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Can We Trust the Economic Data We Get?

By on October 17th, 2014 - 3 Comments

In 2012, the New York Post economics writer John Crudele reported that there were problems with the employment surveys being conducted in the Philadelphia office of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The reports were from a confidential source, and that source was proven to be correct. A Congressional review of the report was initiated and…

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Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.9%; Magazine Employment Falls Below 100,000

By on October 6th, 2014 - 2 Comments

The unemployment rate improved yet again and is now 5.9%. The improvement again comes mainly from the exit of workers from the labor force. Last month, -97,000 left the workforce. The labor force has decreased by -365,000 since the most recent peak in March. If the labor force was growing roughly with population, it would…

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August US Commercial Printing Shipments Down -1% Compared to 2013

By on October 6th, 2014 - Comment

After two months of positive comparisons to 2013, August printing shipments fell by -$68 million (-1%) on a current dollar basis. On an inflation-adjusted basis, they were down -$192 million (-2.9%). For the last 12 months, shipments are down -2.8% in current dollars and -4.4% after adjusting for inflation. They are running at a rate…

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Four Recovery Indicators Pull Back

By on October 6th, 2014 - Comment

The recovery indicators took a wallop this past month, with four of them pulling back, especially new orders for manufacturing. The NASDAQ had an erratic month but only had a -1.5% pullback despite much grinding of teeth. But… the ISM decrease in new orders for manufacturing and non-manufacturing needs to be put in perspective: these…

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Dr. Joe Rambles About the USPS: Playing the Slots, the UPS Store, Casablanca, and Other Mini-rants

By on October 1st, 2014 - Comment

A Brooklyn post office stopped delivering mail, suddenly, when mailbox slots were determined to be too low. This was a shock to residents. The postmaster sent letters that he did not want the deliveryperson to be injured by bending down, and asked for mailboxes to be attached to the outside of the homes. One person…

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More Dr. Joe Ramblings: Forecasts, Drugstores, Statistics, Buybacks, and BookBooks

By on October 1st, 2014 - Comment

Walgreens drug stores had a big forecast error that cost executives their jobs. The CFO had to cut their forecast of revenues from pharmaceuticals paid by Medicare plans by $1 billion. That’s about a 12% miss. Don’t worry. He got severance of $3.2 million and a performance bonus of about $1.2 million (or almost 1%…

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The Fed’s quantitative easing is winding down… now what?

By on September 25th, 2014 - 1 Comment

Janet Yellen has been handling the job of chairing the Federal Reserve quite well. We know because, like Alan Greenspan, no one knows what she means when she is being questioned in Congress or at a press conference. Yes, Dr. Yellen speaks another language called “Fedspeak.” Bloomberg ran an article that originally had the phrase…

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Income Statistics Don’t Tell the Whole Economic Story

By on September 18th, 2014 - Comment

One of my favorite articles over the past decade has been “You are What You Spend” which appeared in the New York Times in 2008. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, it explained that income data do not explain the full extent of economic activity, but data about spending yields a richer perspective of the…

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Industry Profits Remain Rangebound but Positive, Show Effects of Consolidation and Market Adaptation

By on September 10th, 2014 - Comment

Second quarter US commercial printing profits were $1.13 billion, based on the recent Quarterly Financial Report issued by the Department of Commerce and combined with other Commerce Department and Bureau of Labor Statistics data. This was down -7.5% compared to Q2-2013. For the last four quarters, total profits were $3.67 billion, and that is +20%…

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Positive Reviews for “This Point Forward” by Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano Prior to Its Graph Expo Release

By on September 9th, 2014 - 4 Comments

We are pleased to announce that Graph Expo 2014 is the release date of the new book by me and Richard Romano, This Point Forward: The New Start the Marketplace Demands. Free hard copies will be made available at the show (details below). Disrupting the Future was published in 2010, and likely had the largest…

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