Tag Archives: CPI

INFLATION AND ECONOMY UPDATES

FEBRUARY 12, 2024 – The January report came in at 3.1%, just below my forecast of 3.2%-3.3%. and above the consensus estimate of 2.9%.
The 3-month annualized inflation rate is 1.0%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 1.8%. These figures are lower than the annualized rate (3.1%) and thus indicate the annual CPI should drift lower.
The data is predicting a reading between 2.6% and 2.7% next month. Like last month, I think this will be way off. Inflation is historically high in January and February. I am going to forecast 3.0%-3.1% for next month’s figure.
ECONOMY – We have had 6 straight quarters of above 2% GDP growth since the recession in the first half of 2022 ended. The last two quarters have been above 3% (!) and some forecasts expect another 3%+ figure for the First Quarter of 2024. With annual population growth around 0.7%, any GDP growth above that amount is exceptional. The chance of a recession occurring this year remains slim to nil. It certainly won’t occur in the first half of this year.
STOCKS – The Dow 30 continues its march towards 40,000. I never did see anyone else predict 40,000 this year. I suspect there are a few others like me out there somewhere. As they saay, never count your chickens before they hatch. 38k+ is not 40k. But, the stock market is saying the economy this Summer should be extremely strong.
The recession mongers couldn’t have been more wrong for the past 20 months. They will continue to be wrong into the foreseeable future.
Shalom,
The Mann

INFLATION UPDATE

JANUARY 12, 2024 – The December report came in at 3.4%, below my forecast of 3.6%. and above the consensus estimate of 3.2%. Annual inflation of 3.4% was well below the double-digits many people were predicting at the beginning of the year and about double what I had forecast it would be.
The 3-month annualized inflation rate is -1.4%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 1.1%. These figures are lower than the annualized rate (3.4%) and thus indicate the annual CPI should drift lower.
The data is predicting a reading between 2.4% and 2.7% next month. However, I think this will be way off. Inflation is historically high in January and February. I am going to forecast 3.2%-3.3% for next month’s figure.
Shalom,
The Mann

R.I.P. RECESSION PREDICTORS – YOU WERE DEAD WRONG!

DECEMBER 15, 2023 – First off, happy birthday to my dear wife.
Back in April and June, I mentioned that the wave theory I follow showed a strong rally ahead. It would require us breaking through the all-time highs by a wide margin. This week the Dow 30 achieved new highs and is above 37,000 for the first time ever. 40k and possibly 44k in 2024 are on the table. They have been for over 6 months.
With the information below it is time to 100% emphatically declare anyone that has forecast a recession for the past 18 months and into 2024 dead wrong. Their analysis is totally in error. Just fess up and admit with hat in hand you have no clue what you were talking about. You will feel better:) On to where the data stands and what it is telling us.
BANKS – To date, we have had two bank closures that I am aware of. One was strange as it was not FDIC-insured. We will be ending the year much closer to my forecast of 0-10 closures than the 176-200 closures forecast by many people. I think we will be able to say the same next December.
As for CRE loan defaults, I have dealt with about 5 bad loans. There has been no consistency as to why the loans went south. I am seeing nothing that indicates a lot of foreclosures nor anything specific to a property type.
Amazingly, the Regional Bank Index (KRE) is up 58% from its yearly low and is back above where it was before the SVB/SBNY closings. Remember, buy when there is blood in the streets. It worked again.
To reiterate, the market is saying that it does not believe there will be a CRE loan debacle for banks. Either not many CRE loans will default and/or banks are well prepared and capitalized to handle the defaults.
HOUSING – Home prices have been up all year and the rate of appreciation is increasing. It isn’t much. That is a good sign as it can be sustained into 2024.
The Homebuilders Stock Index was up over 5% one day this week and is now up an incredible 62% (!)from last year’s lows. On top of that, this is an all-time high.
Those who forecast a crash in the housing market continue to be way off the mark. As I said all along, 7% interest rates are nothing to worry about.
INTEREST RATES – Bonds bottomed on October 23rd. A strong rally has dropped rates by about 100bp already. A minor correction should start soon. Then after the new year, we will continue the decline in interest rates. The target is about 25-125bp lower than we are today.
INFLATION – The December report came in at 3.1%, well below my forecast of 3.6%. The 3-month annualized inflation rate is 0.0%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 1.9%. These figures are lower than the annualized rate (3.1%) and thus indicate the annual CPI should drift lower. However, continue reading.
Based on the data, my prediction for next month’s figure is 3.5%-3.6%. The January report should show annual CPI for 2023 to be around 3.5%. Then from the February report on into the Summer, the CPI should crumble towards 2%.
SUMMARY – With the Dow 30, bank, and housing stocks at their highs, the markets are saying all should be well through the first half of 2024. The economy is supposed to be looking good in an Election Year. That looks to be the case again.
I will reprint this statement from a post a few months ago: I put this hidden little sentence out there to refer back to in 12-18 months – The chance of a recession occurring looks to be 4th Quarter 2024 into 2025. The first year of the president cycle often sees an economic downturn. I suspect that a year from now the broken-clock recession mongers will have given up and admitted the economy is strong, et al. Just in time to be wrong again:)
Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
Shalom,
The Mann

