Thursday, July 20, 2017

Money Supply Charts Through June 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 July 14, 2017 depicting data through June 2017, with a value of $14,908.6 Billion:

MZM money supply

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 4.6%:

MZM percent change from year ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 20, 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 July 13, 2017, depicting data through June 2017, with a value of $13,519.3 Billion:

M2 money supply

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 5.5%:

M2 money supply

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 20, 2017:

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

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2475.70 as this post is written

Wednesday, July 19, 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 July 13, 2017 update (reflecting data through July 7, 2017) is -1.475.

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 July 19, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through July 14, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The July 14, 2017 value is -.90:

NFCI_7-19-17

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 19, 2017:

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


The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 19, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through July 14, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The July 14 value is -.20:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 19, 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 2473.83 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 July 14, 2017:

from page 23:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

2017 & 2018 S&P500 EPS estimates



from page 24:

S&P500 EPS trends

_____

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 2460.61 as this post is written

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

S&P500 EPS Annual Forecasts 2017–2019

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 20 of the “S&P500 Earnings Scorecard” (pdf) of July 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:

$131.31/share

Year 2018 estimate:

$146.82/share

Year 2019 estimate:

$160.47/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 2459.14 as this post is written

Monday, July 17, 2017

Standard & Poor’s S&P500 Earnings Estimates For 2017 And 2018 – As Of July 13, 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 July 13, 2017:

Year 2017 estimates add to the following:

-From a “bottom up” perspective, operating earnings of $127.99/share
-From a “top down” perspective, operating earnings of N/A
-From a “bottom up” perspective, “as reported” earnings of $117.93/share

Year 2018 estimates add to the following:

-From a “bottom up” perspective, operating earnings of $145.56/share
-From a “top down” perspective, operating earnings of N/A
-From a “bottom up” perspective, “as reported” earnings of $133.37/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 2459.27 as this post is written

Friday, July 14, 2017

Long-Term Charts Of The ECRI WLI & ECRI WLI, Gr. – July 14, 2017 Update

As I stated in my July 12, 2010 post (“ECRI WLI Growth History“):
For a variety of reasons, I am not as enamored with ECRI’s WLI and WLI Growth measures as many are. 
However, I do think the measures are important and deserve close monitoring and scrutiny.
Below are three long-term charts, from Doug Short’s ECRI update post of July 14, 2017 titled “ECRI Weekly Leading Index…”  These charts are on a weekly basis through the July 14, 2017 release, indicating data through July 7, 2017.

Here is the ECRI WLI (defined at ECRI’s glossary):

ECRI WLI



This next chart depicts, on a long-term basis, the Year-over-Year change in the 4-week moving average of the WLI:





This last chart depicts, on a long-term basis, the WLI, Gr.:

ECRI WLI,Gr.

_________

I post various economic 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 2459.27 as this post is written

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The July 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The July 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on July 13, 2017.  The headline is “Forecasters Lower Economic Outlook Amid Congressional Gridlock.”

I found numerous items to be notable – although I don’t necessarily agree with them – both within the article and in the “Economist Q&A” section.

Two excerpts:
Forecasters in The Wall Street Journal’s monthly survey of economists marked down their outlooks for growth, inflation and interest rates this month, a partial reversal of a postelection bump.
also:
Forecasters assess whether they think the economy is more likely to outperform or underperform their forecasts. The number of economists seeing those risks to the downside climbed to 57% in this month’s survey, the highest since before the election. That’s up from 51% last month and 37% just two months ago.
As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 14.78%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 33%.  For reference, the average response in June's survey was 15.80%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 63 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey occurred on July 7, 2017 to July 11, 2017.



The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2017:  2.3%

full-year 2018:  2.4%

full-year 2019:  1.9%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2017: 4.3%

December 2018: 4.1%

December 2019: 4.3%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2017: 2.65%

December 2018: 3.12%

December 2019: 3.39%

CPI:

December 2017:  1.8%

December 2018:  2.3%

December 2019:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2017: $47.45

for 12/31/2018: $51.16

for 12/31/2019: $51.99

(note: I highlight this WSJ Economic Forecast survey each month; commentary on past surveys can be found under the “Economic Forecasts” label)
_____

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 necessarily 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 2448.24 as post is written

Disturbing Charts (Update 27)

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 – 97 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 6-19-17):

HOUST

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/, July 12, 2017.



The Federal Deficit (last updated 1-9-17):

FYFSD

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/, July 12, 2017.



Federal Net Outlays (last updated 1-9-17):

FYONET

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/, July 12, 2017.



