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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nevermore, Quoth The Wren

This morning at about 7:30 there was a big wren convention outside and in the porch. Mama showed up and hopped around the floor yawping with great insistence about something. Outside a bunch of them echoed her comments. 

Investigations as to marauding cats, reassurance as to the weather report, etc, all produced no amelioration of wren voter sentiment. It was so loud and hysterical that other birds started to fly in to find out what was going on.

Well, I had things to do, so I didn't get to NFIB for June until just now. Maybe they had taken a look at it. 

You know, one of the reasons I figured the US would hold out was the last two months of NFIB data. It looked like small business owners had gotten so lean and mean that they wouldn't have to retract. The headline index fell from 94.4 in May to 91.4 in June. In April it was 94.5, which matched the previous post-recession peak of 94.5 in February 2011. 

This probably heralds a poor Q3, with a central tendency for auto sales to diminish. 

The underlying details show what's happening to these stalwarts. Earnings are taking a big fall, with sales taking a less fall. But compensation is way outstripping plans, so these businesses are in the squeeze. 

This was  a significant degradation for this survey, and it strikes a dispiriting note for the rest of the summer. In July we have the big sample size. Maybe things will reverse. Maybe not. 


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