Radio commentary, March 25, 2010

Not much in the way of economic news since last we spoke. The U.S. economy continues to flatline, which only looks good next to the collapse of 2008 and 2009. The Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve puts out a monthly National Activity Index (CFNAI), a composite of 85 separate indicators, that’s a good a single measure of the state of the economy that we have. When it’s at 0, the economy is expanding at its historical average; below 0, it’s growing below trend; above 0, it’s growing above trend. The CFNAI broke… Read More

Radio commentary, March 19, 2009

Several new bits of economic news, most of them a little better than the recent run has been. First-time claims for unemployment insurance filed by people who’ve just lost their jobs fell by 12,000 last week. The four-week moving average, which smooths out this volatile series, rose slightly to make a new high for this recession. But it’s possible that the rate of deterioration is now slowing. In other words, the job market is terrible, but at least it’s not getting rapidly worse. At least over the last few weeks. The big surprise… Read More