All posts by George Mann

DATA TREND

JANUARY 26, 2023 – Say you saw the following list of data points: +2.3, +6.9, -1.6, -0.6, +3.2, +2.8, +0.4, +0.3, +0.2, +0.1. To be upfront, the first 6 numbers are actual and the last 4 are future estimates.
Assuming positive is good and negative is bad, when would you say the bad event occurred? Did it occur just once? Or do you see data showing multiple bad events?
To me, the bad event occurred when the data was -1.6 and -0.6. It does not occur anywhere else. Albeit, the last four numbers aren’t anything to cheer about on the good side.
I keep saying – the Recession occurred in the first half of 2022 – and asking – why is everyone saying 2023 will see a Recession?
As for the last four numbers, I have seen estimates of GDP growth around 1.0% for 2023 with the latter half of the year being the weakest. Again, it is likely there will not be two consecutive quarters of negative GDP (the definition of a Recession….like it or not….I have never been a fan….what if we had -0.5, +0.1, -0.7? technically not a Recession…but, to me, that looks like a Recession…anyway, we have had this definition for decades).

If I could define Recession using GDP only it would be 2 or 3 consecutive quarters where the sum is negative. But, no one asked me:)

Lastly, the favorite service I subscribe to is forecasting a -1.6% GDP in the 1st Quarter of 2023. That would be a significant decline. The argument is over half of the 4th Quarter’s 2.8% increase was due to increasing inventories and that will be fully reversed in the 1st Quarter.

I haven’t even tried to figure out how to forecast GDP. Forecasting CPI was a big enough challenge. For now, I will leave GDP forecasting to others.

Shalom,
The Mann

QUICK HOUSING UPDATE

JANUARY 21, 2023 – The 30-year mortgage rate hit 6.15% this week. After some ups and downs over the past few months (as I had forecast to occur), the downturn has started again. We aren’t far from my original prediction of sub-6% rates.
Some other stats….Home sales are the lowest since 2010. I guess a low supply is fine when people aren’t buying homes:) Sales have declined for 11 straight months – the longest streak since 1999. Excluding the pandemic, home permits are the lowest since 2016.
That’s all for now.
Shalom,
The Mann

THE MANN’S THOUGHTS ABOUT OUR ALPHABET

UPDATE JANUARY 19, 2023 – A reader sent this link about Double-U. Very interesting.

The Grammarphobia Blog: Not every “uu” is a “double-u”

JANUARY 16, 2023 – I thought I would start posting the random things that come to this crazy mind of mine. Might not be a good idea. But, oh well….
First, re our alphabet, without looking anything up on the internet, does anyone know why the letter ‘W’ is pronounced double-u and not double-v? Afterall, it is shaped like two V’s. And it would make since in our alphabet….S…T….U…..V….Double V….X….Y…and Z. So, why not double-v?
Last night this came to mind…why are our letters pronounced the way they are and why aren’t we consistent with such. Forget the vowels for now. We have Be, Ce, De, but why eF, why not Fe? It is Ge. Then the craziest one we have is H….why not He? Where in the heck did Ach come from? Jay should be Je, Kay should be Ke, eL should be Le, eM should be Me, on and on….aR should be Re, eS should be Se like T is Tee. eX is ok. whY should be Ye (not Kanye West, just Ye).
Anyway, doesn’t make sense to me. And I wonder who decided on these pronounciations.
This probably came to my mind because the letter J in German is pronounced ‘Yot’ (long o). Why???
Lastly, I have never forgotten seeing this – ask someone how to write out this sentence…There are three (To/Too/Two)’s in the English language. How is it supposed to be written? Can it be written? I know I just made an attempt. Guess that is how I would write it.
Up for any thoughts you have about the above. Especially why it is double-u and not double-v.
Feel free to email me at GeorgeRMann@Aol.Com
Shalom,
The Mann

INFLATION UPDATE

UPDATE JANUARY 25, 2023 – First off, 11 months to Christmas! I just wanted to add to the record that I personally believe the ceiling for the July 12th reading will be 1.4%. Obviously, as the months go on and more data is available, I will be able to refine my forecast. But, for now, I am fairly confident the reading will be between 0% and 1.4%. We shall see….

