Friday, October 30, 2020

Timely indicators still quite positive

While we wait for the results of next week's election, here are just a few charts of timely economic indicators (all based on very recent daily and weekly data) that show continuing improvement in the economy:

Chart #1

Chart #1 is a very timely compilation of high-frequency weekly economic indicators designed by the NY Fed. It shows continued and rather dramatic improvement (aka a V-shaped recovery).

Chart #2

Chart #2 shows the amount of gasoline supplied, which as of last week was only 7.7% below the level of last year. 

Chart #3
Charer #4
Passenger air traffic (Chart #3) is up only modestly over the past month, but as Chart #4 shows, it continues to improve relative to the levels of last year at this time. This would probably be best described as a U-shaped or gradual recovery. It's going to have to improve significantly before we can conclude that economic activity is getting back to normal.

Chart #5

Chart #5 shows continuing claims for unemployment, which continue to decline rather dramatically. Lots of people are going back to work. My son, who has been furloughed since April, was recently notified that he is being called back to work starting November 9th.


Johnny Bee Dawg said...


God Bless America!!

steve said...


God Bless America!

Pretty sure one thing we can agree on is it will be nice to get this election behind us and have a confirmed winner acknowledged by the loser.

Fred said...

Nice to see JBD commenting again. Always fun to read him even if we disagree at times. Thought for a moment there maybe the Rona got him. Didn’t vote for Trump in 2106 but voted for him and every Republican this time. It’s going to be close in Georgia but I think he’ll win here and the election overall. For all of you voting for Biden, please name one policy that he supports that will be good for the long term growth of the country and for the cause of freedom.

Benjamin Cole said...

Love the numbered charts.

Every national election seems to get stranger and 2020 hues to form.

Hollywood, major media, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley are backing the identity-politics obsessed "Beijing Joe" Biden.

Good luck everybody.

Midwest Guy said...

Show me a significant change in long term growth rates between republicans and democrats while holding office. Companies are the drivers of economic growth, not the government.

steve said...

Fred, your question is a fair one and as a conservative who voted against Trump (for Biden) I will attempt to articulate my answer but I seriously doubt you will agree or perhaps even understand. Firstly, trump is not a conservative-at least not fiscally and his trade and immigration policy is hardly conservative either. But that is not really the point. I am sick and tired of people making an excuse for Trump's despicable character. Character counts and without counting the myriad ways his is flawed and his constant desire to divide this nation with childish name calling of anyone who disagrees with him I ask you this; how the HELL can you you look your children in the eye and say "I support Donald Trump"? I can't and I hope we see the back of him come January.

Fred said...


Certainly understand your position and agree Trump is a jerk. However, if even 1/2 of what is being said about Biden is true I don’t think you can say he’s a good guy either. How about Clinton and the allegations he raped Juanita Broderick and his conduct with Monica Lewinsky? I think if you look closely at the personalities of most Presidents you can find some real flaws. I wish Romney was President but apparently the evangelicals thought he belonged to a cult and wouldn’t come out to vote for him. Go figure.

steve said...

Fred, I agree with you 100% on your last comment. America not voting Romney was the worst presidential error in my lifetime-easy.

JDonley said...

thanks Scott, for keeping us updated on the improving economy. wishing you a satisfying election outcome.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

Scott, Glad to hear your son is being called back to work. My son is an architect and was furloughed a month ago. He is being called back to work on November 16. Do you think it is a coincidence that they are calling them back shortly after the election?

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

Fred: good to be back. No Rona. I’m strong like Bull. One of my kids got married.

Steve: I didn’t see that you answered Fred’s actual question: what policy of Biden’s will be good for growth of the economy, and for Freedom?
Biden has FAR worse character than Trump. Biden lies for real. Crazy lies. And he gropes kids. Trump doesnt collude with foreign governments against the American people as Biden has, or engage in quid pro quo threats with taxpayer funds to get rid of a foreign prosecutor investigating his son’s company’s criminal behavior. And then Biden bragged about that one...but only at CFR. Amongst “friends”, dont-cha know.

Midwest Guy: take a look at every measure of American prosperity when PUBs control Congress vs. when DEMs control Congress.
1994-2007 was a dang good PUB run except for the little pause from 2000-2002 when DEMs grabbed some power for a minute. DEMS didn’t look too good after they took control in 2007, either, in that disaster. That one was sub-optimal.

