Category Archives: US economy

1/9/19: U.S. Non-Financial Corporate Sector: Stagnation in Net Value Added


Value added by the U.S. non-financial corporates has been languishing well below the cyclical peak for some months now:

In fact, since Q3 2016, net value added by the non-financial corporations has been running below long run trend, and has been basically flat. This suggests substantial pressures build up in the economy, consistent with all previous early indicators of a recession. Interestingly, there is zero evidence of any improvement in the non-financial economy in the U.S. since 2016 election.

8/8/19: Upbeat Jobs Reports Miss Some Real Points


Unemployment claims down, the weekly jobs report seemed to have triggered the usual litany of positive commentary in the business media


But all is not cheerful in the U.S. labor markets, once you start scratching below the surface. Here are two broader metrics of labor markets health: the civilian employment to population ratio and the labor force participation rate, based on monthly data through July:


The above shows that

  1. Civilian labor force participation rate is running still below the levels last seen in the late 1970s, and the current recovery period average (close to the latests monthly running rate) is below any recovery period average since the second half 1970s recession end.
  2. You have to go back to the mid-1980s to find comparable 'expansion period'-consistent levels of labor force participation rate as we have today. This is dire. Current recovery-period and President Trump's tenure period averages for labor force participation rate sit below all recovery periods' averages from 1984 through 2006. 
So much for upbeat jobs reports.

1/9/19: ‘Losin Spectacularly’: Trump Trade Wars and net exports


U.S. net exports of goods and services are in a tailspin and Trump Trade Wars have been anything but 'winning' for American exporters. You can read about the effects of Trade Wars on corporate revenues and earnings here: https://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2019/07/31719-fed-rate-cut-wont-move-needle-on.html. And you can see the trends in net exports here:


This clearly shows that 'Winning Bigly' is really, materially, about 'Losin Spectacularly'. Tremendous stuff!

13/7/19: A New Era of Entrepreneurship? Not in Data so Far…


We are living in the Great New Era of Entrepreneurship that started in 2013 (according to someone at Forbes) and the academia is pumping high entrepreneurship training and education (the Golden Era, according to some don from Stanford). Living in all of this 'game changing' stuff around you can be daunting, inducing FOMO and other behavioural nudges toward dropping everything and launching that new unicorn doing something disruptive and raking in the miracle dollars that everyone around you seems to be minting out of thin air. Right?

Well, not so fast. Here's the data from the U.S. - that 'super-charged engine of enterprising folks':


Hmm... anyone can spot the 'New Era' in entrepreneurship out there, other than the one with historically low rates of business creation?