Federal tax collections rebounded sharply in June, including the all-important withholding taxes. I can’t explain why this happened, nor does it matter. My job is to report the data, and follow wherever it leads.
As Professor Lawrence Berra taught us, you can observe a lot by watching. And the observation that taxes rebounded in June tells us that we are not currently headed into recession.
But that’s beside the point.
The point, the only point, is that tax revenue rebounded sharply. We will therefore not see an immediate increase in Treasury supply beyond the TBAC’s optimistic forecast. However, that still leaves plenty of coupon supply on the way in the third quarter. The recent rally notwithstanding, the market will have trouble absorbing any net supply at all without the Fed taking its share. And the Fed is not only not taking any, it’s forcing the Treasury to add supply that the public must pay for to repay the Fed for its holdings that it is redeeming.
Then there’s also the fact of the increasing interest expense of the Federal government. That too will add to the deficit, and add to Treasury supply. Non-subscribers, click here for access.
Tax collections are reality — actual hard data, in real time, and not statistically massaged. The economic data will follow with a varying lags. Just like the past month when econ data weakened after I tabulated and reported the collapse in May tax data. I reported that on June 2. Now “everybody” agrees that we’re on the verge of recession. Non-subscribers, click here for access.
Except, oops, we’re not. Tax collections are soaring. We will now see the opposite to the process we witnessed last month. The seers and soothsayers are now all looking for signs of recession. They will be gobsmacked when the lagging econ data starts going the other way again. Non-subscribers, click here for access.
And so will the bond market. The xxxxxxxxx in bond prices, and xxxxxxxx in yields, will xxxxxxxx. The recent rally will soon xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxxxxx. The market has given bond sellers and would be bond sellers xxxxxxxxxxxx. Non-subscribers, click here for access.
You have to wonder how the Fed and econ soothsayers will now react to a return to booming data AND booming inflation. I suspect xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx. Some will conclude that inflation expectations are becoming embedded, and that consumers will increase spending now to beat inflation tomorrow. The data suggests that this is already happening. Businesses wouldn’t be increasing payrolls if they weren’t seeing higher sales. Non-subscribers, click here for access.
There are already reports that the Fed is worried about this and is resolved to prevent it. Now the revenue rebound in June suggests that, as usual, not only is the rent too damn high, but the Fed is too damn late. The other fact is that when things finally do slow down, the Fed will again be too late to respond. Instead of being too loose for too long, it will stay too tight too long. Non-subscribers, click here for access.
Therefore, the strategic message of this data remains the same. If you xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. That applies to both bonds and stocks.
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