Thursday, July 2, 2009

TrimTabs Begs to Differ

Courtesy of Zero Hedge, there is some ugly economic commentary from TrimTabs, which focuses on real-time economic data. Here is one bit of commentary from TrimTabs that unfortunately does not support a Green Shoots thesis:

1. Adjusted for the Making Work Pay "stimulus" tax credit, income tax withholdings fell 7.9% in the past 2 weeks and 6.0% in the past 4 weeks, each in comparison with one year earlier.

2. "Other income tax not withheld"- self-employment and capital gains income, for example, is down 33.7% year on year in June after falling 33.4% year on year in May.

3. Corporate tax payments fell 35.5% year on year in June. Corporate tax refunds have equaled 65% of corporate tax receipts this year.

TrimTabs also points out that the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which recently reported that wages and salaries fell about 1% in the last reporting period, extrapolates and interpolates old data to arrive at that estimate. Using real-time data, TrimTabs reports more like a 4% decline in wages and salaries.

Commentary: Leading indicators based on money measures such as a sharply upward-sloping yield curve and a rising stock market point to economic growth ahead. Given the steep pace of production cuts this year, inventory restocking is in order. But it is looking more and more as though too many chickens are coming home to roost after a quarter of a century of goosing the economy via the expansion of credit. A near-global zero interest rate policy, something not followed even in the 1930s, has never been seen. Will the traditional leading indicators be correct, and if so, will investors nonetheless suffer the same fate as those who "bought" the end of the recession in 2002?

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