Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday Night Economic Assessment

The US Industrial economy gained a little more ground last week (if pipeline scheduling is correct), while strong consumer spending continued to slowly ease.

The Production Index (In terms of its 28-day moving average of gas-flow scheduling into US industrial facilities) rose for its third week in a row, gaining to 122.4 (vs last weeks record 121.8). In its dailies (See the "Part 7" posts on the Investor Village site) the index started the week on the firm side, which carried through most of the week before softening on Friday.

The Consumption Index continued its recent trend of easing (third down-week in a row), edging down to 141.7 (from last weeks 142.4). In its dailies the measure saw the softness of the previous week carry throughout the week.

The Inventories measure (the cumulative weekly difference between the Production Index and the Consumption Index) again continued in its long-term decline.

Of other interest, Food-group numbers finally softened (for a change) last week. The food-group has served as a very sharp contra-indicator in the past... soaring during the recession (nervous folks heading to the fridge???) and falling diring the recovery.

Overall (as last week) the recovery appears strongly supported by buoyant consumer-spending, an uncharacteristically-large lead in the Consumption Index over the Production Index, firmness in industrial gas-flow scheduling, and continuing declines in the Inventories measure.