PPI and CPI for July

From BLS today:

The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.0 percent in July, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices rose 1.0 percent in June and 0.8 percent in May. (See table A.) On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index moved up 7.8 percent for the 12 months ended in July, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

Nearly three-fourths of the July increase in the final demand index can be traced to a 1.1-percent advance in prices for final demand services. The index for final demand goods rose 0.6 percent.

The PPI and core PPI inflation rates topped the Bloomberg consensus numbers.

Here’s the CPI against the PPI for final demand, and less discussed PPI for final, finished goods. (For more on yesterday’s CPI, see this post.)

Figure 1: Month-on-month annualized inflation rate for CPI for all urban consumers, goods and services (blue), PPI for all final demand, finished goods (pink),  and PPI for all commodities (teal), all in %. Source: BLS and author’s calculations.

Core measures show continued acceleration, m/m. (Note, scale is narrower in below figure.)

Figure 2: Month-on-month annualized inflation rate for CPI for all urban consumers, goods and services ex-food and energy (blue), PPI for all final demand (pink), and PPI for all final demand, finished goods ex-food and energy (teal), %. Source: BLS and author’s calculations.

Do PPI’s lead CPI’s in the US? Clark (1995) provides a skeptical view that PPI’s provide additional systematic predictive power.

Some analysts project that recent increases in prices of crude and intermediate goods will pass through the production chain and generate higher consumer price inflation. While simple economics suggests such a pass-through effect may occur, more sophisticated reasoning and careful consideration of the construction of the PPI and CPI data suggest any pass-through effect may be weak. Consistent with this more sophisticated analysis, the empirical evidence also shows the production chain only weakly links consumer prices to producer prices. PPI changes sometimes help predict CPI changes but fail to do so systematically. Therefore, the recent increases in some producer price indexes do not in themselves presage higher CPI inflation.

Caporale et al. (2002) uses a more formal multivariate approach to conclude that for G-7 economies, PPI’s do lead CPI’s. Whether these findings still pertain in the current environment (and using the updated versions of the PPI) remains to be seen.

For now, Cleveland Fed‘s nowcasts indicate that, using their model, m/m July PCE inflation has risen and core inflation fallen in response to today’s release of PPI information.

Source:  Cleveland Fed, accessed 8/12/2021.

Addendum, 2:23pm Pacific:

Here’s the reaction from the markets: going from 8/10 close to 8/12 close, the (unadjusted) five year breakeven rose 2 bps.

Figure 3: Five year inflation breakeven calculated as five year Treasury yield minus five year TIPS yield (blue), five year breakeven adjusted by term premium and liquidity premium per DKW, all in %. Source: FRB via FRED, KWW following D’amico, Kim and Wei (DKW) accessed 8/5, and author’s calculations.

69 thoughts on “PPI and CPI for July

  1. pgl

    ‘Some analysts project that recent increases in prices of crude and intermediate goods will pass through the production chain and generate higher consumer price inflation. While simple economics suggests such a pass-through effect may occur, more sophisticated reasoning and careful consideration of the construction of the PPI and CPI data suggest any pass-through effect may be weak. Consistent with this more sophisticated analysis, the empirical evidence also shows the production chain only weakly links consumer prices to producer prices. PPI changes sometimes help predict CPI changes but fail to do so systematically. Therefore, the recent increases in some producer price indexes do not in themselves presage higher CPI inflation.’

    Wait, wait. If PPI rises relative to CPI then retail margins fall. OK – the vaunted JohnH rising retail oligopoly retail margin seems to be losing support the more people look at the actual data.

    1. JohnH

      pgl doesn’t seem to understand that there is substantial value added between producer and consumer. Inflation on those other value added inputs may be less than at the producer level. In addition, not all of US industry is highly concentrated, though goods from oligopolies do occupy a lot of shelf space. As a result oligopolies could exert their pricing power while other suppliers could not, the net effect being consumer price increases lower than if all retail were dominated by oligopolies.

