Economic Data Flood Summary: Claims, Housing Noisy, CPI May Return "Disinflation" Talk At FOMC Meeting

First, Initial Claims - the new yoyo.

  • Initial claims drop from revised 402K (as expected) in last week, to 352K this week, 50K swing in one week, on expectations of 384K. All in the seasonal adjustment, which tries to compensate for the 124K drop in Non Seasonally Adjusted claims. Fired bankers and everyone else no longer registers to the B(L)S.
  • This number was below the lowest Wall Street estimate of 363K.
  • Continuing claims: 3.432MM, below expectations of 3.590MM, previous revised naturally higher from 3.628MM to 3.647MM. The reason? People on EUC and Extended benefits in last week: +105,000. More and more people move away from 6 month support to extended 99 week cliff.
  • The decline in continuing claims was 215K, and the number of 3.432MM was the lowest since Sept 6, 2008, the week before the Lehman collapse (h/t Stone McCarthy)
  • Decline likely “function of seasonal distortion,” likely “exaggerates strength in the labor market,” says BBG economist Joseph Brusuelas

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Housing Starts and Permits:

  • Largely irrelevant, as crawling at a bottom, but starts at 657K, below expectations of 680K, and down from 685K previously
  • Permits in line with expectations at 679K, down from 680K before
  • Volatile’’ multifamily dwellings category eased “slightly,” says Brusuelas. Even so, MFDs “likely to remain quite stout due” on modest increase in household formation, ownership-to-renter transition, tight apartments supply. Housing “still dead,” says Bloomberg economist Rich Yamarone
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  • Headline CPI at 0.0% vs expectations of 0.1%, unchanged from last month
  • Core CPI: +0.1% in line with expectations of +0.1 and down from 0.2% previously
  • "Weak domestic aggregate demand,’’ slowing global economy likely to continue downward pressure on prices, says Bloomberg economist Joseph Brusuelas
  • Fed “clearly concerned with the return of disinflation;” watch for “talk of further central bank action to support the economy” at next week’s FOMC meeting, says Brusuelas 
  • Source

Slowly all the high frequency economic data are becoming increasingly meaningless, noisy, volatile and unpredictable. Just as the government wants it to be.