Monday, November 30, 2020

Seven High Frequency Indicators for the Economy

by Calculated Risk on 11/30/2020 08:29:00 AM

NOTE: Some of this data was impacted by Thanksgiving. For example, transit data is always down during holidays.

These indicators are mostly for travel and entertainment.    It will interesting to watch these sectors recover as the vaccine is distributed.   


IMPORTANT: Be safe now - if all goes well, we could all be vaccinated by Q2 2021.

----- Airlines: Transportation Security Administration -----

The TSA is providing daily travel numbers.

TSA Traveler Data Click on graph for larger image.

This data shows the seven day average of daily total traveler throughput from the TSA for 2019 (Blue) and 2020 (Red).

The dashed line is the percent of last year for the seven day average.

This data is as of Nov 29th.

The seven day average is down 61% from last year (39% of last year).  (Dashed line)

There has been a slow increase from the bottom, and appears to have increased for the Thanksgiving week holiday.

----- Restaurants: OpenTable -----

The second graph shows the 7 day average of the year-over-year change in diners as tabulated by OpenTable for the US and several selected cities.

Move Box OfficeThanks to OpenTable for providing this restaurant data:

This data is updated through November 28, 2020.

This data is "a sample of restaurants on the OpenTable network across all channels: online reservations, phone reservations, and walk-ins. For year-over-year comparisons by day, we compare to the same day of the week from the same week in the previous year."

Note that this data is for "only the restaurants that have chosen to reopen in a given market". Since some restaurants have not reopened, the actual year-over-year decline is worse than shown.

Note that dining is generally lower in the northern states - Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York - and only down slightly in the southern states.

----- Movie Tickets: Box Office Mojo -----

Move Box OfficeThis data shows domestic box office for each week (red) and the maximum and minimum for the previous four years.  Data is from BoxOfficeMojo through November 26th.

Note that the data is usually noisy week-to-week and depends on when blockbusters are released.

Movie ticket sales have picked up slightly over the last couple of months, and were at $12 million last week (compared to usually around $300 million per week during the Thanksgiving blockbuster period).

Some movie theaters have reopened (probably with limited seating).

----- Hotel Occupancy: STR -----

Hotel Occupancy RateThis graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.

The red line is for 2020, dash light blue is 2019, blue is the median, and black is for 2009 (the worst year since the Great Depression for hotels - prior to 2020).

This data is through November 21st. Hotel occupancy is currently down 32.6% year-over-year.

Notes: Y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the seasonal change.

Since there is a seasonal pattern to the occupancy rate, we can track the year-over-year change in occupancy to look for any improvement. This table shows the year-over-year change since the week ending Sept 19, 2020:

Week EndingYoY Change, Occupancy Rate
9/19-31.9%
9/26-31.5%
10/3-29.6%
10/10-29.2%
10/17-30.7%
10/24-31.7%
10/31-29.0%
11/7-35.9%
11/14-32.7%
11/21-32.6%

This suggests no improvement over the last 10 weeks.

----- Gasoline Supplied: Energy Information Administration -----

gasoline ConsumptionThis graph, based on weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), shows gasoline supplied compared to the same week last year of .

At one point, gasoline supplied was off almost 50% YoY.

As of November 20th, gasoline supplied was off about 11.7% YoY (about 88.3% of last year).

Note: People driving instead of flying might have boosted gasoline consumption over the summer.

----- Transit: Apple Mobility -----

This graph is from Apple mobility. From Apple: "This data is generated by counting the number of requests made to Apple Maps for directions in select countries/regions, sub-regions, and cities." This is just a general guide - people that regularly commute probably don't ask for directions.

There is also some great data on mobility from the Dallas Fed Mobility and Engagement Index. However the index is set "relative to its weekday-specific average over January–February", and is not seasonally adjusted, so we can't tell if an increase in mobility is due to recovery or just the normal increase in the Spring and Summer.

Apple Mobility Data This data is through November 28th for the United States and several selected cities.

The graph is the running 7 day average to remove the impact of weekends.

