Monday, October 23, 2017

Updates Of Economic Indicators October 2017

Here is an update of various indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity. These indicators have been discussed in previous blog posts:
The October 2017 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of October 23, 2017:
The CFNAI, with current reading of .17:
CFNAI_10-23-17 .17
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, October 23, 2017;
The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of -.16:
CFNAI-MA3_10-23-17 -.16
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, October 23, 2017;
As of October 20, 2017 (incorporating data through October 20, 2017) the WLI was at 146.6 and the WLI, Gr. was at 2.3%.
A chart of the WLI,Gr., from Doug Short’s ECRI update post of October 20, 2017:
ECRI WLI,Gr.
Here is the latest chart, depicting the ADS Index from December 31, 2007 through October 14, 2017:
ADS Index
The Conference Board Leading (LEI), Coincident (CEI) Economic Indexes, and Lagging Economic Indicator (LAG):
As per the October 19, 2017 press release, titled “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. Declined in September” (pdf) the LEI was at 128.6, the CEI was at 115.7, and the LAG was 125.2 in September.
An excerpt from the release:
“The US LEI declined slightly in September for the first time in the last twelve months, partly a result of the temporary impact of the recent hurricanes,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The source of weakness was concentrated in labor markets and residential construction, while the majority of the LEI components continued to contribute positively. Despite September’s decline, the trend in the US LEI remains consistent with continuing solid growth in the US economy for the second half of the year.”
Here is a chart of the LEI from Doug Short’s Conference Board Leading Economic Index update of October 19, 2017:
Conference Board Leading Economic Index
_________
I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.
_____
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2574.30 as this post is written

The U.S. Economic Situation – October 23, 2017 Update

Perhaps the main reason that I write of our economic situation is that I continue to believe, based upon various analyses, that our economic situation is in many ways misunderstood.  While no one likes to contemplate a future rife with economic adversity, current and future economic problems must be properly recognized and rectified if high-quality, sustainable long-term economic vitality is to be realized.
There are an array of indications and other “warning signs” – many readily apparent – that current economic activity and financial market performance is accompanied by exceedingly perilous dynamics.
I have written extensively about this peril, including in the following:
Building Financial Danger” (ongoing updates)
My analyses continues to indicate that the growing level of financial danger will lead to the next stock market crash that will also involve (as seen in 2008) various other markets as well.  Key attributes of this next crash is its outsized magnitude (when viewed from an ultra-long term historical perspective) and the resulting economic impact.  This next financial crash is of tremendous concern, as my analyses indicate it will lead to a Super Depression – i.e. an economy characterized by deeply embedded, highly complex, and difficult-to-solve problems.
For long-term reference purposes, here is a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1900, depicted on a monthly basis using a LOG scale (updated through October 20, 2017, with a last value of 23328.63):
(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)
DJIA from 1900
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2575.21 as this post is written

Money Supply Charts Through September 2017

For reference purposes, below are two sets of charts depicting growth in the money supply.
The first shows the MZM (Money Zero Maturity), defined in FRED as the following:
M2 less small-denomination time deposits plus institutional money funds.
Money Zero Maturity is calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Here is the “MZM Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on October 20, 2017 depicting data through September 2017, with a value of $15,112.8 Billion:
MZMSL
Here is the “MZM Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 4.4%:
MZMSL Percent Change From Year Ago
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed October 23, 2017:
The second set shows M2, defined in FRED as the following:
M2 includes a broader set of financial assets held principally by households. M2 consists of M1 plus: (1) savings deposits (which include money market deposit accounts, or MMDAs); (2) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000); and (3) balances in retail money market mutual funds (MMMFs). Seasonally adjusted M2 is computed by summing savings deposits, small-denomination time deposits, and retail MMMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1.
Here is the “M2 Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on October 19, 2017, depicting data through September 2017, with a value of $13,701.2 Billion:
M2SL
Here is the “M2 Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 5.1%:
M2SL Percent Change From Year Ago
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed October 23, 2017:
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2575.21 as this post is written

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the October 12, 2017 update (reflecting data through October 6, 2017) is -1.540.
Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.
Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).
Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:
The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.
The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.
For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:
Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.
The NFCI chart below was last updated on October 18, 2017 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through October 13, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The October 13, 2017 value is -.89:
NFCI_10-18-17 -.89
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed October 18, 2017:
The ANFCI chart below was last updated on October 18, 2017 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through October 13, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The October 13 value is -.67:
ANFCI_10-18-17 -.67
Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed October 18, 2017:
_________
I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.
_____
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2562.56 as this post is written

