Bullish for GDP, foodstamps and BLS scapegoating of the weather as the reason for a weak May jobs report.
Full list of all reported tornaodes between 8PM and 11PM UTC:
One of these days we might just get a positive economic print, of the kind that the meandering Tepper was saying is visible everywhere now. Just not yet. Moments ago we got the releases of the May PPI and the Empire Fed, the first of which dropped -0.7%, on expectations of a -0.6% drop, the lowest MoM PPI since July 2009. (Read more…) driven by food and energy producer prices as economic slack continues to persist, while PPI ex food and energy dropped from a +0.2% increase in April to just 0.1%, in line with expectations. Technically, this is bullish for the E-Trade baby as it gives the Fed carte blanche to continue QEternity as long as needed.
But it was the Empire Fed index that was even more disappointing, as it crushed hopes for an increase from 3.05 to 4.00 in May, instead posting the first contractionary print since January, printing at -1.43. It gets worse when one digs through the data: New Orders dropped from 2.20 to -1.17, Shipments also slid into negative from 0.75 to -0.02, Unfilled Orders deteriorated even more from -3.41 to -6.82, Inventories contracted from -4.55 to -7.95, Prices Paid and Received both contracted, but worst of all, the Average Employee Workweek dropped from 5.68 to -1.14, meaning the collapse in the average workweek persists, and even if the BLS reports a positive print for May, the report will once again mask the declining aggregate end demand for labor.
What is worst, however, is that even the Hopium has now run out, with the future general business conditions index declining for a second consecutive month, dropping six points to 25.5. Add to this the just 1.2% expectation in increasing prices received – the lowest on record - and one can see why the US manufacturing sector is collapsing.
The May 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers declined marginally. The general business conditions index fell four points to -1.4, its first negative reading since January. The new orders index also edged into negative territory, and the shipments index fell to zero. The prices paid index declined eight points to 20.5, indicating a slowdown in selling price increases, while the prices received index was little changed at 4.6. Employment indexes were mixed, showing both a modest increase in the number of employees and a slight decline in the length of the average workweek. Indexes for the six-month outlook were generally lower, suggesting that optimism about future conditions had weakened.
In a series of supplementary survey questions, firms were asked about past and expected changes in both the prices they paid for inputs and the prices they charged their customers. The same questions had previously been asked in surveys conducted in May 2012 and in May of earlier years. Respondents to the current survey, on average, expected the prices they paid to climb by 2.8 percent—the smallest anticipated rise since May 2009.
Moreover, the average respondent anticipated an increase of just 1.2 percent in prices received—the smallest expected increase recorded since these questions were first asked in May 2007.
General Business Conditions Index Falls Below Zero
After three months of modestly positive readings, the general business conditions index fell four points to -1.4 in May, pointing to a slight deterioration in business conditions for New York manufacturers for the first time since January. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 26 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index also fell below zero, declining three points to -1.2. The shipments index was little changed, holding at zero in a sign that shipments were flat. The unfilled orders index declined three points to -6.8. The delivery time index was unchanged at -3.4, and the inventories index fell three points to -8.0, suggesting a modest decline in inventory levels.
It may come as a surprise to some that when distributed across all American adults (15+, male and female), including weekends, the average American spent just 3.57 hours out of every 24 on work and work-related activities in 2011, according to the BLS’ American Time Survey. The number one time consuming activity? Sleep, at 8.71 hours (an all time high for the series), followed by Leisure and Sports with 5. (Read more…)21 hours in second place. The balance of the 6.51 hours remaining? 1.77 hours for Household Activities, 1.24 for Eating and Drinking, and so on, until we hit less than half an hour (0.47 hours) spent on education activities. At least the average time spent on telephone calls, mail and email is not more than the amount of time Americans spend edumacating themselves.
Americans may be working less, but at least they are sleeping more than ever.
Of course, the above does not mean that the average working American’s day job lasts only from 9am until 12:45pm. Once again, this is simply an averaging across all Americans, including that half that does no paid work, as well as those who do part-time work while factoring weekend time off. With work an ever more sensitive topic for everyone from Obama to the Fed, this is how the BLS breakdown the hourly workload data:
Sure they did: how else are they going to pay off those tens of thousands in college loans.
Select additional data in chart format:
So less work more sleep: with increasing automation, an ever older population and an economy that is still mired in a deep depression only masked by the global central planners’ attempts at reflating asset prices and generating a “confidence boosting” wealth effect for some, and welfare for others, the this is hardly surprising.
However, perhaps what is most interesting, and what is best known by a regime whose survivial depends on preserving confidence in the system, is that as a result of all of the above, the amount of time spent by Americans and by the entire developed, if insolvent, world in front of the TV, is now at an all time high. Here is Goldman’s take on this phenomenon:
From a media perspective, older demographics watch more TV but advertisers are keener on younger audiences – in particular young males with disposable incomes. We believe that this could change, as older demographics are more tech savvy and engage with social media and innovations such as second screen applications. As targeted advertising becomes more widespread, advertisers may come to value older demographics more. BSkyB is in the process of implementing Ad-Smart, a targeted advertising service which marries subscriber data with bought-in public records and credit data. This should allow advertisers to serve different commercials to individual households.
There’s that. And there is also the much simpler question of pure propaganda blasting at everyone 24/7 on some 1000 cable channels.
So that takes care of the “circuses”. As for the “bread”? Well, as we learned earlier, eat moar insects.