Happenings Two Months Time Ago! US Case-Shiller National Home Price Growth Slows To 6.77% YoY In November As Fed Retreats (Down -0.54% Since October, 5th Straight Month Of MoM Price Declines)

The Case-Shiller index is out for November 2022. Too bad it is January 31, 2023. Call it “Happenings 2 Months Time Ago.”

On a year-over-year (YoY) basis, the Case-Shiller National home price index slowed to 6.77%. On a month-over-month (MoM) basis, the CS National index fell -0.54%. That is the 5th straight month of home price declines.

In REAL terms, the Case-Shiller National home price index is up only 0.58% YoY as REAL Weekly Earnings growth is negative at -3.1% YoY.

Only San Francisco fell on a YoY basis (down -1.6%). Five metro areas were above 10% and they are all in the South. Atlanta, Charlotte. Dallas, Miami and Tampa.

On MoM basis, every metro area in the Case-Shiller 20 index saw price declines from October to November.

Another sign of a crumbling market.

Fed Mission Accomplished? Fed Funds Target Rate Rises Above Inflation Rate As M2 Money Growth Sinks To -1.3% YoY (US Consumers Have Lost $4 Trillion In Real Disposable Income Under Biden)

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) is meeting on Wednesday. What will they do?

First, The Fed Funds Target (upper bound) is above the Core US inflation rate YoY. Second, M2 Money growth YoY has slowed to -1.3%.

Of course, the members of the FOMC might decide that this is not enough and may keep raising rates and shrinking The Fed’s enormous balance sheet.

In the “Haven’t they suffered enough?” arena, US real disposable income has fallen by -21% since Biden was sworn-in as President.

On the other hand, the Taylor Rule is still pointing to a target rate of 10% (we aren’t even half way there at 4.50%).

Oh and the price of insuring against a US debt default remains elevated (since Biden and Schumer are baving like arrogant bullies) and are refusing to negotitate over spending cuts.

The 1Y CDS volatility cube indicates that it will all be over soon.

7 Months Of Night! US GDP Real Disposable Income Fell For 7 Straight Months As Fed Removes Punchbowl (Biden’s Economy Lost $4 TRILLION In Real Disposable Income Since March 2021, A -21% Loss)

Welcome to the wonderful world of Bidenomics, giving the US 40 year highs in inflation leading The Federal Reserve to remove its enormous monetary stimulus (known as “The Punch Bowl.”

I previously pointed out that US Real GDP was actually less than 1% year-over-year (YoY) in 2022, hardly a fantastic number given the trillions in Biden/Pelosi/Schumer spending (Omnibus, Infrastructure, etc) and Powell/Fed’s whopping monetary stimulus in 2020. But real disposable income, the amount households have left to spend after adjusting for inflation, had been falling for 7 straight months.

In fact, REAL disposable personal income peaked in March 2021, shortly after Biden was sworn-in as President in Janaury 2021 at $19,213.9 billion (or $19.214 TRILLION). As of December 2022, real personal disposable income had fallen to $15,213.0 or $15.213 TRILLION. That is a loss of $4 TRILLION since March 2021. Or a -21% Loss in Real Disposable Income.

Here is the campaign video for Joe Biden from 2020.

Biden’s campaign photo.

The Core! Core PCE Deflator Declines To 4.4% YoY As M2 Money Stops Spinning At -1.3% YoY (Taylor Rule Estimate Now 10.0%)

There was a hilarious film with Hillary Swank and Aaron Ekhart called “The Core” where earth’s core stops spinning and the earth gets cooked by the Sun’s rediation. Now we learn that the Earth’s inne core has actually stop spinning. This time, however, all that has happened is that Joe Biden is President which is almost as bad,

But also related to “The Core” is that the important Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) are out for December along with PCE price deflator numbers. In short, personal income was up 0.2% month-over-month (MoM) in December while personal spending was down -0.2%. REAL personal spending was down -0.3% MoM.

But the all important PCE deflators numbers were down all well. The REAL PCE price index (or deflator) was down to 5.0% YoY in Decmember while REAL CORE price index was down to 4.40%. All this is happening as M2 Money growth has stop spinning (down to -1.3% YoY in December).

Based on a CORE PCE YoY of 4.40%, the Taylor Rules suggest that The Fed Fund Target rate should be … 10%. However, the current Fed Funds Target rate is only 4.50%, so The Fed is not even half way there.

Fed Funds Futures are pointing to a peak rate of 4.90% by the June ’23 FOMC meeting, then a pivot (despite denials from Fed talking heads).

Of course, The Fed doesn’t follow the Taylor Rule or any other transparent rule for rate management. Rather, Fed Chair Powell like former Chair (and current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen) follow a more seat-of-the-pants approach.