Barack had the slowest economic recovery since FDR. Trump’s had the fastest, ever, this year. More Trump, please!

Scott: I’m an honest observer of election. I have to go with what I see every single day with my own eyes. History’s largest enthusiasm gap between 2 Presidential candidates. Empty Biden and Camilla rallies. Barack can’t even scare up a crowd. Rabid, joyous PACKED Trump rallies...the likes of which we’ve never seen before. TENS of thousands at each one. Boundless energy from the President. Yesterday the Trump supporters lined up in their vehicles for NINETY-SIX miles, back to back on side of road in Arizona near Tucson. Nothing like this enthusiasm has ever happened before.

I still say Trump ROLLS. He will get more Latinos and Blacks than any PUB in history, imo. For good reason.
I’m old enough to remember the leaked WikiLeaks emails that exposed the behind the scenes manipulation of the polls in 2016.

4 more years of prosperity. I can’t believe America is ready to embrace Socialism and abject corruption just yet. Some are. Not all.
I just want to make more money, and live free with equal justice under the law. And I want poor people to keep winning for once.
We will just have to see.

Steve: your state probably allows you to change your vote!

Scholar87 said...

Scott - Such good news about your son! Thank you for all your great work so far in 2020. May we celebrate a second term and another Trump surprise this week!!

John A said...

Average GDP growth Obama's last 3 years: 2.38%
Average GDP growth Trump's first 3 years: 2.51%

Not much difference.

Source is the BEA's website.

Grechster said...

John A: That is an excellent point, and a sobering one.

The results for those six years are rather pathetic. And I'd add that in O's last three years we added $2.9T to the total. Under Trump's first three we added a similar $3.1T.


Johnny Bee Dawg said...

Check profits, paychecks & tax revenues after Trump policies went into effect.

Roy said...


When you look at GDP you also have to consider the capital structure:

US Debt by President:

Trump (pre covid):
FY 2019 - $1.203 trillion
FY 2018 - $1.271 trillion

Obama last three years:
FY 2017 - $671 billion
FY 2016 - $1.423 trillion
FY 2015 - $327 billion

Trump/GOP put tariffs (tax) on trade [American companies and consumers], constricting the free market.

Trump/GOP paid massive amounts [as social aid] to farmers and other sectors of the economy.

Trump is obviously not really fiscally conservative . If he/GOP wins again, it is CERTAIN they will be even less fiscally conservative.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

Average GDP growth Obama's last 3 years: 2.38%
Average GDP growth Trump's first 3 years: 2.51%
True but ...
Obama was president for 8 years
Trump was president for almost 4 years
Why cherry pick 3 years?
Wait 4 more years and then you can compare 8 years of Obama with 8 years of Trump !

GDP growth has been handicapped by slow labor force growth for two decades.
That has affected three presidents so far.
Women are having fewer children and we have not increases immigration to compensate for that.

Biden is such a crook that this long time libertarian voted for a Republican president for the second time in my life -- I can't support a libertarian with the head of the Biden Crime Family running. Hunter Biden should be in prison.

I've written over a half dozen articles on Biden wrongdoing , on one of my three blogs:

Roy said...

"I'm voting for Trump because I'm a libertarian and because Hunter Biden should be in prison and also you should just ignore Trump's actual real record this past three years because in five more years it will be soooooo much better and, and because Hunter Biden should be in prison!" - The Cliff Claven of Finance.

Oh boy.

John A said...

"Why cherry pick 3 years?"

I'm deliberately being nice to Trump by excluding this year's data due to the virus, which wasn't his fault. That leaves us with 3 years' worth of data. The best way to do an apples-to-apples comparison would be to compare Trump's first 3 years with Obama's last 3 years, because not only are the lengths of time the same, but also because they are back-to-back periods the economic conditions were reasonably similar.

I could do similar exercises with payrolls and the unemployment rate.

-- In Obama's last 3 years, payroll jobs rose by 8.069 million.
-- In Trump's first 3 years, payroll jobs rose by 6.556 million.

-- In Obama's last 3 years, the unemployment rate fell by 1.9 percentage points, from 6.6% to 4.7%.
-- In Trump's first 3 years, the unemployment rate fell by 1.2 percentage points, from 4.7% to 3.5%.

