Economics Update

Well, the big news is that the US GDP rose by an adjusted 3.3% rate in Q2. The initial estimate was 1.7%, and the estimate for this, the 2nd cut on GDP numbers was 2.7%.

Of course, inflation ran at a 4.2% rate, which puts it back into negative territory, though the economists typically use the “core” rate, 2.1%, even though purchasing energy and food is included in the GDP numbers.

This is reinforced by the weekly unemployment numbers, with new claims down by 10,000 this week, but, “continued claims are now above 3.4 million for the first time since 2003.”

What is going on is that the real estate asset bubble was concealing the fact that productivity from 2000 through 2007, but middle class income fell.

We were working harder for less money, and going into debt because our houses were appreciating.

Things ain’t great in Europe either, with European retail sales falling, though German unemployment fell, even while the German economy contracted….I really don’t get that one.

We do have good news on the monoliner insurers, with MBIA getting a juicy insurance deal thanks to the help of the New York State Insurance Superintendent…..Smells like a backdoor bailout to me.

In the world of home mortgages, it appears that numbers showing a mortgage application increase may be garbage, because they do not account for multiple applications from one person, which is what tends to happen when lenders get pickier about issuing loans.

Finally, oil is down, the dollar is up, and gas prices are down again, more than 45¢ off their peak.

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