Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Night Economic Assessment

The US industrial economy appeared to continue to ramp last week as the Industrial Index (in terms of its 28-day moving average) pushed further off of its May-28th bottom. In its dailies, scheduling of natgas deliveries into industrial facilities softened midweek then restrengthened through yesturday.

Within the industrial index, the much-troubled steel component continued to edge higher (taken as a good sign of confirmation). Everything-Auto , however, remained in the doghouse; and Michigan remains a mess.

Consumption also appeared strong, as the consumption index managed to beat its April-high before settling down midweek.

The Inventory Index (If the other indexes are correct) has now burned off 3/4ths of its overhang, suggesting that the bulging gap between the Production and Consumption indexes is unsustainable and (if consumption holds) that production will have to ramp quickly to meet consumer demand.

Overall, I believe the industrial-recession ended at the May-28th Production-Index bottom, and anticipate a turning in the employment numbers in the month(s) ahead. With most of the implied inventory overhang now gone, and production lagging consumption by a wide margin, I believe the recovery has (to borrow a term from nuclear physics) reached its point of critical mass. As long as consumption holds at current levels, production should ramp up to meet it.