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Thursday, June 02, 2011


Because of the holiday crude inventories weren't reported yesterday, but will be today at 11:00. Use the link after that time. I am hoping four week consumption data picked up a bit - it should have. More farming should be going on.

Initial claims dropped off the one "surge" week, but today's number came in at 422,000, and last week's number was revised up from 424,000 to 428,000, so the four week moving average for initials only dropped to 425,500. It's a good guess that this week's 422,000 will be revised up too. At that level, initial claims are very consistent with a contraction and a likely slow loss of jobs - if it continues. The recent sequence (which tracks well with fuel consumption):
01/01/2011 418,000
01/08/2011 437,000
01/15/2011 415,000
01/22/2011 443,000
01/29/2011 424,000
02/05/2011 391,000
02/12/2011 420,000
02/19/2011 384,000
02/26/2011 375,000
03/05/2011 405,000
03/12/2011 390,000
03/19/2011 394,000
03/26/2011 392,000
04/02/2011 385,000
04/09/2011 416,000
04/16/2011 404,000
04/23/2011 431,000
04/30/2011 478,000
05/07/2011 438,000
05/14/2011 414,000
05/21/2011 428,000
05/28/2011 422,000
As you can see, we were doing pretty well in February and March, and then in April things just hit the gel wall.

I use Ward's for autos and trucks. May dealer inventories aren't available just yet, but May light vehicle sales were reported. After looking through the data (downloadable spreadsheet), it seems as if all of the sales drop wasn't due to Japanese supply shortages. Ward's has May auto sales down 3.6%, and May truck sales down over 4%. If you look at the sales by company data, you see Ford and GM took a drop too.

Waiting for inventory, but as I was pointing out at the beginning of 2011, light vehicles were carrying the US economy, and they seem to have shrugged and dumped some of the load.

Also, auto sales are a significant portion of retail sales!

Spending a lot of time in the hospital with an old lady, so blogging is limited. It's not safe to leave people alone in the hospital these days - there is not enough nursing staff to see that the old are fed and drinking!

Note: In other news, St Louis Fed Fred has added the Chicago activity indexes here.

Update on crude:
Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 7.2 million barrels last week.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period has averaged nearly 18.7 million barrels per day, down by 5.0 percent compared to the similar period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied has averaged nearly 9.1 million barrels per day, down by 0.5 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied has averaged 3.8 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, down by 5.0 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied is 2.6 percent lower over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period last year.
As diesel goes, so goes the economy. That's pretty bleak.

Oops. It's time to drag out the Youtube links to "Turning Japanese" again.

word verification: "dinciro". Bad Japlish for "dancing around" the problem.
Well, I have a dinciro championship prize. This guy can't distinguish between what is happening in the ex-investment world vs what is happening in the investment world. He mixes up different sorts of indicators (such as high unemployment claims) and attributes them to investor sentiment. And of course that's going to be corrected by QE3, but since even the Fed must be grasping that QE2 didn't work....

This whole thing is a house of cards.
Have you read this: what would the next depression look like? I do find it curious that he doesn't question whether people would continue to have cell phones or internet service. (although, given the poor folks I know using Cricket, he may be right.) I'm not sure where he thinks those government jobs will come from.

I have this cookbook with recipes and stories of the Great Depression. The story that sticks with me the most is the woman that said they used to can weeds, just so they'd have something to can. We've got a long way to go to hit that point.
Teri - no, I haven't. Thanks for the link.

I think a bunch of people have no clue. The GD cohort I knew all never threw anything out. People nowadays just don't understand about not having money.
PS: And it is not as if we would be confused about being in a depression; no one was then. Mending clothes is something I still do, and everyone did it when I was a child.

This guy has no comprehension about what being short for money is really all about - and he doesn't seem to understand that the poor now don't buy much in the way of clothes.
Of course, that article was written in 2008 - maybe he's rethought some of this since.
I doubt it. those kind of people never rethink things :)

I do talk to some folks giving up internet access because they don't use it. they usually aren't young folks though. I'm guessing that, in a pinch, folks would give up internet for the pc and keep their smart phones.
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