      Lumber is not necessarily a proxy for other markets.

      1. pgl

        So Home Depot’s enormous gross margin is entirely justified? The distributor generally does not change the product and yet they often get gross margins over 20% which JohnH is just fine with. Either you are a total corporate lackey or you write gibberish you do not understand (as usual).

      1. rjs

        second paragraph, this month’s report:
        Nearly three-fourths of the July increase in the final demand index can be traced to a 1.1-percent advance in prices for final demand services.

        fifth paragraph:
        Product detail: About 20 percent of the July advance in prices for final demand services can be traced to margins for automobiles and automobile parts retailing, which climbed 11.2 percent.

  2. macroduck

    It seems ot me that Clark and Caporale, as quoted here, do not utterly contradict each other. Both find that PPI leads CPI. Clark is not satisfied with the predictive power of PPI. Caporale, as quoted here, doesn’t have a dog in that fight.

    CPI is less volatile than PPI, which indicates mediation of CPI by factors which either don’t influence PPI or have less influence. That alone is reason to doubt one month’s increase in PPI will drive a re-acceleration in CPI.

    Consumer price trends are quite persistent. Low inflation leads to low inflation. High inflation leads to high inflation. That’s one reason sticky price measures are useful; we want to know about stickiness. Stickiness is, I suppose, one of the factors mediating consumer price gains.


    Biden’s infrastructure spending will likely add .8 extra growth the next 3 years. Corporations real revenue has accelerated boosting worker bargaining power. The real question now is when production can match spending, which will likely be next year for inventory recovery. Inflation should decline in 2022-24. 2025- remains murky. My guess corporate profits begin to weaken and consumer debt rises by then, which was the 2020-21 fear of a investment slump and subprime banking crisis.

    1. pgl

      Who knew? There is a Bot macroeconometric model. I bet the folks at Moody’s Analytics are not worried about the new competition!

  4. JohnH

    “ the empirical evidence also shows the production chain only weakly links consumer prices to producer price.”

    It would have been nice if commenters, hysterical about Trump’s tariffs on washing machines, had taken note.

    Personally I thought Trump’s tariffs to be stupid; I thought hysterical commenters’ fear mongering about huge price increases to be equally stupid, particularly in light of this year’s huge price increases which once hysterical commenters have let pass without comment.

    1. pgl

      No one was hysterical – except for you. But do troll on as it is amusing how often you contradict yourself.

    2. Jwil

      Reactions to unfolding events almost always consider the cause and potential outcomes. Imagine a car rapidly accelerating to 30 MPH. Consider all the different causes and outcomes…..a forceful but expected push of the pedal vs a train pushing the car……rolling down a steep incline vs accelerating through a school crossing.

      Pretending to be shocked at different reactions to different situations might make for amazing internet banter that wows your friends, but its a bit ridiculous.

      Just a thought.

  5. ltr


    March 1, 2019

    The Impact of the 2018 Trade War on U.S. Prices and Welfare
    By Mary Amiti, Stephen J. Redding and David E. Weinstein


    This paper explores the impacts of the Trump administration’s trade policy on prices and welfare. Over the course of 2018, the U.S. experienced substantial increases in the prices of intermediates and final goods, dramatic changes to its supply-chain network, reductions in availability of imported varieties, and complete passthrough of the tariffs into domestic prices of imported goods. Overall, using standard economic methods, we find that the full incidence of the tariff falls on domestic consumers, with a reduction in U.S. real income of $1.4 billion per month by the end of 2018. We also see similar patterns for foreign countries who have retaliated against the U.S., which indicates that the trade war also reduced real income for other countries.

  6. Moses Herzog

    Menzie, you’re probably going to suspect I’m trying to “stir up the hornets’ nest” here. But I am genuinely curious, do you lean towards one side or the other as regards Clark’s assertions on PPI effects on CPI?? I will admit there’s some gray area there, but for me, I tend not to buy that one.