UPDATE JANUARY 19, 2023 – This was buried in the original post below. I wanted to make it clear, and go on record, that I believe when the July 12th CPI announcement comes out there is a 95%+ chance of annual inflation being below 2%. It should definitely be in the 0%-2% range. That is the Fed’s target range. I haven’t seen anyone forecast this. If you have, please let me know. I like to check out prognosticators that have similar opinions to me and see if I can figure out what data they are using. New data between now and then can change this forecast. But, right now, I am not seeing anything that could occur to do such. However, that is why they are called black swan events, eh:) We will check back on July 12th and see if this prediction was wrong or right.

Do note that even if inflation goes down to 0%, that just means prices remain at the current high levels. People want prices to decline. But, that only occurs in a Depression or Recession. Which do you prefer – a Recession to have prices decline a few percentage points or a growing economy with prices rising? People have always adjusted their income and expenses to account for the higher prices. Just like 50 years ago when gas prices went from 30 cents a gallon to $1 a gallon. Many price shocks have occurred and we simply adjust our style of living. The same will happen this year as people accept that current prices are the new norm.

JANUARY 13, 2023 – The 2022 annual inflation rate ended at 6.5%. As I expected, that was below the 7.0%-7.1% my data was forecasting.
The next release is February 14th. My forecast is 5.6%-5.7%. That is aggressive. I don’t think I will be on the high end this time.
As I mentioned last month, the 3-month and 6-month annualized inflation figures show us where annual inflation is headed. Those figures are currently 0% and 0.3%, respectively. Thus, the annual inflation rate has to decline in the months ahead.
By the end of the First Quarter, annual inflation should be in the 3%-4% range. It should definitely be below the Fed’s 2% target by the end of the 2nd Quarter.
Remember, ask those forecasting double-digit inflation how that is going:)
Shalom and Happy New Year!
The Mann

THE HOUSING MARKET – STEPS 5, 6 AND 7

JANUARY 2, 2023 – Happy New Year! I hope the year is good for all.
As we start 2023, the housing market is solidly in Step 4. That is when all of the cars on the rollercoaster are speeding downward together. Prices are declining and accelerating the pace of their decline.
Step 5 will be when the decline starts to slow down. e.g. annual price declines might go -8.0%, -10.0%, -11.0%, -11.5%. I expect some-to-many markets will start to see this in the 2nd Quarter.
Step 6 is when the lead cars on the rollercoaster reach bottom and start to turn up. Just the opposite of last Spring when the rollercoaster reached the top and the lead cars started downward. At this point, you have some markets still accelerating in their annual price decline and others level at their price decline level, and some where the price decline starts to head back upward towards 0%. I can see this happening in the 3rd Quarter with a slight chance it might even start towards the end of the 2nd Quarter. Readings go -9.0, -10.0, -10.0, -9.0.
The question right now is can Step 7 occur by yearend. I think there is a chance it can. In this Step the rollercoaster will be heading back upward towards say Ground Level (i.e. 0% price change in past year). There will still be many markets with negative price changes. Others will be back to near level and some will actually have positive price change readings. I would say right now no one is expecting any markets to have price appreciation this year. I think there is a chance for such to occur in the 4th Quarter in a few markets. About the same odds as last Spring when I thought full blown price declines could occur by Yearend 2022.
As always, we shall see how things play out. I will try to remember to update my forecast mid-year.
Always glad to hear your thoughts.
Shalom,
The Mann

INFLATION ESTIMATE FOR YEAREND 2022 & A 6-MONTH LOOK INTO THE FUTURE

DECEMBER 25, 2022 – The December CPI reading comes out on January 12th. My forecast for November was 7.5%-7.8% and it came in at 7.1%. I am making my forecasts at the high end so as to be a ceiling. Albeit, the November reading was lower than I expected.
My December forecast range is 7.0%-7.1%. A narrow range this time. I would not be surprised if it was on the high end again. Also, note this will be the inflation rate for the entire year of 2022.
For those of you who just wanted to know my forecast, you can stop reading now. I am about to let you inside the thinking of The Mann’s brain:) Before I do that, I wanted to say RIP to Coach Mike Leach. There were two minds that I could relate to in my lifetime – Robin Williams and Coach Mike Leach. They had minds closest to how mine operates. I miss them both. So here goes re inflation….
There are economists and others who have been calling for 10% and 12% and higher inflation in 2023. They are simply ‘wishing’ for such for whatever reason. If they have any data to base this on, I would love to see it. I seriously doubt they do.
I think of future inflation as I do to an automobile’s speed. Get ready to hark back to your calculus class:) Acceleration is a derivative of velocity. A car that is going 70mph this second and then 70mph the next second has an acceleration of 0. To go from 70mph to 71mph you must accelerate at a positive rate. To do the opposite you must have negative acceleration. So now let’s take this analogy to inflation….
The current 12-month annual inflation rate is 7.1%. The 3-month and 6-month annualized inflation rates tell us where annual inflation is headed in the near future. Right now, the 3-month annualized rate is 2.1% and the 6-month annualized rate is 3.7%. The deceleration from 7.1% to 3.7% to 2.1% is telling. It will be near impossible for annual inflation to go up for quite awhile. The data says it will be declining towards the Feds target of 2%.

