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Weekly Economic Summary For 27April2012: Expanding But Weak

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 declined for the second week in a row to 0.6 - after the previous twelve weeks of index improvement. This index continues to indicate the economy six months from today will be marginally better than today.

Initial unemployment claims essentially increased from 386,000 (reported last week) to 388,000 this week. 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 - rose from 374,750 (reported last week) to 381,750. 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, trucking, and CFNAI. Rail movements this week were good if one ignores coal. Both trucking and CFNAI were weak but clearly expanding.

Weekly Economic Release Scorecard:

1Q2012 GDP: Shows Soft Economy but Consumer Spending OK
Preliminary April Michigan Consumer Sentiment: Slight Improvement
March 2012 Pending Home Index Shows Strengthening Real Estate
March 2012 CFNAI Shows Economic Expansion Less Good
A Mortgage Turncoat Who is No Hero
Austerity: How is as Important as How Much
Another Ugly Data Release: Durable Goods March 2012
What is Kirchner Doing in Argentina?
Summary for Week Ending 23 April 2012
Will On-Line Higher Education Impact the Economy?
April 2012 Conference Board Consumer Confidence Little Changed
March 2012 New Home Sales Volume Trend Still Improving
February 2012 Case-Shiller Home Price Decline Less Badly
Wall Street 101 for Progressives, Academics and Career Politicians
The Market: Is It 30 Seconds to Midnight?
The U.S. Has a Low Corporate Tax
Boomtje en Bustje
President Obama Doesn't Understand Oil Markets
The Week Ahead: Will the Fed Disappoint the Markets?
States and Structural Unemployment
The five devastating storms in summer 2012 at the heart of the world geopolitical swing
Trefis: Week in Review 20 April 2012

Bankruptcies this Week: None

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.