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Dr. Joe’s Random Thoughts

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The elections turned out a little different than discussed at Graph Expo, but the effects are the same. There I presented the idea that the races for the Senate might be tighter and that there might actually be a chance of a deadlocked Senate rather than a Republican majority, depending ...

September Commercial Printing Shipments +3.9%; Employment Data Reflect Shift in Media Use

Monday, November 10th, 2014

US commercial printing shipments had a good September, with shipments at nearly $6.8 billion, up $252 million (+3.9%, +$132 million or +2% after adjusting for inflation). Q3 shipments were up slightly, +0.1% on an inflation-adjusted basis. For 2014, shipments are down -1.3% (-2.6% with adjustment for inflation). June through September, however, ...

Upbeat Indicators and Employment Reports

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The recovery indicators improved since last month, with continued good performance in the ISM indicators. Even the indicator that was down, non-manufacturing new orders, is still at a level that indicates good growth. (click chart to enlarge) Last week, the first estimate of Q3 GDP was released, and it was +3.5%. ...

Can We Trust the Economic Data We Get?

Friday, October 17th, 2014

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 ...

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

Monday, October 6th, 2014

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 ...

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

Monday, October 6th, 2014

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 ...

Four Recovery Indicators Pull Back

Monday, October 6th, 2014

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 ...

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

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

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 ...

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

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

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 ...

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

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

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 ...