Some observations on how much the rate of inflation is declining…..The 3-month annualized rate peaked at 12.7% in June. It has ranged from 0.7% to 2.4% for the past 3 months. This is your best indicator of current inflation.

The 6-month annualized rate also peaked at 12.6% in June. It has declined significantly to the current 3.7% rate. There is a very good chance this rate will go below 2% in the next few months.

With the 3-month and 6-month annualized rates in the 2% range, it is apparent that annual inflation is headed towards that figure. I think there is a good chance by the end of the 1st Quarter 2023 annual inflation will be below 5%. And by the end of the 2nd Quarter 2023, it should be below 3%.

A side note re the Fed Funds Rate. The average time between the last increase and the first decrease is 4.5 months. This doesn’t mean that on April 27th the Fed will drop the Fed Funds Rate. But, if the Fed sees annual inflation around 5% and steadily declining, it does give hope that they won’t be increasing rates. The first drop might not occur until they see all of the above data solidly in the 2% and under range. That cannot occur until at least the 3rd Quarter of 2023.

So, there you go re the thinking of The Mann. I hope it makes sense. Albeit, I am sure some of it is confusing and I don’t explain enough. If you ever have any questions, just send me an email.

Oh (there’s this non-stop brain thinking away…), let me throw this out there. Back in the Spring I talked about how virtually no one could see home prices declining by the end of this year. And now here we are and that is reality. Is there anyone saying that by April-June next year the economy will be on the rebound? Housing moves slower and follows the economy in changing direction so a bottoming in prices should occur later in the year. Have you seen anyone seeing such occurring? I have not. I only hear about Jamie Dimon and everyone forecasting a recession next year (which has already occurred this year!!!) and overall just a terrible year. I have not seen any forecasts for a turnaround starting slowly in the 2nd Quarter and becoming more apparent in the 3rd and 4th Quarters. I will revisit this forecast in 6 months:)

Shalom and Happy New Year!!! I hope 2023 is a great year for you.

The Mann

PLANTS WORLDWIDE THANK YOU !!!!

UPDATE JANUARY 19, 2023 – More good news for plants and the planet! The IEA sees oil demand at a record high in 2023. When will Al Gore, Greta whatever her name is, and other climate change hoaxers finally say it is too late to save the planet and save us all from hearing their BS drag on and on. FYI, humans have lived in global temps higher than today at least 4 times in the past. They adapted to temps 1-3 degrees Celsius warmer than today. Given our advances in civilization over the past 12,000 years, it is likely humans will adapt just fine if we go to what we think would be record highs. You youngsters will get to see how it goes.

UPDATE DECEMBER 25, 2022 – First, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! More quotes from Bloomberg below. There is no way this world can depend solely on so-called sustainable (an inaccurate word) energy sources. Fossil fuels are the only way until fusion is fully in place. Bloomberg quotes follow:

Oil took over from natural gas as the leading fuel for power plants in New England, a significant switch that signals how the grid is desperately trying to keep the lights on in the face of a winter massive storm. The six-state grid relied on oil for at least a third of its power generation and for as much as 40% at times on Saturday, ISO New England data show. Natural gas provided as little as 15% by mid-afternoon.

Fossil fuels gained share on other grids. After the wind died down in Texas on Friday, gas accounted for 73% of power generation that night with coal making up the bulk of the rest. Coal also gained share in the Central US grid operated by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator.

UPDATE DECEMBER 22, 2022 – Hopefully, the climate change propagandists will continue to admit it is now too late for us to stop the climate change hoax from happening. It is funny to watch someone say it is now too late to be followed by someone else saying we need to act now. Bloomberg quotes follow:

Germany is set to boost its reliance on coal as it battles an unprecedented energy crisis — even at the expense of its ambitious climate goals. Europe’s largest economy is burning the fossil fuel for electricity at the fastest pace in at least six years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It’s also poised to be one of the few nations to increase coal imports next year. “Everyone is keeping their climate targets, but it’s true that when you face the dilemma to keep the lights on or decrease carbon emissions, the choice is to keep the lights on,” said Carlos Fernandez Alvarez, the acting head of gas, coal and power at the International Energy Agency.

