Morning Report: The Index of Leading Economic Indicators signals a recession

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures4,147-31.0
Oil (WTI)77.67-1.49
10 year government bond yield 3.55%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 6.54%

Stocks are lower this morning as earnings continue to come in. Bonds and MBS are up.

Existing home sales fell 2.4% in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were down 22% on a year-over-year basis. “Home sales are trying to recover and are highly sensitive to changes in mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Yet, at the same time, multiple offers on starter homes are quite common, implying more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. It’s a unique housing market.”

The median home price fell 0.9% on a YOY basis to $379,300. Days on market fell to 29 days.

The Conference Board’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators fell by 1.2% in March. “The U.S. LEI fell to its lowest level since November of 2020, consistent with worsening economic conditions ahead,” said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. “The weaknesses among the index’s components were widespread in March and have been so over the past six months, which pushed the growth rate of the LEI deeper into negative territory. Only stock prices and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials contributed positively over the last six months. The Conference Board forecasts that economic weakness will intensify and spread more widely throughout the US economy over the coming months, leading to a recession starting in mid-2023.”

The Fed’s Beige Book showed the economy deteriorated in recent weeks. Overall, we are seeing evidence that pricing pressures are abating and the labor market is softening.

“Overall economic activity was little changed in recent weeks. Nine Districts reported either no change or only a slight change in activity this period while three indicated modest growth. Expectations for future growth were mostly unchanged as well; however, two Districts saw outlooks deteriorate. Consumer spending was generally seen as flat to down slightly amid continued reports of moderate price growth…On balance, residential real estate sales and new construction activity softened modestly. Nonresidential construction was little changed while sales and leasing activity was generally flat to down. Lending volumes and loan demand generally declined across consumer and business loan types…Employment growth moderated somewhat this period as several Districts reported a slower pace of growth than in recent Beige Book reports. A small number of firms reported mass layoffs, and those were centered at a subset of the largest companies. Some other firms opted to allow for natural attrition to occur, and to hire only for critically important roles…Overall price levels rose moderately during this reporting period, though the rate of price increases appeared to be slowing. Contacts noted modest-to-sharp declines in the prices of nonlabor inputs and significantly lower freight costs in recent weeks. Nevertheless, producer prices for finished goods rose modestly this period, albeit at a slightly slower pace. Selling price pressures eased broadly in manufacturing and services sectors. Consumer prices generally increased due to still-elevated demand as well as higher inventory and labor costs. Prices for homes and rents leveled out in most Districts but remained at near record highs. Contacts expected further relief from input cost pressures but anticipated changing their prices more frequently compared to previous years.”

Homebuilder D.R. Horton reported a 33% decrease in earnings per share, however guidance cheered the Street, which sent the stock up 7%.

“The spring selling season is off to an encouraging start with our net sales orders increasing 73% sequentially from the first quarter. Despite higher mortgage rates and inflationary pressures, demand improved during the
quarter due to normal seasonal factors, coupled with our use of incentives and pricing adjustments to adapt to changing market conditions. Although higher interest rates and economic uncertainty may persist for some time, the supply of both new and existing homes at affordable price points remains limited, and demographics supporting housing demand remain favorable.”

45 Responses

  1. I suspect they’ll be writing a similar article in 30 years about the teen gender dysphoria surge going on now.


    • Let me guess, the left is re-defining anorexia to include women with a BMI under 40.


      • No, it’s a legit examination of the real disorder. But it’s telling that they can’t make the comparison between the anorexia explosion in the 1990’s among teenage girls going through body anxiety due to the onset of puberty and the gender dysphoria surge now among the same demographic.


    • jnc:

      From the article:

      A 2022 British study of 15,000 students found that girls were twice as likely as boys to suffer mental health problems.

      I wonder how they determined which group, girls or boys, to put each student into. And also what they defined as a mental health problem.


      • Mental illness will be defined as providing insufficiently woke answers to political and cultural questions one day. Right now I think it’s self-identification as a victim that measures it.


        • KW:

          What I had in mind is this: 1) how were self-declared trans kids classified when determining the boy/girl ratio, and 2) was transgenderism itself classified as a mental health issue.

