by Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner
On Wednesday I posted a chart showing the acceleration in Federal withholding tax collections in real time. Another chart that isn’t in real time but is probably a good proxy for the US economy is Electric Power Generation, which is a subseries of the Fed’s Industrial Production report. Not only does Electricity power our industrial sector, but it powers the service sector, and the household sector as well. There’s almost no economic activity in the US that isn’t driven or touched by electric power.
Power generation can be skewed for periods by efforts at conservation or by periods of long lasting extreme weather conditions in large, heavily populated areas of the US. But even given that caveat, we must look at this chart and wonder. Is this another sign of sudden overheating, or just the vestiges of an unusually cold winter.