Small Business Surveys Suggest New Downtrend Despite Incomplete Recovery From the Great Recession

The National Federation of Small Business and Gallup have recently published results of small business surveys, which are consistent with other data which are presented below.

The recent trend has worsened according to several different sources.  Conditions had never improved to levels seen in prior business expansions, but the recently-reported sales and profits data have [...]


What Next for the Markets?

In a recent post, I presented evidence that there is in many circles a great deal of optimism about the future for the U.S. economy.  Evidence for the extent of this optimism continues to accumulate, and not only for the U.S. reports with a headline that is a bit ironic, in that 18 months [...]


Worst Headline Of The Week

This is from Gallup:

PRINCETON, NJ — The Gallup Economic Confidence Index was negative in all 50 states in the first half of 2012, but positive in the District of Columbia.

Things are looking up in DC! I think this may indicate that they are a bit out of touch.



The Fed Three-Peats

Oops!  They’ve done it again.  Maybe.

Here’s the evidence that the Fed aborted a mini-recession with Operation Twist, which in association with enlarging its balance sheet by reinvesting dividends from its mortgage-backed securities portfolio was essentially the QE 3 that Jeff Harding had been predicting months earlier.  Cleverly, though, they and the media didn’t call [...]


Gasoline Use and NFIB Survey Still Recessionary

Is the rising stock market correctly foreshadowing economic growth of a muddle-through nature with “risks” skewed to the upside?  The latest MasterCard gasoline usage data casts doubt that much has been happening in that regard in a article titled U.S. Gasoline Use Sinks 14% to Seven-Year Low, MasterCard Says:

Fuel use fell below a [...]


Harder Times for Americans May Yield Better Times for Gold Mining Stocks

The financial downsizing of the average American continues apace.  Gallup has covered this well with direct interviews with real people for several years.  Happily, its website now shows average daily “discretionary” spending as reported by individuals going back several years rather than the shorter time period it previously reported.  Even including all transfer payments, average [...]