Personal Income

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.

Congress's $1.15 Trillion Spending Bill: Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s seminal masterpiece Crime and Punishment is often thought of as one of the longest classics at more than 200,000 words. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which was signed into law on Friday, is nearly twice as long. At 887 pages, the bill allocates $1.15 trillion in war and discretionary spending for fiscal year 2016 which began almost three months ago. (That’s an average of $1.3 billion in spending PER PAGE of the bill.) In making it public law, President Obama has effectively signed the death warrant of the US government’s finances.

Futures Jump After Friday Drubbing, Despite Brent Sliding To Fresh 11 Year Lows, Spanish Political Uncertainty

In a weekend of very little macro newsflow facilitated by the release of the latest Star Wars sequel, the biggest political and economic event was the Spanish general election which confirmed the end of the PP-PSOE political duopoly at national level.  As a result, there was some early underperformance in SPGBs and initial equity weakness across European stocks, which however was promptly offset and at last check the Stoxx 600 was up 0.4% to 363, with US equity futures up nearly 1% after Friday's oversold drubbing. In other key news, the commodity slide continues with Brent Oil dropping to a fresh 11-year low as futures fell as much as 2.2% in London after a 2.8% drop last week.

Cheap Oil's First US Casualty: Alaska Forced To Tax Personal Income For First Time In 35 Years

With sadly ironic timing, we noted just last week that the blowback from "unequivocally good" low oil prices was set to cross the border from an increasingly suicidal Canada, and so, as AP reports, it appears Alaska is facing the toughest of times. As oil prices make new cycle lows, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has called for the state's first income tax in 35 years in order to close a $3.5-billion-dollar deficit the state is carrying. Alaska is currently the only state that does not have a state sales tax or personal income tax, having relied on oil income but, as Walker tweeted, "now is the time for Alaskans to pull together."

Global Stocks Rise; US Traders Gives Thanks For Higher Equity Futures

While US floor markets are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday (equity, rates and energy futures are open until 1pm Eastern), Europe and Asia (as well as US equity futures) were busy rebounding overnight on strength in the commodity complex following yesterday's news that China's metals producers have asked for a wholesale government bailout or the "QEmmodity" as we have dubbed it, for the first time since 2009, which together with news that China would soon start arresting "malicious metal sellers" has provided a push for commodity prices across the board.

Atlanta Fed Slashes Q4 GDP Forecast

Just when you thought it was safe to hike rates, The Atlanta Fed takes an ax to its Q4 GDP forecast, smashing it to cycle lows following this morning's unexpected weakness in consumer spending.

US Consumers Hunker Down: Personal Spending Misses; Savings Rate Soars To Highest Since 2012

If this data is accurate, and keep in mind the BEA has a habit of revising spending higher after it revises income, to "boost" GDP as we revealed last year, this means that the US consumer is hunkering down at an unprecedented pace, and the 5.6% savings rate is now the highest since 2012, suggesting not only are US consumer unwilling to spending much money, but are actively worried about what is coming just around the corner.

Global Stocks Rebound As Geopolitical Tensions Subside; Europe Surges On Report Of More ECB Easing

Following yesterday's dramatic geopolitical shock, U.S. equity index futures rise as Russia has not escalated the confrontation with Turkey as some had feared, while Asian shares fall, reversing earlier gains. European stocks are rallying and the euro is falling on the back of a Reuters report that the ECB is mulling new measures to prop up lending, although it’s not clear at this point what the real impact from these measures would be.

The Good Ol' Days: When Tax Rates Were 90 Percent

It’s quite interesting indeed when both progressives and conservatives seem to be nostalgic for those good ol’ days in the 1950s, for different reasons, of course. Conservatives want to go back to the nuclear Leave It to Beaver family and what not while liberals like to talk about those 90-percent tax rates that we owe our prosperity to. Or something like that. However, what a tax rate is and what is actually paid are two very different things.

Bring On 'Operation Switch' - Bill Gross Calls For A Reverse 'Operation Twist' To "Benefit Savers And The Economy"

"But they won’t, you know. Yellen and Draghi believe in the Taylor model and the Phillips curve. Gresham’s law will be found in the history books, but his corollary has little chance of making it into future economic textbooks. The result will likely be a continued imbalance between savings and investment, a yield curve too flat to support historic business models, and an anemic 1-2% rate of real economic growth in even the most robust developed countries."

'Lipstick'-ing The GDP Pig Amid An Epochal Global Deflationary Swoon

The talking heads were busy this week powdering the GDP pig. By averaging up the “disappointing” 1.5% gain for Q3 with the previous quarter they were able to pronounce that the economy is moving forward at an “encouraging” 2% clip. And once we get through this quarter’s big negative inventory adjustment, they insisted, we will be off to the ‘escape velocity’ races. Again. No we won’t! The global economy is in an epochal deflationary swoon and the US economy has already hit stall speed. It is only a matter of months before this long-in-the-tooth 75-month old business expansion will rollover into outright liquidation of excess inventories and hoarded labor. That is otherwise known as a recession.

Savings Rate Rises To Highest Since April As Spending, Income Growth Drops

The mid-year bounce is over. Both Personal Income (+0.1% vs +0.2% exp) and Personal Spending (+0.1% vs +0.2% exp) missed expectations and slowed dramatically. This is the weakest spending growth since January and weakest income growth since March driving the savings rate to its highest since April.

Futures Fade Overnight Ramp After BOJ Disappoints, Attention Returns To Hawkish Fed

Back in September we explained why, contrary to both conventional wisdom and the BOJ's endless protests to the contrary, neither the BOJ nor the ECB have any interest in boosting QE at this - or any other point - simply because with every incremental bond they buy, the time when the two central banks run out of monetizable debt comes closer. Since then the ECB has jawboned that it may boost QE (but it has not done so), and overnight as reported previously, the BOJ likewise did not expand QE despite many, including Goldman Sachs, expecting it would do just that.

Goldman Says The US Manufacturing Decline Is "Contained"

While the likes of Fastenal CEO Dan Florness remain extremely concerned about the current industrial environment, one person who isn't concerned about potential spillover effects into the “rest” of the US economy is Goldman’s David Mericle, whose last name is not to be confused with “miracle”, although as you'll see, that’s precisely what Dave seems to be banking on.

Sorry, "Feel The Bern" Fans: President Sanders Won't Change Anything

Other than glad-handing and managing whatever undeclared wars he's been let in on, President Sanders won't change anything important because he can't change anything important. Neither can any other president. Political theater is just that--theater. Fans of Obama learned the hard way that hope and change are quietly dumped the moment you enter the Imperial Presidency.