Bicuspid Bucks

tooth fairy

 The Friday File: In 2016, the Tooth Fairy left an average of $4.66, up from $3.91 in 2015. In total, tooth fairies left $290.6 million! First teeth are especially valuable, bringing in an average of $5.72. The tooth fairy visits 85% of the nation’s households with children. Payouts are highest in … [Read more...]


Gone Government

A sign on the National Mall tells visitors of the closures do to the federal government shutdown in Washington

 Since 1977, there have been 11 federal government-wide shutdowns. Nine times those shutdowns have lasted three days or less, once, in 1995, it lasted six days. The shutdown in 2013 lasted the longest, 16 days, but most Defense Department workers returned to work after six days. There have also been … [Read more...]


Denver area still lags in new home construction

Check out Elliot's economic outlook for Denver. Read more here. … [Read more...]


Grand Growth


 The US economy grew at a strong 3% during 17Q2, up from an earlier estimate of 2.6%. The improvement was the result of significantly stronger consumer spending, and this is very important, private investment! As the labor market tightens and wages rise, firms appear to be finally boosting capital … [Read more...]


Jumpy Jobs

Horrified Businessman

 Employers added just 156,000 jobs in August, and June and July were collectively downwardly revised 41,000. Yet job creation is averaging 185,000/month since June, and 176,000 YTD; excellent numbers this late in the cycle. More puzzling, wage growth has been 2.5% for three straight months, a level … [Read more...]


Vacation Void


 The Friday File: From 1976 to 2000, Americans used about 20 days of vacation/year. Since then, the number has steadily declined, hitting a low of 16 in 2014. In 2015, it rose to 16.2 and last year: 16.8! 44% of women took all their vacation time, 48% of men did. The number of days that were not … [Read more...]


Divided Data


 Data released today were a perfect microcosm of the US economy. On one hand, job growth is excellent, with involuntary weekly terminations at lows last seen 40 years ago. Moreover, real consumer spending growth is solid at 2.7% and the manufacturing sector continues to strengthen. On the other … [Read more...]


Bigger Borrowing


 After peaking at almost $375 billion in 2005, originations of home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs) plummeted to just $62.5 billion by 2010. Since then they have been steadily rising, and through 1H17 already total $84 billion, suggesting annual volume of close to $200 billion. Despite this rise, … [Read more...]


Hurricane Harvey

 Hurricane Harvey will probably cause $75 billion in economic damage, less than Katrina’s $130 billion, but still making it the second most costly storm just ahead of Superstorm Sandy’s $71 billion. Crude prices are down 3% as refineries have shut, reducing demand but causing gasoline prices to rise … [Read more...]


Beautiful Banks


 While housing and autos are struggling, albeit for very different reasons, banks are doing splendidly! Net interest margin, or the difference between what banks lend and borrow at rose to 3.22 percentage points, the highest since 13Q4. Partly as a result, ROA (return on assets) rose to 1.14%, ROE … [Read more...]