• Non-farm payroll numbers for August released on 9/7/2012 increased a thin 96,000. The unemployment rate dipped but only because several hundred thousand unemployed have totally given up on finding a job. They have left the workforce. Good job getting things going Washington….
  • The jobs outlook in the manufacturing sector dimmed as payrolls decreased by 15,000 in August, as well.
  • The Conference Board Leading Economic Index declined 0.1% in August to 95.7, following a 0.5 % increase in July, and a 0.5% decline in June. The index has declined 3 of the last 6 months. Though it has slowed substantially, it still remains in growth territory.
  • The Federal Reserve reported on 9/14 that industrial production fell 1.2% in August after having risen in both June and July.
  • The pmpa (precision machine products assn) Business Trends Index for August, in contrast, was up 6 points from July’s reading and is contrary to that of Fed indicators. “Industry executives interviewed by the association have been guarded but none negative. “Holding our own” would seem to be the mantra for precision machining companies today.”
  • The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased in August from July. Its 3 month moving average, CFNAI-MA3 also decreased in August – its sixth consecutive reading below zero. As defined; “a zero value for the index indicated that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth; negative values indicate below average growth; and positive values indicate above-average growth.” Read ‘em and weep…..
  • The Fed decided, less than unanimously, in mid September, to engage in another round of quantitative easing (QEIII). This means the Fed will buy assets in quantity to further balloon its balance sheet. The result is an injection of liquidity in the financial markets. Question is: what are they buying these assets with??? It is simply an electronic credit to seller’s accounts. THIS is how the Fed prints money. The consensus view of seasoned market professionals is that the policy actions will be ineffective.
  • US  mills so far this year are operating at an average capability utilization rate of 77.1%, up 4.6% from the same period last year.

Going forward we will update the “View” on a weekly basis to keep you a little more informed on whats being put into… or taken out of… the soup.