Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. I do make mistakes, but I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. The expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would.

The Goddess of Markets punishes (eventually) greed, folly, laziness and arrogance. No matter how many years you've served Her. Take care. Be humble. And don't blame me.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Toiling feebly along

US employment growth in August wasn't exactly robust. and the numbers for previous months were revised down, a bad sign.  But employment tends to lag a little, and this may be the delayed response to the "fiscal cliff".

However, as the chart below shows better than the one above, employment growth this cycle has been extraordinarily sluggish (Chart from Calculated Risk)

But the change in the unemployment rate (shown inverted on the chart, because unemployment rises in recessions and falls during recoveries) is still consistent with ongoing recovery.  I've plotted it against the yoy change in my coinciding index, which tracks GDP and the cycle.

And overtime hours in manufacturing, also a sensitive indicator to the state of the economy, were up in August.

My assessment is that growth continues, though (a) it's very far from a boom and (b) we still have a long way to go before we reach the previous peak. The GFC's consequences are still with us. (As usual, clicking on each chart will produce a bigger version)

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