Monthly Archives: July 2017

Velocity Of Money – Charts Updated Through July 28, 2017

Here are three charts from the St. Louis Fed depicting the velocity of money in terms of the MZM, M1 and M2 money supply measures.

All charts reflect quarterly data through the 2nd quarter of 2017, and were last updated as of July 28, 2017.  As one can see, two of the three measures are at an all-time low for the periods depicted:

Velocity of MZM Money Stock, current value = 1.293:

MZMV_7-28-17

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 29, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MZMV

Velocity of M1 Money Stock, current value = 5.528:

M1V_7-28-17 5.528

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 29, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M1V

Velocity of M2 Money Stock, current value = 1.425:

M2V_7-28-17

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 29, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M2V

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2472.10 as this post is written

Consumer Confidence Surveys – As Of July 28, 2017

Doug Short had a blog post of July 28, 2017 (“Michigan Consumer Sentiment:  July Final Continues to Slip“) in which he presents the latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence and Thomson/Reuters University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index charts.  They are presented below:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index

University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

There are a few aspects of the above charts that I find highly noteworthy.  Of course, until the sudden upswing in 2014, the continued subdued absolute levels of these two surveys was disconcerting.

Also, I find the “behavior” of these readings to be quite disparate as compared to the other post-recession periods, as shown in the charts between the gray shaded areas (the gray areas denote recessions as defined by the NBER.)

While I don’t believe that confidence surveys should be overemphasized, I find these readings to be very problematical, especially in light of a variety of other highly disconcerting measures highlighted throughout this site.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2466.03 as this post is written

Employment Cost Index (ECI) – Second Quarter 2017

While the concept of Americans’ incomes can be defined in a number of ways, many prominent measures continue to show disconcerting trends.

One prominent measure is the Employment Cost Index (ECI).

Here is a description from the BLS document titled “The Employment Cost Index:  what is it?“:

The Employment Cost Index (ECI) is a quarterly measure of the change in the price of labor, defined as compensation per employee hour worked. Closely watched by many economists, the ECI is an indicator of cost pressures within companies that could lead to price inflation for finished goods and services. The index measures changes in the cost of compensation not only for wages and salaries, but also for an extensive list of benefits. As a fixed-weight, or Laspeyres, index, the ECI controls for changes occurring over time in the industrial-occupational composition of employment.

On July 28, 2017, the ECI for the second quarter was released.  Here are two excerpts from the BLS release titled “Employment Cost Index – June 2017“:

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in June 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.5 percent, and benefits (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.6 percent. (See chart 1 and tables A,1, 2, and 3.)

also:

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.4 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2017. In June 2016, compensation costs increased 2.3 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.3 percent for the current 12-month period and increased 2.5 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2016. Benefit costs increased 2.5 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2017. In June 2016, the increase was 2.0 percent. (See chart 2 and tables A, 4, 8, and 12.)

Below are three charts, updated on July 28, 2017 that depict various aspects of the ECI, which is seasonally adjusted (SA):

The first depicts the ECI, with a value of 129.7:

ECIALLCIV_7-28-17

source: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Cost Index: Total compensation: All Civilian[ECIALLCIV], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed July 28, 2017:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ECIALLCIV/

The second chart depicts the ECI on a “Percent Change from Year Ago” basis:

ECIALLCIV Percent Change From Year Ago

The third chart depicts the ECI on a “Percent Change” (from last quarter) basis:

ECIALLCIV Percent Change

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2468.71 as this post is written

Real GDP Chart Since 1947 With Trendline – 2nd Quarter 2017

For reference purposes, below is a chart from Doug Short’s “Q2 GDP Advance Estimate: Real GDP at 2.6%” post of July 28, 2017, depicting Real GDP, with a trendline, as depicted.  This chart reflects the Gross Domestic Product Q2 2017 Advance Estimate (pdf) of July 28, 2017:

U.S. Real GDP chart

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2475.42 as this post is written

Updates Of Economic Indicators July 2017

Here is an update of various indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity. These indicators have been discussed in previous blog posts:

The July 2017 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of July 27, 2017:

The CFNAI, with current reading of .13:

CFNAI

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, July 27, 2017;

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAI

The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of .06:

CFNAI-MA3

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, July 27, 2017;

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAIMA3

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of July 21, 2017 (incorporating data through July 14, 2017) the WLI was at 143.9 and the WLI, Gr. was at 2.6%.

A chart of the WLI,Gr., from Doug Short’s ECRI update post of July 21, 2017:

ECRI WLI,Gr.

