New Data: The Economy Is In The Latrine

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The economy is dying and the process is accelerating by the day now. The Conference Board released extremely weak data. The Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.1% in July to 109.8, following a .3% decline in June, and a .5% increase in May.

“The indicators point to a slow expansion through the end of the year,” says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board. “With inventory rebuilding moderating, the industrial core of the economy has moved to a slower pace. There appears to be no change in the pace of the service sector. Combined, the result is a weak economy with little forward momentum. The good news, however, is that the data do not point to a recession.” Goldstein not only states the obvious, but has not support for his contention that a new recession is not already underway or about to begin.

Further confirmation that the third quarter could post negative GDP was the announcement today of weekly jobless claims. For the week ended Aug. 14, initial claims rose 12,000 to 500,000. This is the highest level since the week ended Nov. 14, 2009.

It looks like a recession to everyone but the economists.

Douglas A. McIntyre