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Monday, November 15, 2010

Economics 101

As I have mentioned before, I am often asked by friends what direction I think the economy is headed and how that might affect them.  I do not offer investment advice and am not an investment advisor not an economist, but there are certain items which tend to indicate where we are headed.  The following from the New York Fed indicates we may be in fro a very rough road.
From the NY Fed:

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions deteriorated in November for New York State manufacturers. For the first time since mid-2009, the general business conditions index fell below zero, declining 27 points to -11.1. The new orders index plummeted 37 points to -24.4, and the shipments index also fell below zero. The indexes for both prices paid and prices received declined, with the latter falling into negative territory. The index for number of employees remained above zero but was well below its October level, and the average workweek index dropped to -13.0.
The expectations was of a reading of positive 15.  Oops.

New Orders feel significantly and general business conditions fell by over 38 points.  Very negative signs.

And then there is the situation in Ireland and the EURO in general.

From CNBC: Ireland Does Not Rule Out EU Rescue Possibility

Ireland did not rule out the possibility of turning to the European Union for help, while an Irish newspaper reported that the Prime Minister may approach Brussels as early as Tuesday.
The Irish Independent said Finance Minister Brian Lenihan may ask his European counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday if it would be possible to funnel funds into Irish banks which he has already promised to pump up to 50 billion euros ($68.38 billion) into.
“There is no question about Irish sovereign debt – the question remains about the funding of the banks. The banks are having trouble getting money,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying.
“We have to find out – could you go to the fund and get money for the banking sector? Lenihan at ECOFIN presents an opportunity to discuss it. It would be the banks that would have to pay it back – not the state.”
The total amount of outstanding European Central Bank loans owed by Irish banks rose to 130 billion euros as of Oct 29 from 119 billion on September 24, data published on the Irish central bank’s website showed on Friday.
Retail sales did increase slightly, but it remains to be seen whether sales continue or it peters out.

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