The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions (ADS) Index:

Here is the latest chart, depicting the ADS Index from December 31, 2007 through July 22, 2017:

ADS Index

The Conference Board Leading (LEI), Coincident (CEI) Economic Indexes, and Lagging Economic Indicator (LAG):

As per the July 20, 2017 press release, titled “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in June” (pdf) the LEI was at 127.8, the CEI was at 115.5, and the LAG was 124.4 in June.

An excerpt from the release:

“The U.S. LEI rose sharply in June, pointing to continued growth in the U.S. economy and perhaps even a moderate improvement in GDP growth in the second half of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The broad-based gain in the U.S. LEI was led by a large contribution from housing permits, which improved after several months of weakness.”

Here is a chart of the LEI from Doug Short’s Conference Board Leading Economic Index update of July 20, 2017:

Conference Board LEI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2478.16 as this post is written

Durable Goods New Orders – Long-Term Charts Through June 2017

Many people place emphasis on Durable Goods New Orders as a prominent economic indicator and/or leading economic indicator.

For reference, below are two charts depicting this measure.

First, from the St. Louis Fed site (FRED), a chart through June 2017, updated on July 27, 2017. This value is $245,568 ($ Millions):

(click on charts to enlarge images)

DGORDER

Second, here is the chart depicting this measure on a “Percentage Change from a Year Ago” basis:

DGORDER Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Manufacturers’ New Orders:  Durable Goods [DGORDER]; U.S. Department of Commerce: Census Bureau; accessed July 27, 2017;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/DGORDER

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2480.85 as this post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the July 20, 2017 update (reflecting data through July 14, 2017) is -1.505.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on July 26, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through July 21, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The July 21, 2017 value is -.93:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 26, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 26, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through July 21, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The July 21 value is -.21:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 26, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2478.12 as this post is written

The U.S. Economic Situation – July 24, 2017 Update

Perhaps the main reason that I write of our economic situation is that I continue to believe, based upon various analyses, that our economic situation is in many ways misunderstood.  While no one likes to contemplate a future rife with economic adversity, current and future economic problems must be properly recognized and rectified if high-quality, sustainable long-term economic vitality is to be realized.

There are an array of indications and other “warning signs” – many readily apparent – that current economic activity and financial market performance is accompanied by exceedingly perilous dynamics.

I have written extensively about this peril, including in the following:

Building Financial Danger” (ongoing updates)

A Special Note On Our Economic Situation

Forewarning Pronounced Economic Weakness

Thoughts Concerning The Next Financial Crisis

Was A Depression Successfully Avoided?

Has the Financial System Strengthened Since the Financial Crisis?

The Next Crash And Its Significance

My analyses continues to indicate that the growing level of financial danger will lead to the next stock market crash that will also involve (as seen in 2008) various other markets as well.  Key attributes of this next crash is its outsized magnitude (when viewed from an ultra-long term historical perspective) and the resulting economic impact.  This next financial crash is of tremendous concern, as my analyses indicate it will lead to a Super Depression – i.e. an economy characterized by deeply embedded, highly complex, and difficult-to-solve problems.

For long-term reference purposes, here is a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1900, depicted on a monthly basis using a LOG scale (updated through July 21, 2017, with a last value of 21540.18):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)

DJIA since 1900

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2471.48 as this post is written

Money Supply Charts Through June 2017

For reference purposes, below are two sets of charts depicting growth in the money supply.

The first shows the MZM (Money Zero Maturity), defined in FRED as the following:

M2 less small-denomination time deposits plus institutional money funds.
Money Zero Maturity is calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on July 14, 2017 depicting data through June 2017, with a value of $14,908.6 Billion:

MZM money supply

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 4.6%:

MZM percent change from year ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 20, 2017:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MZMSL

The second set shows M2, defined in FRED as the following:

M2 includes a broader set of financial assets held principally by households. M2 consists of M1 plus: (1) savings deposits (which include money market deposit accounts, or MMDAs); (2) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000); and (3) balances in retail money market mutual funds (MMMFs). Seasonally adjusted M2 is computed by summing savings deposits, small-denomination time deposits, and retail MMMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1.

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on July 13, 2017, depicting data through June 2017, with a value of $13,519.3 Billion:

M2 money supply

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 5.5%:

M2 money supply

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 20, 2017:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M2SL

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2475.70 as this post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the July 13, 2017 update (reflecting data through July 7, 2017) is -1.475.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on July 19, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through July 14, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The July 14, 2017 value is -.90:

NFCI_7-19-17

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 19, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 19, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through July 14, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The July 14 value is -.20:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 19, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2473.83 as this post is written