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Category: US Treasury Market and Tax Revenue Trends

Analysis of new Treasury supply and major demand market segments to estimate market liquidity impacts for bonds and stocks. Click here to subscribe. 90 day risk free trial!

Real Time Tax Collection Data Supports Jobs Report

Tax collections improved in October, but are still well below pre-pandemic levels. The US may look like it’s recovering, but it’s still in the hole it dug when Covid19 first hit. That means that Fed policy isn’t likely to change any time soon.

And it also means that we should expect a stimulus package of some kind, at some point. With the uncertainties surrounding a divided government regardless of whether a new Administration takes over, guessing how much stimulus there will be, and its timing, is a fool’s errand. The one thing that we do know is that whenever it comes, the bigger it is, the more bearish it will be.

And if they spend the $1.7 trillion on hand mostly to pay down debt, that would be very bullish.

Meanwhile, economic data is useful for guessing what Fed policy will be, and under normal circumstances might be useful for making an educated guess about fiscal policy. It’s not possible to translate this data directly into an expected market outcome. It always comes down to measuring the strength and persistence of the trend through technical analysis, and more direct liquidity inputs, such as the PONTs. That’s essentially the difference between the quantity of Fed QE versus the amount of new Treasury issuance.

This data gives us an outline of where the economy really stands, and what it means for the outlook for stocks and bonds.

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Disjointed Economy Points To Bad Things

Last week I was surprised when the US Government’s retail sales data hit a new high. No way, I said.

Well, Way!

Yes, some retailers are seeing booming sales, particularly online, and … wait for it…

Grocery stores. Even after pulling back from the lockdown spike, they’re still up more than 7% year to year.

Now there’s a basis for a thriving, growing US economy.

Not.

And of course, there’s the surging growth in e-commerce. I’ve put it on a chart along with grocery sales going back 5 years for perspective. The average growth rate, which was already a sizzling 10-15% per year, has roughly doubled in e-commerce. The average growth rate for groceries has tripled. Apparently pandemics are good for some businesses.

Something struck me about this chart, apart from the COVID driven surge. Over the past few months, the annual growth rates in both series have been plummeting. “Growth” ain’t what it used to be. This drop implies contraction since July.

But my purpose here is not to pretend to be an eConomist. I just wanted to point out the government statistics, particularly those that the financial news headline writers feature, don’t tell the whole story.

Furthermore, we know that these sales are just coming out of the hides of other businesses. Lodging, travel, recreation, and transportation sales have collapsed. Gross tax collections show us the truth. The US economy is dead in the water, not growing at all, while remaining at a level a few percent below what it was last year at this time. It’s hard to gauge just how much in real terms, because we really have no clue how high inflation really is. But the nominal actual totals are lower and flat.

That’s what this report focuses on.

The issues then facing us are whether this will be the basis for more stimulus. That would mean more spending, more debt issuance, more pressure on the financial markets, and a need for more Fed support to prevent a market meltdown.

Here’s what the current Federal tax collections data tells us about what the real condition of the economy is, and what to expect as a result.

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Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

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Federal Tax Collections Now Say Damned If They Do, or if They Don’t

Tax collections have leveled off at a negative year to year rate. The Fed has gone to Congress begging for fiscal support for the US economy, as a result.  Without a deal to raise spending, the economy will continue to languish, and the Fed will continue to print money to support the markets.

Ironically, if and when a new pandemic relief spending program is enacted, that would be bearish.

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Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

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Why No More Pandemic Spending Is Bullish

The economic rebound from the depths of the pandemic panic in April and May has ended. The economy may be rolling over again. Bad news for workers and consumers, but not necessarily for investors.

The US Government did no pandemic relief spending in August, and none is on the immediate horizon. Despite that, the monthly budget deficits are freaking enormous and frightening.

Tax receipts are weak and they will provide no relief from those deficits. The US Treasury will continue to borrow massive amounts of money in the markets.

Sounds like bad news for the stock market, right?

Eh, not quite.  Here’s why.

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August Federal Deficit Decline is Worse Than It Looks

Tax collections have leveled off at a negative year to year rate. That will allow the Fed to continue to paper things over at the current level of support it is providing. Here’s what it means for stocks and bonds, not to mention the US economy.

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Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

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What If Primary Dealers Are Wrong on Their Bullish Treasury Bet?

No news isn’t no news. The Primary Dealers are in the same posture they’ve been in. They’re still bullish on bonds and that’s an extremely dangerous situation.

It’s like that warehouse packed with explosives in Beirut. One small fire could ignite a conflagration of biblical proportions.

The dealers continue to maintain historically large fixed income positions. Those positions hit record high prices. They’ve accumulated a good bit of inventory near the highs. They remain highly leveraged. Worse, they’ve reduced their futures hedges significantly. They are positioned for even more or a bullish environment in bonds.

This report gives you the keys to look for.

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The VIrus is the Economy

The Virus Is the Economy

Common sense says that as case numbers increase, tax collections would fall and vice versa, REGARDLESS of whether governments imposed lockdowns. So my expectation was that as governors across the country lifted restrictions, case numbers would rise, and tax collections would fall.

Well here we are.

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IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENIN NOW, before even the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

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These Real Time Charts Show US Economy Contracting Again in June

The data is noisy, and week to week the changes may not mean much. But in some weeks, it’s obvious that it’s part of a bigger trend, whether confirming or indicating change. Even if there are just hints, this information can be incredibly useful. It is useful because it tells us exactly what the big picture is, while Wall Street economists are still scratching their asses and trying to figure out what the government statistician manipulated data means. And the first report from that data is still 13 days away.

Subscribers, click here to download the report.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENIN NOW, before even the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

Act on real-time reality!