Personal Consumption

Q2 GDP Revised Lower To 1.1%, As Expected, Even As Personal Consumption Rises

In what has been called the economic equivalent of hitting 00 on roulette, moments ago the BEA announced that Q2 GDP eased off from the original estimate of 1.2%, declining fractionally to 1.09%, and right on top of consensus etimates, which also expected a 1.1% print in the second quarter. This means that following the disappointing Q1 print of 0.83%, the first half economic growth is now officially just below 1%, or 0.096% to be precise.

"This Ain't Rocket Science Folks" - Fundamentals Matter (And Will Always Matter)

We can pretend fundamentals don’t matter and sure in the day to day profit taking of Citadel and the like they really don’t matter. But, while the PhDs may talk big about this new world economy where a move to universal welfare means jobs and wages don’t matter - well that is nonsense. Jobs and wages matter and they will always matter.

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.

Producer Prices Unexpectedly Slide -0.4%, Missing Expectations, As Prices For Clothing, Jewelry, Beef Tumble

Just as moments ago a far weaker than expected retail sales report once again confounded economic watchers who, in the aftermath of the second month of surprisingly strong payrolls, were expecting the upward momentum to continue, so at the same time we got the latest producer price report, according to which PPI for final demand decreased 0.4% in July. 60% of the decrease in prices for final demand services is attributable to margins for apparel, jewelry, footwear, and accessories retailing, which fell 6.0 percent, while a major factor in the decrease in the index for final demand goods was prices for beef and veal, which fell 9.8%.

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.

Key Events And Earnings In The Coming Week

The key economic releases this week include consumer confidence on Tuesday, the durable goods report on Wednesday, and the advance release of 2nd quarter GDP on Friday. The July FOMC statement will be released on Wednesday at 2PM. There are several scheduled speeches from Fed officials this week. 197 S&P 500 companies are due to report (or 38% of the index market cap) with the notable names including Apple, Verizon, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Alphabet, Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

PIMCO Lashes Out At "Flip-Flopping" Fed: 'Stop Focusing On The Stock Market'

We truly live in interesting times: what was once tinfoil conspiracy theory, namely that the Fed is entirely focused on propping up the stock market, has become not only mainstream thought, but overnight in a scathing essay by prominent PIMCO economists, including Mihir Worah, PIMCO blasted the Fed for constantly "flip-flopping", and telling Janet Yellen that "the Fed should focus on rising wages, not the stock market."

Bad Earnings, Balance Sheet Rot, & The "Brelief" Rally

Despite mainstream economists hopes that somehow “this time will be different,” the ongoing massaging of economic data through seasonal adjustments to obtain better headlines did not translate into actual prosperity.  Of course, “reality” is a cruel mistress and despite ongoing hopes and overstatements, “fantasy” eventually gives way.

August 15th - The Date Which Will Live In Monetary Infamy

August 15, 2016 will mark the 45th anniversary of President Nixon’s decision to close the gold window. U.S. citizens and the government are now beholden to the consequences of years of accumulated debt and weak productivity growth that have occurred since that day. Now, seven years after the end of the financial crisis and recession, these consequences are in plain sight. The Fed finds themselves crippled under an imprudent zero interest rate policy and unable to raise interest rates due to fear of stoking another crisis.

Final Q1 GDP Rises 1.1% Despite Worst Personal Consumption In Two Years

And so the final, and largely irrelevant, estimate of Q1 GDP is in the history books. Moments ago the BEA reported that in the first quarter GDP rose a tepid 1.1%, higher than the first and second estimates of 0.5% and 0.8%, respecitvely, and also higher than consensus estimates of 1.0%. The bad news: the all important personal consumption expenditures component of GDP rose a modest 2.0% annualized and contributing just 1.02% to the bottom line GDP. This was the worst showing by the US consumer since Q1 of 2014.

Key Events In The Coming Week: All About Brexit

With global markets gyrating on every piece of news surrounding the Brexit drama, what’s the timetable for UK-related (and all other macro) events this week and beyond?

The Economy Is Not What It Seems

The last two-quarters of economic growth have been less than exciting, to say the least. However, these rather dismal quarters of growth come at a time when oil prices and gasoline prices have plummeted AND amidst one of the warmest winters in 65-plus years. Why is that important? Because falling oil and gas prices and warm weather are effective “tax credits” to consumers as they spend less on gasoline, heating oil and electricity. Combined, these “savings” account for more than $200 billion in additional spending power for the consumer. So, personal consumption expenditures should be rising, right?