Yin Yang Economics

Building Permits rose 11.8% and Housing Permits sank 11.1%.  The yin-yang numeration is uncanny.  I ‘d like a little more balance in my personal numeration since I lost my wallet yesterday.  While the credit cards and driver license will all be magically replaced with just a little bit of effort, the cash that was in there (which was more than I usually carry since I was out of town for the weekend) remains out of balance.  I throw that out there for the universe to note.  But if I don’t see the cash again, oh well, worse things have happened.

And speaking of looking for cash and worse things happening, the debt crisis in Greece may be coming to a head over the next few weeks.  If the country defaults on its debt, they would cause significant economic unrest in the European Union.  On the plus side, interest rates would come back down.

Back on our shores, the two day FOMC meeting starts up again today, with their eight-times-per-year statement about the Fed’s monetary policy being released at mid-day tomorrow.

A Brand New PPI

Perhaps that reason that homebuilders are feeling dour about the new construction industry is indicative in the 16% decline in Housing Starts, now down to an annualized 888K units.  Building permits also fell by 5%. Weather of course could play a factor since they generally build homes in the out of doors and most states in our union shut down at the threat of snow.

A brand new Producer Price Index was released this morning by the federal government.  Hitherto the present, the PPI just tracked the wholesale cost of goods sold.  Henceforth it will also include services as well (banking, healthcare, construction, etc.)  The new PPI is a measure of inflation at the level of production and is released a day before the Consumer (retail) iteration.  PPI was reported at 0.2%, double the 0.1% expected.  Doesn’t sound like much, but it equates to an extra 1.2% of inflation for the year, which is bad news if you like low interest rates.