22 June 2009

Economics Update

Last week, I mentioned that some of the declines in continuing unemployment claims might be the result of benefits exhaustion.

Well now we have the chart pr0n to show it, and I'm now wondering how many of the people dropping off the rolls are actually getting work.

Still, we are seeing some signs of improving business confidence, this time it's German business confidence, which is up for the 3rd straight month.

I tend to prefer less ephemeral statistics though, such as commercial real estate prices (down 8.6% from April and down 25% year over year) and the fact that rail and truck traffic are still trending down.

We are also seeing some more signs of a reduced appetite for risk, with the dollar strengthening.

In energy, both crude oil and retail gasoline fell, largely on good inventories and concerns about a jobless "recovery".

Note that this is the first time that gasoline has fallen in 54 days.


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