    Just do a Google search on court fines on collusion, and just for fun, confine your search to the last 3 years. (these are just the one we know about). Doesn’t seem to support the theory too much.

  7. Moses Herzog

    I’m reading this book on the 2020 trump campaign. I thought it was interesting that Matt Pottinger was the one single guy in the White House sounding the alarm bells on Covid-19. This would have been very late January. I wonder how many people knew that before the book came out.

    Time for todays’ Jeopardy question: Who recruited Matt Pottinger to the White House?? We’re working on the honor system here–if you want to answer this question you are not allowed to Google the answer. I will put the answer up in this same thread at 21:00 Pacific Standard time. I mean if no one cheats and Googles it, no one will get the answer to this. But I encourage wild guesses.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      I do not know who recruited him (maybe Peter Navarro?), but I was aware he was first in the place to warn about the coronavirus. That was mostly because he was a major point man on China who was well informed about things there, with the ability to read Chinese, and he became aware of what was going on in China with it well before anybody else. Why it might have been Navarro who brought him in is that Navarro had (and still has) a major fixation on China, and he was also someone who warned early on about the virus.

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ Barkley Rosser
        That’s actually a very good guess in the sense Navarro was/is so anti-China. And he was one of the few people to take Pottinger’s side (at least openly) in the first national security meeting on Covid-19. So I’ll give you 1/2 credit on that, because it’s quite a good guess. In fairness Alex Azar also took Pottinger’s side, but that would kind of be expected based on his job title. And Fauci was there by video conference. But the amazing thing to me was, or at least the book strongly implies, the meeting on the potential pandemic would not have been held so soon, if not for Pottingers instigation.

    2. Moses Herzog

      [ drum roll…….. ] Answer: Michael Flynn. I just thought it was ironic that a guy who was/is a traitor to his own nation and trading in info and trading influence to foreign governments, recruited to the White House, the one guy inside the trump White House who got the dangers of Covid-19 in the very early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

      1. pgl

        “the one guy inside the trump White House who got the dangers of Covid-19 in the very early days of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

        No – Trump understood the dangers early on. I guess who have not followed those Woodward interviews. Trump knew but he did not give a damn about anyone or anything except how he could exploit this for his own partisan agenda.

        1. Moses Herzog

          Well, he shut down travel from China on January 31, so that’s a pretty big move. So one could argue from that alone they were taking it seriously. The recording or interview with Woodward happened around February 7. Now obviously this is a debatable topic. But you have to remember donald trump’s love of hyperbole and his desire to make everything that happens under his supervision as “big” “huge” “the biggest ever” “the best numbers ever” “The highest number ever”. And also he is aware of Woodward’s association with prior leaders and prior major historical events. He feels he’s trying to “stroke” Woodward and tell him what he wants to hear, so that Woodward’s book and future writings present him in a flattering light.

          So, then the question becomes, how much of trump’s words to Woodward reflect he is aware of the true dangers and true scope of the virus, or how much of trump’s words are an effort of manipulation to present himself as “the hero” to the situation and “saving America from a pandemic” that he himself still hasn’t grasped the magnitude of, on the same level that Matt Pottinger, Alex Azar, and Fauci understand that it is (Navarro is “on the right team” but for the wrong reasons of grasping at anything to bash China).

          I think it’s debatable. I bend to donald trump not grasping the true gravity of Covid-19 even in his February 7 recordings with Woodward. But I will grant you there’s some grey area there.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Barkley Rosser: As I said above, it’s not that Navarro “gets” the dangers of the virus at that time (late Jan, early Feb ’20) it’s that he will latch onto anything that he can metaphorically club China with. It’s like some middle aged wash up who sees his ex-wife at the mall. What dress she is wearing, her body-weight, means absolutely nothing. He is still going to go around telling people the last time he saw her she looked like sh*t. It has no relation to the fact whether she does or not—it’s something to lash out with. Navarro gets zero credit on that score, neither does he deserve it.

