A Billion Unemployed Oscar Winners
According to the news, you’d think the struggle is The People’s car with Mother Earth, but you’d be wrong. On Monday, it was reported that both the non-manufacturing and service sectors were down in September relative to August. So, the real struggle is the survival of landfills and hiring of future Oscar winners.
So what? Suppliers not supplying can be a leading indicator of a slowdown. Suppliers only supply when they see the money. A downward trend suggests they may not see the money. The service sector, on the other hand, has been the Band-Aid that’s led to the gig economy. A downward trend in service may suggest service is either maxed out or contracting. These may be ominous economic signs.
Does a Billion Make Us a Billionaire?
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve showed with its August Consumer Credit Report that Americans love stuff more than they love love when it reported that credit usage was up $16 billion from July’s $19 billion. Giving retailers an early Christmas present, revolving, or credit card credit, was up $4 billion for the sixth straight month. Non-revolving credit, such as student and car loans, was up $12 billion.
The hell? Americans may have increased credit card usage for back to school. With the holidays around the corner, any hiatus is bound to be short-lived. Be a contrarian and boycott the holidays. Too much? Set a goal to spend 20 percent less than last year and put all savings towards debt or into growth assets, such as your popcorn garland weaving side hustle.
A Fraction of a Billion Not Making A Million
Finally, the Department of Labor gave the jobless hope and Wall Streeters hopelessness when it reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended October 3rd fell to its lowest point since July. This brought the four-week average down, but continuous claims still increased week-over-week.
The jobs market has been as inconsistent as the stock market. People who want jobs should know they’re fighting bankers who don’t want The Fed to raise rates. Jobs up, rates up. The Fantasy Football of the stock market, futures pricing, predicts a better chance of a rate hike in the first quarter of 2016 than the Republicans hiring a new Majority Leader by year end. This may mean lackluster job growth till first quarter 2016.
The stock market will remain as conflicted as Dems protected by guns until the Fed stops putting its Fed Funds Rate in the crosshairs. The Fed’s vague and mysterious hints continue to make the stock market about as good an economic barometer as a vegetarian’s commitment to not eating meat.
And? Don’t be one of the Americans adding to your debt. The costs of goods and services may drop and someday rates will rise. Take advantage of this time. Negotiate your credit card interest rates down, especially before the holidays. Borrowing is costing your bank near zero. Convince banks to pass some savings onto you.
That’s this week’s Money Conscious Mash Up (#MCMU). Come back every week because we like web traffic. Speaking of web traffic, if you like these weekly recaps, please like and share them.