Personal Consumption

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And The Biggest Contributor To U.S. Growth in 2015 Was...





One look at the chart below should explain not only how the "services" half of the US economy continues to grow, but just which tax, because that is how the Supreme Court defined Obamacare, is responsible for healthcare "spending" amounting to a quarter of the growth in US personal consumption expenditures... 

 
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"Peddling Fiction" - US Economy Grew A Paltry 0.69% In The Fourth Quarter, Missing Expectations





And so the final quarter of 2015 is in the history books and we can officially accuse the US Bureau of Economic Analysis of "peddling fiction" about the US recovery, because at a growth rate of 0.69%, the annualized rate of economic growth was the lowest since the first quarter of 2015 when it grew an almost identical 0.64% which was blamed on the harsh weather. This time however, there is no easy scapegoat.

 
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Global Stocks, Bonds Jump On BOJ NIRP Stunner; Rally Fizzles After Crude Fades Gains





It is safe to say that nobody expected the BOJ stunner announced last night, when Kuroda announced that Japan would become the latest country to unleash negative interest rates, for one simple reason: Kuroda himself said Japan would not adopt negative rates just one week ago! However, a few BIS conference calls since then clearly changed the Japanese central banker's mind and as we wrote, and as those who are just waking up are shocked to learn, negative rates are now a reality in Japan. The immediate reaction was to send the USDJPY surging by nearly 200 pips, back to levels seen... well, about a month ago.

 
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Why Dip Buyers Will Get Clobbered: The US Economy Isn't Doing "Just Fine"





As of June 2008 no Wall Street banking house was predicting a recession, yet by then the Great Recession - the worst economic downturn since the 1930s - was already six months old, as per the NBER’s subsequent official reckoning. Wall Street never predicts a recession. And that’s basically why the stock market goes up for 5-7 years on a slow escalator, and then plunges down an elevator shaft during several quarters of violent after-the-fact retraction when an economic and profits downturn has already arrived.

 
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The Fed's New Mandate





Because our macroeconomic policies have false targets and actually incentivize short term strategies the Fed has directly led us off of an economic cliff. Now that the Fed has boxed itself out of any further action, the market is at the peril of a collapsing, breadwinner-job-less and debt ridden economy and so prepare yourself for the largest market ‘correction’ the world has ever faced.

 
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2015 Greatest Hits: Presenting The Most Popular Posts Of The Past Year





The seventh anniversary of Zero Hedge is just around the corner, and so, for the seventh year in a row we continue our tradition of summarizing what our readers found to be the most relevant, exciting, and actionable news of the year, determined by the number of page views. We bring you the articles that you, dear reader, found to be the most interesting in the past 365 days.

 
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US Economy - A Year-End Overview





It becomes ever more tempting to conclude that the timing of the Fed’s rate hike was really quite odd, even from the perspective of the planners...

 
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Personal Income, Spending Increase By 0.3% In November As Savings Rate Dips To 5.5%





The end result was that in November personal savings was $748 billion, a $9.4 billion decline from the $757 billion a month ago, which translates into a 5.5% savings rate, down from last month's 5.6%, however well above the average rate seen over the past 12 months as consumers continue to be unwilling to dip into their savings despite the so-called "gas" tax cut.

 
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Commerce Department Releases Consumer Spending Data Early - Worst YoY Growth Since May 2013





In yet another government SNAFU, the US commerce department has released spending data prematurely. Instead of tomorrow morning, its website released the data at 1923ET.. and it is not good. Despite a 0.3% rise in November, thanks to downward revisions, the YoY growth in Spending was just 2.9%. May 2013 was the last time YoY growth was weaker than this and corresponds with spending weakness seen in each of the last 3 recessions.

 
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US Economy Grew At 2.0% In Final Q3 Estimate; Massive Inventory Overhang A Key Risk For Future Growth





In today's anticlimatic economic print of the day, moments ago the BEA reported that Q3 GDP declined from 2.1% as per the first revision reported a month ago to 1.97%, fractionally higher than the 1.9% expected, as a result of a modest decline in Personal Consumption Expenditures as well as Private Inventories and Net Trade, offset by a fractional pick up in Fixed Investment, a category which will see far more downside in the quarters to come unless oil prices rebound, and the smallest possible increase in government spending.

 
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Futures Rise, Drop, Then Rise Again In Illiquid Session After China Promises More Stimulus





It has been a seesaw session with U.S. stock index futures following their dramatic buying burst in the last half hour of market trading yesterday by first rising, then falling, then rising again alongside European equities both driven almost tick for tick with even the smallest move in the carry trade of choice, the USDJPY, even as Asian shares trade near intraday highs after China’s leaders signaled they will take further steps to support growth.

 
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The Fed Never Solved The Mystery Of The "Missing Inflation", And Now It Has A Big Problem





"The trouble is that rents are running high not because house prices are booming and/or construction is sawing but because structurally new entrants to the housing market are renters not owners. This is reflected in the very low first time homebuyer rate, less than 30 percent."

 
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On The Important Role Of Recessions - Austrians Had It Right





The continued misuse of capital and continued erroneous monetary policies have instigated not only the recent downturn but actually 30 years of an insidious slow moving infection that has destroyed the American legacy. “Recessions” should be embraced and utilized to clear the “excesses” that accrue in the economic system during the first half of the economic growth cycle. Trying to delay the inevitable, only makes the inevitable that much worse in the end.

 
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3 Things: Recession, Retail-less, Stupidity





While much of the financial media and Wall Street analysts continue to ignore the risks of a recession, there are some important warning signs that suggest this might be a bad idea. As Charles Gave noted earlier, "We are swimming in an ocean of ignorance... It seems all the painful economics lessons learned over the last 300 years have been forgotten"

 
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The Problem With "Rules-Based" Monetary Policy





Monetary policy 'rules' are no more accurate at determining interest rates than meteorologists are at forecasting the weather. The only difference between the two is that weathermen are precise on occasion, whereas the federal funds rate under the Taylor Rule is, at best, less wrong. Setting the price of money and credit in the name of unleashing the economy’s supposed potential output is the equivalent of enacting price controls on milk to unlock its full buying power. It’s a fallacy that cannot be achieved. The sooner the Fed pawns off its printing press, the sooner its market distortions will be lifted; and the sooner that each individual will be able to make rational decisions that make sense for not only himself or herself, but for the economy at large as well.

 
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