          If trans boys (ie girls who identify themselves as boys) were not included among the girls who experience mental health issues, the ratio is in fact even worse than the article proclaimed.


      • Culture and society has worked overtime for the past 50 years to boost the self-esteem of girls and to push boys into the background. And this is the result.

        This current generation of kids is the most engineered in history. They have the highest incidence of psychotropic drug use, and lousy test scores to boot.

        When do we get to say the engineers are incompetent and malevolent? When do we get to declare them a failure and fire them?


        • Brent:

          Culture and society has worked overtime to boost the self-esteem of girls and to push boys into the background.

          Completely true, and yet somehow it has at the same time produced a staggering number of girls deciding they want to be boys. It boggles the mind that people will defend what the culture has become.


        • It boggles the mind that people will defend what the culture has become.

          Because to the left intentions matter more than results.


        • If they admit anything is bad about the culture, they will attribute it to “domestic terrorists” (middle class Americans who are disobedient to their benevolent overlords) or capitalist greed. Although they still have a lot of trouble admitting that social media is clearly a cultural cancer. “No, it was just Parler, we fixed it!”


        • The Trojans were putting good at engineering kids as well, at least society got something out of it.


        • > When do we get to say the engineers are incompetent and malevolent? When do we get to declare them a failure and fire them?

          I’m guessing never? I have a hard time seeing that happening unless we actually have to fight space aliens bent on destroying us, so have to come to our senses, but probably not even then.


      • I wonder out of 15,000 students how many of them actually had gender identity issues. I haven’t seen anything here resembling a debate based on fact or actual data.


        • lms:

          I haven’t seen anything here resembling a debate based on fact or actual data.

          Perhaps if you did something more than just substance-free drive-by comments, you would.


    • Only there will be a critical mass of people permanently physically damaged at the insistence of parents and doctors, so probably a lot angrier. I’d be interested to see how the transing of kids is recast as a right wing phenomenon by future lefties.


    • But you never had the kind of advocacy for anorexia you now have for shooting kids up with damaging puberty blockers and alien hormones. So likely it will be worse.


  2. Interesting to get the full timeline here regarding the release of the Steele Dossier


    • And it’s interesting timing juxtaposed with this:


    • Unbelievable…publishing the dossier is now deemed to have somehow benefitted Trump. These people have zero credibility.


      • I can see that. Publishing it showed how much of it was BS and actually allowed it to be refuted. When it was just Harry Reid making insinuations based on a secret document, that was a lot harder.


  3. File this under “They’re Lying to us and We Know They’re Lying to Us. They Know We Know They’re Lying to Us, Yet They Still Lie”

    No one, I mean NO ONE, believes the Republicans on this. If I was Biden I’d ignore and demagogue and embarrass McCarthy as much as humanly possible.


    • IMO this is based on this stupid canard that because crash test dummies were supposedly “male” that it resulted in women experiencing a higher injury percent than men in auto accidents.

      It never occurred to these dipshits that men are bigger, more muscular, have stronger bones, and have evolved to be able to take physical trauma better than women.

      What would the auto companies do differently? Move the seatbelt a millimeter? Put the front airbag in the rear view mirror? What?

      I have smoked pot with chronic stoners who make more sense than these people.


      • They know it, their intent is to destroy the foundations of society, so, they just don’t care.


        • McWing:

          They know it, their intent is to destroy the foundations of society, so, they just don’t care.

          That is definitely true of the intellectual class that originates these crazy ideas. However, I think there are a lot of ordinary people on the left who have no idea about the foundations of the ideas, but are highly vulnerable to the way they get marketed, and end up becoming the modern day equivalent of Lenin’s “useful idiots”.


  4. Speaking of liturgy’s, this is always a useful one.


  5. That is awesome!

    Course, he’ll be convicted then they’ll charge Trump with seditious conspiracy and convict him too. Sadly, it will take a couple more R POTUS nominees being convicted before they start to wise up.

    Hopefully secession will occur before then.


  6. Rings a little hollow considering what the Turtle has said.

    And that odds are you voted for him as leader.


  7. If you can’t laugh at this you have a heart of stone.

    You could die!!


  8. Ok, then if that’s the case, what must a vaccine do, at an absolute minimum, to receive an indication?


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