State & Local Personal Income Tax Receipts  (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 3-30-17):

ASLPITAX 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/, July 12, 2017.



Total Loans and Leases of Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 7-7-17):

TOTLL Percent 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/, July 12, 2017.



Bank Credit – All Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated 7-7-17):

TOTBKCR Percent 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/, July 12, 2017.



M1 Money Multiplier (last updated 6-29-17):

MULT

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/, July 12, 2017.



Median Duration of Unemployment (last updated 7-7-17):

UEMPMED

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/, July 12, 2017.



Labor Force Participation Rate (last updated 7-7-17):

CIVPART

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/, July 12, 2017.



The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3)(last updated 6-26-17):

CFNAIMA3

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/, July 12, 2017.



I will continue to update these charts on an intermittent basis as they deserve close monitoring…

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2443.25 as this post is written

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Markets During Periods Of Federal Reserve Intervention – July 12, 2017 Update

In the August 9, 2011 post (“QE3 – Various Thoughts“) I posted a chart that depicted the movements of the S&P500, 10-Year Treasury Yield and the Fed Funds rate spanning the periods of various Federal Reserve interventions since 2007.

For reference purposes, here is an updated chart (through July 11, 2017) from Doug Short’s blog post of July 12 (“Treasury Yields:  A Long-Term Perspective“):

The SandP500 and Federal Reserve Intervention

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2443.25 as this post is written

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 July 6, 2017 update (reflecting data through June 30, 2017) is -1.505.

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 July 12, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through July 7, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The July 7, 2017 value is -.88:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 12, 2017:

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



The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 12, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through July 7, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The July 7 value is -.24:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 12, 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 2441.28 as this post is written

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CEO Confidence Surveys 2Q 2017 – Notable Excerpts

On July 6, 2017, The Conference Board released the 2nd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.  The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 61, down from 68 in the first quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this July 6 Press Release include:
CEOs’ appraisal of current economic conditions waned, with 60 percent saying conditions were better compared to six months ago, down from 71 percent in the first quarter. Business leaders were also less positive in their appraisal of current conditions in their own industries. Now, just 47 percent say conditions in their own industries have improved, down from 60 percent last quarter.
Looking ahead, CEOs’ optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy moderated due to a greater percentage expressing a “more of the same” sentiment as opposed to foreseeing conditions worsening. Currently, 41 percent expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to approximately 65 percent last quarter. The outlook for their own industries was also less favorable, with 48 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement over the next six months, down from 67 percent in the first quarter of this year.
The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 2nd Quarter of 2017.   Notable excerpts from the June 6, 2017 release, titled “Survey:  America's Business Leaders Maintaining Confidence in U.S. Economy“:
The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO
plans for capital spending and hiring and projections for sales over the next six months — reached its highest level in three years, since the second quarter of 2014 (95.4). The Index stood at 93.9 in the second quarter of 2017, up from 93.3 in the first quarter. For the second quarter in a row, the Index stands well above its historical average of 80.0.
CEO plans for capital investment rose by 4.6 points from the last quarter, while
expectations for sales stayed steady, increasing by 0.5 point. Plans for hiring for the next
six months dropped a modest 3.3 points.
CEOs project 2.0 percent GDP growth in 2017, down two-tenths from their projection for 2017 made in March.
_____

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 necessarily 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 2427.43 as this post is written

Friday, July 7, 2017

Average Hourly Earnings Trends

I have written many blog posts concerning the worrisome trends in income and earnings.

Along these lines, one of the measures showing disconcerting trends is that of hourly earnings.

While the concept of hourly earnings can be defined and measured in a variety of ways, below are a few charts that I believe broadly illustrate problematic trends.

The first chart depicts Average Hourly Earnings Of All Employees: Total Private (FRED series CES0500000003)(current value = $26.25):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 7-7-17)

CES0500000003

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of All Employees:  Total Private [CES0500000003] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed July 7, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CES0500000003



This next chart depicts this same measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 7-7-17)

CES0500000003 Percent Change From Year Ago



There are slightly different measures available from a longer-term perspective. Pictured below is another measure, the Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees – Total Private (FRED series AHETPI)(current value = $22.03):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 7-7-17)

AHETPI_7-7-17 22.03

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees:  Total Private [AHETPI] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics;  accessed July 7, 2017:

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



Pictured below is this AHETPI measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 7-7-17)

AHETPI_7-7-17 2.3 Percent Change From Year Ago



I will continue to actively monitor these trends, especially given the post-2009 dynamics.

