Census Bureau

Deconstructing The "Median Income Bullshit"

What do you do when the economy isn't growing the way you want it to but you need to win an election in the very near future?  Well, one option is to have the Census Bureau change its data collection methodology to goal seek the desired income growth.

What "Obama Rebound"? Average Weekly Wages Declined In Most US Counties

Average weekly wages for the nation decreased to $1,043, a 0.5 percent decrease, during the year ending in the first quarter of 2016. Among the 344 largest counties, 167 had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. McLean, Illinois (part of the Bloomington metro area), had the largest percentage wage decrease among the largest U.S. counties (?13.3 percent).

What's The Real Unemployment Rate? That's The Wrong Question

The truth is the unemployment rate is a political number, not an economic one. If we want an accurate snapshot of employment, earned income and the state of small business, we have hard data that is already collected quarterly. Common sense suggests we will get more value from hard data than from politicized guesswork.

Frontrunning: September 14

  • Bayer wins over Monsanto with improved $66 billion bid (Reuters)
  • Yen trims gains as doubts creep in over BOJ easing (Reuters)
  • BOJ to make negative rates centerpiece of future easing: sources (Reuters)
  • Stocks Halt Selloff in Europe as Commodities Gains Lift Miners (BBG)
  • Donald Trump, New Team Recast His TV Image (WSJ)
  • Hanjin Brings One of World's Busiest Shipping Terminals Close to Standstill (BBG)

Jackson Hole Looms: The Main Events In The Coming Week

The key economic releases this week are new home sales on Tuesday and durable goods on Thursday. However, the main event in what is one of the slowest summer weeks, will be the Jackson Hole symposium starting this Friday, where focus will be on Yellen's speech who will be scrutinized to see if she can bring the Fed's message back on track after several conflicting statements by Fed speakers in recent weeks.

The 10 Worst Places In America To Start A Business

Anywhere you start a business, it's going to be a gamble. More new businesses fail than succeed, according to the Kauffman Foundation. So it's important to set up in an area where the odds are in your favor. Some cities are more hospitable to business formation than others. Regulatory hurdles, tax rates, ease and cost of hiring, and cost of real estate are just some of the factors. Cities across the country are also dealing with demographic challenges, including population growth, an aging workforce and economic stagnation. Here are the worst 10 cities...

Core Retail Sales Tumble Most Since January

Despite this week's Macy's-driven retail sales exuberance - following BofA's suggestion that all was not well - the official retail sales print shows July was ugly... Retail Sales (ex Autos/Gas) fell 0.1% MoM (missing expectations of +0.3%) to the weakest since January. The headline data was flat MoM (dramatically missing the +0.4% expectations). The drop was driven by weakness in gas station and sporting goods sales (along with department stores... apart from Macy's?). Perhaps most worrying hjowever is the mere 2.3% YoY growth in headline retail sales - a level that has signaled recessionary conditions in the past.

Rising Recession Risks & The Tears In America's Economic Fabric

Stock market “bulls” should pray that interest rates don’t rise. Don’t blame those poor consumers for not spending – they are spending everything they have and then some. Just one word describes the outcome of that event given the current excessively leveraged consumption based economy of today – disaster.

Did US Consumers Finally Tap Out? BofA Internal Card Data Shows Significant July Spending Slowdown

According to Bank of America's internal aggregated credit and debit card data, consumer spending slowed in July, with retail sales ex-autos down 0.3% mom on a seasonally adjusted basis. As the bank concludes, "In our view, this sets up for a softer Census Bureau retail sales report on  Friday – we would not be surprised to see either disappointing July sales and/or a downward revision to June."