A Final Review of 2012 Holiday Shopping Season From CMI

On several occasions we have tried to help our readers visualize consumer behavior during the last quarter of 2012 by comparing consumer activity during the recently ended quarter with the same quarter of 2008. We chose 2008 as our comparison year because both years contain the economic distractions of a contentious presidential election — an [...]


An Interview With Consumer Metrics Institute’s Rick Davis

It is not very often that a new leading indicator hits the market to compete with the Conference Board or the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI), but the Consumer Metrics Institute does just that and does it well.

DoctoRx and I have been watching his data for a while and were impressed by what we [...]


Current Data Survey Points To Stagnation

The economic data that has come in during the past 5 days reflects the overall stagnation of the economy. Reports on jobless claims, manufacturing, factory orders, and consumer spending were all rather flat to negative—except for jobless claims which have declined for the fifth straight week.

The most significant data relates to manufacturing. The ISM [...]


Spending, Industrial Output and Recovery

Today we had several important economics releases that on their face point to a recovery. I think we are actually stagnating economically, and many of these positive factors will prove transitory.

Consumer Spending Report

Consumer spending increased slightly in March by 0.6% (MoM) although income only went up by 0.3% (MoM).

Spending was driven by [...]


Revisited: Where is the Money Coming From to Fund Spending

When I make a mistake I will admit it.

In my analysis of consumer spending I asserted that the sources of increases in spending were (1) a draw-down of savings and (2) the redirection of defaulted mortgage payments to spending. I was half-right which another way of saying I was half-wrong.

I missed one the basic laws [...]


Looking at the Economy Through Gray Colored Glasses

By Jeff Harding.

[Updated October 1, 2009]

I try to balance my day by reading well known optimist and pessimist economists. My two favorites are Brian Wesbury of First Trust in Chicago as my “Mr. Sunshine” and Dave Rosenberg as my “Joe Btfsplk*” (the name “Dr. Doom” was already taken by Nouriel Roubini). I know [...]


The Truth About Consumer Spending Reports

By Jeff Harding

If one just read the headlines from today’s Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg.com, one would assume that the Obama Administration’s stimulus package is a resounding success. But a close review of the numbers reveals exactly the opposite. I talked about this on Wednesday in my article on Why the Fed Didn’t (and [...]