December 22, 2017

November 2017 Advance Durable Goods: +1.3 Percent; October Revised from -1.2 Pct. to -0.4 Pct.; November New Homes: 733K, Best Since Mid-2007

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:44 pm

After a lost decade, the economy seems to finally have some genuine momentum.

Start with today’s reasonably strong November durable goods report:

New orders for manufactured durable goods in November increased $3.1 billion or 1.3 percent to $241.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up three of the last four months, followed a 0.4 percent October decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.1 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 1.0 percent. Transportation equipment, also up three of the last four months, drove the increase, $3.3 billion or 4.2 percent to $80.9 billion.

Transportation is supposed to be the weak sector, but it propped up a month that was otherwise flat.

Shipments were up by 1.0 percent in November.

In the bigger picture, it’s clear that durable goods have recovered what was lost in 2015 and 2016:

DurableGoodsOrders0112to1117

Following on the heels of a very strong existing-home sales report earlier this week (“strongest in over a decade”), new home sales came in strong as well:

Sales of new single-family houses in November 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 17.5 percent (±10.4 percent) above the revised October rate of 624,000 and is 26.6 percent (±16.6 percent) above the November 2016 estimate of 579,000.

November’s seasonally adjusted figure of 733,000 is the highest result since July 2007. The 52,000 units actually sold is the strongest November since 2006.

New York Times Insists That Non-Citizens Have a Lower Crime Rate Than Citizens

On Thursday, Vivian Yee at the New York Times repeated the tired and unproven claim that “a large body of research has suggested that immigrants are no more likely, and often less likely, to commit serious crimes than native-born Americans.” Though the article had plenty of links, there was no link to anything in that alleged “large body of research.” Though Donald Trump has ordered his administration to change the situation, the fact is that there is not yet enough data to prove or disprove Yee’s breezy contention, and the limited sliver of data available about federal crimes indicates that non-citizens disproportionately commit crimes.

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CNN’s John Berman Rudely Attacks, Interrupts Jim Jordan on Alleged FBI-DOJ Anti-Trump Efforts

Charges that the Obama administration’s FBI and Justice Department may have actively worked to prevent Donald Trump’s election have really gotten under CNN’s thin skin. On December 20, the network took out its frustrations on Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, both in John Berman’s hostile interview and in the one-sided panel discussion which followed.

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Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (122217)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Youth with special needs rock runway in NYC church

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From New York City:

Dec 12, 2017 / 05:00 pm

Last Friday night, more than 200 people gathered for a Times Square fashion show in New York City. It wasn’t in a fashion house or theater. Instead, the models walked in a unique venue: a Church. The special venue was only fitting: the models have special needs, and they modeled adaptive clothing brands and styles, raising money for charities that help children with disabilities.

“Organizing a fashion show for those with special needs reminds us that true beauty lies in our dignity as unique children of God” said Sean O’Hare, fashion show organizer, in a statement.

The show was held at St. Malachy’s Church on the West Side of Manhattan, and all proceeds from the show went to benefit the Special Needs Activity Center for Kids and Adults. Models, who have a variety of special needs, modeled outfits from dress designer Jovani, fashion brand Thursday Boots, and adaptive clothing brand Independence Day Clothing.

Because some of the models have sensitivities to loud music, shouting, or clapping, the show chose a novel soundtrack for its show: a live choir. The St. Joseph’s Choir, a Catholic choir based at the university parish at New York University, sang pop and praise songs as the models walked.

Along with O’Hare, former Miss America 2008 and Fox News Contributor Kirsten Haglund co-hosted the event.

Any fashion show, one of the most important elements, besides the clothes themselves, is the audience reception. At St. Malachy’s the models were met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

“What a terrific night!” said Tracy Nixon, a mother and founder of a non-profit for those with Down syndrome, Gigi’s Playhouse NYC. “My daughter and everyone from GiGi’s Playhouse NYC had the best time tonight!” …

Go here for the rest of the story.