  8. ltr


    August 12, 2021

    Don’t Let Inflation Anxiety Undermine Our Future
    By Paul Krugman

    The lesson from Wednesday’s consumer price report was, to a large extent, in the eyes of the beholder.

    Team Transitory — a term I’m stealing from the economic analyst George Pearkes — was encouraged by the fact that July’s inflation was substantially lower than June’s. That is, those arguing that recent price increases reflect temporary disruptions as we recover from the pandemic rather than an underlying inflation problem — a group that includes White House economists, many progressives and yours truly — found the report reassuring.

    Other reasonable economists were not as sanguine, pointing out that inflation is still running hot and warning that we may soon see substantial increases in rent, which is a big part of the Consumer Price Index. And I’ll concede the possibility that above-normal inflation may prove persistent enough that the Federal Reserve will want to tighten monetary policy sooner than it now expects. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I’m not confident enough in that judgment to rule out the possibility.

    Even if inflation is a bigger problem than the Biden administration or like-minded economists think it is, however, what are the implications beyond monetary policy? In particular, is the risk of inflation a reason for Democrats to scale back their plans to invest in America’s future?

    No, no, 3.5 trillion times no.

    Much of the media coverage of the budget resolution just approved by the Senate on a party-line vote — a resolution that lays the foundation for $3.5 trillion in new spending — suffers from two common problems in fiscal reporting: lack of quantitative context and failure to distinguish clearly between spending increases and fiscal stimulus, which aren’t necessarily the same thing.

    On the first point, yes, $3.5 trillion is a lot of money. But this is spending intended to help rebuild the U.S. economy — and the U.S. economy is enormous. Bear in mind that we’re talking about a long-term spending plan, under which the money would be gradually disbursed over a decade. And America’s G.D.P. over that decade is likely to be in the vicinity of $300 trillion — the Congressional Budget Office says $287.7 trillion.

    So ignore headlines that describe the plan as “massive” or “enormous.” It’s a plan that could make a big difference to many Americans’ lives and help build a better future. But it’s only a bit over 1 percent of G.D.P. That wouldn’t be enough to cause serious inflation problems even if all of the spending were paid for with borrowed money.

    And the budget resolution doesn’t envision pure deficit spending. That is, it isn’t like the American Rescue Plan, earlier this year, which was financed entirely with debt….

    1. ltr


      August 13, 2021

      Wonking Out: Who knew used cars and shipping containers would matter so much?
      By Paul Krugman

      To be a good empirical economist, you must be prepared to make use of economic data without forgetting that the data is at best an imperfect guide to reality. I used to describe national income accounting — G.D.P. and all that — as a peculiarly boring form of science fiction. That’s not to say that the statisticians just make things up; they try really hard, and their work is immensely valuable. It’s just that any close look at how the numbers are constructed reveals that data coverage is always incomplete and the gaps are filled in with estimates and imputations.

      Lately, however, I’ve found myself drawn to another analogy: Economic measures, especially the measures we use to make sense of a rapidly changing situation, are like the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave. That is, they’re imperfect images of an underlying reality that exists, but that we can’t directly see. And sometimes it’s important, in interpreting the shadows, to think about the Platonic ideal we’re actually trying to discern.

      What the heck am I talking about? Inflation, of course, which has been running high the past few months — although consumer prices rose a lot less in July than they did in June.

      The big question about recent price increases has been: Are we looking at a transitory shock or a rise in the underlying rate of inflation?

      I know a fair number of people, mainly Wall Street types, who get angry at anyone who even asks this question. Inflation is inflation, they insist, and attempts to define “core inflation” are just a way for the Fed to evade its responsibility to maintain price stability. But these critics generally don’t know why the concept was invented in the first place.

