Weekly Economic Scorecard 18 February 2011

The table below itemizes the major events and analysis this week.  The full review article is Weighing the Economic News: Borders’ Bankruptcy.

Weekly Economic Scorecard:

Item Headline Analysis
Consumer Metrics   Discretionary spending by Joe Sixpack continuing to weaken.
January Leading Economic Index Up 0.1% Index continues to have no real baseline but agree that economy six months from today will be improved.
February Philly Fed Business Survey Increased to historically high range The detail shows  improvement but not much different then 2010 highs.
January Consumer Price Index Up 1.6% YoY Energy big contributor to this rise.
January Sea Container Counts Up 13% Indicates a growing trade gap.
January Producer Price Index Up 3.6% YoY Energy big contributor to this rise.
January Residential Construction Down 10.4% MoM Residential construction may be bottoming
January Industrial Production Down 0.3% Industrial Production is trending up even though it might be flat in January.
January Retail Sales Up 7.8% YoY After removing auto sales, this increase likely is inflation.
January Retail Sales Up 0.3% MoM Retail sales weak on a per capita basis
December Business Sales Up 1.1% Economic growth seen in these numbers
February Empire State Manufacturing Survey Up 3.5 points Key elements less good but still shows expanding economy
Dollar’s Future   Base data shows dollar’s decline dynamics.
BRIC Decoupling?   Inflation is beginning to play a big role in international investing.
Asia Trade   Infrastructure limiting ability to expand in poorer Asian countries.
Opinion: Food Inflation in India   Sunil Chandra argues food price inflation is helping rural farmers.
Opinion: EU Stability   Dirk Ehnts argues EU at a cross roads – fighting inflation / stable Euro vs helping countries in distress
Opinion: FDIC   Yves Smith argues FDIC was designed to fail
Opinion: China & Spain   Michael Pettis argues China GDP growth will be high this year
Investing: Emerging Markets   Elliott Morss suggests where to put your money to hedge against emerging market risks
Investing: BRICS   Clive Corcoran points to money outflows from BRICS
Investing Summary   Jeff Miller reviews investing good, bad and the ugly.

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