Have We Seen The Peak?



Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.

The fourth-quarter acceleration in real GDP primarily reflected a sharp downturn in imports, an acceleration in PCE, an upturn in residential fixed investment, and an acceleration in exports that were partly offset by downturns in private inventory investment, in federal government spending, and in state and local government spending, and a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment.

We got some problems here…..

First, that downturn in imports (when one is looking at the recent acceleration in oil prices) is unlikely to hold up.  The PCE acceleration was largely food and energy inflation, and that’s gotten worse (much worse.)  Durables were up big, and yet the last reports on that are faltering at best.

And then there’s this…

Real gross domestic purchases — purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever produced — decreased 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 4.2 percent in the third.

I don’t like that at all.

Profits before tax with inventory valuation adjustment is the best available measure of industry profits because estimates of the capital consumption adjustment by industry do not exist.  This measure reflects depreciation-accounting practices used for federal income tax returns and is affected by the bonus depreciation provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (see below).  According to this measure, domestic profits of financial corporations increased and profits of nonfinancial corporations decreased.  The decrease in nonfinancial corporations reflected decreases in all industries shown, except for small increases in some detailed manufacturing industries.  The largest decrease was in wholesale trade.

The Vampires are once again increasing the amount of blood they are sucking out and consuming.  How much more does the host have before it collapses from circulatory volume insufficiency?

Nobody went to jail, and as a consequence the behavior that is at the root of the problems we face has not changed.

The Market-Ticker