INFLATION UPDATE & WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN INTO THE SPRING

NOVEMBER 25, 2023 – The November report came in at 3.2%, well below my forecast of 3.6%. The 3-month annualized inflation rate is 2.6%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 2.8%. These figures are lower than the annualized rate (3.6%) and thus indicate the annual CPI could drift lower. However, continue reading.
Based on the data, my prediction for next month’s figure is 3.6%. The December and January reports should show annual CPI for 2023 to be just below 4%. Then from the February report on into the Summer, the CPI should be very steady at about 3% (say 2.8%-3.2%).
Shalom and Prayers to my Brothers and Sisters in Israel.
The Mann

INFLATION UPDATE

OCTOBER 13, 2023 – The October report came in at 3.7%, just below my forecast of 3.8%. The 3-month annualized inflation rate is 3.6%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 4.0%. These figures bracket the annualized rate (3.7%) and thus indicate the annual CPI should not change much.
Based on the data, my prediction for next month’s figure is 3.6%. I think this might be a tad low. But, it would surprise the market to see it tick down.
The December and January reports should show annual CPI for 2023 to be above 4%. That should not make the Fed happy. At least one more Fed Fund Rates hike seems certain.
Shalom and Prayers to my Brothers and Sisters in Israel.
The Mann

INFLATION UPDATE & PLANTS ARE HAPPY

SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 – The September report came in at 3.7%, just below my forecast of 3.5%-3.6%. The 3-month annualized inflation rate is 3.9%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 4.1%. These figures are slightly above the annualized rate (3.7%) and thus indicate the annual CPI should not change much.
Based on the data, my prediction for next month’s figure is 3.8%. Due to oil prices steadily increasing, I do not think 3.9% can be ruled out.
I think the 3.8%-3.9% range will remain the same for the November report, also. Then watch out as the next two reports should show annual CPI for 2023 to be above 4%. That should not make the Fed happy.
OIL – A quick note for all of the happy plants on Earth. We are at a record level of 105 million (!) barrels of oil being used everyday. We have surpassed the prior record that occurred in 2019 before the Pandemic. The death of fossil fuels has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, there appears to be a direct correlation between more Electric Vehicles (EVs) and more oil consumption. This is not a surprise to anyone outside the misinformation environmentalist community. More electric usage means more fossil fuel usage. Which, of course, helps the planet’s plants as they live on CO2. As production is running at only 103 million barrels per day, the shortage will continue to drive oil prices higher. Which will contribute to inflation edging higher.
For a moment, you should sit and try to comprehend how much oil 105 millions barrels is. There are 42 gallons in a barrel. That is a mindboggling amount of oil being used everyday. For decades in the past and decades in the future. How much oil is/was in the Earth?!?!? Seems like the Earth is a giant oil ball. And if we use all that oil and it turns to CO2 or such, will the Earth become much lighter than it was? How many dinosaurs did it take to create all of this oil? Thankfully, humans saw the opportunity for sustainability and found a way to recycle all of the dinosaurs. We definitely have at least 30-50+ years more of recycling ahead of us. Environmentalists, you are embarrassing failures.
Til next month’s report.
Shalom,
The Mann

