The US non-farm payrolls data released on Friday at first focused on an increase in new jobs last month but that was something of a mirage with a record 806,000 people dropping out of the labor market in April taking the percentage of adults employed back to a level not seen since 1978.
If this is a recovery this correspondent is a pink elephant. It follows just 0.1 per cent annualized GDP growth in the first quarter and a spectacular slump in new home sales and mortgage lending.
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- 3 Times As Many People Dropped Out Of Labor Force Then Joined It For Summer Time Employment.
Orders for goods produced in US factories rose 1.1 per cent in March, lower than an expected 1.4 per cent. Orders for nondurable goods fell 0.6 per cent.
Not just bad weather
You can’t blame all this on bad weather. The US economy is clearly decelerating. The labor participation rate of 62.8 per cent is stunningly bad and back to 1978 levels when far fewer women were working.
The real indicator to watch is the number of Americans who claim food stamps with the 47 million total representing around one-in-six. That’s the modern soup kitchens and the line has doubled since President Obama came to office.
What’s gone wrong with the recovery? Well it’s been in trouble since the Fed decided to cutback on QE and told the world of its intensions last May. What comes next?
An almighty stock market crash? Valuations are high and priced for an accelerating economic recovery, not a stumbling economy.
In truth the rising stock market has become the only element of the economy in an expansion phase, pulling up retail spending in its wake. Take that away and the US is mired in a slump again.
It’s been an incredibly weak recovery cycle, stock market aside and a major correction is overdue. Then the Fed will have to turn its QE money printing back on to prevent an economic collapse.
QE has not been working well, that is clear, so relying on more QE is not necessarily going to work this time around either. This is where money printing can go berserk and hyperinflation kick in.
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