Fifth District manufacturing firms saw robust growth in May, according to survey results from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Because of the highly volatile nature of this index, we include a 3-month moving average to facilitate the identification of trends, now at 9.3 which indicates expansion.
The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly data on volume sales is several weeks old when it released. The latest numbers, through mid-March, are now available. However, despite the lag, this report offers an interesting perspective on fascinating aspects of the US economy. Gasoline prices and increases in fuel efficiency are important factors, but there are also some significant demographic and cultural dynamics in this data series.
The economic calendar is light, and the market week will be shortened. There is no holiday this week, but expect many participants to take off early for a long weekend. If interest remain above 3% on the ten-year note, that will be the focus.
The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, which we reported on this morning, is based on 85 economic indicators drawn from four broad categories of data:
"Index points to little change in economic growth in April." This is the headline for this morning's release of the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, and here is the opening paragraph from the report: "The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) ticked up to +0.34 in April from +0.32 in March. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from March, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in April. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.46 in April from +0.23 in March."
Today we will summarize something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Exactly how will we get from the credit crisis, which I think is coming in the next 12–18 months, to what I call the Great Reset, when the global debt will be “rationalized” via some form of nonpayment. Whatever you want to call it, I think a worldwide debt default is likely in the next 10–12 years.
This week I had the pleasure to attend Consensus 2018 in New York, the premiere gathering for the who’s who in blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Attendance doubled from last year to an estimated 8,500 people, all of them packed in a Hilton built for only 3,000. Ticket sales alone pulled in a whopping $17 million, while event booths—the largest of which belonged to Microsoft and IBM—generated untold millions more.
The S&P 500 dropped to start the week and recovered slightly by Friday. The index saw a loss of 0.54% from last Friday and 0.26% loss from yesterday. The index is up 0.64% YTD and is 5.57% below its record close.
This morning's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 148.7, down 0.6 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 3.80%, down from 3.87% last week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 4.3, down from the previous week.
Market signals have been decidedly mixed thus far into the year. By this time a year ago, the S&P 500 had already returned 5%. Today, in early May, the S&P 500 is down fractionally, while volatility and bond yields are up.