IMPORTANT: All data is relative to January 13, 2020. This data is NOT Seasonally Adjusted. People walk and drive more when the weather is nice, so I'm just using the transit data.

According to the Apple data directions requests, public transit in the 7 day average for the US is at 44% of the January level. It is at 31% in Chicago, and 49% in Houston - and declining recently.

----- New York City Subway Usage -----

Here is some interesting data on New York subway usage (HT BR).

New York City Subway UsageThis graph is from Todd W Schneider. This is daily data for this year.

This data is through Friday, November 27th.

Schneider has graphs for each borough, and links to all the data sources.

He notes: "Data updates weekly from the MTA’s public turnstile data, usually on Saturday mornings".

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday Night Futures

by Calculated Risk on 11/29/2020 09:10:00 PM

Weekend:
Schedule for Week of November 29, 2020

Monday:
• At 9:45 AM ET, Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for November.

• At 10:00 AM, Pending Home Sales Index for October. The consensus is for a 2.0% increase in the index.

• At 10:30 AM, Dallas Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for November. This is the last of the regional Fed manufacturing surveys for November.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures S&P 500 and DOW futures are mostly unchanged (fair value).

Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $45.10 per barrel and Brent at $47.60 barrel. A year ago, WTI was at $58, and Brent was at $65 - so WTI oil prices are down about 25% year-over-year.

Here is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $2.10 per gallon. A year ago prices were at $2.60 per gallon, so gasoline prices are down $0.50 per gallon year-over-year.

November 29 COVID-19 Test Results; Record Hospitalizations

by Calculated Risk on 11/29/2020 07:06:00 PM

Note: The data will be unusual over the holiday weekend. Stay Safe!!!

The US is now averaging over 1 million tests per day. Based on the experience of other countries, for adequate test-and-trace (and isolation) to reduce infections, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% (probably close to 1%), so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly (or take actions to push down the number of new infections).

There were 1,011,883 test results reported over the last 24 hours.

There were 131,441 positive tests.

Almost 36,000 US deaths have been reported so far in November. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.

COVID-19 Tests per Day and Percent PositiveClick on graph for larger image.

This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.

The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 13.0% (red line is 7 day average).  The percent positive is calculated by dividing positive results by the sum of negative and positive results (I don't include pending).

And check out COVID Exit Strategy to see how each state is doing.

COVID-19 Positive Tests per DayThe second graph shows the 7 day average of positive tests reported and daily hospitalizations.

The dashed line is the previous hospitalization maximum.

Note that there were very few tests available in March and April, and many cases were missed, so the hospitalizations was higher relative to the 7-day average of positive tests in July.

• Record Hospitalizations.

Zillow Case-Shiller House Price Forecast: "Taking Off in Earnest"

by Calculated Risk on 11/29/2020 11:57:00 AM

The Case-Shiller house price indexes for September were released last week. Zillow forecasts Case-Shiller a month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Matthew Speakman at Zillow: September Case-Shiller Results & October Forecast: Taking Off in Earnest

The weather cooled, but the pace of home price appreciation remained red hot into September.

The national Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose 7% year-over-year in September. The smaller 10- and 20-city composite indices grew more slowly, at 6.2% and 6.6% year-over-year, respectively. The annual rate of growth was faster in August than in July in all three main indices. On a monthly (seasonally adjusted) basis, the 10- and 20-city indices were each up by more than 1% (1.2% and 1.3%, respectively), and the national index was up 1.4% from August.
...
With mortgage rates staying near their lowest levels ever, buyers remain eager to grab the relatively few homes that are listed on the market, and do so quickly – homes went under contract two weeks faster in September than they did a year earlier. Home prices are normally sticky, meaning that they often take a while to respond to market shifts. These elevated levels of market competition have been placing upward pressure on prices for months, but home prices have just recently began to take off in earnest. Some measures show home prices now growing at a faster pace than they ever have. While the worsening spread of COVID-19, and the economic uncertainty that accompanies it, do pose some potential risks to the booming housing market, it appears unlikely that this remarkable growth in home prices will abate in the coming months.

