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February 7, 2017 Gallup Poll Results On Economic Confidence – Notable Excerpts

On February 7, 2017 Gallup released the poll results titled “U.S. Economic Confidence Index Hit New High in January.”

Notable excerpts include:

Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy remained strong in January. Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +11, the highest monthly average in Gallup’s nine-year trend. However, the index has been slightly lower so far in February.

also:

Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.

In January, 31% of Americans rated the economy as “excellent” or “good,” while 21% said it was “poor,” resulting in a current conditions score of +10 — marking the highest monthly reading for this component since 2008.

The economic outlook component also reached a new high score of +11 in January. This score was the result of 52% of Americans saying economic conditions in the country were “getting better,” while 41% said they were “getting worse.”

Here is an accompanying chart of the two components of the Gallup Economic Confidence Index, discussed above:

Gallup U.S. Economic Confidence Index Components - Monthly Averages

Here is an accompanying chart of the Gallup Economic Confidence Index:

Gallup U.S. Economic Confidence Index - Monthly Averages

 

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2292.38 as this post is written

Average Hourly Earnings Trends

I have written many blog posts concerning the worrisome trends in income and earnings.

Along these lines, one of the measures showing disconcerting trends is that of hourly earnings.

While the concept of hourly earnings can be defined and measured in a variety of ways, below are a few charts that I believe broadly illustrate problematic trends.

The first chart depicts Average Hourly Earnings Of All Employees: Total Private (FRED series CES0500000003)(current value = $26.00):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 2-3-17)

CES0500000003

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of All Employees:  Total Private [CES0500000003] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed February 3, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CES0500000003

This next chart depicts this same measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 2-3-17)

CES0500000003

There are slightly different measures available from a longer-term perspective. Pictured below is another measure, the Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees – Total Private (FRED series AHETPI)(current value = $21.84):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 2-3-17)

AHETPI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees:  Total Private [AHETPI] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics;  accessed February 3, 2017:

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

Pictured below is this AHETPI measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 2-3-17)

AHETPI percent change from year ago

I will continue to actively monitor these trends, especially given the post-2009 dynamics.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2295.99 this post is written

Median Household Income Chart

I have written many blog posts concerning the worrisome trends in income and earnings.

Doug Short, in his February 2, 2017 post titled “Real Median Household Income:  No Growth in 2016” produced the chart below.  It is based upon data from Sentier Research, and it shows both nominal and real median household incomes since 2000, as depicted.  As one can see, post-recession real median household income (seen in the blue line since 2009) remains worrisome.

(click on chart to enlarge image)

Real Median Household Income

As Doug mentions in his aforementioned post:

As the excellent data from Sentier Research makes clear, the mainstream U.S. household was struggling before the Great Recession. At this point, real household incomes are about where they were during the middle of the Great Recession.

Among other items seen in his blog post is a chart depicting each of the two (nominal and real household incomes) data series’ percent change over time since 2000.

_________

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 2279.16 as this post is written

Employment Cost Index (ECI) – Fourth Quarter 2016

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 January 31, 2017, the ECI for the fourth quarter was released.  Here are two excerpts from the BLS release titled “Employment Cost Index – December 2016“:

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in December 2016, 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 0.4 percent.

also:

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2016. In December 2015, compensation costs increased 2.0 percent.

Below are three charts, updated on January 31, 2017 that depict various aspects of the ECI, which is seasonally adjusted (SA):

The first depicts the ECI, with a value of 128.0:

ECIALLCIV_1-31-17

source: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Cost Index: Total compensation: All Civilian[ECIALLCIV], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed January 31, 2017:

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

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

ECIALLCIV_1-31-17 percent change from year ago

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

ECIALLCIV_1-31-17 .5 percent change from prior quarter

_________

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 2269.70 as this post is written

Consumer Confidence Surveys – As Of January 31, 2017

Doug Short had a blog post of January 31, 2017 (“Consumer Confidence Retreated in January“) 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

Michigan Consumer Sentiment

There are a few aspects of the above charts that I find highly noteworthy.  Of course, until the recent sudden upswing, 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 2269.70 as this post is written

Durable Goods New Orders – Long-Term Charts Through December 2016

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 December 2016, updated on January 27, 2017. This value is $227,018 ($ Millions):

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Durable Goods New Orders

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

Durable Goods New Orders 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 January 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 blog 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 2294.69 as this post is written

Velocity Of Money – Charts Updated Through January 27, 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 4th quarter of 2017, and were last updated as of January 27, 2017.  As one can see, one of the three measures is at an all-time low for the periods depicted:

Velocity of MZM Money Stock, current value = 1.297:

MZM money velocity

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed January 27, 2017:

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

Velocity of M1 Money Stock, current value = 5.655:

M1 Money Velocity

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed January 27, 2017:

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

Velocity of M2 Money Stock, current value = 1.436:

M2 money velocity

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed January 27, 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 2294.69 as this post is written

Real GDP Chart Since 1947 With Trendline – 4th Quarter 2016

For reference purposes, below is a chart from Doug Short’s “Q4 GDP Advance Estimate: Real GDP at 1.9%, Worse Than Forecast ” post of January 27, 2017, depicting Real GDP, with a trendline, as depicted.  This chart reflects the Gross Domestic Product Q4 2016 Advance Estimate (pdf) of January 27, 2017:

Real GDP

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2293.93 as this post is written

Money Supply Charts Through December 2016

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 January 20, 2017 depicting data through December 2016, with a value of $14,632.7 Billion:

MZM money supply

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis:

MZM money supply percent change from year ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed January 23, 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 January 19, 2017, depicting data through December 2016, with a value of $13,249.2 Billion:

M2 money supply

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis:

M2 money supply percent change from year ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed January 23, 2017:

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

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2261.93 as this post is written

Markets During Periods Of Federal Reserve Intervention – January 20, 2017 Update

In the August 9, 2011 post (“QE3 – Various Thoughts“) I posted a chart that depicted the movements of the S&P500, 10-Year Treasury Yield and the Fed Funds rate spanning the periods of various Federal Reserve interventions since 2007.

For reference purposes, here is an updated chart (through January 20, 2017) from Doug Short’s blog post of January 20 (“Treasury Yields:  A Long-Term Perspective“):

U.S. markets during Federal Reserve intervention

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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2271.31 as this post is written