27 August 2009

Economics Update, Yesterday's

And actually Tuesday's too.

Between helping my kids try out recipes for a cooking contest, and general laziness, I've let it slide.

In any case, the big news is that consumer confidence beat expectations, and actually went into "optimistic" territory, though as Dean Baker observesmost of the increse in the index is, "Attributable to a 10.1 percentage point increase in the expectations index," which, "is much more volatile than the current conditions index and has little relationship to spending," so the numbers are not about hopped up consumers bringing on a recovery.

We also have reports that home sales and durable goods orders have increased, and the American Trucking Association's Tonnage Index (top pic) all increased in July, though I will address how the home sales/prices may be a Chimera in a later post, and the durable goods orders are not as good as they appears, ex-Boeing and defense, they actually fall:
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a barometer of business investment, fell 0.3 percent in July after rising 3.6 percent in June.
Additionally, the Philadelphia Fed State Coincident Indicator numbers came out (bottom pic), and all but 4 states are still contracting.

It should be noted that mortgage apps were up slightly this week.

We also had a major downgrade of an insurer, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, which had its rating cut from AAA to AA+ by S&P.

I expect there to be more of this in insurance.

Despite a near record auction, US Treasuries were basically unchanged.

Meanwhile, the consumer confidence drove the dollar up, though oil fell, on the expectation of increases in inventories in today's report.


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