Those are the facts, from the BLS website. You can check it yourself.

It would also be unfair to use Obama's first 3 years because when he took office we were in a deep recession which began nearly a year before he was even elected, just as it would be unfair to Trump include the economic effects of the virus which wasn't his fault.

So, I'm not sure why some people here think the sky is going to fall if Biden is elected, since economic stats under Obama (when Biden was VP) weren't really different than under Trump, and in some measures were actually better.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

Good lord John A. Lol
Any thought that it’s harder to reduce unemployment rate from a smaller number than from a larger number?

It took Barack His whole term to get His weak numbers to improve, and that came only after Pubs took over Congress.

Check profits, paychecks and tax revenues after Trump policies went into effect.

Markets are rallying Monday & Election Day on hopes of a Trump win.
Biden promised America a “dark dark winter.” No thanks, criminal.
America wants to keep winning with Donald. We aren’t tired of it, yet.

steve said...

Biden is widely expected to win-maybe by a landslide so gains in stocks cannot be attributed to the expectation of a Trump win. Rather, I suspect the expectation of a huge stimulus bill is buoying markets. While Trump could pull it out I rather think the chances of Biden W by midnight is greater than a Trump squeaker. See you on the other side!

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

steve: the market fell sharply for the past 2 months while “polls” showed that Biden was “widely predicted to win”.

Wall Street firms expounded for 2 months that tax & regulation hikes are good for profits & jobs while markets retreated.
One firm declared a “Blue Wave is the preferred outcome for investors.” On what planet? When was the last time we had prosperity after DEMs took over Congress? Decades ago, when they were just DEMs, and not Progressives,

Suddenly, Trump holds 21 strategically placed packed rallies in swing states in 3 1/2 days, and Trump surges in polls there, (while internals from BOTH CAMPS leak to hedge funds Friday afternoon).
Suddenly on Sunday nite, Trump is winning in swing states among the the most accurate pollsters of 2016 & 2018, and gets well within margins of error even in the inaccurate polls constantly touted by media.
Then Trump held 5 more rallies on Monday there until 1am this morning. Packed rallies in 20 degree weather. Market up another 600 this morning while Joe literally babbles incoherently.

Both the historic market election predictors (3 year Dow, and 90 day S&P) overwhelmingly favor incumbent Trump.
The most historicalally accurate predictor of all (Stoney Brook Primary indicator) gives Trump a 91% chance.

The only worry I have is the DEM RIG, which are already seeing in Pennsylvania this morning.

Coincidence. Biden up, markets down. Trump up, market up.

I do think the market is ready for a relief rally just because the uncertainty is over.
Both guys are going to do short term relief Bill. But long term, Trump’s pro-America Growth policies will bring FAR more prosperity for the most people than Biden/Camilla failed policies of the past.

It’s all about profits & paychecks. Good luck out there.

steve said...

My real concern is that regardless of how this goes the blowback (The only worry I have is the DEM RIG, which are already seeing in Pennsylvania this morning) could be severe. Pathetic that BOTH sides are claiming fraud and rigged election. Seriously, grow up.

Frozen in the North said...

TSA throughput Vs. Traffic:

How come traffic is still down 50%, and TSA throughput is at 83%? I would have thought that the two should track rather well, and yet they don't! Maybe

Very strange

Frozen in the North said...

The main reason Trump saw such economic growth is that he grew the National Debt from 600 billion to 1.2 trillion. Increasing the amount of money in people's pockets by that much is certain to push economic growth dramatically.

I suspect that biden will raise taxes on the wealthiest (maybe) that will slow GDP growth.

It doesn't matter, Trump has 10% winning odds (its nothing its still possible). It has been made clear that his next target are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The only three remaining large spending items on the Federal agenda.

Killing those programs will limit the federal government to defense, foreign relations and some small regulation, cutting about 60% of the Federal government's spending.

It's a stragtegy although unstated it has been widely reporte

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

steve: turn on a tv. They are rigging PA as we speak, and are disallowing pre-approved PUB poll watchers inside while DEMs illegally distribute voter lists to people inside IN LINE, and literally help people to fill out their ballots. Captured on video.

