Recovery, Recession, Or Depression?

One of the more interesting facets of our current economic situation is that a case can be made that the economy is in a recovery (or expansion), recession, or depression. This observation is supported by a number of factors, including that of a Gallup poll released yesterday.  The poll is titled “More Than Half Still Say … Read moreRecovery, Recession, Or Depression?

Updates On Economic Indicators April 2011

Here is an update on various indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity: The April Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)(pdf) updated as of April 28, 2011: – The Consumer Metrics Institute Contraction Watch: – The USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index: An excerpt from the March 23 Press Release, titled “Economic index … Read moreUpdates On Economic Indicators April 2011

Ben Bernanke’s April 27 Press Conference – My Comments

Yesterday, Ben Bernanke gave his scheduled Press Conference. While there were few, if any, disclosures that would be considered “new,” I did feel as if many of his comments were notable.  While I could comment extensively upon his remarks of yesterday – as I partially or fully disagree with many of them – I will … Read moreBen Bernanke’s April 27 Press Conference – My Comments

Rising Input Costs And The “Profit Margin Squeeze”

In various past posts I have written of the challenges businesses face in pricing, given today’s economic environment.  One aspect that I mentioned in the December 16 post was how the PPI (Producer Price Index) growth was significantly outpacing that of the CPI. Since that December 16 post, this PPI-CPI growth rate issue has been exacerbated.  … Read moreRising Input Costs And The “Profit Margin Squeeze”

Comments On “Toward a Truly Free Market” Book

I’ve recently read the book Toward a Truly Free Market by John Médaille, a book that largely expounds on the economic concept of (Neo)Distributism. I would like to preface my comments about the book with the following three points: First, although I agree with various facets of Distributism – as it is presented it in the … Read moreComments On “Toward a Truly Free Market” Book

When Will Hiring Substantially Improve?

One factor that makes this unemployment situation so atypical, relative to past recoveries, is that while revenues, and particularly profits, have rebounded strongly, hiring has been (at best) anemic.  This is illustrated in the following chart, seen in the commentary of April 12: – One is led to wonder when hiring will accelerate at … Read moreWhen Will Hiring Substantially Improve?

The April 2011 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The April Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published April 11, 2011.  The headline is “Economists See Growth Accelerating Later in Year.” I find the most notable aspects of this survey to be in the survey detail (spreadsheet), in which the economists judge factors that have recently adversely impacted the economy, and also predict … Read moreThe April 2011 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

Economically Counterproductive Policies – Incandescents

In the March 28, 2011 edition of Forbes, Steve Forbes wrote an article titled “Ban Bulb Lunacy.” An online caption of the article reads “Next year the federal government begins the phaseout of traditional incandescent lightbulbs, giving us yet another enlightening example of politicians short-circuiting free markets.” In the article, Steve Forbes says “This prohibition of … Read moreEconomically Counterproductive Policies – Incandescents

NFIB Small Business Optimism – March 2011

The March NFIB Small Business Optimism was released April 12.  The headline of the Press Release is “Hiring Up, But Optimism Down in March.” The Index of Small Business Optimism declined 2.6 points in March, falling to 91.9. Here are some excerpts from the report that I find particularly notable: “The index is consistent with recession-level readings. The … Read moreNFIB Small Business Optimism – March 2011