INFLATION UPDATE

AUGUST 11, 2023 – The August report came in at 3.3%, just below my forecast of 3.4%-3.5%. The 3-month annualized inflation rate is 3.1%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 4.4%. These figures bracket the annualized rate (3.3%) and thus indicate the annual CPI should be range bound for awhile.
Based on the data, my prediction for next month’s figure is 3.5%-3.6%. I like the data and am confident the next reading will be in that range or a tick lower like this month.
Through the October report, the annual CPI figure should be about as boring as a Miami weather forecast – 88 degrees/77 degrees, 88/77, 87/77, 88/76…I expect annual CPI to trend around 3.5% (plus or minus 0.1%-0.2%) through the October reading.
As an aside, the market is telling the Federal Reserve not to raise the Fed Fund Rate at its September meeting.
Til next month’s report.
Shalom,
The Mann

THE REMAINDER OF 2023 – ECONOMY

UPDATE JULY 27, 2023 – 2nd Quarter came in at a whopping +2.4%. Far exceeding expectations that were below +1.5%. So, we have an economy that has expanded, not contracted, this year! The stock market told us this would happen. For anyone you know that has been predicting a recession in 2023, please ask them if they admit they have been totally wrong. People need to admit their errors and stop being broken clocks. If they don’t, they have no credibility. As I note in my original post below, it is likely the current forecast of +0.5% and 0.0% for the remaining two quarters will change to the upside as the year carries on. Will the economy slowdown from +2.0%-2.4%? Yes. The stock market has said it will be stagnant the remainder of the year. But, will we see two negative figures in a row? The odds are near zero. Plan accordingly.

JULY 22, 2023 – It is all but guaranteed that the recession mongers will be wrong about such occurring in 2023. As I forecast earlier in the year, by Summer (i.e. now) those people would begin to move their prediction to a recession occurring in 2024. Enough time wasted on the large group of media and economists that are broken records.
So, what does the future hold. The past 12 months have been very easy to predict for the economy, housing, and inflation. IF you just read what the stock market (i.e. Dow 30) is telling us. Yes, it is that simple. And, yet, 99%+ of the public and pundits don’t do it.
The Dow 30 peaked in December 2022 after bottoming in October 2022. That told us to expect weakness thru April 2023. Sure enough, the Silicon Valley Bank collapse and the associated bank panic occurred in March and April.
Since December 2022, the stock market trended sideways for 8 months. Just this past week the Dow finally broke thru the 35,000 level after about 7(!) failed attempts. So, what does this tell us? It tells us that the economy is expected to be stagnant for the last 6 months of this year. And, based on this upside breakout, the economy should see an uptick in the 1st Quarter of 2024. This is a very early interpretation as the breakout just occurred this week and is only a small amount above the December 2022 high.
Is the stock market, and thus smart money, correct? Yes. As usual. 1st Quarter GDP was +2.0% (revised from the initial report of 1.3%). 2nd Quarter GDP is project to be +1.3%-1.4%. But, 3rd and 4th Quarter GDP are expected to be barely in positive territory. Exactly what the stock market has told us would be the case for the past 8 months – a stagnant Dow 30 forecasts a stagnant economy 6 months out.
Forecasts obviously vary. I have seen most to be around +0.5% for the 3rd Quarter and 0% for the 4th Quarter. But, I think those forecasts are trending up due to the strengthening housing market (that will be my next post, so please come back:) ).
The recession mongers will be screaming they told us the economy was caving. One, they have been calling for a recession for over a year (right after the actual recession just ended!) and GDP has come nowhere two negative quarterly figures in a row. Two, the stock market has forecast the ups and downs with 100% accuracy. It hasn’t been a broken record.
Based on my forecast that the CPI will trend up the remainder of the year, I suspect the market will tell the Fed to raise the Fed Funds Rate several more times. Note, the public is wrong to blame Powell for raising rates. He is simply doing what the Fed has done forever – following exactly what the market has told it to do. So, the market has obviously priced in all Fed actions ahead of the Fed meetings because the market told them what to do at the meetings!!!
But, I digress…..my point is the recession mongers will remain a broken record as they will continue to say that the Fed’s raising of interest rates is going to push us into a recession. As of today, the stock market says they are wrong and a recession is not going to happen. I put my money on the stock market instead of all of those economists that have been 100% wrong for the past year (and longer).
I believe my forecast of the housing market will be my next post. I will probably combine it with a brief discussion on banks.
Shalom,
The Mann

