- by New Deal democrat
I am increasingly of the opinion that at the moment, the only two economic data series that are important are nonfarm payrolls and the personal consumption expenditure deflator. That’s because almost every other important metric of the economy is either flat or declining. But payrolls keep chugging along (as evidenced by yesterday’s initial claims report showing that layoffs are figuratively non-existent). And the PCE deflator, which covers a broader spectrum than the CPI, keeps helping two coincident indicators important to the NBER, namely real personal income and real manufacturing and trade sales, remain in the plus column.