Wednesday, August 23, 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 August 17, 2017 update (reflecting data through August 11, 2017) is -1.507.

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: 
http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm
Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on August 23, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through August 18, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The August 18, 2017 value is -.88:

NFCI 8-23-17

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 23, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI



The ANFCI chart below was last updated on August 23, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through August 18, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The August 18 value is -.18:

ANFCI 8-23-17

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 23, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

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 2448.70 as this post is written

Money Supply Charts Through July 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 August 18, 2017 depicting data through July 2017, with a value of $14,968.0 Billion:

MZMSL

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 4.5%:

MZMSL Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 23, 2017:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MZMSL

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 August 17, 2017, depicting data through July 2017, with a value of $13,602.2 Billion:

M2SL

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 5.6%:

M2SL Percent Change From A Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 23, 2017:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M2SL

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2452.51 as this post is written

The U.S. Economic Situation – August 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)

A Special Note On Our Economic Situation

Forewarning Pronounced Economic Weakness

Thoughts Concerning The Next Financial Crisis

Was A Depression Successfully Avoided?

Has the Financial System Strengthened Since the Financial Crisis?

The Next Crash And Its Significance

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 August 18, 2017, with a last value of 21674.51):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)

DJIA since 1900

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2452.51 as this post is written

Monday, August 21, 2017

Zillow Q3 2017 Home Price Expectations Survey – Summary & Comments

On August 21, 2017, the Zillow Q3 2017 Home Price Expectations Survey results were released.  This survey is done on a quarterly basis.

An excerpt from the press release:
The panelists expect a future recession to have a moderate impact on the U.S. housing market overall, but some markets are more at risk than others. More than 60 percent of experts say the next recession will have a major impact on the San Francisco and Miami housing markets, and at least half predict a major impact in Los Angeles and New York as well.


Various Q3 2017 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey charts are available, including that seen below:

U.S. Home Price Expectations chart

As one can see from the above chart, the average expectation is that the residential real estate market, as depicted by the U.S. Zillow Home Value Index, will continually climb.

The detail of the Q3 2017 Home Price Expectations Survey (pdf) is interesting.  Of the 100+ survey respondents, only five (of the displayed responses) forecasts a cumulative price decrease through 2021, and only one of those forecasts is for a double-digit percentage decline.  That forecast is from Mark Hanson, who foresees a 24.47% cumulative price decrease through 2021.

The Median Cumulative Home Price Appreciation for years 2017-2021 is seen as 5.00%, 9.22%, 13.01%, 16.22%, and 19.33%, respectively.

For a variety of reasons, I continue to believe that even the most “bearish” of these forecasts (as seen in Mark Hanson’s above-referenced forecast) will prove too optimistic in hindsight.  From a longer-term historical perspective, such a decline is very mild in light of the wild excesses that occurred over the “bubble” years.

I have written extensively about the residential real estate situation.  For a variety of reasons, it is exceedingly complex.  While many people continue to have an optimistic view regarding future residential real estate prices, in my opinion such a view is unsupported on an “all things considered” basis.  Furthermore, from these price levels there exists outsized potential for a price decline of severe magnitude, unfortunately.  I discussed this downside, based upon historical price activity, in the October 24, 2010 post titled “What’s Ahead For The Housing Market – A Look At The Charts.”

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2425.73 as this post is written

Updates Of Economic Indicators August 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 August 2017 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of August 21, 2017:

The CFNAI, with current reading of -.01:

CFNAI 8-1-17

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, August 21, 2017;

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAI

The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of -.05:

CFNAI-MA3_8-21-17 -.05

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, August 21, 2017;

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAIMA3



The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of August 18, 2017 (incorporating data through August 11, 2017) the WLI was at 144.5 and the WLI, Gr. was at 2.5%.

A chart of the WLI,Gr., from Doug Short’s ECRI update post of August 18, 2017:

ECRI WLI,Gr.



The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions (ADS) Index:

Here is the latest chart, depicting the ADS Index from December 31, 2007 through August 12, 2017:

ADS Index



The Conference Board Leading (LEI), Coincident (CEI) Economic Indexes, and Lagging Economic Indicator (LAG):

As per the August 17, 2017 press release, titled “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in July” (pdf) the LEI was at 128.3, the CEI was at 115.7, and the LAG was 124.8 in July.

An excerpt from the release:
“The U.S. LEI improved in July, suggesting the U.S. economy may experience further improvements in economic activity in the second half of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The large negative contribution from housing permits, a reversal from June, was more than offset by gains in the financial indicators, new orders and sentiment.”
Here is a chart of the LEI from Doug Short’s Conference Board Leading Economic Index update of August 17, 2017:

Conference Board LEI

_________

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 2426.01 as this post is written

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Taylor Rule" Chart - August 11, 2017 Update

On January 9, 2017 I wrote a post ("Low Interest Rates And The Formation Of Asset Bubbles") that mentioned the "Taylor Rule."  As discussed in that post - and for other reasons - the level of the Fed Funds rate - and whether its level is appropriate - has vast importantance and far-reaching consequences with regard to many aspects of the economy and financial system.

For reference, below is an updated chart depicting the "Taylor Rule" prescription and the actual Fed Funds rate, provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, updated as of August 11, 2017:

Taylor Rule prescription


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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2435.14 as this post is written

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Broad-Based Indicators Of Economic Activity

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) and the Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index (ADS Index) are two broad-based economic indicators that I regularly feature in this site.

The short-term and long-term trends of each continue to be notable.

Doug Short, in his blog post of August 17, 2017, titled “The Philly Fed ADS Index Business Conditions Index Update” displays both the CFNAI MA-3 (3-month Moving Average) and ADS Index (91-Day Moving Average) from a variety of perspectives.

Of particular note, two of the charts, shown below, denote where the current levels of each reading is relative to the beginning of past recessionary periods, as depicted by the red dots.

The CFNAI MA-3:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

CFNAI-MA3



The ADS Index, 91-Day MA:

ADS Index 91-Day Moving Average



Also shown in the Doug Short’s aforementioned post is a chart of each with a long-term trendline (linear regression) as well as a chart depicting GDP for comparison purposes.

_________

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 2439.32 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 August 11, 2017:

from page 23:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

S&P500 EPS projections CY2017 and CY2018



from page 24:

S&P500 Annual EPS Actual And Forecast

_____

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 2442.86 as this post is written