THE REMAINDER OF 2023 – INFLATION

JULY 19, 2023 – Looking back at my posts, 9 months ago with inflation above 8% we had a large contingent of economists predicting inflation would soar above 10% in 2023. You couldn’t be much more wrong than they were.
By January, I came out with my 6-months out forecast that the CPI would fall below 2% by the July 12th report that just occurred. As we went thru the Spring I admitted that was too aggressive and 3% was the likely figure. And 3.0% is where we ended up.
So, what am I seeing for the remainder of the year. Straight to the point – I think the current 3.0% figure is the low we will see for this year. I expect the August report will be 3.4%-3.5%. I see virtually no chance of inflation falling below 3.0% anytime by yearend. My prediction for the January 2024 report that will show what CPI was for the entire year of 2023 is in the 4.0%-4.5% range. It is WAY early, but there is a good chance we will see CPI go below 2% in the Spring of 2024. That will make Powell happy:)
I will say if there is any surprise to the above, it will be to the downside. Several indicators are forecasting disinflation, and even deflation, and thus a chance to see inflation drop. PPI is down to almost 0% and it leads CPI. Wage inflation is slowing. But it still above 4%. The significant factors of energy and transportation are down double-digit rates (!) year-over-year. Also, China is weaker than expected and their weakness gets reflected in our prices a quarter or two out. I hear those forecasting below 2% CPI by yearend. The data just seems impossible to me to have a decline below 3% occur.
As always, we shall see.
This is the first of several posts as I forecast the remainder of the year and into 2024. Banks, the economy, and housing are to follow.
Shalom,
The Mann

HAPPY 247th TO OUR REPUBLIC

JULY 4 – Hopefully, everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July. As we are half-way through this year, just a few items to mention.
I am seeing the first articles questioning all of those people that have been forecasting a recession. The tide is about to turn on all those who will have to admit they are wrong. People are finally starting to say hey we had the Recession last year. Thanks for joining the small club of us that have been saying this for a year now!
First Quarter GDP was revised upward from 1.3% to 2.0%. Second Quarter GDP forecasts are around 1% (Federal Reserve is projecting 1.3%). That would be an annual rate of 1.5%, which is in line with population growth. I am probably wrong about this, but I have always thought GDP growth should be about the same as population growth. If we look at a chart of the growth rates for both, we will see they have been declining in unison for 30+ years. I seriously doubt the last two quarters of this year will have negative GDP.
Lastly, Truflation analyzes 10 million data points (so they say) daily in comparison to the 80,000 data points (again, so they say) analyzed monthly for CPI. Thus, a quicker and more encompassing inflation rate is provided. Truflation is down to about 2% versus 4% for CPI, which will be about 3% in a few weeks when the next report comes out. Again, all of those people that a year ago were forecasting 10%+ inflation this year need to stand up and admit they were wrong.
Oh, the housing stock index I mention from time to time hit 80 this week. Up from a low of 53 last October. That is a nice 50% move the masses missed because the media was talking about the upcoming housing crash. Houses in my market are back to selling above list price and instantaneously, again. As I have posted, 7%+ mortgage rates are not an issue for people buying houses.

For a summary of recent economic data, this is worth checking out:

Strong economic data turns recession fears into recession doubts (yahoo.com)
Happy Birthday America!
Shalom,
The Mann