Recession Alert! Philly Fed Crashes To -22.8 For April (Slippin’ Into Darkness)

The US economy is slippin’ into darkness.

The Philly Fed NBOS General Business Activity Region Diffusion Index SA crashed to -22.8 in April.

And today’s Fed Funds Futures data points to a return of The Bernanke/Yellen “Low Rider” policy for rate management.

Why can’t the corporate media, AOC and Tucker Carlson be friends?

Slow Down! ADP Jobs Added Slows To 106k In January, Lowest Since August 2021

The US economy is slowing down. In fact, ADP jobs added just printed at 106k in January, the lowest reading since August 2021. ADP jobs added follows the slow down of M2 Money growth YoY as The Fed tightens its monetary policy.

Do I detect a trend (orange line)?

Speaking of trends, check out ISM Manufacturing New Orders. Lowest since Great Recession of 2008 (if I exclude the government economic shutdown Covid recession).

I doubt that January’s ADP report or the ISM Manufacturing report will be mentioned in Biden’s State of the Union address.

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.

Debt-Limit Fight Risks Early End to Fed Quantitative Tightening (Fed Had Penciled In Shrinking Its Bond Portfolio Into 2024)

While the children in Congress and the Administration argue about cutting the Fedcral budget (as if there isn’t trillions of dollars of wasteful spending in the budget), we saw an even dumber suggestion from Pramila Jayapal (WA-D), Adam (Shifty) Schiff (CA-D) and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-D): a bill to eliminate the debt ceiling altogether to allow unlimited Federal spending. That reminds me of the Tom Arnold/Julie Ford film “The Stupids.” Yet these clowns keep getting re-elected.

In any case, The Federal Reserve’s quantitative-tightening program risks being propelled toward an early end as US politicians bicker in Washington over raising the national debt limit, according to some economists and bond-market participants. As of this morning, the US credit default swap (1-year CDS) remains elevated signaling a positive probability of a US debt default. (CDS represents the price of insuring against a default).

But notice that The Fed still has $8.5 TRILLION in assets (largely Treasuries and Agency MBS) on their balance sheet. But The Fed’s plans to continue shrinking their balance sheet will be put on hold (and if fact will be reversed) if Democrats and President (10% for the big guy) Biden don’t budget on cutting some of the enormous fat from the Federal budget.

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.

Turkey Prices UP 73% Since Last Year As Biden Takes Credit For Biggest Deficit Reductions In US History (Economy NOT “Strong As Hell!”, But Rapidly Approaching Recession)

Like virtually everything in Biden’s economy, the price of turkey (often the main staple for Thanksgiving dinner) is way up in price. Turkey prices are UP 73% since last year. The price per pound of an 8- to 16-pound turkey has risen to $1.99, a 73% increase from $1.15 last year, according to USDA data.

Speaking of turkeys, in recent speeches, President Joe Biden has been misleadingly taking credit for cutting federal deficits by historic amounts, though most of the reduction in deficits is the result of expiring emergency pandemic spending. Deficits fell between fiscal year 2020 and 2021 far less than initially projected after Biden added to them with more emergency pandemic and infrastructure spending.

And apparently Biden (or Jill) haven’t looked at the data recently. While there was a momentary budget surplus in April 2022, the Federal budget deficit has increased dramatically in September 2022 to the worst deficit since March 2021 shortly after Biden took office.

The only thing that is strong under Biden is the labor market. But even the accomplishment is grossly misleading. Under Trump, the U-3 unemployment rate was 3.5% in February 2020 just before Covid-13 struck and the Fauci-ites shut down the economy causing unemployment to rise to 14.7% in April 2020. Most of the reduction in the unemployment rate was the result of the economy slowly opening back up under Trump. When Biden took over, the unemployment rate was 6.4% and it is finally back to Trump’s 3.5% in September 2022. At least Biden didn’t screw that up, as Obama has said. Perhaps that should be his new midterm campaign slogan!

But Biden DID screw up the labor market with Bidenflation. REAL average hourly earnings growth (yellow line) is NEGATIVE..

And yes, the US is rapidly approaching recession which will result in a spike in unemployment. So much for Biden’s “Strong as hell!” economy.

Two turkeys taking a stroll, but I would rather listen to the shorter turkey. At least the speeches would be coherent.