Caution on consumers

Reading through this roundup of economists' reactions to the strong Friday retail sales numbers, I came away wondering two things: Did electronics retailers make even a dime off their door-buster sales and, more importantly, what are the chances this number gets revised downward a good bit given how surprising it was to so many? This was, after all, the first set of numbers using a new sample.
Dec 14, 2009 9:20 AM

The straightest line in these shaky times comes from mortgage delinquencies

The latest local numbers from First American CoreLogic show no break in the rising trend of people falling well behind on their mortgages. To see an updated map of which Middle Tennessee ZIP codes are suffering most from the real estate crash, click here.
Dec 14, 2009 8:18 AM

Forced frugality

Floyd Norris crunches new numbers from the Federal Reserve and concludes in part that our lower debt levels are not all of our own making.
Dec 14, 2009 7:26 AM

Digesting the retail surprise

The stronger-than-expected rise in November retail sales has a number of people talking. James Picerno says it's another sign we're likely to avoid a painful double-dip, but a snap back is still out of the question.
[W]e'll need to see improving signs in the labor market before we're convinced that retail sales are on a sustained rebound. There's reason to think that the economy will soon be creating jobs on a net basis, as suggested by the trend in nonfarm payrolls. Even then, there's some doubt about the magnitude and duration of the expected recovery in the labor market.
Plus, David Rosenberg delivers this little statistical nugget.
That said, the combination of the sequential runup and the detonation in November 2008, when sales plummeted 10% (leaving today’s number with an extremely depressed year-ago base), brought the YoY trend in overall retail sales back into positive terrain (+1.8% from -2.2% in October and -6.3% in September) for the first time since August 2008 — the month before Lehman collapsed.
Dec 11, 2009 12:38 PM

One way we definitely don't want to be like Japan

Seems the economic statisticians there are a bit deflated, too.
Dec 10, 2009 9:37 AM

Home sellers as desperate now as in August

The homebuyer tax credits have helped the headline numbers of late — see yesterday's eye-popping year-over-year gain — but research by Trulia shows Nashville-area home sellers are still lowering prices with the same frequency and to the same extent as four months ago.
Dec 10, 2009 7:30 AM

'Give us a break on the recovery theme'

David Rosenberg is still bearish and not buying the arguments that the business cycle is turning up. SEE ALSO: Entrepreneurs' optimism waning and more of Rosenberg's musings.
Dec 9, 2009 10:42 AM

Purple states

Not this kind. The National Observer has a video-map showing the rise of unemployment across the U.S.
Dec 8, 2009 2:27 PM

Southern home prices up in October

Integrated Asset Services says homes in the South and West rose in value in October, but aren't convinced that means a whole lot given what might be coming our way next year.
Dec 8, 2009 11:24 AM

How to spend the holidays in Williamson

On the heels of publishing November sales numbers that looked a little bit like the good ol' days, Williamson County of Realtors President Karen Baker says buyers will soon be hitting the open houses on the way home from the mall.
With the holidays approaching, we anticipate more buyers to be utilizing their vacation time to visit houses for sale and begin the process of making offers that will reflect in the 2010 closings.
Dec 8, 2009 8:11 AM