This Time It's The Same - And That's Not Good
There has been much discussion by the mainstream media of the rise in gas prices since we initially showed the equity market's dependence (or transitory correlation if you are a Keynesian) on this consumer-crushing unintended consequence of the new normal liquification of our economy. However, while most have focused on the absolute levels (as we noted the $3.75-80 Regular appears to be a limiter in recent years), over time this has not been the case. The stagnation of average hourly earnings combined with the price of gas shows why the last two years have not had the consumer-driven surge of the initial 2009 lurch (or the pre-crisis economy). We are trapped in an era when the average hourly wage buys a de minimus amount of energy and just as we saw heading into 2008, this relative price surge is occurring just as the macro-economic data itself is rolling over. This time it's the same - a double-dip in macro surprises driven by relative gas prices.
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