Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tuesday Economics Roundtable

From Marketwatch:

U.S. June PPI up 0.5%, core PPI up 0.2%

U.S. producer prices rose by a larger-than-expected 0.5% in June, but core inflation increased 0.2% as expected, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. Higher energy and food prices accounted for most of the gain in June in the producer price index for finished goods. Energy prices rose 0.7% in June. Food prices rose 1.4%, the most since October 2004. Prices of crude materials fell 1.7%, while intermediate goods prices rose 0.7%. Core intermediate goods prices rose 0.8%. The 0.5% gain in the PPI was much larger than the 0.2% expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The core rate was exactly as predicted.

From Bloomberg:

China Economy Grows 11.3 Percent, Most in a Decade

China's economy grew 11.3 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in more than a decade, and the government said it will clamp down on lending and investment.

Spending on factories and real estate accelerated in June, the statistics bureau said today, helping gross domestic product grow faster than the 10.4 percent median forecast among 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. It was the biggest expansion since 1994, when the economy was a quarter the size.

The figures added to speculation the central bank will raise lending rates for a second time this year and order banks to rein in credit in the world's fastest-growing major economy. China may also allow faster currency gains to curb a trade surplus that's flooded the economy with cash and strained relations with the U.S.

``We are concerned about the overheating situation,'' said Masahiro Kawai, head of the Asian Development Bank's office of regional economic integration. ``There is an even stronger case for a tighter monetary policy and a more accelerated pace of the yuan's appreciation.''
``Inflation is likely to surprise on the upside,'' said Liang Hong, an economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in Hong Kong. ``If consumer prices start to show much more momentum, the government's tightening doses will be stronger.''

From Bloomberg:

U.K. Inflation Accelerates to Match Nine-Year High

Inflation in the U.K. accelerated more than economists expected in June as energy costs climbed, matching a nine-year high and increasing the prospect that the Bank of England will raise interest rates.

Consumer prices rose 2.5 percent from June 2005, the same level as in September, which was the highest since the series began in 1997, the Office for National Statistics in London said today. The reading exceeded the 2.3 percent median prediction in a Bloomberg survey of 32 economists. Prices increased 0.3 percent in the month.

The inflation rate has exceeded the Bank of England's 2 percent target for two months as record oil prices push up gasoline costs, household bills and factory goods prices. Investors raised bets on an increase in the benchmark interest rate by the end of the year after today's report.

``Inflation is certainly higher than the Bank of England was expecting,'' James Knightley, an economist at ING Bank NV in London, said. ``It's all down to energy at the moment. There's risk of a rate hike later this year, probably in November.''

Investors expect the bank will lift its benchmark rate a quarter-point to 4.75 percent this year. The yield on the interest-rate contract maturing in December rose 6 basis points to 4.96 percent as of 12:07 a.m. in London.


Blogger grim said...

From Bloomberg:

U.S. June Producer Prices Rise 0.5%; Core Rate Rises 0.2%

Prices paid to U.S. producers rose at a faster rate in June on higher costs for food, energy and automobiles, adding to the risk that inflation may accelerate.

The 0.5 percent increase in producer prices followed a 0.2 percent rise in May, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The core rate, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2 percent and was up 1.9 percent from the same month last year.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may tell lawmakers tomorrow that policy makers are concerned about inflation even as the economy shows signs of slowing. Central bankers may raise interest rates next month to keep raw materials costs from seeping into prices of other goods and services.

``There are still some pipeline pressures on prices that are mainly coming out of intermediate and raw materials,'' Brian Bethune, an economist at Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, said before the report. ``The Fed will go up one more time.''

The gain in core prices over the last 12 months was the biggest since September 2005.

7/18/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not always too confident in these numbers because of stealth infaltion.

I know alot of people whom run buisneses and this is a major, major element in the buisness and statistics don't really pick it up.

So basically, ya gotta take these numbers with a grain of salt, because they can easily be fudged.

In any case, Fed will raise by .25% come next meeting, you can count on that.


7/18/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you all know what stealth infation is right?


7/18/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some good biddys about comanys in our area who employ alot of people.

