment for satisfying this demand.... There was a significant decrease in respondents’ future expectations relative to the last survey. In the previous survey, respondents expected a small increase in capacity in the future, as represented by a diffusion index of 55, but in the current survey, the index has fallen to 37, suggesting that respondents expect a decrease in their capacity to serve their clients three months from now. Funding problems continue to persist and may be a contributing factor to the operational difficulties experienced by the organizations. More organizations report facing funding problems than in the previous survey, as the diffusion index dropped from 38 to 31. Future expectations also declined from 38 to 28, indicating that organizations expect to continue to lose funding over the next three months.

So, if we may ask, if even the Fed finds that living, economic and credit conditions for everyone below the wealthy strata of society is being impaired by the Fed's ongoing economic tinkering, what justification is there for Quantitative Easing again?

h/t John Lohman

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StychoKiller's picture

Isn't it nice that Captain Obvious found a well-paying job in Philly?  Praize to the Obamatron! :>D

silberblick's picture

Not related to Philli fed, but other disturbing news that might presage the road we are going down. Belarus now has a full-fledged currency crisis and crackdown. Is this what awaits us? Read here:


topcallingtroll's picture

Personally i would be embarrased to go around to other blogs trying to pump up business for my own little blog.

buzzsaw99's picture

I am going to rate you a "blog whore" on WOT.

JR's picture

Thanks for the breaking news, silberblick; your website is excellent. Your comment is a succinct summary of America’s plight. F.A. Hayek gave the “classic warning against the dangers to freedom inherent in social planning” to America as she travels down "the road to serfdom", as in Belarus.  Will the free nations heed his warnings against those who engage economic controls and central planning that destroy individual freedoms, culminating in induced socialism by a tyrannical minority using the control of money to control our lives and “the allocation of the limited means for all our ends”?

The UPI article you posted is a reminder of those who would enslave the number that would be free: “Belarusian security forces arrested hundreds of regime critics, including several presidential candidates, after the demonstrations. ….Andrei Sannikov, a former deputy foreign minister and pro-democracy activist who ran against Lukashenko, was sentenced to five years in prison for organizing mass unrest.”

So much for "the good intentions of the holders of totalitarian power."

trav7777's picture

are the interest rates on their bonds high or low?

When bonds sell off, the currency does with it.

If our auctions start failing, this is what awaits us.

dark pools of soros's picture

so now is the time to pick up a trophy wife from Minsk?

penisouraus erecti's picture

"what justification is there for Quantitative Easing again?" - because the fucking banksters and their enabling minions in congress don't have enough yet.


topcallingtroll's picture

People with high value added contributions in areas with barriers to entry can do well regardless of monetary policy.

If you have nothing to offer but a nonpractical degree or just low value labor you are screwed regardless of monetary policy.

Loose-Tools's picture

Yes, but it is possible that monetary policy can provide the "push over" to the many living on the edge. I find it hard to call the multi-millionaire Wall Street paper-merchants people "with high value added contributions".

topcallingtroll's picture

I dont consider them useful either.

I was discussing things like doctors, iphone programmers, etc

three chord sloth's picture

I agree with the "barriers to entry" part, and the "high value added" bit is sometimes true as well, but more often than not that is just an artefact of our current rigged synthetic (as opposed to organic) economy. I think our situation is more accurately described as the "fiat sectors" vs. the "base sectors"... a.k.a. the free and voluntary economy vs. the compulsory economy.

I call them the "fiat sectors" because these jobs' pay (and sometimes very existence) is largely in the hands of lawmakers. A legal tweak here and a new regulation there and et voila... a newly minted "middle class" job appears. Of course, eventually this strategy is doomed, as these new jobs are largely non-wealth-producing overhead, and as such just end up decreasing American competitiveness... thus accelerating job losses in the organic economy to compensate for the new costs.

For roughly the past 5 decades or so, the US government has been offsetting middle-class job losses in the free and voluntary side of the economy by goosing job growth in the compulsory sectors... such as government, law, banking/finance/insurance, corporate HR departments, education administration & support, etc...

They do this for the obvious reasons; to hide their bad policy effects and to pretend we are still a middle class nation, but it also helps sop-up the excess college graduates with useless degrees as well... and lord help the politicians when that particular bubble pops. Once it becomes clear that a good degree from a good school guarantees nothing, then DC can no longer pretend the blame for our decline falls at the people's feet... it was all top-down from the beginning.

It's sad, really. We built this nation on innovation, sweat, and saving. Now, due to decades of failed leadership from the low-bred dwarves we call our elites, from Washington to Wall Street, from academia to entertainment, we are left to muddle through with legislation, lotteries, and loans instead.

topcallingtroll's picture

Having a high income does not necessarily mean you have a high value added skill.

trav7777's picture

a shitty degree from a good school guarantees nothing anymore.

