Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's The Economy Stupid: Oh Good Lord!

Oh Good Lord! There’s a ton of economic stuff being released today.


Jobless Claims, Empire Manufacturing, CPI, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization, Manufacturing Production, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, NAHB Housing Market Index, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, Lady Gaga’s Next Hair Color…


The markets were down yesterday and the futures are down this morning.  Not looking like a good opening for the markets.



Claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly dropped last week to the lowest level in almost six years, signaling the U.S. job market continues to mend.  There are fewer workers being fired, there just isn’t yet more workers being hired.


The number of applications for unemployment insurance payments declined by 15,000 to 320,000 in the week ended Aug. 10, the fewest since October 2007, from a revised 335,000. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 335,000. There was nothing unusual in the data and no states were estimated, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data was released to the press.


NOW, the real question is whether or not the slowdown in firings is a precursor to a pickup in hiring, which would bolster household incomes and spending.  Fewer dismissals are also helping boost consumer confidence as growth in the world’s largest economy shows signs of picking up in the second half of 2013.


CPI Year Over Year was up to 2.0%, Ex Food & Energy Year Over Year up 1.7%.  That ain’t a whole lot of inflation.  I realize that there is a segment that criticizes how the government measures CPI, and I get your objections.  However, inflation just ain’t our problem right now.


John Broussard

Assistant State Treasurer

Chief Investment Officer

State of Louisiana

Department of the Treasury



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