Week Ending January 15, 2021
U.S. initial jobless claims… Rise to 965,000 as the traditional culprits (CA, NY, NJ, IL, OR, WA and MA) continue to shut the economy down.
What does it mean – Less jobs and more businesses failing. To add insult to injury, Ventura County is suing businesses that refuse to shut their doors due to Covid-19 public health orders. These small businesses are trying to survive. Their owners invested everything, took risks and are being destroyed by masked politicians hiding behind fear and some crazy agenda or complete lack of understanding or empathy. Not to mention violating our constitution.
If we have vaccines and masks work, let us get the government out of the way and let businesses open and let people decide for themselves to support their favorite restaurants, gyms, etc.
Reagan may have said it best, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.” Scratch that, politicians and the talking heads on every channel are scaring over 50% of the workforce with these 5 words, “We’re all in it together.”
US existing home sales… Existing home sales fell 2.48% month over month and are up 25.75% year over year.
What does it mean – More and more people are moving out of the cities to the suburbs. Specifically, to low tax states.
Productivity increase… Third quarter 2020 productivity came in very strong at a seasonally adjusted 4.6% increase.
What does it mean – This shows a strong rebound as the economy rebounded from the depths of the pandemic.
Consumer confidence drops… According to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 88.6 in December.
What does it mean – As we roll out the vaccine, which should give consumers confidence and many parts of the country are open for business, folks see new government policies affecting their household budgets.
Industrial Production continues to climb… Month over month production rose by 0.9% in December.
What does it mean – Despite a 1.6% decline in motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing in the US is growing despite Covid-19. We should also expect this to continue as companies push to replace inventory and continue to catch up from the disruption of raw material and parts from suppliers due to Covid-19.
Have a great week all,
Doug De Groote, CFP®, MBA, CTC