Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Head Scratcher

I just don't get it. I don't get this data. So many things just don't add up. Just got an email from a friend asking how Fannie and Freddie can be losing billions and the banks be profitable? Valid question. I have another question. In Great Britian how can sales be booming, housing prices be going up, and jobless claims be growing at the fastest levels since 1981? Those are paradoxes. Something can't be right. From Marketwatch:

Two U.K. economic indicators on Tuesday hit multiyear highs, registering improvements that fed into a growing perception that the British economy could end its recession as early as this summer.

Same-store sales rose 4.6% in April, the fastest rate of growth in three years, the British Retail Consortium said.


Meanwhile, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said a net balance of 41% more surveyors saw house prices rise in April, compared to 32% in March.


The April labor report showed the number of persons claiming jobless benefits rose 57,100 in April.

That pushed the total number of claimants to 1.51 million, the highest since August 1997. The rise was smaller than the 87,500 rise forecast by economists and was less than the downwardly revised increase of 65,500 seen in March.

And other labor-market figures underlined the weak state of the jobs market. When measured by International Labor Organization standards, unemployment rose by 244,000 to 2.2 million in the three months to March, bringing the unemployment rate for the period to 7.1%, up from 6.3% in the previous three months. The quarterly increases in the total number of unemployed and the unemployment rate were largest since 1981, the ONS said.

Am I just completely missing something. I don't get it. On the housing prices front I did read in the UK Guardian that there are two organizations that collect house prices. One is reporting losses one slight gains but even the losses are nowhere near say what Ireland has experienced.

The world is beyond me.

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