People need to wake up to that.

The ENTIRE black middle class was created by racist government setasides and hiring and promotion policies.

topcallingtroll's picture

a sad chapter in american race relations.

ibjamming's picture

What "race relations"?  The bullshit the government propaganda pushes?  The races hate each other...always have and always will...learn to live with that...don't try to fight it.


We've FAILED as a country because we tried too hard to get blacks/browns "mainstreamed" into society.  It didn't work, it WON'T work...ever.  We're as different as dogs and cats.  Trying to keep blacks/browns at the level of whites/asians has destroyed us.  We've given up EVERYTHING for this one goal...and we've failed miserably.

Long-John-Silver's picture

Jew confetti Bitchez

mukuch's picture

Tyler, you might take  a look at this, it's somewhat related, lol

$2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps From The Detroit News:$2M-Michigan-lottery-winner-defends-use-of-food-stamps#ixzz1Mko1dy1I
I am Jobe's picture

Guillotine bitchezzzzz

Fish Gone Bad's picture

I talked to the Snap-On rep today.  He said that his business is scary right now.  People are not getting cars fixed because they can't afford the gas.  That said, it looks like Garth Brooks is well on his way to selling out his upcoming concert at the Wynn in Las Vegas this November.  Quite the mixed message.

Seasmoke's picture

dont think Obama can count on 90% of the vote in 2012

NOTW777's picture

in 08 he got 96% of the black vote

probably 102% in detroit, chicago and philly

penisouraus erecti's picture

Prolly get 110% in Chicago and Madison, wi. Only city more corrupt than Chicago is probably Madison, Wi.  If there aren't more votes there than registered voters they call for a recount.

anti Oligarchy's picture

No - Rahm is in charge now.


Its all legit

penisouraus erecti's picture

true, prolly be more like 120% in Chicago, can't let some upstart hick town like Madison beat ya out

sabra1's picture


During an interview with a Denver radio station this morning, author Jerome Corsi said he was about to release bombshell evidence that proved the alleged Obama birth certificate released last month was a composite of three different birth certificates from other individuals born at the same hospital.

“I’m going to be telling the entire world about this scandal over the next few weeks,” Corsi said in a separate interview. “This is going to make Watergate look like a political sideshow by comparison.”

Misean's picture

Gotta win the bloody Captain Obvious award! How much loot do these f'tards steal from the rest of us to do this socially important research?


NOTW777's picture

translation: under an affirmative action presidency this is

better than expected.

trav7777's picture

maybe they should start acting white and get educations and obey the law

topcallingtroll's picture

Get an education, obey the law?

We must respect the choices of different cultures. We must subsidize those choices too, so that they can maintain that distinct culture.

StychoKiller's picture

Gee, does that mean you speak jive?  Or is it Ebonics (not that there's much difference)?

topcallingtroll's picture

I'm from the old school.


I be shuking and a jiving.

blunderdog's picture

I'd like to see a bit better description of who those "service providers" are.

Are we talking about foodstamps offices and that sort of thing only, or does it include any kinds of private going business?

Not to sound too much like the old original Wanger, but I know several folks currently working at a company which is completely *flooded* with business.  This may not necessarily augur well for the company's future, because I'm not sure they're pricing well, and the delivery costs may be exceeding the revenues collected, but for sure there may be some specific sectors or models booming in this environment.

samsara's picture

I heard during a plague,  Undertakers make a 'Killing'

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....


max2205's picture

Last time I saw a fed member at IHOP or Denny's was .... NEVER!

Rents are insane in this economy and food and gas. A Fed Trifecta

penisouraus erecti's picture

Unless they were there to scope out the help DSK style

catch edge ghost's picture

More Ovaltine, please!

Yes_Questions's picture

Philly Fred, one elbow on the counter at Tony Luke's, says:


Ay, shits fuckn' bad on the workn' classss!


Tater Salad's picture

All the while Obama is handing out drilling permits, er jobs, to Petrobras and trying to power freight liners on solar pannels.

This shit is beyond meniocal!  Someone get a rope...

JW n FL's picture

Republican's Win!


Double Winning!!


Tiger Blood Bitchez!!! Trickles Down for the Poor!!!

slewie the pi-rat's picture

who tf are the  "service providers" for these people? 

social workers?

stay tooned.  next month, we get the answers to:  "what would you do if they cut off your food stamps?" 

we got the same thingy from the survey in great britain:  after cigs & booze, housing was impossible to navigate.  this can't end well.  we need to expand section 8 housing vouchers so people can live in freddie-, fannie-, & the FED-ville.  the goobermint housing $'s can pay the banksters, who have foreclosed on the houses, the rent for clients to live there.


Korrath's picture

Nonsense, good sir!  Why I hear Hooverville is actually quite charming this time of year...