Annual growth in [October] as reported by Case-Shiller is expected to accelerate in all three main indices. S&P Dow Jones Indices is expected to release data for the October S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices on Tuesday, December 29.
emphasis added
The Zillow forecast is for the year-over-year change for the Case-Shiller National index to be at 7.7% in October, up from 7.0% in September.

The Zillow forecast is for the 20-City index to be up 7.3% YoY in October from 6.6% in September, and for the 10-City index to increase to be up 6.8% YoY compared to 6.2% YoY in September.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

November 28 COVID-19 Test Results; Record Hospitalizations

by Calculated Risk on 11/28/2020 07:07:00 PM

Note: The data will be unusual over the holiday weekend. Stay Safe!!!

The US is now averaging over 1 million tests per day. Based on the experience of other countries, for adequate test-and-trace (and isolation) to reduce infections, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% (probably close to 1%), so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly (or take actions to push down the number of new infections).

There were 1,419,105 test results reported over the last 24 hours.

There were 152,098 positive tests.

Almost 35,000 US deaths have been reported so far in November. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.

COVID-19 Tests per Day and Percent PositiveClick on graph for larger image.

This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.

The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 10.7% (red line is 7 day average).  The percent positive is calculated by dividing positive results by the sum of negative and positive results (I don't include pending).

And check out COVID Exit Strategy to see how each state is doing.

COVID-19 Positive Tests per DayThe second graph shows the 7 day average of positive tests reported and daily hospitalizations.

The dashed line is the previous hospitalization maximum.

Note that there were very few tests available in March and April, and many cases were missed, so the hospitalizations was higher relative to the 7-day average of positive tests in July.

• Record Hospitalizations.

Schedule for Week of November 29, 2020

by Calculated Risk on 11/28/2020 08:23:00 AM

The key report this week is the November employment report on Friday.

Other key indicators include the November ISM manufacturing and services indexes, November auto sales, and the October trade deficit.


On Tuesday and Wednesday, Fed Chair Powell will provide testimony on the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act".

----- Monday, Nov 30th -----

9:45 AM: Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for November.

10:00 AM: Pending Home Sales Index for October. The consensus is for a 2.0% increase in the index.

10:30 AM: Dallas Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for November. This is the last of the regional Fed manufacturing surveys for November.

----- Tuesday, Dec 1st -----

ISM PMI10:00 AM: ISM Manufacturing Index for November.  The consensus is for 57.5%, down from 59.3%.

Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.

The PMI was at 59.3% in October, the employment index was at 53.2%, and the new orders index was at 67.9%.

10:00 AM: Construction Spending for October.  The consensus is for 0.4% increase in spending.

10:00 AM: Testimony, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate

Vehicle SalesAll day: Light vehicle sales for November.

The consensus is for 16.2 million SAAR in November, unchanged from the BEA estimate of 16.2 million SAAR in October (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).

This graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967. The dashed line is the current sales rate.

----- Wednesday, Dec 2nd -----

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

8:15 AM: The ADP Employment Report for November. This report is for private payrolls only (no government).  The consensus is for 420,000 jobs added, up from 365,000 in October.

10:00 AM: Testimony, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives

2:00 PM: the Federal Reserve Beige Book, an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.

----- Thursday, Dec 3rd -----

8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 825,000 initial claims, up from 778,000 last week.

10:00 AM: the ISM Services Index for November.

----- Friday, Dec 4th -----

Employment Recessions, Scariest Job Chart8:30 AM: Employment Report for November.   The consensus is for 500 thousand jobs added, and for the unemployment rate to decrease to 6.7%.

There were 638 thousand jobs added in October, and the unemployment rate was at 6.9%.

This graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms.

The current employment recession was by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and the worst in terms of the unemployment rate.

U.S. Trade Deficit8:30 AM: Trade Balance report for October from the Census Bureau.

This graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum, through the most recent report. The blue line is the total deficit, and the black line is the petroleum deficit, and the red line is the trade deficit ex-petroleum products.

