Showing posts from February, 2018

US - New Home Sales

New Home Sales Sales of new single-family houses in January 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 7.8 percent (±19.0 percent)* below the revised December rate of 643,000 and is 1.0 percent (±16.4 percent)* below the January 2017 estimate of 599,000. Sales Price The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2018 was $323,000. The average sales price was $382,700. For Sale Inventory and Months’ Supply The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 301,000. This represents a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate. Read More Here. 

Analysis: Silver & Gold

Gold and Silver - the ancient set of currency commodities -  metals which many considered a form of money, and are often talked about by both sides of the spectrum. Endless banter about these two, and if a move happens before the holidays - the news is set for the next few months. The point in this post is to show the daily settle price of Gold and Silver for reference, and to present the thought that Silver and Gold may both drop. 
Gold has been on a stride since before the (English speaking) new year. No doubt bolstered by fear from geopolitical risks to inflation. Since 2000 I have watched the price of Gold skyrocket without much remorse or any sprinkle of a reversion to the mean. This was caused by numerous events - financial and political - and over time we had a rise in Silver.  Silver peaked May 02, 2011 at $46.08 per troy ounce. I am bearish on Silver and a tad bearish on Gold, despite believing the prices will remain within 5-10% of current value for the next...the next whil…

Voluntary Quits 2017

Quits, layoffs and discharges, other separations, and total separations, January 2007–November 2017 From the BLS: The number of total separations, which is the sum of quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations, was 5.2 million in November. The number of quits, which can serve as a measure of workers' willingness or ability to leave jobs, was little changed from the previous month for total private industry. Quits increased in November 2017 in transportation, warehousing, and utilities and state and local government, excluding education. Quits decreased in other services, real estate and rental and leasing, and mining and logging. The number layoffs and discharges was also little changed from October. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total private, for government, and in all industries.
Here is a link to our Voluntary Quits 2016 post.

Impact of Tax Reform (U.S. Outlook February 2018)

• One year into Donald Trump’s presidency, the economy has maintained solid growth momentum in what has so far already been the country’s third-longest economic expansion on record. In a bid to better assess what 2018 holds for the U.S. economy, we polled our global network of analysts. Of the sample of economists from international and local economic institutions we
contacted, 95 answered the survey. This special report includes the highlights from our poll.

• The analysts surveyed are broadly in agreement regarding the robustness of the economy’s fundamentals, and they largely see 2018 growth either accelerating or remaining steady at last year’s rate of expansion. They expect the recently approved tax rewrite and a weaker dollar to
shore up business investment, but many are skeptical on the long-term benefits of the tax cuts.

• The majority of the economists surveyed expect stronger inflation and a tight labor market to warrant three interest rate hikes this year. On trade, analysts believe …

Estonia Economics February 2018

Domestic economic activity appears to have lost some steam in the fourth quarter from the previous one, but remained buoyant nonetheless. Industrial production in November expanded at the slowest pace in yearon-year terms since August 2016, and retail sales contracted in the same month owing in part to higher inflationary pressures. Retail sales were lower despite declining unemployment, which dropped in November to the lowest rate since June 2008. Contrasting slower growth in the domestic economy, growth in the external sector picked up. Exports expanded at a solid rate in both October and November thanks to improved demand from Estonia’s main trading partners. The expansions observed in the first two months of Q4 were spearheaded by robust sales of mineral products as the shale oil industry recovers on the back of higher prices for energy products. Economic growth is set to decelerate in 2018 and 2019 from 2017’s multi-year high but is expected to remain buoyant. Inflows of EU fund…

Has Bitcoin Burst?

This chart says it all.

"Like all fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies really don’t have intrinsic value. But that doesn’t mean that people won’t treat them as if they do, and sometimes for sustained periods of time. In fact, people have throughout history accepted things that have no value in exchange for things that do. Examples of non-government-issued currencies being used for periods of time include playing cards in the French colonies in the 18th century and limestone discs on the island of Yap centuries ago. What this means in practice is that even if a currency doesn’t have intrinsic value, it could still be used for some period of time." - Steve Strongin, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research.

Egypt Outlook Improves

The economy continues to gather strength heading into the new calendar year, although it remains fragile, as evidenced by December’s PMI which sank back into pessimistic territory. Other indicators are more positive: In the July–September period growth strengthened, and the unemployment rate declined to a multi-year low. In addition, international reserves were significantly bolstered in 2017 thanks to renewed investor confidence, while the trade deficit narrowed sharply. On 20 December, the IMF’s Executive Board completed the second review under the Extended Fund Facility, unlocking USD 2 billion of additional funding. This will be complemented by USD 1.2 billion recently committed by the World Bank to help support the economy and boost job creation. While praising reform progress, the IMF urged authorities to continue paring back energy subsidies and take steps to increase tax revenues. The fiscal and external positions should be strengthened by the giant Zohr gas field that came o…