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« MSM Still Passing Gas | Main | Half the Illegal Immigration Story »

In Other Economic News

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit Readers, and feel free to take a look around the site.

Among the news items that the MSM ignored last week in favor of $2.82 gas (source: Barron's):

  • Retail store sales were up 4.1% year-over-year
  • Same-store sales were up 5.1% year-over-year
  • Consumer Confidence rose to 109.6, well above the consensus estimate range
  • The housing bust continues to track the elusive Afghan Winter, as existing home sales rose slightly, when they were expected to decline
  • This was offset somewhat by a decline in mortgage applications
  • Durable goods orders were up 6.1%
  • New home sales soared 13.8% in March, even as prices moderated and supply dropped
  • Jobless claims sat pretty much where they have been for the last 2 years
  • Employment cost index was up 2.8% y/y, but we'll need to evaluate that in terms of the productivity index, due out this week
  • The GDP boomed, conusmer sentiment (a different survey from consumer confidence) held, and the Purchasing Managers' index showed continued strong growth.

Despite the strong housing market, MSNBC still found time to quote USA Today as saying that the "strong housing market is slipping."

UPDATE: It also occurs to me that long-term interest rates have been inching up lately. This is both good news and bad news, but it's always spun as bad news. When the yield curve briefly and narrowly inverted, there was a great deal of talk about recession. Now that long-term yields have edged back up over short-term rates, the talk is of the effect on mortgages, even as the recession indicator has receded.


It's not just the US. The whole world has been in a strong economic boom for the last several years. Despite this boom, country after country is electing leftist governments ... go figure.

In part one of the problems is that much of the growth is in small firms ... although this is better for the economy and for the distribution of wealth, it does not get the publicity of big runs on Wall Street. I don't think Hollywood has been doing all that well, and the press is struggling against folk like you. The opinion swayers are having a bad time.

Personally, I believe that the housing bust will occur in some form or another, mainly because the industry numbers, particularly involving certain types of loans, are not only disturbing but literally unsustainable IN CERTAIN AREAS*. The problem with nationwide reporting of a housing bust is that it a) may not be true in certain areas, b) is something that takes much time to develop, and c) is subject to the same level of accuracy in reporting as is usual in the media.

Basically, what the numbers say is that the vast majority of loans IN CERTAIN AREAS have extended their borrowers to the extreme limit, which means that when some misfortune occurs they will have to do some serious reconsidering. Those same numbers say that borrowers are likely to START getting in trouble in the next few years. Some will have to sell. Some will default. Many might be able to make more money, or figure out some other way of meeting payments.

At any rate, the only reason I think it's a good idea to speculate on a housing bust is to give people something to think about if they want to use a house as an investment vehicle, instead of, well, a house. And alarmist media reporting is not the best way to go about that.

And for the sake of us all, I'd prefer not to have a crash. Market crashes of any type tend to be unpleasant even if you're not directly involved.

*Denver is not one of the areas most prime for a bust. Certain areas of California are, with up to 80 percent of loans estimated to be interest-only or negative amortization in 2005. Now THAT'S a recipe for disaster.

Umm, you have forgot to mention a few other facts. Such as the growing economy is going directly to the top 1% of the population while others are working longer hours for less pay, real wages are growing slower than inflation. Education costs and energy costs are up? So are tacx cuts to the rich of which the money will not go back to the economy because rich people already have given to the economy what they can, you cvan only drive one car at a time. There is not one person who earns under $100,000 who is better today than under Clinton. On top of this conservative ignorance of other cultures and so in bed with Christian fundamentlaists, have not taken in to account what is required to rebuild countries that are not traditionally Christian Capitalist societies like Afghanastan and Iraq (Iraq is inexcusable as the last republican administration may have had better understanding than this one of culturalk difference. This has sent the world in the most unstable situation since the U.S watched the Nazi's run across europe because Jews are not worth fighting for, and your extremely isolationist policy, which was mirrored by your your culturally ignorant administration before 9/11.

So it is this dishonesty, and selfishness that the world sees from the US Conservative administration and most of the world wants to go the opposite way.

I hope this ignorance of culture and focus on numbers that can be fudged (ie, unemployment is better than it has been in years, unfortunately those with jobs are being paid less and have to work harder as their wages are not increasing with inflation).

Those are good points, and stop saying that the left wants illegal immmigrants to gain citizenship, what the left wants are proper working conditions so citizens will take the jobs and there will not be a need for people who are willing to work for low wages in poor conditions.

It is in fact your beloved big meat packing plants and huge agri-business that paid for legislation to get the little guy out and do not want to loose one dollar of profit to better their society (like offering benefits and fair pay to employees). Your big business friends would rather organize rallies and pay congress to allow an illegal work force to be paid low so their (the CEO's) profit margin remmians high - those are not liberals - they are Republican conservatives!

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