Back From Financial Ground Zero Two Years Ago
Exhibit B. The St. Louis Financial Stress Index:
Exhibit D. The Bloomberg U.S. Financial Conditions Index
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Here's one example of why men might earn more on average than women: they tend to far outnumber women in jobs that are very dangerous, and therefore highly-paid: coal mining, working on oil rigs, fishing, farming, logging, excavation, construction and window-washing, etc. I took the picture above of two window-washers hanging off the AEI building today on ropes, with no obvious safety equipment other than the normal-size ropes attached to something on the top of the building (notice the ropes aren't even visible in the picture!), with no buckets, trays or harnesses to support them, and nothing below them except the sidewalk to stop a fall. I'm pretty sure these guys make a higher wage than the maintenance workers who clean the same exact windows from the inside of the building.
This is from an editorial in the student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin, titled "The Worst People on Campus":
The New York Federal Reserve updated its "Probability of U.S. Recession Predicted by Treasury Spread" this week with treasury yield data through November 2010, and the Fed's recession probability forecast through November 2011. The NY Fed's Treasury model uses the spread between the yields on 10-year Treasury notes (2.76% in November) and 3-month Treasury bills (0.14%) to calculate the probability of a U.S. recession up to twelve months ahead (see details here).
Reflecting increased economic activity, the following states are reporting higher tax revenues for the month of November:
In Germany, Mercedes Benz and BMW — both heavy seasonal advertisers this year — have shortened holiday breaks for autoworkers in response to the demand for sales. Audi, the luxury side of automaker Volkswagen, also plans to gear up production this month.
"When you see the luxury segment start to recover, it's a good sign for the rest of the economy," said Peter De Lorenzo, a Detroit-area auto analyst who operates the website autoextremist.com. "In general, the auto industry is definitely on an upward trajectory," he added. "The luxury automakers, who took a big hit the last couple of years, are definitely showing signs of rebounding. It is probably a sign that the economy is not going to go gangbusters overnight, but is going to improve with slow and steady progress."
With consumers coming back to auto dealers' showrooms in recent months (there was a 17.5% increase in November sales vs. last year that followed strong double-digit sales gains in both September and October), the strong demand has allowed automakers to cut back on discounting and incentives, which then results in the following:"Whether the year-end deals are a bargain for consumers is another matter. Edmunds.com, a Web-based consumer auto site, found that despite the heavy advertising and glossy commercials, the average incentive spending per car rose only $31 between October and November, when the holiday discounts were supposed to be kicking in. The average incentive per car in November was actually down $255 compared with November 2009, when auto dealers were desperate to lure any shoppers to the showroom."
Just under 5 million passengers (4,988,085) traveled through Los Angeles World Airports (LAX) in October, which was 4.75% higher than the passenger count in the same month a year earlier, and 6.5% above passenger traffic in October of 2008. For the month of October, traffic this year was just slightly below the pre-recession level of 5,070,042 in 2007. Passenger demand for both domestic and international flights at LAX in October was above last year's levels, by 5.42% and 2.92% respectively. Year-to-date (YTD), passenger traffic at LAX is running 4.35% higher than last year.
The Department of Labor reported today that the four-week average of initial unemployment claims fell to 427,500 for the week ending December 4, which is the lowest level since the first week of August 2008, more than two years ago (see chart above). The number of workers continuing to receive jobless benefits fell to 4,226,000 on a four-week average basis for the week ending November 27, the lowest level for that count since early December 2008.
The chart above shows that job openings have been increasing nicely since the recession ended, according to two different measures, one from the BLS (job openings) and another from the Conference Board (online advertised vacancies). In contrast, the unemployment rate has barely moved from its peak a year ago of 10.1%. What's going on here?
The latest from IBD's Mike Ramirez.
Yesterday the Conference Board released its latest Employment Trends Index, and reported that the labor market index increased by 1.4 points in November and is now 9.3% above the level a year ago (see chart above). The Employment Trends Index is a composite of eight labor-market variables and is considered to be a leading indicator for trends in labor market conditions and total nonfarm employment. In November, 7 of the 8 components improved (Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Number of Temporary Employees, Part-Time Workers for Economic Reasons, Job Openings, Industrial Production and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales), which helped drive the index to its highest level in two years.