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Another Suspicious Economic Report

By March 7, 2024Commentary

Actually two, and the pattern here is a little too obvious to be accidental.  The Bidementia administration is routinely issuing important economic statistics and then revising them in the negative direction in successive releases.

The first in the frequently revised series was one we haven’t talked about much–factory orders.  Manufacturing is an important part of the US economy and these orders can reflect how optimistic other businesses are feeling.  Orders in January declined 3.9% month over month and 2% year over year.   December’s number was revised down and in a shockingly familiar refrain, in the last 21 months, the initial order number has been revised downward 16 times.  Thank God for the war in Ukraine, Israel’s attempt to subdue the maniacal Hamas and other conflicts around the world, because defense orders were very strong!  (ZH Post)

And the second report is our old friend the JOLTS report, which supposedly tracks job openings, voluntary and involuntary terminations, etc.  Here too, we see constant negative revisions, that being the case in 6 out of the last 8 months.  So of course December was revised down.  It is hard to know exactly how to read the interplay between the various statistics in the reports, but in general job openings are down, hiring is down, but separations are also down.  Job openings are always an exaggeration of how many people might really be hired, but the trend is useful and suggests a cooling employment market, as does hiring.  And the decrease in voluntary separations is not viewed as positive since suggests fewer people are willing to leave their current job for another one.  Altogether not an encouraging report, but I am sure the media will ignore it to continue to help Bidementia with his flagging re-election campaign, currently on life support, as is he.  (ZH Post) 

Here is the actual BLS release with files attached for the JOLTS report.  (BLS Release)

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