Record Sales Lift J&J Profit 9 Percent

Merrill Lynch 2Q Profit Rises 42 Percent

Citigroup 2Q Profit Rises but Misses Views

7/18/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

we have to see the passthrough (if any) into the CPI tomorrow and then wait for bernanke's speech before closing the lid on next august 25bps hike. i personally believe they want to stop raising but can't if CPI looks like PPI today.

7/18/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Agree, my gut feel puts the probability of a 25 bps move at 50% right now.

As of yesterday, expectations based on futures were near the 50% mark as well.

Fed Funds Rate Predictions


7/18/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well the Naz has underpermformed all year.

The Florida housing market has

San Diego has collapsed.

It goes on.

Retail sales slowed for the second
month in a row.

If you have a pulse you can still
get a mortgage,but that might change.

As we finish out the summer, this
could get interesting.

Cash is king.

7/18/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

10Y yield up at 5.12 this morning.

7/18/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

grim said...
10Y yield up at 5.12 this morning.
7/18/2006 10:33:27 AM


I started following this expanded group.

at 10:30AM
3M 5.12
2Y 5.16
10Y 5.13

7/18/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger PhantomBuyerNJ said...

I think the real worry here has to be stagflation. How the ecomomy is going to deal with increasing input prices leading to increasing consumer prices, combined with a possible regional war in the middle east, which is where a large percentage of our energy comes from is beyond me. Add to that falling house prices, and people who now owe more than their house is worth because of the home equity loans they took out, and we've got some real problems on our hands.

7/18/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

N.Y. Times to reduce page size, cut jobs


"The New York Times Co. plans to reduce the width of its flagship newspaper by an inch and a half and close a printing plant in Edison, N.J., resulting in the loss of about 250 jobs, the company announced Tuesday."

Sucks for those 250, not likely to find a job in there line of work, unless they were Ray Ray in the mailroom.

Remember, when you get laid off, you are lucky if you will ever make 1/2 of what you once made, sad but true.

But there is a flip side to this.....The NYT should publish how many jobs its created as there online subscriptions have skyrocketed. Alot of tech jobs to keep that page going....


7/18/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Housing stocks just continue to
get pounded.

hov tol toa


7/18/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Flop that house said...

To all,

where to put your money if you have about $300K in savings?

7/18/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Careful...I used that word here once and got laughed back to my real job.

I think for the last several months the consensus here seems to be recession.

O.K...I'm going back to my riveting EPS checks.


7/18/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, ph.d.

You have to look at your timeframe, and then come back.

Are you the same guy from last week - is kinda young, 30-ish, really conservative, and has a positive outlook on housing?

Then you need to define the goal for the cash. Downpayment? Retirement? ST/LG?

7/18/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

retail get pounded as well

kss shld jcp

mid summer blues.

How are housing starts?

7/18/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger thatbigwindow said...

Ph.D. said...
To all,

where to put your money if you have about $300K in savings?

7/18/2006 11:17:23 AM

you can't go wrong with beanie babies and commerative Elvis plates

7/18/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Flop that house said...

For short term purppose, in such volatile market, I was thinking about putting some of the money in Platinum. more expensive that gold. but would be interested to see what the price of platinum if oil continues to rise.

7/18/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mindless , and relentless selling
in retail, brokers, housing.

Some are now below fair value.

Relentless :

bby anf tgt just no support for these stocks.

7/18/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IBM hires workers in India at 88% cheaper than US workers.

Heart surgery in India $8,000 vs $32,000 in US.

House Prices NOWHERE to go but DOWNZO!




7/18/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Put your money in a low cost MM account to don't lose what you have.
what do you know about platinum?
Housing Bust!


7/18/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bob , this could be a very weak
Christmas season.

Can anybody thinks about whats
its going to be like in Nov.Dec.

How about bets on the inventory
level ,,, say Dec. 15th.

7/18/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If volatility is concerning you, maybe want to mix it up a bit with CDs.

Maybe do some research into entertainment and health care before you throw them out.

Unless you can sleep at night with no diversity.