      The truth is that back in the 1970s economists noticed a sharp distinction in the behavior of some prices. The price of soybeans fluctuates a lot both up and down, whereas the prices of goods like new cars and the price of labor — that is, wages — seems to change reluctantly. The thing about these sluggishly moving prices is that once they do get moving, say, once they’ve been rising 6 percent or 8 percent a year several years in a row, it takes something big, like a severe recession, to stop them from just continuing to rise.

      Why this distinction? That’s a fairly deep question, and economists are far from united in their answers. But the difference is real, and important. A spike in inflation driven by goods without price inertia is easy come, easy go; inflation driven by goods with price inertia is very hard to get rid of — and to be avoided if possible.

      How do we tell the difference? …

    2. JohnH

      Krugman’s message to workers whose real earnings have dropped 1.2% in the last year: Don’t worry, be happy. Or, just suck it up.

      Could we please have some experts who a) acknowledge the problem and b) address it?

      1. pgl

        That is not what he said. Only an utter moron would think that. Of course given your incessant dishonesty – whether this (and most of your pathetic comments) are stupidity or mendacity is hard to tell.

      2. pgl

        New post showing what has actually happened to real wages during this pandemic. I would request you stop with this incessant lying but of course you will continue – alas.

      3. Barkley Rosser

        No, JohnH, workers did not see declining wages. What we saw, for the umpteenth time, was low wage workers who had been laid off getting rehired, with their low wages dragging down the aggregate measures of wages, both the average and the median, even as you have tried to wonk out over the difference between those two.

  9. Moses Herzog

    Hospital beds getting scarce, with no sign of an increase in cases letting off. As everyone knows it’s spread in an exponential way. I think IHME was predicting a peak around October (for the state, not the nation). As it looks at this moment from my view, October is an optimistic time frame for a peak. I wouldn’t say it’s “wrong” but I would say it’s very optimistic.


  10. rjs

    i’d watch final demand services….it had been slow, but in July it logged both record monthly and YoY increases…

  11. Moses Herzog

    I wonder what other media outfit would be a natural fit for her??
    You might think of Netflix or Apple TV–but she almost fits their demographic TOO well (she doesn’t bring in any new viewers). I wonder how she might do with an outfit like “Vice”?? What about a night time PBS spot?? Charlie Rose is rightfully persona non grata, Christiane Amanpour (sadly) has cancer. Why not give Maddow in essence Charlie Rose’s old show on PBS, give her 2-3 guest bookings, and 20 minutes out of an hour she does politics. I think people might be surprised how well that show would do as a FULL hour “late night” serious discussion/issues talk show. And she brings in some viewers that aren’t traditionally “PBS folks”. She could have A LOT of power promoting books on that type show, along with new streaming stuff. I would even argue the late night PBS format would suit her more than MSNBC

  12. ltr


    曹 毅 CAO Yi أبو وسيم @CaoYi_MFA

    #China has administered more than 1.832 billion doses of #COVID19 #vaccines, more than 60 million doses have been administered to young Chinese aged 12 to 17.

    4:00 AM · Aug 13, 2021

    [ Chinese coronavirus vaccine yearly production capacity is more than 5 billion doses. Along with over 1.832 billion doses of Chinese vaccines administered domestically, another 800 million doses have been distributed internationally. A number of countries are now producing Chinese vaccines from delivered raw materials. ]

    1. ltr


      August 13, 2021

      Chinese mainland reports 99 new COVID-19 cases

      The Chinese mainland recorded 99 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 47 being local transmissions and 52 from overseas, the latest data from the National Health Commission showed on Friday.

      In addition, 34 new asymptomatic cases were recorded, while 499 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

      This brings the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland to 94,260, with the death toll unchanged at 4,636.

      Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases


      Chinese mainland new imported cases


      Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases


      1. rjs

        we have had three times more new cases in just two days than China has had in the entire 18 months of the pandemic…so who’s getting it right?

