Aggregator • MaxedOutMama • ID=64524
It's hard to tell though. This is one of the periods in which seasonal adjustments become bigger, and sometimes can be distorted by the odd patterns in employment during times of rapid economic change. These figures will become more reliable at the end of June/beginning of July.
SA initial claims were 456,000, but NSA claims took a drop down below 400,000, after staying in a very narrow range in the low 400,000s for some weeks. The four-week moving average rose again to 463,000. If you want to look at the brighter side, actual claims were 188,000 LESS than the comparable week in 2009. So there is a much, much brighter side!
On another cheerful note, rail freight figures continue to show steady improvement. Last Friday's cumulative figures (YTD) showed carloads up 7.2% from 2009, and intermodal up 11.5 percent from 2009. And the growth trend continues; at the beginning of May YTD carloads were up 5.3%, and intermodal was up 9.8%. And that too was good gain from the first week of April, when YTD carloads were only up 2.2%, although YTD intermodal was up 8.4%.
My strong feeling is that in April we transitioned to a more stable economy that is slowly bootstrapping itself upwards, based on production increases. If the economy is moving, it's breathing.
Now I was concerned about margins, because profit margins for producers are a genuine concern. But I think the timing of the Euro sorrow (and most especially, Euro banking sorrow) knocked the spec piece out. And whatever economy we will have eventually - the only economy we can get - will have to pull the load of higher oil prices.
We can, of course, utterly destroy this with bad public policy. One of the things I have been watching is the CO2 endangerment nonsense. Regulations imposing more costs on producers, which must be paid by the debt-burdened, underemployed population, are likely to kill this recovery. Congress needs to pass a law taking CO2 out of the current regulatory framework, because the EPA really has no legal option currently.
And then there is the taxation issue. While we obviously need higher taxation, ratcheting up those higher tax brackets is just going to kill off small business expansion and job growth.
We now have a European-like structural 10% unemployment rate. The future of the economy depends on slowly chipping away at that.
International trade for April showed higher capital goods expenditures, which is a decent indication that manufacturers were beginning to invest again. The trade deficit increased slightly.