7/18/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“‘Keep an eye out. It’s going to get worse and worse,’ said Christopher Thornberg, senior economist of UCLA’s Anderson Forecast. Describing most potential borrowers, especially in regions like Sacramento, Thornberg said: ‘Their home appreciation has gone to zero.’”

“Despite the drop, more than 27,000 homeowners in the eight-county area borrowed nearly $2.5 billion against their home values from January through April. Mortgage strategist Angela Talent said she has received more, not fewer, requests for home equity loans in recent months. Many applicants, she said, are financially stressed and need to rein in credit card and other debt.”

Why should taxpayers have to subsidize the spending of FOOLS?

Time to take this writeoff away!




7/18/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

take a look at foreclosures and bankruptcies on FSBO.com. they're happening even in the top towns. leverage swings both ways

welcome back Bob

7/18/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

The 6 month T-Bill is my first choice right now.


7/18/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

platinum? are you speculating with your downpayment savings? if so, I hope you have balls of steel, uh I mean platinum...

I repeat my previous post:
IMO short-term treasury bills are the most secure way to protect savings while waiting out the bubble. After-tax yields are better than CDs if you have high state income taxes like NJ since T-bills are exempt from state income taxes. EZ to buy without commission from treasurydirect.gov, fully backed by US Gov. I have been buying 28-day and 90-day notes.

You won't make a killing, but you won't get killed. If you want to speculate, use money that's not earmarked for home purchase.


7/18/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Flop that house said...

Correct me if I am wrong, I think the new bankruptcy law allow the person to keep his/her house even though he/she might be broke.

7/18/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Ph.D. said...
For short term purppose, in such volatile market, I was thinking about putting some of the money in Platinum.
7/18/2006 11:49:40 AM

siete pazzeschi?

7/18/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...





7/18/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O.K., Mr. Booya "Let's-Cap-the-Int-Deduction" Bob:

Who's gonna get all that revenue?

Madam Esmeralda sees many Democrats in the future, riding on white horses, with semi-social-democratic ideals plastered across their banners.

7/18/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chinese growth surges in second quarter
GDP rises at 11.3% annual rate, fastest since the mid-'90s; rate hike expected.


If China's central banks raise rates, I wonder how this will play out....


7/18/2006 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

"Correct me if I am wrong, I think the new bankruptcy law allow the person to keep his/her house even though he/she might be broke."

you're wrong (no offense).

there are only a couple of states where you can do this (TX and FL).

In NJ, you may only take an exemption of $125,000 if you bought your home during the past 1215 days.

This means that most recent homebuyers who file for bankruptcy will be forced to liquidate their homes, since $125,000 is well below the median in most areas

7/18/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Phd, platinum at a possible loss, vs HSBCDirect account guaranteed @ 5%.

Seems like an easy choice to me.

7/18/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

For those who prefer not to use online services but are looking for a local branch bank with a high yield CD, Hudson City Savings Bank has a 5-month paying 5.25 (APY).

7/18/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Bond market seems concerned over the prospects of a worse-than-expected CPI tomorrow..

3M 5.12
2Y 5.19
10Y 5.17

7/18/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firecrackers setting off at the Westchester Blog in response to this :
This is a quote from a broker on another blog about affordability in Westchester "Affordibility is not that low. People simply have to get used to a new reality. They can't just graduate from college, get a job and buy a house. Won't happen. They will have work their way up one rung at a time. First they buy a 1 BR co-op, then they graduate to a 2 BR or 1 BR condo, THEN and only THEN do they graduate to a starter house. They may even have to go for a 2 BR condo. before getting to a house. It's affordable if people are smart and recognize what they have to do to get where they want to go.

This is not what people WANT to hear, but that's the way it is. Wants and needs are too different things. I get customers all the time who say "I want this and I want that" what they don't want is for me to tell them the truth: they can't afford it. Once they are willing to let go of the "dream house" idea I can sit down with them and outline a plan that gets them from point "A" to point "Z" in about ten years.