        1. Moses Herzog

          Once again, you are making the major mistake (I’m courteously avoiding other adjectives here) of believing Chinese government statistics as being accurate. They have been a joke for literally decades, and only made micro levels of improvement (for no other reason than their credibility had become so bad) in recent years (maybe the last 15 years or so?? but still largely a a joke).

          @rjs How many times do you have to be clued into this little fact??

          1. rjs

            ok, Moses, i’ll leave China out of it; the global Covid new case count would be going down if not for the surge in the US….we’ve had more new cases this week than India, Brazil, Indonesia, and the UK combined..

          2. Moses herzog

            There’s a good chance that India’s real death count is slightly under a multiple of 10 of the official count, when using the excess death count metric. 430,000 vs 4 million. You sure you feel confident in those numbers?? No one is arguing America has failed in many aspects of its policy response. Comparing America’s numbers to more drastically inaccurate numbers isn’t necessary to make that strong case. Many nations have failed. If you want to say America has “less excuse” to fail based on our abundant resources and human capital, I can easily join your team on that.

  13. JohnH

    Interesting that there a big emphasis on CPI and PPI, but nothing on real earnings, which were released this week.

    Real earnings dropped 1.2% YO-YO. Bottom line: employers pocketed 100% of productivity gains plus 1.2% of wages.

    So we’re headed into yet another “recovery” where labor, which by and large live hand to mouth, loses purchasing power and somebody, probably the usual suspects, are making out like bandits. And it will likely slow the recovery, since the usual suspects allocate only part of their incomes to consumption and labor has less purchasing power.

    Republicans are already running TV ads about inflation and loss of workers’ purchasing power while Democrats and the credentialed classes blithely whistle past the graveyard, intent on ignoring signs that their programs are anything but wonderful, just wonderful.

    Advantage: Republicans.

      1. pgl

        JohnH is infamous for this sort of cherry picking real wage data. Back when Cameron was squeezing the UK economy, JohnH kept telling us that this was great for real wages as inflation was low. Never mind that Simon Wren Lewis kept documenting that UK real wages had taken a deep hit.

        Years later they are countless papers documenting what Wren Lewis was saying. Of course THIS JohnH denies he ever claimed the contrary.

        Of course he has denied several claims he has made here in the last weeks. Consistent in that way I guess!

        1. pgl

          How JohnH – looked at your link – V.E.R.Y C.A.R.E.F.U.L.L.Y

          Real wages today are higher than they were say in late 2019. You busted your own cherry picking dishonesty!!!!

    1. pgl

      Menzie briefly pointed out how you cherry picked numbers once again. Now had you had an ounce of integrity, you could have noted that this series had a huge spike (even in real terms) during the first quarter of 2020 followed by a partial retreat over the next quarter. Now this FRED graph does this in nominal terms so it must be inflation adjusted of course but people will get the idea:


      But since you are so happy with Republican spin that you create it – I should applaud you for getting a new job working of course for Mitch McConnell!

    2. pgl

      JohnH wants us to believe no one is talking about real wages during this pandemic. Funny thing, Biden’s CEA had this very detailed discussion, which I invite JohnH to read as he is obviously once again far behind in his reading:


      Of course his new boss Mitch McConnell would prefer that JohnH continue with his disinformation campaign that no one in the new White House cares about real wages. That is what he does best!

    3. macroduck

      So, as some readers of comments here may remember, I recently accused JohnH of being a GOP stooge who’s marching orders are to pretend an affinity with Democrats while saying bad things about them. Here’s the evidence; Johnny has trotted out his usual mischaracterization of Democrats.

      So here’s the lie Johnny is peddling today: Democrats have programs which are bad for workers. All the “whistling” and “wonderful, just wonderful” is a rhetorical trick to give Johnny wiggle room. He won’t admit to having lied about Democrats’ agenda, because what does “whistling” mean, anyway? And “wonderful” means “wonderful”, right?