DECEMBER 19, 2022 – Global coal use will surpass 8 billion tons for the first time ever!!! That is over a ton for every child and adult in the world!!! This year surpasses the previous record in 2013. That says a lot considering all of the failed ‘green’ attempts that have occurred in the past 10 years. Keep making EVs so we can use more and more coal! Also, coal prices are up 70% this year. It goes to show people can afford to pay a lot more for energy than they had been. Unless you push prices up and up you will never reach the top in revenue. After all the beating they take from the tree huggers, congrats to the coal companies for finally making a killing. Spend that money wisely!
Thankfully the use of coal produces huge amounts of CO2, which plants need to survive. We are doing exactly what we need to keep this planet healthy. Our survival depends on defeating all ‘green’ initiatives. We are doing just that.
From the bottom of their roots, plants worldwide thank us for an abundant supply of CO2.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Shalom,
The Mann

STEP 4 IN THE HOUSING MARKET HAS OCCURRED

DECEMBER 7, 2022 – On June 14th, I posted that Step 2 in the housing market cycle had occurred. Then on October 3rd, I noted we had entered Step 3. I also predicted we would get to Step 4 well before anyone expected.
Today, we are officially in Step 4. Home prices have declined nationwide. The acceleration is underway. Below is the factual data from the American Enterprise Institute. I will revisit this topic sometime in 2023 when I start to see indications of a bottom. In the interim, sit back and enjoy the bloodbath. A cleansing is always needed and we are getting one.
Shalom and Happy Holidays,
The Mann
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It’s official: The sudden reversal in home prices that began this spring has hit every one of America’s major metros with declines from their recent all-time peaks. What’s remarkable is the gigantic range of the pullbacks from region to region, and how the biggest losers are due to keep falling fast, while the metros that so far have taken the most modest hits should face only relatively small retreats from their pinnacles by the close of 2023.
That’s the evidence from a report just issued by the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center. Each month, the AEI measures the total change in home prices in 58 markets from their previous summits. The new chart shows that 45 of those cities crested to cap a synchronized spiral between April and June, though a handful peaked later, including Miami and North Port in July, and Greenville, Charleston and Cincinnati in September. For the first time in October, every one of the 58 markets registered a fall from their high points, ranging from -12.9% in San Jose to -0.5% in Memphis. ((Forbes))

BULL MARKET, INTEREST RATES, & MORE

DECEMBER 2, 2022 – The DJIA bottomed at 28,661 in October. Yesterday, it surpassed 34,393, which is a 20% rise and what the market defines as being a Bull Market. I didn’t see that mentioned anywhere in the media. Strange.
I read that the average time between when the Fed stops raising rates and lowers them for the first time is 4.5 months. It appears that the stock market is telegraphing such.
Bottomline, the market is saying things will be bad through the 1st Quarter of 2023 and then improve from there.
The 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate declined to 6.49% this week. This is down from the top I called when rates were 7.22%. And, we are already over halfway to my forecast of rates going below 6%.
As for the US Dollar, it has declined from the top of 114.778 in late September to 104.533 at today’s close. That is a hefty 8.9% decline.
The forecasts are going well. As everything ebbs and flows, I would expect there to be some movement against my forecasts before the trends resume.
One last tidbit of information that I found simply incredible. The American Enterprise Institute reported that ‘for every [25- to 54-year old] guy who is out of work and looking for a job, there are four guys who are neither working nor looking for work.’ That is insane. For those who try to say it is unfair to generalize that the younger generations do not want to work, the facts say you are wrong. The labor force participation rate is down to 62.3%, which is well below pre-pandemic levels. I wonder how the economy holds up when that rate goes below 50%?
My inflation forecast is 7.5% to 7.8%. The Fed is estimating 7.49%. I am not expecting this report to be shocking in any way. We will find out on December 13th.

Happy Holidays to all!

Shalom,

The Mann

INFLATION FORECAST

NOVEMBER 25, 2022 – The next CPI announcement comes out December 13th. The last one was a positive surprise that resulted in a 1200-point stock market rally.
I am not seeing much occurring this time around. My forecast is 7.5%-7.8%. Last month’s annual CPI figure was 7.7%. So, I am not seeing much change this month. We shall see how it goes.
Shalom,
The Mann