Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jobless claims surging, Philly Fed a disaster

The latest economic news ain't so good, to put it mildly. Initial jobless claims came in at 627,000 in the week of February 14, above forecasts for 620,000 and just shy of the cycle high of 631,000 from late January. Continuing claims rose to 4.987 million from 4.817 million -- a fresh record high for the series, which goes all the way back to 1967.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fed index plunged to -41.3 in February from -24.3 in January. That was far worse than the average forecast for a reading of -25 and the lowest reading since October 1990 (-48.2). Subindices tracking new orders, employment, and shipments all fell sharply, though in a bit of a silver lining, the index measuring expectations about the next six months rose to 15.9 from 7.4 a month earlier. That's the highest level since September.

2 Comments:

  • I have pity for those jobless,imagine how will they be able to survive with their daily living?

    By Anonymous Modify Loans, at February 19, 2009 at 9:23 PM  

  • This is where the disruption in housing spills over an effects every nook and cranny in America. Job losses paired with immobility will create a whole new dimension of misery. The people with the least skills will go first, they also have the fewest resources. Gun carry permits are backlogged. Crime is rising. When skilled taxpayers are laid off, they too are immobile but can bite the bullet if they act quickly. Most don't and remain in shock. Towns and States will try and raise taxes on the remaining with jobs, further depressing consumption. My guess is that joblessness will hit 25% based on the speed of decline of the economy. All estimates have underestimated by 50%. With an interruption in cash flow, many will lose everything.

    Perhaps we should consider this a disaster and begin to build disaster camps as would house people if a hurricane or earthquake leveled a city or coast.

    The next sector to be nationalized will be energy. People can't afford to spend $200 a month to run a refrigerator and have hot water and a few light bulbs, nor can they afford $5 gasoline brought to us by investment bank speculators.

    There are no milestones to measure value when the market is manipulated and distorted. We have accepted that a roof costs about 31% of Everyman's budget. There should be associated percentages for energy, transportation, food, health care, communications and entertainment, short term savings cushion and long term retirement savings. What is left over can be spent on a couch. Our entire economy needs re-alignment.

    One cost I am not looking forward to paying is a universal health care package written by a bunch of donut hole industry lobbyists.

    I remember the mayor of Ft. Lauderdale and the economists at the Dallas Fed saying that if a cop or a fireman wants to live in the city area they service, they need to work two full time jobs. Our economy needs re-alignment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 23, 2009 at 7:05 AM  

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