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AAR: August Rail Carloads down 4.6% YoY, Intermodal Down 5.4% YoY

From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission. It seems clear that U.S. railroads are facing a freight recession. Total originated U.S. rail carloads fell 4.6% in August 2019 from August 2018, their seventh straight year-over-year decline. The average decline over those seven months was 4.2%, a […]

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Sunday Night Futures

Weekend:• Schedule for Week of September 8, 2019 Tuesday:• At 3:00 PM, Consumer Credit from the Federal Reserve. From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: S&P 500 are up 4 and DOW futures are up 25 (fair value). Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $56.82 per barrel and Brent […]

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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Decreased Year-over-year

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 31 August The U.S. hotel industry reported mostly positive year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week of 25-31 August 2019, according to data from STR. In comparison with the week of 26 August through 1 September 2018, the industry recorded the following: […]

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Las Vegas Real Estate in August: Sales up 1.4% YoY, Inventory up 37% YoY

This is a key former distressed market to follow since Las Vegas saw the largest price decline, following the housing bubble, of any of the Case-Shiller composite 20 cities. The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported More signs that Southern Nevada’s real estate roller-coaster ride has slowed down; GLVAR housing statistics for August 2019 The […]

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Q3 GDP Forecasts: Mid-to-high 1%

From Merrill Lynch: We left our Q3 GDP tracking estimate unchanged at +1.9% (qoq ar). [Sept 5 estimate]emphasis added From Goldman Sachs: [W]e lowered our Q3 GDP tracking estimate by one tenth to 1.9% (qoq ar). . [Sept 4 estimate] From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 1.5% […]

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Comments on August Employment Report

The headline jobs number at 105 thousand for August ex-Census (130K total including temp Census hires) was well below consensus expectations of 158 thousand, and the previous two months were revised down 20 thousand, combined. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%. There was good news with the increase in the participation rate and employment-population […]

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August Employment Report: 105,000 Jobs Added Ex-Census, 3.7% Unemployment Rate

From the BLS: Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130,000 in August, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in federal government rose, largely reflecting the hiring of temporary workers for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in health care and financial […]

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Caught between uncertainty and easy money

Stock prices have spent August caught in a tug-of-war. On one side: increasingly accommodative central banks and easier financial conditions. On the other side of the rope: rising economic uncertainty driven by a quickly deteriorating trade situation. As I write this in late August, uncertainty is winning this month. That said, this is not 2018. […]

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Goldman: August Payrolls Preview

A few brief excerpts from a note by Goldman Sachs economist Spencer Hill: We estimate nonfarm payrolls increased 150k in August … Our forecast reflects a 15-20k boost from Census canvassing activities, but a slower underlying pace of private-sector job gains in part reflecting the return of the trade war. … We estimate the unemployment […]

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August Employment Preview

Special Note on Decennial Census: Temporary Decennial Census hiring will probably impact the August employment report with the Census hiring as many as 40,000 temporary workers. The headline number should be adjusted for these hires, see: How to Report the Monthly Employment Number excluding Temporary Census Hiring On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS […]

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ISM Non-Manufacturing Index increased to 56.4% in August

The August ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 56.4%, up from 53.7% in July. The employment index decreased to 53.1%, from 56.2%. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction. From the Institute for Supply Management: August 2019 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in August for the 115th consecutive […]

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ADP: Private Employment increased 195,000 in August

From ADP: Private sector employment increased by 195,000 jobs from July to August according to the August ADP National Employment Report®. … The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.…“In August we saw a rebound in private-sector employment,” said […]

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The monetary policy endgame

The major global central banks continue to draw bigger guns in their battle against deflation, yet in some places, it appears to be of no avail. The fact is that the share of sovereign yields that are in negative territory keeps increasing and the average level of these interest rates becomes ever more negative. Further, […]

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Back to school as trade tensions intensify

U.S.-China trade tensions have escalated, echoing our midyear outlook protectionist push theme, and bond yields have fallen to new lows. We do not see a near-term recession, with no clear signs of financial vulnerabilities and central banks helping extend the cycle. Yet the protectionist push has been stronger than we expected, raising the risk of […]