Census Bureau

Last Thing The Fed Sees Before Its Rate Hike Decision Will Be Very Ugly

"The weakness in the August BAC data suggests a high risk for softness in the Census Bureau advance retail sales report given that the two measures trend closely. While we know that the retail sales figures are volatile and subject to revisions, it is hard to ignore a weak report." Why is all of the above particularly important? Because with the August Retail Spending report due on September 15, it will be the last report on the economy the Fed will read ahead of its "most important if not ever then surely in the past decade" FOMC meeting starting on September 16, and concluding with the 2pm announcement on September 17.

September Rate Hike Back On Table: Q2 GDP Soars In Revision From 2.3% To 3.7% Driven By Record Inventory Build

Well, if the Fed is truly data-dependent, September is now squarely back on the table following the first revision of (double seasonally-adjusted) Q2 GDP data which soared from 2.3% to a whopping 3.7%, blowing out the Wall Street consensus estimate of 3.2%, and printing above the highest Wall Street forecast (the 3.6% from JPM). The reason for the surge was simple: from an inventory build of $124 in the first GDP estimate, the BEA now sees a total of $136.2 billion in inventory build in Q2. This is an all time record, and a number which suggests the upcoming inventory liquidation will be truly epic, not to mention recessionary.

How Much Longer Can The Record New Home Sales-To-Price Divergence Continue

The biggest surprise is today's new home sales data was not in the volumes of new homes sold, but the ongoing gaping divergence between volumes and prices. As we have shown previously, this record spread will have to close one way or another, and with the median new home sales price of $285,900 or virtually unchanged from a year ago, it would appear that new home buyers are finally starting to rebel against prices whose rise has far surpassed the increase in actual sales.

American Malls In Meltdown - The Economic Recovery Is Complete & Utter Fraud

What happens when we roll back into the next official recession, unemployment soars, and consumers really stop spending? What is revealed when you look under the hood of this economic recovery is that it is a complete and utter fraud. The recovery is nothing but smoke and mirrors, buoyed by subprime auto debt, really subprime student loan debt, corporate stock buybacks, and Fed financed bubbles in stocks, real estate, and bonds. The four retailers listed below are nothing but zombies, kept alive by the Fed’s ZIRP and QE, as they stumble towards their ultimate deaths. The coming recession will be the knife through their skulls, putting them out of their misery.

The Overly-Optimistic Economic Factor No One Is Talking About

In historical context, this uninterrupted inventory accumulation is by any count extreme (the last time it was this high, scaled by real GDP, was just prior to the Asian flu in early 1998). This is a major problem for future growth, one that has been building for more than a year which is why the constant mainstream references to the great recovery are so very unhelpful. Anyone inclined to believe in the fantasy only makes this process more drawn out and, in the end, susceptible to that much greater of a downside to restore productive balance. In short, we already have the outlines of recession with the full weight of recession processes yet to be released.

Should You Buy A House?

"By stepping back and looking at the big picture, we can see that real estate should be correcting and trending down.  The reasons why our grandparents bought their homes have changed.  Government intervention cannot last forever.  It will change from accommodation to devastation, when they finally run out of ideas. As for buying a house, I would consider it more of a luxury as opposed to an investment, and one has to be prepared for the possibility of it being a depreciating asset, especially if one decides to move."

How Socialism Destroyed Puerto Rico, And Why More Defaults Are Looming

With Puerto Rico missing a payment on a bond overnight "due to non-appropriation of funds" but denying that this constitutes anything close to a default, the territory may be about to retake the limelight as Greece is now "fixed." As Peter Schiff explains, this is far from over... As in Greece, the Puerto Rican economy has been destroyed by its participation in an unrealistic monetary system that it does not control and the failure of domestic politicians to confront their own insolvency. But the damage done to the Puerto Rican economy by the United States has been far more debilitating than whatever damage the European Union has inflicted on Greece. In fact, the lessons we should be learning in Puerto Rico, most notably how socialistic labor and tax policies can devastate an economy, should serve as a wake up call to those advocating prescribing the same for the mainland. 

American Babies Are No Longer Mostly White

"Racial and ethnic minorities now surpass non-Hispanic whites as the largest group of American children under 5 years old, the Census Bureau said Thursday. The demographic rise of minorities comes at a time when heightened racial tensions make headlines from St. Louis to Charleston, South Carolina, and as minorities lag in education, earnings and labor market outcomes."