The consensus is the trade deficit to be $64.7 billion.  The U.S. trade deficit was at $63.9 billion in September.

Friday, November 27, 2020

November 27 COVID-19 Test Results

by Calculated Risk on 11/27/2020 07:52:00 PM

Note: The data will be unusual over the holiday weekend. Stay Safe!!!

The US is now averaging over 1 million tests per day. Based on the experience of other countries, for adequate test-and-trace (and isolation) to reduce infections, the percent positive needs to be well under 5% (probably close to 1%), so the US still needs to increase the number of tests per day significantly (or take actions to push down the number of new infections).

There were 1,703,640 test results reported over the last 24 hours.

There were 194,979 positive tests.

Over 33,000 US deaths have been reported so far in November. See the graph on US Daily Deaths here.

COVID-19 Tests per Day and Percent PositiveClick on graph for larger image.

This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.

The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 11.4% (red line is 7 day average).  The percent positive is calculated by dividing positive results by the sum of negative and positive results (I don't include pending).

And check out COVID Exit Strategy to see how each state is doing.

COVID-19 Positive Tests per DayThe second graph shows the 7 day average of positive tests reported and daily hospitalizations.

The dashed line is the previous hospitalization maximum.

Note that there were very few tests available in March and April, and many cases were missed, so the hospitalizations was higher relative to the 7-day average of positive tests in July.

Hotels: Occupancy Rate Declined 32.6% Year-over-year

by Calculated Risk on 11/27/2020 01:45:00 PM

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 21 November

U.S. weekly hotel occupancy continued to slip further from previous weeks, according to the latest data from STR through 21 November.

15-21 November 2020 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019):

Occupancy: 41.2% (-32.6%)
• Average daily rate (ADR): US$88.54 (-29.0%)
• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): US$36.45 (-52.2%)
emphasis added
Since there is a seasonal pattern to the occupancy rate - see graph below - we can track the year-over-year change in occupancy to look for any improvement. This table shows the year-over-year change since the week ending Sept 19, 2020:

Week EndingYoY Change, Occupancy Rate
9/19-31.9%
9/26-31.5%
10/3-29.6%
10/10-29.2%
10/17-30.7%
10/24-31.7%
10/31-29.0%
11/7-35.9%
11/14-32.7%
11/21-32.6%

This suggests no improvement over the last 10 weeks.

The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.

Hotel Occupancy RateClick on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2020, dash light blue is 2019, blue is the median, and black is for 2009 (the worst year since the Great Depression for hotels - before 2020).

Seasonally we'd expect the occupancy rate to decline into the new year. Note that there was little pickup in business travel that usually happens in the Fall.

Note: Y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the seasonal change.

Q4 GDP Forecasts: Some Upward Revisions

by Calculated Risk on 11/27/2020 12:14:00 PM

From Merrill Lynch:

4Q GDP tracking jumped to 6.0% qoq saar as strong consumer, capex, housing and inventories data in October kicked the quarter off to a solid start. [Nov 25 estimate]
From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report
The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 2.8% for 2020:Q4. News from this week’s data releases decreased the nowcast by 0.1 percentage point. [Nov 27 estimate]
And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow
The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2020 is 11.0 percent on November 25, up from 5.6 percent on November 18. [Nov 25 estimate]

Lawler: The Dismal Demographics of 2020

by Calculated Risk on 11/27/2020 09:35:00 AM

From housing economist Tom Lawler: The Dismal Demographics of 2020

Surging deaths, plummeting net international migration, and a likely further decline in births in 2020 should result in an astonishing slowdown in US population growth this year. Using reasonable assumptions for all three key “components of change,” US population growth from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020 will be only 0.22% (about 720,000).

Deaths

Beginning not too long ago the CDC began releasing provisional weekly estimates of US deaths – not just those attributable to Covid-19, but total deaths as well. While the data for much of this year is not complete – especially for the most recent weeks – because of reporting delays, the data nonetheless provide analysts with a general idea of the direction of deaths.