_________

I post various economic 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 2423.53 this post is written

U-3 And U-6 Unemployment Rate Long-Term Reference Charts As Of July 7, 2017

Shortly after each monthly employment report I have been posting a continual series titled “3 Critical Unemployment Charts.”

Of course, there are many other employment charts that can be displayed as well.

For reference purposes, below are the U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rate charts from a long-term historical perspective.  Both charts are from the St. Louis Fed site.  The U-3 measure is what is commonly referred to as the official unemployment rate; whereas the U-6 rate is officially (per Bureau of Labor Statistics) defined as:
Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
Of note, many economic observers use the U-6 rate as a (closer) proxy of the actual unemployment rate rather than that depicted by the U-3 measure.

Here is the U-3 chart, currently showing a 4.4% unemployment rate:

(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 7-7-17)

U.S. unemployment rate

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilian Unemployment Rate [UNRATE] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed July 7, 2017;

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



Here is the U-6 chart, currently showing a 8.6% unemployment rate:

U-6 rate

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons  [U6RATE] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed July 7, 2017;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/U6RATE

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2418.44 as this post is written

3 Critical Unemployment Charts – July 2017

As I have commented previously, as in the October 6, 2009 post (“A Note About Unemployment Statistics”), in my opinion the official methodologies used to measure the various job loss and unemployment statistics do not provide an accurate depiction; they serve to understate the severity of unemployment.

However, even if one chooses to look at the official statistics, the following charts provide an interesting (and disconcerting) long-term perspective of certain aspects of the officially-stated unemployment (and, in the third chart, employment) situation.

The three charts below are from the St. Louis Fed site.  Here is the Median Duration of Unemployment (current value = 9.6 weeks):

(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 7-7-17)

median duration of unemployment

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed July 7, 2017;

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



Here is the chart for Unemployed 27 Weeks and Over (current value = 1.664 million)

Unemployed 27 weeks and over

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Civilians Unemployed for 27 Weeks and Over [UEMP27OV] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed July 7, 2017;

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMP27OV



Here is the chart for Total Nonfarm Payrolls (current value = 146.404 million):

Total Nonfarm Payrolls

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: All Employees: Total nonfarm [PAYEMS] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed July 7, 2017;

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



Our unemployment problem is severe.  The underlying dynamics of the current – and especially future – unemployment situation remain exceedingly worrisome.    These dynamics are numerous and complex, and greatly lack recognition and understanding.

My commentary regarding unemployment is generally found in the “Unemployment” label.  This commentary includes the April 24, 2012 five-part post titled “The Unemployment Situation Facing The United States”, which discusses various problematical issues concerning the present and future employment situation.
_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2417.36 as this post is written

Building Financial Danger – July 7, 2017 Update

My overall analysis indicates a continuing elevated and growing level of financial danger which contains many worldwide and U.S.-specific “stresses” of a very complex nature. I have written numerous posts in this site concerning both ongoing and recent “negative developments.”  These developments, as well as other exceedingly problematic conditions, have presented a highly perilous economic environment that endangers the overall financial system.

Also of ongoing immense importance is the existence of various immensely large asset bubbles, a subject of which I have extensively written.  While all of these asset bubbles are wildly pernicious and will have profound adverse future implications, hazards presented by the bond market bubble are especially notable.

Predicting the specific timing and extent of a stock market crash is always difficult, and the immense complexity of today’s economic situation makes such a prediction even more challenging. With that being said, my analyses continue to indicate that a near-term exceedingly large (from an ultra-long term perspective) stock market crash – that would also involve (as seen in 2008) various other markets as well – will occur.

(note: the “next crash” and its aftermath has great significance and implications, as discussed in the post of January 6, 2012 titled “The Next Crash And Its Significance“ and various subsequent posts in the “Economic Depression” category)

As reference, below is a daily chart since 2008 of the S&P500 (through July 6, 2017 with a last price of 2409.75), depicted on a LOG scale, indicating both the 50dma and 200dma as well as price labels:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart courtesy of StockCharts.com; chart creation and annotation by the author)

S&P500 since 2008

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2418.06 as this post is written

Thursday, July 6, 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 July 6, 2017 update (reflecting data through June 30, 2017) is -1.505.

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 July 6, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through June 30, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The June 30, 2017 value is -.87:

NFCI_7-6-17

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 6, 2017:

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



The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 6, 2017 incorporating data from January 5,1973 through June 30, 2017, on a weekly basis.  The June 30 value is -.21:

ANFCI_7-6-17

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 6, 2017:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI
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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.
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The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2409.75 as this post is written