And let’s not forget that John Roberts just ruled that PA can accept ballots WITH NO POSTMARK, 7 days after Election Day.
And they don’t have to check for matching signatures on these late ballots.
Nice rulings. Ol Mitch did a good job of slow rolling ACB so that could get they the Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania has had systemic election fraud for decades, and these new “Covid rules” took it up another notch. Next level.
Joe is “connected” there with 3 of the 5 families (good ol’ brother Jim), which is probably why the Party bosses picked him in the first place.
He can bring PA on home for the Party.

Trump led in PA polls last nite for the first time because Joe wants to phase out fossil fuels.
But it may be too hard to beat the RIG there.
Donald gonna need to be perfect elsewhere.

Like I said, both guys get a pop from short term relief Bill.
Only Donald policies will have lasting power for full prosperity.

randy said...

The hall of dishonor for election shenanigans. My personal favorite is Lyndon Johnson. Wondering how no mention of the Daleys in Chicago or the Longs in Louisiana.

It's not hard to agree that PAs late changing rules by judges instead of legislature, and Justice Roberts stunning acceptance, are ripe for generating suspicion. Wish it wasn't so.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

Roy you are a liar.
In your nasty comment, you put quotes around sentences I never wrote.
Typical smarmy leftist behavior Saul Alinsky style.
You should be ashamed of Yourself.
Did you take lessons from Adam "shifty" Schiff?

Unlike you, I studied Trump's actual record for many months to write two very long articles for my former economics newsletter, ECONOMIC LOGIC, which I edited and sold to subscribers from 1977 to June 2020. As a libertarian I did not vote for Trump in 2016, and had not voted for a Republican since Reagan in 1980. I rated Trump without bias, something you could never do.

I rated Trump a "B" for his first two years, and supported that rating with eight pages of accomplishments. I rate Trump a "C" for his next one a one-half years, handicapped by a virus he did not cause, surrounded by "experts" that didn't know what to do (Dr. Grouchy). But it happened on his watch, and he could not control state governors, who decided the economies of their states did not matter.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

John A
I explained why not to cherry pick 3 years.

Obama has an 8 year record, not 3 years.

Average Real GDP growth was shockingly low over Obama's eight years, considering he had the ADVANTAGE of taking office near the trough of a serious recession. The economy was going to bounce back if Obama played golf every day.

Trump also had a recession in his first term.

In three more months, when 4Q 2020 Real GDP data are first released, you could compare Trump's first four years, with Obama's first four years.

That might be a fair comparison, with both first terms including recession months.

On the other hand, the economy grows no matter who is president. Congressional legislation and deep state regulations most likely have more effect on productivity growth than one man living in a white house. And labor force growth is constrained by the declining birth rate, which is not a president's fault.

In my opinion, every president since Eisenhower has been worse than the prior president, as government power grows and our person freedoms declines, 2020 has been the worst year yet, by those libertarian criteria.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

Brain Frozen in the North said:
"It doesn't matter, Trump has 10% winning odds (its nothing its still possible). It has been made clear that his next target are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The only three remaining large spending items on the Federal agenda."

I'd put the odds of Trump winning at 100% based on enthusiasm and crow size. I could not find any Democrat to bet $20 on Biden this year.

Trump spend money like a drunk sailor on shore leave. He loves debt. He loves deficits. My main problem with Trump is his administration spends and borrows too much money. When has he EVER talked about cutting SS, MC or Medicaid spending? He has not. And he is not a man to keep his positions secret.

Do you just make up negative things about Trump and then act as if they are true, like much of the lame leftist-biased mainstream media?

Frozen in the North said...

@The cliff of whatever!

First off you assume that I am a left-winger, which is wrong. In fact, I think the only way the US survives is to cut the federal deficit, and the ONLY place where the US federal government can cut are the social programs that account for the bulk of Federal spending.

The National debt is out of control, a good crisis is a perfect excuse -- unrest will ensure that Trump's mandate will be to cut everything and sell everything. I don't think Trump cares, either way, nothing will come from the white house. I suspect that Senate will remain GOP controlled and that Trump will win (one way or the other), at any rate, he's got 4 months to get the ball rolling -- it can make many many changes very quickly now; he's got the Senate, and the Supreme court and he can more or less do what he wants.