Just in case you’ve been distracted lately, we’re deep in a recession. And the bad news just keeps coming.
- New home sales plunged in December by 14.7%, according to the preliminary read by the government. It may be even worse. November’s drop in home sales was adjusted from 2.9% to 4.4%. Year over year, December home sales were down 44.8% from last year. This was the worst month on record since 1982.
- Weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to 588,000. Ongoing claims as continuing claims hit a record 4,776,000. As we’ve pointed out before, this isn’t as bad as the worst numbers during the Great Depression. But then again, the Great Depression unemployment rate wasn’t as bad as the worst numbers until it was. Our country lost at least 2.6 million jobs last year, with jobs being lost each and every month.
- Durable-goods orders tumbled 2.6%. That’s far worse than economists expected, and will probably set the stage for even more layoffs as manufacturers realise they aren’t selling as much as they thought they would. What’s more, this number is actually inflated by the fact that the government ordered a bunch of new military aeroplanes. The private sector durable goods orders were even lower than the number suggests.