Thursday, October 6, 2016

This week's data: an upsihift into 2nd gear during Indian Summer

 - by New Deal democrat

After a dismal August, September data is looking more promising.

As I pointed out earlier this week over at, the short leading indicators of vehicle sales and ISM manufacturing were both modestly positive.

This morning we got yet another new post-recession low in weekly unemployment claims.  Here's the 4 week moving average:

This also is a positive for the next 3 to 6 months.

While the stock market hasn't made a  new high in nearly two months, it hasn't had much of a correction either:

Tis is also a positive for about 3 to 6 months from the last high.

Yesterday we got August factory orders (blue in the graph below).  The "core capital goods" reading tends to be smoother, and is more of a leading indicator (red):

This hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire, but note that core capital goods have turned up in the last few months.

Finally, yesterday also saw the September ISM services reading.  Since ISM no longer allows FRED to publish their data, here is the entire history of the indicator from another source (ignore the Doomish noise about big one month declines):

Note that services never fell below 50 (showing contractioin) until the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- by which time the 2001 recession was almost over -- and also didn't fall below 50 until the month that the Great Recession began.  In other words, ISM services is at best a coincident, and is probably a slightly lagging, indicator.

So the short leading indicators are aligned positive, even though the positivity may be pretty tepid.  The coincident indicator released yesterday is in conformity with that.