Monday, November 21, 2011

DOT Miles Driven: Overlay 2007-2011

Things that make me go hmmm... I tend to take that view that the economy is a heat engine, this looks like less heat to me... along with this:

IEA Oil Market Report US Motor Gasoline Demand

Here is the data source, go to September 2011 and click on the .xls version - you will find it on the Data tab in column I - enjoy!
US DOT Data Source

Friday, November 11, 2011

We Will Be Exploring the Limits of Storage for Natural Gas

So I've been watching storage for the natty for some time now, and it struck me that I should put up a post on it as I think we are about to explore the physical limits of the natural gas storage system in the USA...

Thanks to the good people at the EIA, I downloaded the data for natural gas storage levels from their weekly report (Thursday mornings). I constructed a 4 week moving average to smooth things out a tad and then looked at the month over month change on a percentage basis, with each year set up as an overlay.

Short version: we are coming in 'hot', and in absolute terms the last storage report was 0.2% under the previous all time high, I expect we punch through next week (I may get expelled from the economics profession for calling both direction and time). Will coal switching provide sufficient demand to set the price floor this time around?

I've added this plot to illustrate what I have been talking about - here are 12 month moving averages for natural gas production and the front month Henry Hub natural gas contract - note the divergence and even the accelerating natural gas production as prices grind lower... and lower...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

U-3 Unemployment Rates from Recession Peak to Expansion Trough

Some descriptive statistics of the behavior of U-3 across all post-WWII business cycles using UNRATE and the NBER cycle dating.

The top of each red column corresponds to the peak in the U-3 unemployment rate associated with a particular recession, typically happening after that recession has ended. The lower end of each red column corresponds with the trough in the U-3 unemployment rate experienced prior to the onset of the next recession... note that for the last bar on the chart, the current trough is provisional (the low to date was 8.8% in March, 2011 while in September, 2011 that is 9.1%).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

DJIA Volatility - What Next?

So is this the start of something?

First, what we are looking at - a five day intra-day range of the DJIA divided by the five day average of the close - and the absolute level of the Dow 30 index.

Now, what next? Note the observation of the shorting ban is roughly contemporaneous with the Lehman failure... no claims as to causality, but we may be getting some additional insight into that with the recent moves by several markets within the EU to ban shorting... time will tell.

Friday, July 8, 2011

UEMPMEAN - UEMPMED: Structural Unemployment

So using the mean and median weeks of unemployment time series data from the Fed FRED, here is what the spread between the mean time and median time looks like... so as mean times increase relative to median times, this would seem to indicate either a larger sub-group of long term unemployed, or that sub-group is experiencing longer durations of unemployment, or both.

What changed in the 2001 recession that resulted in a higher floor for the spread?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

US Regular Gasoline Price - Perspective

Courtesy of the EIA data set on the monthly average price for regular gasoline, above is a plot of the 12 month moving average...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SLV % of Shares Outstanding Traded Daily Redux

First, we have about a 16 month view of the shares traded as a percent of outstanding...

Next, we are looking more closely at my SWAG at the region where the share volume appears to be 'different'...

Here we have the 10, 30 and 90 day daily moving averages of the share volume...

And finally, the comparison of SPY share volume to SLV share volume. Enjoy and a tip of the hat to Mike in Long Island of the CR commentariat for the shares outstanding data!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Record in Daily Trading Volume for SLV

Another record set today in volume of shares traded and percent of outstanding shares traded in a single day.

Chart refresher, the right hand axis is shares outstanding (blue area and blue numbers on right axis), the left axis is percent of the outstanding shares traded on a particular day (red line and red numbers on left axis). The average line is the arithmetic average of all days for period covered (green), and the monthly MA line is a moving average of 22 trading days (orange).

Bon appetit.

Edit: adding a somewhat longer view of the same dataset where there appears to be a distinct change in the volume traded as the price ramp got underway in September, 2010.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Daily Trading Volume of SLV vs. Shares Outstanding Redux

Once more, and with a hat tip again to Mike in Long Island of the CR commentariat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Daily Trading Volume for SLV

This post began as a conversation with a data request to the commentariat over at Calculated Risk, and exists because of the generous assistance of Mike in Long Island - hats off to you, Mike!

It seemed to me that the daily volume of shares traded in the silver ETF SLV was quite high, but I did not have the time series data of the daily shares outstanding (a moving target with an ETF such as SLV).

So, from the start of 2010 through today, is the daily shares outstanding (right axis, in blue) and the percent of those shares outstanding that the daily trading volume represents (left axis, in red). For comparison the total arithmetic average is included along with a monthly moving average.

Readers may draw their own conclusions, but there appears to be two distinct periods with the higher volume period starting around the beginning of November, 2010. And recently, the daily traded volume has been quite high compared to the rest of the data in the time period covered.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Median Unemployment Duration by Age Cohort

Okay, can BLS make it any more difficult to get at this data? grumble grumble rippensnatz... I ahd to end up going to some ftp directory and extracting data to flat files then import to MS Excel - bug or feature?

The data shows the other side of the UE story, that while the UE rate among the youngest cohort is the highest, the duration of that UE is the lowest. In addition to the 16 to 19 cohort, I emphasize the 44 to 55 cohort as that represents peak earning years. But among all cohorts we see increasing median duration of UE with increasing age.

So there appears to be another strong predictor of UE duration, a person's age (the other being the duration itself, the longer unemployed the likelier to remain there).

And here is what the absolute numbers look like for 27+ weeks UE duration by age cohort...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Different This Time - More on Labor Force Declines

As the population grows each year, how have they moved into the economy? Are things different this time?

Starting with BLS annual data for Civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and over, Civlian labor force 16 years and over and Not in labor force 16 years and over I took the year over changes for each series and constructed plots:

Looking at the changes in the over 16 population and labor force, we see only three years in which the year over year change in the labor force was negative - 1951, 2009 and 2010 - and the 1951 event is characterized by the only year over year decline in the civilian population. In fact, the year over year change for all three series was negative in 1951. This is not the case in 2009 and 20010, where there is ~1% population growth, year over year declines in the labor force, and year over year increases in not in the labor force (seen in following graph).

Here we see the population changes and the not in labor force changes, and there are three years that stand out for the increase in not in the labor force being greater than the increase in population (excepting 1951 op cit) - 1976, 2009 and 2010 - with by far the largest outlier being the 1976 data point.

In summary, it is clearly different this time, as only 2009 and 2010 year over year changes show consecutive declines in the size of the labor force and consecutive year over year increases in the not in labor force greater than the increases in population.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Continuing Declines in Labor Force Participation Rate

The plot above shows the 4 week moving average of the seasonally adjusted weekly Initial Claims numbers, and that same curve shifted forward 99 weeks, showing that the peak number of '99ers' is now rolling off the back end of their extended benefits. There appears to be a relationship with the decline in the labor force participation rate also shown above, which looks a tad strange as it is a monthly series and ICSA is a weekly series.

We can see that the labor force particpation rate began to decline around six months to a year after the ICSA began to ramp up.

UEMPMEAN appears to have a strong relationship with the declines in the labor force participation rate, and the average duration is likely to continue to rise as it appears the probability of remaining unemployed has become in part of function of unemployment duration... the longer you are unemployed, the likelier you are to remain that way.

Both of these suggest to me that we will continue to see declines in the labor force pariticipation rate... which might well drive the U-3 headline unemployment rate but for all the wrong reasons.