Neil Irwin

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Interesting evidence on work from home from @humuinc , based on call center employees at a Fortune 500 company prepandemic. One or two work from home days a week, it seems, made people more productive both on their at-home and in-office days. humu.com/blog/whats-the…
"Run the economy hot" went from an idea discussed at think tank seminars to being embraced at the highest levels of the Biden administration and the Fed. Real wages are falling, though, which is not quite the high-pressure economy many of us wanted. nytimes.com/2021/08/23/ups…
Great @AlanMCole piece here explaining the demographic origins of low interest rates and what the pre-2008 macro consensus got wrong. I would also add in some discussion of rising wealth inequality as (probably) an important factor, however. fullstackeconomics.com/sorry-deficit-…
Tim and Alan are among the most interesting thinkers around. Look forward to seeing where they take this. You should subscribe! twitter.com/binarybits/sta…
Should the Fed move to a 3% inflation target, giving it more room to stabilize the economy in the long-run and a temporary boom from opportunistic reflation in the short-run? Former senior Fed staffers David Reifschneider and @D_W_Wilcox make the case: piie.com/sites/default/…
Upward surprise in manufacturing data for July coupled with weakness in spending suggests inventories may be rebuilt a bit faster than many anticipated. We are still a long way from anything considered normal, esp given add’n supply-chain disruptions triggered by delta.
Retweeted by Neil Irwin
This pattern behind the surprisingly large tumble in retail sales looks to me more like the fading fiscal impulse (no additional stimmy checks) than anything to do with Delta variant. Restaurant sales still rising, durable goods (cars, sporting goods, furniture) falling.
Life comes at you fast, construction-related commodities edition. twitter.com/conorsen/statu…
The Biden team is pushing back against the "a $3.5t reconciliation package is inflationary" narrative by arguing that it would reduce the price pressures average families face, counteracting Baumol's cost disease on child care, elder care, education, etc. nytimes.com/2021/08/11/ups…
Feels like this Trea Turner clip should enter the gif pantheon. twitter.com/ivanthek/statu…
Persuasive case that very low real yields evident in TIPS are more about liquidity in a particularly idiosyncratic corner of the bond market than low growth expectations. twitter.com/r_perli/status…
Sure looks to me like a case of nominal price rigidity on the new car side combined with floating prices on the used car side. And basically this is a gradual process of finding equilibrium. twitter.com/IrvingSwisher/…
Owners' equivalent rent up 0.3% monthly for three consecutive months. If it continued at that rate for a full year, it would mean a component that accounts for ~24 percent of CPI rising at a 3.66% annual rate.
Hotel prices still soaring. Lodging away from home including hotels and motels +6.8% in July, following +7.9% in June.
Used car prices stabilizing, up only +0.2%, while new car and truck prices keep on rising, +1.7%. Makes sense given how the spread between used/new car prices had become so bizarrely narrow.
CPI up 0.5% in July, still at +5.4% year-over-year, core +0.3%/+4.3%
Who's ready for CPI?
Compared to pre-pandemic, employment is way down while GDP is up. Productivity growth has surged after a long slump. If it continues, it would be a big deal for the economy of the 2020s. But that's a big if. I unpacked some of the forces at play: nytimes.com/2021/08/10/ups…
I had the weird experience in recent days of calling a few fixed income strategists to talk about the choices facing savers, and having them all say, in so many words, FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T BUY FIXED INCOME PRODUCTS RIGHT NOW. nytimes.com/2021/08/09/ups…
This story had its origins in a question from an editor: "What in the world should I park my medium-term savings in? It seems like I'm going to face a negative real return almost no matter what." The answer is there are no great answers. nytimes.com/2021/08/09/ups…
The @philadelphiafed’s Survey of Professional Forecasters already shows a turnaround in expected productivity growth over next 10 years. New numbers out this week, but so far it corroborates @erikbryn outlook. twitter.com/dcallahan2/sta…
Retweeted by Neil Irwin
I had forgotten how absurd the boarding group situation has gotten on planes. Nine boarding groups for a regional jet gtfo.
Last time the employment-to-population ratio rose 0.4 percentage points or more in a single month, except for the 2020 in the immediate aftermath of pandemic shutdown: May 1984.
