After 6 straight months of decline in annual spending growth, May saw YoY spending pop 3.6% (the most since Dec 2014). After an unchanged April, May expectations for spending were a 0.7% jump but the data blew that away, printing a 0.9% MoM jump - the biggest since August 2009 and biggest beat since Jan 2013. Personal Income only grew at 0.5% (still the highest MoM jump since March 2014) driving the savings rate down to 5.1% - the lowest since December. Before Steve Liesman and his buddies get too excited - spending was driven mainly by a 4.72% surge in spending on Energy goods & services - not exactly what the discretionary buying consumer-oriented society that is required to keep the dream alive was looking for. Spending Ex-Energy is the lowest since March 2011. Finally we note non-durable spending topped durables and this exuberant GDP-boosting spendfest (un-save-fest) provides more ammo for an earlier Fed rate hike.
But don't worry Steve Liesman is certain it's all good in the 'dots'...
"While most are focused on the risks around a withdrawal of liquidity, we believe the biggest hit to confidence could be the opposite: if another round of US QE is necessary to prop up the economy," BofAML says, suggesting the Fed is now cornered as raising rates risks destabilizing markets and QE4 risks betraying the futility of successive central bank interventions.
Steve Liesman is quaking in his reporter's boots this morning as the SF Fed & BEA's credibility-crushing "double-seasonal-adjustment" thesis is crushed into statistical neverland by the The NY Fed. A study by economists at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve did not find significant statistical evidence for such distortions on the aggregate GDP level, despite meteoroconomist Joe Lavorgna's assertion that Q1 grew 1.2% thanks to the magic of made-up numbers. As The NY Fed concludes, in a tone that suggests "sigh, again, "it will not be surprising if the question of residual seasonality comes up again next year when first-quarter growth numbers are announced."
Given the rather depressing plight of the average US laborer, it’s little wonder that some workers are inclined to “alter their mood” a bit before punching the clock. Indeed, over the past 24 months, a decades-old trend towards falling workplace drug usage has reversed itself, with 4% of workers now testing positive for either legal or illegal drug use.
Promptly upon release of today’s GDP update, Steve Liesman and his Wall Street economist pals spent 10 minutes bloviating about why the negative print should be completely ignored. The MSM cheerleaders like Liesman and his pals cannot see the handwriting on the wall because central bank bubble finance has essentially abolished the old rules of macro-economics. Someone should tell them that an economic deja vu is about to happen... all over again!
"The real disconnect lies in the failure of the economy to grow, as most people assumed that it would, after the Fed's quantitative easing and zero interest rates had supposedly worked their magic. But as I have said many times before, these policies act more as economic depressants than they do as stimulants. As long as these monetary policies persist, our economy will never return to the growth rates that would be considered healthy.... We prefer the ability to manipulate figures rather than allowing the figures to tell us things that we don't want to hear."
"The government agency charged with calculating the nation's growth rate is acknowledging problems with its numbers and pledging a series of fixes over the next several months", Steve Liesman reports, confirming that the BEA is about to do precisely what we predicted two days ago and seasonally adjust its seasonally adjusted data in what might very well be the most blatant instance of goal-seeking in the history of statistical analysis.
Curious about the economic fate of the US? Here it is:
Q. Steve Liesman: Who is your favorite economist?
A. Nat'l Economics Challenge participant #1: Keynes. I just love Keynes.
A. Nat'l Economics Challenge participant #2: I do too, because he spends a lot of money.
And proud we are of all of them.
For years now we’ve been listening to market cheerleaders like Steve Liesman, Tom Lee and Brian Belski give us their rendition of Little Orphan Annie’s “Tomorrow, tomorrow, the sun will come out tomorrow” but at a certain point the financial engineering runs out of time. But what if it didn't? Today, whether you look at the consumer, the producer, the worker or the borrower - they are all getting sicker.
Dallas Fed's Richard Fisher had his credibility (whatever is left) crushed for the 4th month in a row. After explaining carefully to no lessor status quo glad hand than Steve Liesman that the Texas economy will see a net positive from low oil prices, Dallas Fed data has utterly collapsed - at its fastest pace since Lehman. Printing a stunning -17.5 (over twice as bad as expected -8.5), this is the 4th miss in a row (and increasingly worse misses). The Dallas Fed was last lower than this in Jun 2011. Across the board, the components were an utter disaster... employees contracted, prices paid and recoeved tumbled, production plunged, and new orders collapsed. More worryingly, furture capex tumbled once again.
There is no mystery anywhere to be found in the fact that US retail sales don’t follow the jobs trend. Not if you look at what kind of jobs they are, let alone at all the other made up and manipulated numbers that are being thrown around about the US economy. The only mystery is why everyone persists in talking about a recovery. That recovery will never come, simply because all 90% of Americans do is pay for the other 10% to get richer. There are many other factors, but that all by itself makes a recovery a mathematical mirage.
"I was shocked today by the absolute gaul of the Fed releasing a statement about Net Worth in America reaching record levels. Now I get that they are under extreme pressure to sell the story that everything is rainbows and butterflies. The ugly reality is that the bottom 80% of Americans experienced none of that gain. And so when the Fed via its ass pamper boy, Steve Liesman, start banging on about the fact that some sliver of society is being handed extraordinary wealth while the working class has lost 40% of their net worth since 2007, well a big F### you right back at ya bub!...And for those of you that think I’m an ass for being so harsh on us, well stuff it. Get up off your stool you lazy drunk, shut your damn mouth and start fighting these political parasites like a damn man, like a damn American."
Janet Yellen once again repeats that the economy is “looking stronger” although still it has yet to manifest into actual strength. In fact, it is still so weak that the Fed cannot even suggest that rates will raise anytime over the next several FOMC meetings. In short, the economy is still very sick. The Pundits (Liesman) are suggesting Janet feels the economy is strong but that the “data just isn’t cooperating”. What does that even mean?? The market is a red herring of sorts keeping our attention away from the reality of the economy. And so, to give up the market strength would be synonymous to removing the one remaining support holding up that 100 storey building that is otherwise completely rotted. Only when the economy is able to withstand a market repricing will the Fed allow the market to reprice.