Friday, May 16, 2008

Economic sound bites

And some effort to try read it in more positive tone.

From housing activities:

Builders broke ground on 692,000 single-family homes at an
annual rate, down 1.7 percent from March and the fewest since
January 1991, the Commerce Department said today in Washington.
Total starts jumped 8.2 percent to a 1.032 million pace that was
higher than forecast as construction of multi-family units
increased 36 percent following a 35 percent drop in March.

Starts increased in three of four regions, led by a 24
percent jump in the Midwest. Construction rose 19 percent in the
West and 3.6 percent in the South. Starts dropped 13 percent in
the Northeast.

( Read: a bunch of condo building in the MidWest? What pricing are we talking about? $50-80k? heee heee heee okay I'll move there and get me a shack in the prairie and so will everyone else)

PM notes: I was extremely ignorant. The condo building spree may be anticipatory to living in more crowded places as to minimize commuting in the future, given the current cost of energy AND the inflation EXPECTATION that is now firmly anchored in the upside and cannot be defused with just expected rate hike. The midwest in my opinion is where "traditional" USA living is still at its best, suburbia 3 kids two SUV one minivan from early 90s and leaky windows from very large 1950s victorian, and the lowest salaries in the nation to support the whole kaboodle. This is clearly unsustainable and we may have just observed very early part of a trend. We'll keep watching.

From consumer side:

Inflation battle is most assuredly lost (the anchor is floating like garbage on yangtze river) and only unexpected rate hike can stop the train from ramming Ben in the butt at this point. Oh, the consumer? Well .........

Okay, my take: after moving to the prairie, I suddenly feel very depressed cuz I think prices still going up and I can't afford jackshit anyway. But there are plenty of rabbits to hunt and stew.

Afterthought: I am thinking of a catchy book title: "Zero-Participation Economy", which can be used to teach undergrad about the Newest New Economy.


D said...

Academics and bankrupt salesmen are driving fiscal and monetary policy...

Can we expect anything more from them? They have chosen to suffocate the economy on high prices first and lower prices later. Just give us the lower prices asshats.

MTGSPY said...

Well, you are correct on all counts there. I am just gonna add that inflation # perceived by the public is the most important because it's real. You buy milk and eggs from other people, not Ben. Now I cannot think of any other solution than to start hiking rates unexpectedly because that is the only way left out of this mess. :)