      So here are the elements of the Democratic economic agenda Johnny claims Dems don’t want to talk about — Enhanced an extended unemployment benefits. Fiscal stimulus through spending (which leads to hiring) rather than tax cuts. That spending will include child care qnd education subsidies, Eviction moratoria. A minumum wage hike which can’t make it past Senate Republicans. That’s what Democrats are doing or trying to do.

      Will Johnny address any of that agenda? No. Why? Because his Republican masters don’t want those things mentioned. What does Johnny say is wrong with Democrats’ plans? Well, he doesn’t really say anything in detail. And for good reason. His whole schtick is to say vague things with a sneer because he has no facts to back up his emotional, negative appeals. Democrats are to blame for inflation, apparently, and they want inflation, apparently. Otherwise, Johnny’s whining about real incomes makes no sense. So, Johnny, what’s the theory of inflation behind you whining?

      Ah, but wait — Johnny may revert to saying his point is about how people FEEL, not about reality. And Johnny knows that “lots of people” are grumpy a Democrats and grumpy at Obama (’cause apparently, Obama is still president) a grumpy about real incomes relative to some point, selected adventitiously, when real incomes were higher.

      But “lots of people” like Trump, right Johnny? That’s why Biden’s voter approval rating is higher now than Trump’s ever was.

      Johnny is part of the GOP’s latest efffort to suppress voter turn-out. Tell voters how mad other voters are at Democrats and maybe some day of them won’t bother showing up to vote next November. ‘Cause Johnny’s masters know, the more people vote, the worse it is for Republicans.

      1. pgl

        “Johnny has trotted out his usual mischaracterization of Democrats.”

        Yep and the rest of your comment is spot on. But note Menzie’s new post – JohnH mischaracterized the real wage data too.

      2. Dr. Dysmalist

        “Democrats are to blame for inflation.”

        Fixed to emphasize Johnny’s schtick on every topic, economic, historical, and every other fact be damned if it doesn’t fit his predetermined narrative and conclusion.

        I agree with you: there’s no practical difference between a fascist and a fascist-enabler.

  14. macroduck

    U Michigan consumer confidence collapsed in the early August reading. That’s a coincident indicator. The expectations index also collapsed. That’s a leading indicator. Seems Covid related.

    This is a preliminary reading based on a small number of responses, so may be misleading. Redbook weekly sales data do not show a particularly worrying drop in sales, which one would expect if confidence were really cratering, but credit card sales numbers are softening.

    Some of the slowing in credit card sales may be the result of banks tightening up on credit card use. Card balances are up sharply since the beginning of the pandemic. Easy to say consumers hwve cash to spend, but those aren’t the same consumers.

    Meanwhile, China has partially closed a huge container port due to rising Covid infections. The Port of Los Angeles has warned of disruptions in its own operations as a result. More bottlenecks coming. That could lead to new layoffs.

    I still think September is going to be bad.

  15. joseph

    If inflation is really a concern, one of easiest things Biden could do that doesn’t require Congress is eliminate the Trump tariffs with a stroke of the pen.

    But he probably is afraid of being called a commie symp. Maybe even by some people here.

    1. pgl

      An interesting point. While JohnH applauds these tariffs – he criticizing the inflation. He is one confused fellow!

  16. Moses Herzog

    One of the more interesting stories in this Michael Bender book, is the orange abomination saying that the White House staff member who leaked the basement bunker story was a traitor and “”should be executed!!!”. This was before he did his 6-year old little boy routine of holding the Bible up for grade school show-and-tell.

    I presume this is what sammy, CoRev, Bruce Hall, and Rick Stryker think “toughness” is. Hiding in a bunker like some feeble old man and then holding up a religious book he never reads. I presume all his hispanic fans (mostly Catholic??) that show up to the MAGA rallies must approve of the orange abomination using the Bible as a fake acting prop. True class and I guess “family values”. Why didn’t the dumb bastard just give the finger to the Cross and get it over with.

