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Green Shoots? Not Yet.

Monday, June 8, 2009, 4:24 AM
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Executive Summary

  • No green shoots in the consumer data
  • Mortgage Equity Withdrawal (MEW) is negative
  • Consumer credit is negative
  • Retail sales are negative
  • Rail and port traffic is deeply negative
  • Unemployment not as positive as presented
  • State tax revenues are negative
  • Federal tax receipts? Don't ask.

I want to counter the recent incantations by the media, fiscal, and monetary authorities that "things are on the mend" and that there are green shoots sprouting all over the place. There are indeed some encouraging signs, but there are an equal number of discouraging signs. This is a time for caution, not complacency.

Let's break down the economy into its biggest pieces and see what we can find in each of them.

 

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