Between a strong July number and positive revisions, look at it this way: 10 minutes ago, the best estimate was that the previous three months' payrolls added 567k jobs a month. Now, that number is 832k.
Strong positive revision for June, too. Now +938k, not the +850k originally reported.
Great numbers. Healthy beat on payrolls. Employment to population ratio up 0.4%. America's getting back to work.
+943k payrolls, unemployment way down to 5.4%
Here we go! July jobs numbers out in two minutes. Consensus forecast: +870k payrolls, unemployment rate moving down to 5.7% from 5.9%
Shake Shack expects high single digit wage inflation in 2H (full-year only mid single digits though). Doing 3-3.5% menu price increases in Q4 vs the typical 2%:
Retweeted by Neil Irwin
I've just been playing with these numbers myself, and not sure I realized how big the typical July seasonal adjustment is. Added an average of 1.3m jobs to July non-seasonally adjusted payrolls from 2011 to 2019. Big tailwind for Friday's number. twitter.com/juliaonjobs/st…
Somewhat interesting divergence emerging: Share of manufacturers reporting longer delivery times appears to have peaked 2m ago, but share of services (+ mining + construction) sector reporting longer lead times continues to grow.
Retweeted by Neil Irwin
Then there will be a movie version that contains the line “well, there’s nothing in the rule book that says a cat CAN’T be a pinch runner” twitter.com/sarahhalzack/s…
Really just can't get over the continued tumbling of yields in this inflationary environment.
One thing I've been watching is whether we're back to pre-pandemic GDP path. Second quarter GDP was $475bn (2012 dollars) below the January 2020 CBO forecast for the quarter. Still under where we expected to be by 2.4%, but that's down from a 3.5% gap in the first quarter.
Residential investment: -9.8% annualized in the second quarter. Investment in structures: -7% Supply constraints on construction are a macro problem.
Kind of wild how powerful the stimmy checks have been in driving personal income. Personal income fell 22%, $1.3t, in second quarter compared to the first. First quarter included January round of checks and the bulk of the March round.
Second quarter GDP +6.4% annualized, big miss from +8.5% consensus forecast.
Who's ready to Gee Dee Pee? Five minutes to go, +8.5% is the forecast.
White House fact sheet on the BIF (soon to be BIB) spending:
Retweeted by Neil Irwin
Powell's view on bond market price action is in sync with the consensus explanation.
Retweeted by Neil Irwin
Powell on Delta variant: What we've seen is with successive waves, there has tended to be less economic implications from each wave. Will see if that's the case with Delta. Not an unreasonable expectation. May see economic effects, could weigh on return to labor market.
Federal Reserve press conference starting now: youtube.com/watch?v=ipRReN…
The good news, when it comes to the economic risks created by the Delta variant, is that it will only affect the economy two ways. The bad news: They are supply, and demand. nytimes.com/2021/07/28/ups…
This is a really terrific speech from Gertjan Vlieghe, outgoing BoE official. Not his main point, but it shows how low rates (and corresponding high asset prices) are fundamentally something foisted on central banks by demographic and inequality trends. bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/fi…
I hear this a lot from local employers. If you can’t make the work super-flexible, you can’t get employees. I think this is a big reason manufacturers have trouble hiring. Their operations depend too heavily regular shift work. twitter.com/TheStalwart/st…
Retweeted by Neil Irwin
In a lot of ways rent inflation worries me more, in terms of what it means for the way ordinary people experience the economy day-to-day, than autos-driven inflation like we’ve been experiencing. twitter.com/jeannasmialek/…
This is a weird and delicate moment for the economy. Inflation is high. Employment remains at recession-like levels. The bond market is pointing to sluggish 2020s growth. Turns out finding a new post-pandemic equilibrium isn't easy. nytimes.com/2021/07/21/ups…
The recession is over!* The NBER business cycle dating committee made it semi-official today, but as I wrote in June, it's been clear for a while that April 2020 was the trough, and this was the shortest recession on record. *and has been for 15 months nytimes.com/2021/06/14/ups…
So we're at 1.2% 10-year Treasury yields with 5.4% year-over-year inflation. Very normal very cool.
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