August Publication Schedule

The Lehmann Letter (SM) Everyone knows that housing led us into the recent recession. But what will lead us out? Here are the key August consumer-demand indicators that you can follow for up-to-the-minute information on demand’s recovery. Go to http://www.beyourowneconomist.com/ and click on Seminars, then click on Economic Indicators to navigate the sites that provide the data and click on Charts for a visual presentation that you can update. • Home sales and construction remain in the doldrums. Consumer confidence and consumer credit are down, too. Households won’t begin to spend heavily until they are willing to borrow heavily.• Here Continue reading

July Disappoints

The Lehmann Letter (SM) The stock market slumped today in response to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s congressional testimony. The Chairman let Congress know that the outlook is not rosy. But you need not have waited for Mr. Bernanke’s testimony to reach a similar conclusion. Just take a look at housing starts and auto sales. The Census Bureau announced 549,000 housing starts in June. Picture that number in the chart below. You can see the double-dip. Housing starts fell below 600,000, then snapped back only to fall below 600,000 again. The problem is clear. The tax incentive provided a temporary stimulus Continue reading