For existing home sales, we may have passed the peak in 2005. The story line for 2006 is going to be a slowdown, primarily in those geographic areas that have seen big gains.
Overall, trade deficits tend to widen with hurricanes, due to the Southeast region's bias towards exports to Latin America over imports.
The confidence numbers are perhaps the most unexpected and perhaps added a little worry to the broader mix
Fed tightening is being transmitted throughout the yield curve to other rates, so we're really just starting to see the result of a year and a half of Fed tightening.
As long as initial claims remain on a comfortable 320,000 glide-path into the new year, we should see continued payroll growth of 180,000 to 190,000.
We have higher highs for the deficit as we go into the middle of 2006. We have the monthly trade numbers getting into the low 70 billion range by the third quarter.
This more pure measure has a nearly perfect prediction pattern dating back to 1966, with leads of 9-20 months.
The current level of initial claims data is consistent with a historically low unemployment rate.