According to New York Times forecasting guru Nate Silver, it was a good week for Barack Obama.
Not only did he do well in several national and swing-state polls, the economic aspects of Silver’s also showed improvement.
Like it or not, Mitt Romney would really like the economy to take a hard turn down over the next 3 months (yikes, that’s it!).
A few weeks ago, it definitely looked like the wheels could come off. And they still might. But a host of charts suggest that that’s not what’s going on right now. The US macro situation appears to be stabilizing, and some signals actually look good.
Let’s quickly go to the charts.
First is today’s jobs report. The monthly gain was clearly the best in several months. Sure it wasn’t great, but the best in 4 months is a nice turnaround and a relief for The President.
Next up is initial jobless claims, which come out every week. After a brief scare a few weeks ago, the general trend is once again down.
Next is car sales. Again, best month in a while, reversing a three month deceleration.
Another key measure, according to Silver (and other modelists) is personal income.
Real Personal Income growth had been slowing all last year, but is now rising.
Meanwhile, one of the best measure of the economy there is is rail data.
This is now accelerating after weakness earlier in the year.
A nice way to view all of this is to look at a “surprise index” which doesn’t just measure the direction of the data, but the direction of the data against expectations. As you can see in this chart from Goldman Sachs, the index has been rapidly improving lately, showing that more and more data is “beating.”
And then finally the stock market. Just hit its highest levels in a long time with today’s rally.
There’s still plenty of time left in the election, but at the moment, the data is not going in Mitt Romney’s direction.
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