Below is a table comparing deaths by selected age groups over the 42-week period ending 10/24/2020 to deaths over the 42-week period ending 10/26/2019. (Data for 2020 have been released through the second week of November, but reporting delays massively understate deaths for the latest weeks available). Also shown are deaths directly attributable to Covid-19 through October 10/24/2020.

CDC Estimates of US Deaths by Selected Age Groups
42
Week
End
< 2525-4445-6465-7475-8485+Total
10/1949,620117,263441,782456,373563,456714,4832,342,977
10/2051,588141,364498,681525,081637,739789,0722,643,525
Covid 194876,16339,86247,98959,01368,188221,702
Ex Covid51,101135,201458,819477,092578,726720,8842,421,823
Total Delta4.0%20.6%12.9%15.1%13.2%10.4%12.8%
Ex-Covid Delta3.0%15.3%3.9%4.5%2.7%0.9%3.4%

As the table shows, deaths in the US year-to-date in 2020 were at least 12.8% (or 300,548) above the comparable period of 2019, and deaths not directly attributable to Covid-19 were up at least 3.4% (or 78,846). Note that in % terms the biggest increase in deaths from a year ago has been in the 25-44 year old category. While the factors behind the increase in non-Covid-related deaths are not known, possible reasons include Covid-related deaths not identified as such, people not accessing medical treatment because of the pandemic, and what appears to be a substantial increase in the number of drug overdose deaths.

Projecting deaths for the balance of 2020 is tricky, though most experts are expecting that Covid-related deaths will turn back up in December. Using low-end projections for Covid deaths, below is a table showing what I believe is a reasonable (and probably slightly too low) projection of deaths in 2020 compared to 2019 (note that the 2019 numbers are an estimate based on weekly CDC data; the official report on US mortality in 2019 has not yet been released)

Estimated US Deaths by Selected Age Groups (Calendar Year)
 < 2525-4445-6465-7475-8485+Total
201960,210142,926537,518556,911688,899874,1942,860,658
202062,506172,279608,652642,866780,598963,1833,230,084
Delta2,29629,35371,13485,95591,69988,989369,426
%
Delta
3.8%20.5%13.2%15.4%13.3%10.2%12.9%

Net International Migration

There is little doubt that the pandemic, combined with a host of actions by the Administration, has resulted in a sharp reduction in both immigration to and emigration from the United States. Unfortunately, I do not know of any timely data sources that would enable one to estimate year-to-date net international migration. The last Census estimate of NIM was 595,000 for the 12 month period ending 6/30/2019. In my view, though not supported by data, I’d say an estimate of 250,000 for net international migration in 2020 seems plausible.

Births

While I do not know of any timely data on total US births in 2020, births have steadily declined over the past five years, and most experts expect that births were down slightly in 2020. Experts expect that the pandemic will ultimately result in a significant reduction in births, that decline will mainly show up in 2021. (There is a known lag between conception and birth!). The CDC’s provisional estimate for births was 3,745,540 in 2019 compared to 3,791,712 in 2018. A reasonable projection for 2020 would be around 3,700,000.

Adding Things Up
While the last official Census estimate of the US resident population was for July 1, 2019 (the so-called “Vintage 2019” estimate), Census also produced “Vintage 2019” one-year ahead population projections by month through December 1, 2020. (These should not be confused with Census’ long-term population projections, the latest of which was produced in 2017 and which are hopelessly out of date). While the projections for most of 2020 will be way too high, the projection for January 1, 2020 (pre-pandemic) are probably not too far off.

The “Vintage 2019” projection for the US residential population for January 1, 2020 was 329,135,084. If one assumes that the deaths, net international migration, and birth projections for 2020 are reasonable, then a reasonable projection for the US residential population on January 1, 2021 would be:

329,135,084 – 3,230,084 + 250,000 + 3,700,000 = 329,855,000.

Such an estimate would mean that the US resident population from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020 increased by just 719,916, or 0.22%. By comparison, US population growth from 2010 to 2016 averaged about 2.27 million a year (or 0.72% annual growth).

In a later report I will have estimates of the change in population by age groups. It appears, however, that from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020 the US working age population did not increase at all.