Prime Age to Employment Ratio

 Retirement Planning  Comments Off on Prime Age to Employment Ratio
Mar 112019
 

This looks like a really solid recover since the “Great Recession”!

It looks like this employment ratio is back to its 2009 peak, but it still has a way to go to get back to its late 1990s level. To me, it just seems unlikely that wage growth acceleration won’t be coming soon. The real question; will be whether inflation follows shortly thereafter.

Wage Growth versus S&P 500 Profit Growth

 General Interest  Comments Off on Wage Growth versus S&P 500 Profit Growth
Mar 082019
 

This chart was on Axios earlier this week. I think this is could be one of the reasons for the ongoing challenge between capital and labor since the ‘Great Recession’.

Clearly the recovery in Profits of 10.1% versus Wages of 3.3% is significant. However, this is part of a much longer term trend. Whether it is due to technology or some other factor, it has made it difficult for the middle class to get ahead economically.

I gather this may at least be a partial explanation for an uptick in the idea that Socialism may be desirable versus Capitalism. This appears to be especially so for younger workers.

Gross Domestic Product Update

 Economy, General Interest  Comments Off on Gross Domestic Product Update
Mar 012019
 

The following Wall Street Journal Chart shows the US GDP through year end 2018.

It appears that Tariff related Import and Export activity in Mid-2018 was responsible for the 2nd and 3rd Quarter bumps.

Emerging Markets

 Economy, Investing  Comments Off on Emerging Markets
Mar 012019
 

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has increased its allocation to China. Per Axios:

“MSCI said Thursday it would quadruple the percentage of access foreign investors can get to stocks from mainland China in its widely tracked emerging-markets index, which is tracked by nearly $2 trillion of funds.”

Investment in Emerging Markets maybe on the rise and the change in the MSCI Index may help start a trend.

Axios 3 1 19

These charts don’t go together, but I think interesting nonetheless!

 General Interest, Investing  Comments Off on These charts don’t go together, but I think interesting nonetheless!
Feb 222019
 

Another group of beneficiaries from the new tax law – Accountants.

For all the headlines Alphabet has received, this is kind of interesting. Dominos stock has actually outperformed since the went public. Either one would have been a good investment 15 years ago, but 3600% does beat 2500% rather handily!

Banking – Savings Account Rates

 Economy, General Interest  Comments Off on Banking – Savings Account Rates
Feb 222019
 

The difference between bank savings account rates at Online Banks versus Brick and Mortar Banks is rather dramatic.

However, it would appear that a tightening of the Interest Rate Spread is not the issue!

Meanwhile, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said the new tax law drove double-digit profit growth at U.S. banks last year. Banks collectively notched record annual profits of $236.7 billion, up 44% from 2017.

Two Charts – What do they Mean? Are they related?

 Economy, General Interest  Comments Off on Two Charts – What do they Mean? Are they related?
Feb 132019
 

I saw these two charts this morning one from the Wall Street Journal’s Daily Shot and the other Axios Markets.

This appears to highlight the quite remarkable economic recovery since the great recession. Increasing Job Openings is a very good way to address the needs of the Unemployed looking for jobs. On the other hand when the two numbers cross, we may be moving into interesting territory for wage growth / inflation.

Once upon a time, the US National Debt was supposedly not necessarily a good thing. I guess I was never overly concerned about the US Budget Deficit. But, it was always thought there were limits. Based on the very rapid growth in the deficits since the Great Recession, we may find out if there are in fact any ramifications to the level of US Government debt.

Trade War – Effective: Yeah or Nay

 Economy, General Interest  Comments Off on Trade War – Effective: Yeah or Nay
Feb 112019
 

I found this chart and blurb on Axios about the effect of the tariffs that the Trump Administration has imposed on imports from China on the bi-lateral trade deficit. At least at first glance, it would appear that the tariffs have had an impact albeit a somewhat smallish effect. On the other hand, the trade war has the potential to be very disruptive for the Ag Economy.

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

“Tariffs reduce imports and, all else equal, reduce the U.S. bilateral trade deficit. The complication lies in the fact that China retaliates by reducing imports from the U.S., thus pushing up the bilateral deficit. In addition, the tax cut boosted domestic demand in the U.S. for imports from China and everywhere else. If tariffs hadn’t changed, the bilateral deficit would have likely widened anyway because of the tax cut. “If tariffs remain in place in some sort of ‘extended truce’ we would see a more apparent decline in U.S. imports from China as frontloading will soon be water under the bridge. If all tariffs are removed (the consensus is that this is unlikely) chances are imports would normalize, reversing most of the decline we’ve seen so far.”— Gene Ma, Head of China Research, Institute of International Finance

Recession Mentions

 Economy, General Interest  Comments Off on Recession Mentions
Feb 112019
 

It appears that we will measure almost anything nowadays! I have no idea regarding the validity of this metric, but here’s the chart from Axios.

The good news would be that whatever its validity may be, the number of mentions is lower than it has been.

On the other hand, you might notice that up until the economy was actually in a recession in 2009 -2010 there weren’t all that many mentions prior to that point either.

Inspite of Everthing Else going on – Here’s some Good January News!

 Economy, General Interest  Comments Off on Inspite of Everthing Else going on – Here’s some Good January News!
Feb 012019
 

It appears the S&P 500 had its best January in over 30 years.

Unfortunately, January might only look good compared to other Januarys. For the past twelve months, the performance is not all that inspiring. Even though the S&P 500 is only down marginally during that time period, it is still quite a bit lower than its mid October high.

Now I see that its performance is dependent on how the Patriots do in the Super Bowl?