Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday Night Economic Assessment

The US Industrial economy advanced last week (if pipeline scheduling is correct), while robust consumer spending eased.

The Production Index (In terms of its 28-day moving average of gas-flow scheduling into US industrial facilities) gained for the third week in a row, rising to 112.4 from the prior weeks 111.7, and nearing its Feb-1st high (112.5). In its dailies (as per the "Part 7" industrial daily posts on the IV-CWEI site) the week was firm throughout.

Conversely, the paperboard-based Consumption Index broke its string of four gains in a row, dropping to 137.9 from the previous weeks 140.7. In its dailies the week was very soft, continuing to 10 days the pronounced midweek easing of two weeks ago.

The Inventories measure (the cumulative weekly difference between the Production Index and the Consumption Index) again declined.

Overall, the deficit of the Production Index to the Consumption Index, and the deep and continuing decline of the Inventories Measure continue to underpin the economy. The sudden drop-off in the consumption index dailies is a big concern, should it not reverse soon (Though the consumption index is a very volatile index... mirroring the emotional volatility of the consumer). Also of concern is the continuing lag in the Production vs Consumption Index, which continues to imply a shallowness in the productive end of the US economy... which is a continuing drag on employment and job-creation.