First you separate out "needs" vs. "wants". Often you find that what people want, is not really what they need. " I want a commute that takes only 30 minutes". That's fine, but you also NEED something you can afford. If you can't, I can probably find you something that will suit you well but you will have to put up with a longer commute. "I want a 2 BR condo". That's great - IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT. If the price is too high, I've got a 1 BR OR you can commute a little further and get that second BR. Which do you need more, the 2nd BR or the short commute. People can generally afford to buy what the NEED, but they can't always afford what the want. For those that can't afford to buy, they need to save, save, save and work hard to get to that first starter unit.

This is NOT what people want to hear, but stop saying housing is unaffordable. Not true. Housing is affordable. People just want more house then they can afford or a location that they can't quite manage. But if they are willing to compromise and sacrifice, I can probably find something for you. For example, I just closed on a unit for someone that makes less than $50k a year. That person needed to be content with a small space - though they did get their location. When I asked which was more important...location won. This person could readily AFFORD what they bought. But they had to sacrifice space for location...they simply couldn't afford both."

7/18/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

"where to put your money if you have about $300K in savings?

cash is king right now. to stay liquid and preserve your capital while making 5.25-5.5% look into 7-day short term maturity paper on the street. it's almost always hedged to an amount way above what you'd be putting in (my paper is $300 million). it rolls over every 7 days with a new interest rate that typically is a tad about the best rates on MMA.

i'm parking my 'spare change' there for the next 6 months until we get some direction after interest rate hikes have their impact.

7/18/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Housing Index just release
by the National Association of Home Builders, INdex fell from
42 to 39 in June.

Lowest level since Dec. 1991

It's getting worst.

How's christmas going to be.

7/18/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:12 am SAS said
Anonymous said...
"N.Y. Times to reduce page size, cut jobs"

Great! Less room for leftist propoganda.

7/18/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where to put your money if you have about $300K in savings?

Contact me and I'll give you the address where to send it.

Seriously, speculating with PM (gold, platinium et cetera) is just that, speculating. In the long term,
PM has been a lousy investment. But of course, this time it is different. They don't make any more metals, people want to have it and it only goes up. I hope the housing bubble has teached people a lesson.

CDs are nice but if you are in high tax bracket it is better to invest in tax-exempt instruments, like T-Bills or NJ specific money market funds (no state or federal tax).

7/18/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is some validity to that Westchester post and that is....people don't want to hear the truth....people have the "tell me what I wanna hear, or don't tell me anything at all"

Yes, you do have to work your way up. The " I want it now" generation has to still learn that.

But housing, in this area, is unaffordable for most. Other area its not (Texas, NC, SD).


7/18/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...

Vanguard's NJ money market fund is good for higher brackets.

7/18/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Flop that house said...

I have no much financial backing of investing in Platinum. But from an industrial point of view, there should be tremendous amount of demand for Pt, every new refinery going online in india and china will need Pt everyday, every new car in China will have some Pt in their muffler.

The demand will only keep on getting higher, unlike gold which is only a investment tool for weaker dollar.

-ignorant in finance, but good in chemistry

7/18/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

"Yes, you do have to work your way up. The " I want it now" generation has to still learn that."


I agree to an extent, but "working your way up" is quite different from what that realtor is advocating, which is getting yourself involved in a glorified Ponzi scheme.

And for what it's worth, I don't see how young people are any more profligate than their parents when it comes to wanting to "have it now." See, e.g., the lack of retirement savings

7/18/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, ph.d., you are saying that there will be some shortage of platinum ... that any increase in demand cannot be absorbed by supply?

Or perhaps you believe that if the price of platinum becomes too unwieldy, there are no other substitutes?

If you believe in a shortage of this resource, together with no reasonable substitutes over the next decade, then I would also buy platinum.

I am not buying platinum, personally, for a short term investment. I would rather check out substitutes. But that is just me.

7/18/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...

Phd, commodities investing is extremely risky. I would not invest it in except for my play money and most definitely not for money I need in 1-3 years.

7/18/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"N.Y. Times to reduce page size, cut jobs"

Great! Less room for leftist propoganda.

Yeah, right. The home of Judith Miller of Germs fame is the source of all leftist propaganda. Listen to yourself! (Instead of Rush)


7/18/2006 08:54:00 PM  

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