  17. Moses Herzog

    I have another Jeopardy question tonight for any of you who happen to visit here on this Friday night. I’ll put the answer up at 21:00 Pacific Standard time in this same thread, same as yesterday. We deal by the honor system on this, do not do a Google search if you want to answer this question on the blog. You trivia freaks ready??

    On the same day donald trump was angry and spitting bullets about the leak about him hiding in the basement bunker like some gaunt old widow lady, who was the first member of the White House inner circle to mention the Insurrection Act to donald trump?? (which to that point, trump didn’t know about). Wild guesses are encouraged

    HINT: It wasn’t AG Bill Barr.

  18. Moses Herzog

    OK, so maybe Menzie will let enough time to go by before uploading the next batch of comments to allow some people to make some guesses here, not that I actually expect too many attempts/guesses. The answer to the question of who first suggested using the Insurrection Act to donald trump as a justification for using regular military forces on domestic (USA) soil was……. the same man everyone called “brave” for hanging around the Capitol on January 6th while receiving death threats.

    ANSWER: Mike Pence. Still think Pence was “brave” or sympathize with him hanging around the Capitol on January 6th?? Pence was the quickest one of all of donald trump’s staff to suggest this as an excuse to attack American citizens on USA soil. What a “Christian act”. Nearly as “Christian” as when Pence spent campaign contributions to pay his house mortgage.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Well, at least he did not publicly eat premium ice cream, not to mention that he is a guy. So I guess he is a working class hero!

      1. Moses Herzog

        If you mean he wasn’t dumb enough to eat premium priced ice cream or exhibit he’s living high on the hog on a show viewed by millions in the middle of what looked like certainly had the potential to be the biggest recession since the great depression, then, yes, Mike “bobble Head” Pence was at least smarter than that. But, then, I wouldn’t expect a guy who in essence bragged about what rank his ancestors were in the confederate army like he was discussing his late uncle winning the Nobel in economics to “get” the ungodly stupidity of that Pelosi move.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Gosh, Moses, so now Nancy Pelosi is not only bordering on senile, but she is “ungodly,” wow, looking downright Satanic. Maybe she is running a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizza parlor in DC that has no basement? Oh no, that would be Hillary, another fave of yours.

          I must confess on the matter of eating ice cream that when I am in Madison, Wisconsin I and my family like to eat the ice cream that they sell at the Memorial Union on the UW campus, which is made in Babcock Hall, the place in the Dairy State where they teach students how to make ice cream. And they teach them to make if very creamy, full of rich dairy products. It is very yummy, and all my children and grandchildren agree, chowing it down whenever they get a chance. But I do not know if Menzie likes it or approves. And I don’t think any of us have been caught on TV eating that delish stuff, so wow, I guess we might be just slightly better than that awful Nancy Pelosi, eating fancy ice cream in public, for shame.

  19. Moses Herzog

    Kind of interesting:

    There are seemingly more and more people in this country who can be easily led around by the nose. Manipulated by poor sourcing of information. It bears keeping in mind as we near the anniversary of the Twin Towers attacks, increase of militia and white nationalist activity, and emotional/psychological impacts of Covid-19 and Delta variant. If you see strange behavior, people acting in conspicuous ways, don’t be afraid to call local police or federal authorities. That’s not a crime to report strange behavior that turns out to be nothing. Mostly police and authorities~~even on tips that turn out to be nothing~~will appreciate you took the time to care and be aware of your surroundings. The ones that are worth a damn anyway, will appreciate you did it with good intentions.

  20. Moses Herzog

    It’s hard to watch this footage from Afghanistan. America can’t police everyplace on Earth, but when we make promises and then we abandon people, it’s hard to stomach. We did the same things to the Kurds near Syria and south of Turkey, who, with the possible exception of Israel has been our best friend in the MidEast. Don’t get me going on how America abandoned the Kurds, or I will start to fume.

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