Trends Of S&P500 Earnings Forecasts

S&P500 earnings trends and estimates are a notably important topic, for a variety of reasons, at this point in time.
FactSet publishes a report titled “Earnings Insight” that contains a variety of information including the trends and expectations of S&P500 earnings.
For reference purposes, here are two charts as seen in the “Earnings Insight” (pdf) report of October 13, 2017:
from page 24:
(click on charts to enlarge images)
S&P500 EPS forecasts 2017 & 2018
from page 25:
S&P500 actual and expected EPS
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I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.
_____
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2561.70 as this post is written

S&P500 EPS Forecasts 2017, 2018, 2019

As many are aware, Thomson Reuters publishes earnings estimates for the S&P500.  (My other posts concerning S&P earnings estimates can be found under the S&P500 Earnings label)
The following estimates are from Exhibit 23 of the “S&P500 Earnings Scorecard” (pdf) of October 17, 2017, and represent an aggregation of individual S&P500 component “bottom up” analyst forecasts.  For reference, the Year 2014 value is $118.78/share, the Year 2015 value is $117.46, and the Year 2016 value is $118.10/share:
Year 2017 estimate:
$130.53/share
Year 2018 estimate:
$145.67/share
Year 2019 estimate:
$159.20/share
_____
I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.
_____
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2560.42 as this post is written

Standard & Poor’s S&P500 Earnings Estimates For 2017 And 2018 – As Of October 5, 2017

As many are aware, Standard & Poor’s publishes earnings estimates for the S&P500.  (My posts concerning their estimates can be found under the S&P500 Earnings label)
For reference purposes, the most current estimates are reflected below, and are as of October 5, 2017:
Year 2017 estimates add to the following:
-From a “bottom up” perspective, operating earnings of $127.08/share
-From a “top down” perspective, operating earnings of N/A
-From a “bottom up” perspective, “as reported” earnings of $116.50/share
Year 2018 estimates add to the following:
-From a “bottom up” perspective, operating earnings of $144.71/share
-From a “top down” perspective, operating earnings of N/A
-From a “bottom up” perspective, “as reported” earnings of $134.12/share
_____
I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.
_____
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2559.36 as this post is written

Monday, October 16, 2017

Disturbing Charts (Update 28)

I find the following charts to be disturbing.   These charts would be disturbing at any point in the economic cycle; that they (on average) depict such a tenuous situation now – 100 months after the official (as per the September 20, 2010 NBER BCDC announcement) June 2009 end of the recession – is especially notable.
These charts raise a lot of questions.  As well, they highlight the “atypical” nature of our economic situation from a long-term historical perspective.
All of these charts are from the Federal Reserve, and represent the most recently updated data.
(click on charts to enlarge images)
Housing starts (last updated 9-19-17):
Housing Starts
US. Bureau of the Census, Housing Starts: Total: New Privately Owned Housing Units Started [HOUST], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/HOUST/, October 14, 2017.
The Federal Deficit (last updated 8-8-17):
Federal Deficit
US. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Surplus or Deficit [-] [FYFSD], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYFSD/, October 14, 2017.
Federal Net Outlays (last updated 8-8-17):
Federal Net Outlays
US. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Net Outlays [FYONET], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYONET/, October 14, 2017.
State & Local Personal Income Tax Receipts (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 7-28-17):
State & Local Personal Income Tax Receipts Percent Change From Year Ago
US. Bureau of Economic Analysis, State and local government current tax receipts: Personal current taxes: Income taxes [ASLPITAX], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ASLPITAX/, October 14, 2017.
Total Loans and Leases of Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 10-13-17):
Total Loans and Leases of Commercial Banks % Change from Year Ago
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Loans and Leases in Bank Credit, All Commercial Banks [TOTLL], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTLL/, October 14, 2017.
Bank Credit – All Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 10-13-17):
Bank Credit – All Commercial Banks % Change from Year Ago
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Bank Credit of All Commercial Banks [TOTBKCR], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTBKCR/, October 14, 2017.
M1 Money Multiplier (last updated 10-5-17):
M1 Money Multiplier
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, M1 Money Multiplier [MULT], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MULT/, October 14, 2017.
Median Duration of Unemployment (last updated 10-6-17):
Median Duration Of Unemployment
US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED/, October 14, 2017.
Labor Force Participation Rate (last updated 10-6-17):
Labor Force Participation Rate
US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate [CIVPART], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CIVPART/, October 14, 2017.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3)(last updated 9-25-17):
CFNAIMA3 -.04
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CFNAIMA3/, October 14, 2017.
I will continue to update these charts on an intermittent basis as they deserve close monitoring…
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2553.17 as this post is written