The not-so-good news? A large diverengence between the Establishment survey and Household survey. +339k versus -310k. What’s it going to be?
The bad news? While US average hourly earnings YoY cooled to 4.3%, inflation is still roaring at 4.9% (headline) and 5.5% (core). So Americans are still losing ground to inflation.
The unemployment rate rose to 3.7% in May while the underemployment rate rose to 6.7%.
With unemployment rising to 3.7%, the Taylor Rule implies a Fed Funds Target rate of 10.12%. We are currently at 5.25%. Or just a little over halfway there. But The Fed is talking a pause in rate hikes.
Remember when former Fed Chair and current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that inflation was transitory? As usual, Yellen was wrong. Look at April’s new home sales. Up 4.1% since March even through M2 Money growth has collapsed.
The Taylor Rule, based on Core CPI of 5.25% (persistent, not transitory inflation Janet) suggest a Fed target rate of 11.78%. The Fed is at 5.25% and likely to pause rate hikes and maybe even lower rates again.
So, everyone keeps talking about the debt ceiling and the fact that America is about to run out of money. How did we just find $375 million dollars AGAIN to ship on over to Zelenskyy?
Biden and McCarthy met on the debt ceiling and nothing has been resolved. They both represent the BIG donor class and big Pharma, big defense, big tech, big media, big tech, anything that is big runs Congress and the Administration. So of course they will finally agree to raise the debt ceiling and continue their insane spending on the donor class.
As of right now, there is no deal to raise the debt limit. Biden wants to raise the already insane and irresponsible Federal budget. McCarthy wants no new taxes. Who will cave in this game of chicken? My guess is that McCarthy will cave. Biden may whip out the 14th Amendment to bypass McCarthy and Congress, but this makes Biden a dictator (which would suit him fine, but would be a horrible precedent).
Core Inflation Rate UP 244% under Biden, Food UP 46%, Gasoline Prices UP 60%, Rental Growth UP 268%. What a disaster under Biden’s Reign of Error.
But at least the Biden family are getting wealthy beyond comprehension. Isn’t that Ashley Biden in the blue?
But that is where we are in the US. A President who acts like a spoiled 12 year old bully, members of Congress like Cori Bush and AOC who think The Fed can just print trillions MORE and give it to preferred groups. Senator Diane Feinstein (soon to be replaced by a horrible human being in the person of Adam Schiff). John Fetterman, the next Bernie Sanders?? C’mon DC. A true ship of fools. And dangerous ones at that.
So since September 26, 2022, we have seen a fundametal shift in markets. The US Dollar is down -21% since September 26, 2022 while Bitcoin is up 41%, Gold is up 21% and Silver is up 28%.
Biden is sitting pretty, If McCarthy chickens out and agrees to Biden’s outrageous budget, Biden looks like a hero. If Biden defaults, the MSM media will blame McCarthy and Republicans, so Biden wins. No wonder Biden said he isn’t worried about the debt ceiling negotations. He wins no matter what, And we the 99% get screwed.
Reminder, the US already has $32 TRILLION in debt and politicians have promised $188 TRILLION in entitlement spending. yet we are sending billions to Ukraine, etc. Yet Biden is visiting Japan (hide your little girls, Hiroshima!) and Biden/Congress still haven’t solved the debt limit crisis and Biden’s insane budget yet. Meanwhile, Americans are suffering from Biden’s inflation (aka, Bidenflation) and bad economic policies.
As many as 89.1 million American adults (or about 38.5%) were found to experience some form of difficulty in covering expenses between April 26 and May 8, according to Bloomberg, citing new data from the Household Pulse Survey. This is up from 34.4% in 2022 and 26.7% during the same period in 2021.
The rising trend is alarming but not surprising. Consumers have been battered by two years of negative real wage growth.
As wages fail to outpace the cost of living, many consumers have burned through savings and resorted to credit cards. The latest revolving credit data shows consumers appear to be ‘strong,’ but that’s only because they use their plastic cards more than ever to survive.
The Household Pulse Survey found struggling households were primarily based across West Coast and the South.
Compared with the same period last year, the survey found 2.7 million more households were relying on credit cards to cover expenses.
Consumers have record card debt and ultra-low savings rates and are paying some of the highest borrowing costs in a generation (the average interest rate on cards now exceeds 20%). This debt is becoming insurmountable for some as delinquencies rise.
More bad news about the economy and housing sector under Biden/Yellen/Powell’s Reign of Economic Error.
US housing starts are out for April 2023. The bad news? Housing starts tanked -22.3% year-over-year (YoY).
The good news? US housing starts were up 2.19% from March to April. 1-unit detached starts were up 1.56% MoM while 5+ unit starts up 5.24% MoM. Permits for multifamily were down -9.71% from March to April.
The media will no doubt try to ignore the horrifying Durham Report. The report showed that Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration knowingly smeared Presidential candidate Donald Trump with false Russian misinformation and knowingly tried to steal an election. I wonder if Attorney General Merrick Garland will open an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s involvement in election tampering? Oh wait, the IRS was told to stop investigating Hunter Biden’s nefarious dealings. Never mind.
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.
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