July 2013

Report: Disability Claims and Awards Declined

From FY2011 to FY2012 (in the aftermath of the Great Recession) it was reported that there were actually less Social Security disability claims, less awards and more SSDI terminations. By the end of 2012, total disabled workers receiving SSDI benefits numbered 8.8 million --- not 14 million that the NPR consistently reports.

There Goes Detroit!

Detroit just filed for bankruptcy.  This is the largest city bankruptcy in U.S. history and much of it has to do with the banks.

Legions have fled Detroit over the last decade.

Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million is struggling to stay above 700,000. Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them.

Don't Get Too Excited On the 24,000 Initial Unemployment Claims Drop

The DOL reported people filing for initial unemployment insurance benefits in the week ending on July 13th, 2013 was 334,000, a 24,000 decrease from the previous week of 358,000.  While Wall Street jumps on these figures, not so fast, initial claims are still elevated, going on six years since the start of the recession.


Industrial Production Grows Only 0.6% for Q2 2013

The June 2013 Federal Reserve's Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization report shows a 0.3% increase in industrial production.  For Q2 industrial production rose an annualized 0.6%.  This is the lowest quarterly industrial production since Q3 2012 and before that, the height of the recession, Q2 2009.  The G.17 industrial production statistical release is also known as output for factories and mines.

CPI Jumps 0.5% on Higher Gas Prices for June 2013

The June Consumer Price Index increased 0.5% from May.  CPI measures inflation, or price increases.  This is the largest monthly CPI increase since February where inflation rose 0.7%. The culprit this time is gasoline, which caused two thirds of the increase in CPI and by itself rose 6.3%.  Take food and energy items out of the index and core inflation rose 0.2% from May.


Retail Sales 0.4% June Gain Shows Auto Dealers are Having a Good Year

June 2013 Retail Sales increased by 0.4% on auto sales, which increased 2.1% from last month.  Motor vehicle dealers are having a good year.  Their sales have increased 12.9% from a year ago. Without motor vehicles & parts sales, June retail sales would have shown no change from last month.  Furniture had a surprise showing with a 2.4% increase in sales.  If one removes gasoline sales from retail sales, overall the increase would have been 0.3%.