Bill Watkins & Dan Hamilton On January 26th, the blogger named Effective Demand commented on our January 25-th entry “Targeting Nominal GDP, Purchasing Homes, and Economic Recovery”. We thank you for your comment. We agree with you that too many people own homes, hard choices need to be made, and short sales or foreclosures must… Read more

We are thrilled to see the first estimate of the 4th quarter GDP come in way above our forecast, but we wish we had forecast the change. We do expect to see the initial estimate revised down in subsequent releases. Why did the GDP estimate come in so strong? Mostly, it was investment. Fourth quarter… Read more

Bill Watkins and Dan Hamilton Scott Sumner maintains a blog in which he has argued that the FED should not target interest rates, but instead target nominal GDP. When the economy experiences a Liquidity Trap, as it arguably did in late 2008 and 2009, reducing the short-term target interest rate becomes ineffective as interest rates… Read more

The Oregon Employment Department’s Labor Market Information System released December 2009 jobs and employment data for Oregon’s counties today. In most respects, Central Oregon’s labor market is not significantly changed from November, and very close to our forecast. The Bend MSA (Deschutes County) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell from 14.2 percent in November to 14 percent… Read more

The December California jobs report, out today, shows that the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate held steady from November at 12.4 percent. The year-on-year job declines subsided from November’s -4.2 percent to -3.9 percent in December. The annualized month-on-month job decline, which is very volatile, worsened from -1.5 percent in November to -3.2 percent in December. Almost two-thirds… Read more

Today’s Oregon jobs report for December shows mixed results in the State’s job market.  The OES’s Labor Market Information System provided the December estimates for the state this morning and will provide them for Oregon’s counties on Friday morning.  The State’s Year-over-year job losses are improving a bit, from a loss of about five percent… Read more

Today’s data releases highlight the challenges facing those who claim we are in a recovery. The December retail sales volume, down 0.3 percent from November, was perhaps the most shocking number to the optimists out there. This was almost a full percentage point below “consensus expectations,” which were for 0.5 percent growth. So much for… Read more

Our governor wants a constitutional amendment to require that 10 percent of state revenues go to higher education. This sounds good, but it really is bad policy in several ways: One of our current problems is that there are so many spending mandates in California that our policy makers have very limited freedom to respond… Read more

This morning’s December employment situation report showed certain signs of improvement that do indicate a positive trend. However, the fourth quarter of 2009 ended down, consistent with our forecast. The November jobs number was revised to show a month-on-month gain of jobs. The December jobs number was down 0.8 percent from November and down three… Read more

I ran across this Robert Scheer piece in The Nation. Sheer laments the fact that the Obama administration seems determined to not bring back the Glass-Steagall Act, while McCain is trying to reinstate the regulation. Apparently, Larry Summers supported the repeal of the Glass-Steagall when he was with the Clinton administration. Scheer believes that Summers… Read more