Rosenberg: Without The Consumer And Households, The Recovery Is Toast

In today’s note, David Rosenberg gets at the real reason there’s no economic rebound:

Hey — these two sectors combined account for only 75% of the economy.  Who
needs ’em?  Below is the three-month moving average of the Chicago Fed’s
National Activity Index (CFNAI) — the personal consumption and housing subindex
to be exact.  Look at Chart 1 and please tell us if it depicts an economy in recovery
mode.  This subindex is still mired deep in recession terrain, with all deference to
the latest set of GDP data.  The other three components — sales, production, and
employment to a lesser extent — have done virtually ALL of the heavy lifting to get
us to where we are overall on the CFNAI, which is an economy barely going at all. 
Absent a turn in this subcomponent, the other three cannot carry us much further.  
The bottom line is that if the personal consumption & housing sub-component
doesn’t start showing some signs of life, it’s game over as far as the recovery
story goes.  Exiting recessions, this subcomponent sits, on average, at -0.09.  It
printed at -0.48 last Thursday, and has not printed better than -0.43 since
December 2008.  In other words, it is going nowhere fast, and the other
components can’t carry the ball forever.  


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