Other Economic News this Week:
The Econintersect economic forecast for April 2012 shows a less good growth. There has been a degradation in our government and finished goods pulse points.
ECRI has called a recession. Their data looks ahead at least 6 months and the bottom line for them is that a recession is a certainty. The size and depth is unknown but the recession start has been revised to hit around mid-year 2012.
This week ECRI's WLI index value improved to 1.0 - the best index value since August 2011. This is the eleventh week of index improvement. This index is now indicating the economy six months from today will be marginally better than today.
Initial unemployment claims essentially fell from 363,000 to 357,000 - a number last seen in April 2008. Historically, claims exceeding 400,000 per week usually occur when employment gains are less than the workforce growth, resulting in an increasing unemployment rate (background here and here). The real gauge - the 4 week moving average - fell from 366,000 to 361,750. Because of the noise (week-to-week movements from abnormal events AND the backward revisions to previous weeks releases), the 4-week average remains the reliable gauge.
Data released this week which contained economically intuitive components (forward looking) were rail movements, jobs and ISM. Although overall rail is contracting year-over-year, economic related components are weakly improving. The ISM survey was less good this month, but remains clearly in expansion territory. The economic correlated components of transport employment and temp help degraded this month but also remain clearly in expansion territory.
Weekly Economic Release Scorecard:
March BLS Jobs: Disappoint Most, But better than it seems
Shortage of Apartments Will Not Create a Building Boom
Top-10 American Misconceptions about America
Gold - This Is Not A Good Day To Jump Back In
Autopsy: March 2012 Ceridan-UCLA Index Shows Economy In Recession
A Primer on Minsky
Canada: A Tale of Two Monetary Systems
March 2012 ISM Services Index Down, Has Bipolar Tendencies
March 2012 ADP Jobs Grow 209K, Indicates Economic Growth Rate Stalling
Can You Outrun a Global Flash Crash?
ISM in Wonderland (Media Reporting) vs. Reality
The Government Should Own the Banks
February 2012 Manufacturing Massively Improves
Federal Reserve: Can We Run Out of Money?
Has Gold Lost Its Way?
Liquidity Approaching Inflection Point
The Economist Puts Up (and Raises)
ISM Manufacturing March 2012 Is Not Rosy
February 2012 Construction Spending Is Up, Not Down
The Week Ahead: Concentrating on Jobs Growth
Durable Goods Correlate to Stock Market, But the Fed is the Real Reason for the Rally
Michael Pettis to The Economist: Put Up or Shut Up
Obamacare: Will Insurance Pooling Lower Consumer Costs?
Chinese Power Play? - These Stocks Should Go Higher
Two Views of Money: Keen and Krugman
Debt, Investments, and Dangerous Addictions: A Tale of Four Countries
Trefis: Week in Review 31 March 2012
April 2012 Economic Forecast: The Roller Coaster Continues
Bankruptcy this Week: WorldGate Communications, Pinnacle Airlines, AFA Investment
Failed Banks this Week: None
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.