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Weekly eLetter 9/18/2020 — Economic Recovery Update

As hits and misses continue to fight over the playing field, we are hard at work separating the signals from the noise.

Although this week’s new unemployment filings number climbed a bit (in contrast to forecasts) we think that Hurricane Laura had something to do with that. If that’s true then the data point is somewhat invalidated. Likewise, new home starts — also a disappointer – may just as well have had the hurricane blues. On the good side of the coin, the National Association of Realtors Home Index, which measures new home actual sales, came in at a record breaking high. Also sharing the good side of the coin are very good consumer sentiment numbers from this week’s Michigan consumer surveys. If Michigan’s happy why shouldn’t the rest of us be?

We think that we will probably not see much movement in financial markets until some catalyst appears, and not just any old catalyst but one that can be agreed upon irrespective of the political climate that seems to shroud everything these days.

Our best candidate for that is getting a new round of stimulus aid out of Congress. Odds of that do look better now that Madame Speaker has sworn to keep her House in session until they have a deal.

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