Sign Of The Times? Citi Economic Surprise Index Falls To -17.70 As US CDS (Default Insurance) And Fed Reverse Repos Remain Elevated

Its a sign of the times!

First, US default risk as measured by credit default swaps remains elevated (primarily because Biden and Democrats refused to cut wasteful spending or reign in non-retirees on Social Security). And NY Fed’s Reverse Repos remain elevated.

And then we have Citi’s economic surprise index for the US at -17 as The Fed slows money growth to 0%.

I wish I knew a place where inflation and insane Federal government spending and policies doesn’t exist.

The Thrill Is Gone! US Existing Home Sales Decline -34% Year-over-year For 17 Straight Months (Median Price Of EHS Falls -1.53% MoM)

The Thrill Is Gone from the US housing market as M2 Money growth fells to 0%.

US Existing Home Sales fell -1.5% from November to December (MoM) to 4.02 SAAR units sold. That translates to a depressing -34% decline since December 2021 (YoY).

On the positive side, these numbers are better than expected (-3.4% MoM expected). Still, these numbers are pretty dismal.

Existing home sales MEDIAN PRICE fell to $366.9k as M2 Money growth vanishes. And inventory of existing homes for sale remains lower than pre-Covid levels.

Let’s see what Powell and the Gang (aka, The Federal Reserve Board of Governors) does with interest rates going forward.

Today, the 10-year Treasury yield is up 7.1 basis points, but the real action is in Europe where sovereign yields are up 11.5 bps in France, 9.8 bps in Germany and 18.6 bps in Italy.

Markets Are Strange! Mortgage Applications Rise 27.9% Since Previous Week, But Purchase Applications Remain 35% Lower Than Last Year (Refi Apps 81% Lower Than Last Year)

Markets are strange.

Mortgage applications increased 27.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 13, 2023. But mortgage applications are 60% lower than the same week last year.

The Refinance Index increased 34 percent from the previous week and was 81 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 25 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 32 percent compared with the previous week and was 35 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

Here are the stats.

One lender in particular, Wells Fargo, smells blood in the economic waters, and has cut back mortgage originations.

Just remember, mortgage applications generally rise in the first part of the year until May, then start slowing until the last week of the year. This is called seasonality. But despite the fast growth this year, purchase applications are still down -35% compared to last year at this time.

Trouble In Potomac City! US Treasury 10Y-2Y Yield Curve Now Inverted For 135 Straight Days, Real Wage Growth Now Negative For 21 Straight Months

We got trouble in Potomac City! No, I’m not talking about the numerous Top Secret documents that Biden carelessly left in his garage in Delaware and the UPenn Biden Center. And they found more over the weekend. I’m talking about the US Treasury 10Y-2Y yield curve being inverted for 135 straight days. And thanks to inflation, REAL wage growth has been negative for 21 straight months.

All this is happening while M2 Money growth (green line) stalls to 0% YoY.

Swaps 5Y are rising as The Fed withdraws monetary stimulus.

Magic? US Inflation Cools To -0.1% In December, 6.5% Year-over-Year YoY (REAL Weekly Earnings NEGATIVE For The 21st Straight Month At -3.1% YoY)

I don’t think this is a record that Biden can run on for re-election: 21 straight months of NEGATIVE REAL WAGE GRWOTH. Fortunately for Fed Chair Jay Powell, he is not an elected official.

The December inflation report still shows elevated inflation in the US, but only -0.1% since November (MoM), but still high compared to last year (6.5% YoY). That is still over 3x The Fed’s target inflation rate of 2%.

While headline inflation fell to 0.1% MoM, CORE inflation (removing food and energy) rose again 0.3% MoM and 5.7% YoY.

What exactly went up in price in December? Food and energy were all over 10% YoY growth.

At 6.50% YoY headline inflation, the Taylor Rule suggests a Fed Funds Target rate of … 13.13%. Well, I guess that Powell will say there is more rate hikes to be done.

As if The Fed follows any sensible rule. Instead, The Fed relies on magic tricks.

Small Business Optimism Index Plunges Below 90 As Fed Tightens Money With M2 Money Growth YoY Hitting 0% (Baltic Dry Index Continues Downward Descent)

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index is plunging and just fell below 90. The index was above 100 before the Wuhan virus outbreak in 2020, but has only been at 100 or above for only two months under Biden. And the trend is definitely looking bleak as The Federal Reserve fights inflation with M2 Money growth having collapsed to 0% YoY growth.

And the Baltic Dry shipping index is falling with M2 Money growth YoY.

I wonder what Fed Chair Jerome Powell is thinking?