More debt buys fewer jobs:
The media’s ecstatic read through of today’s Nonfarm payroll beat can barely end: after all, a print of 236k on expectations of 165K, why that has to be great. Well, it is. Until one looks to the number from February 2012, which happens to be 271,000. And even the Keynesian will agree that February follows January, which in 2013 was a downward revised 119K. January 2012? 311,000. In other words, the first two months of 2012 saw a 582,000 increase in non-farm payrolls. In 2013: 355,000.
But something else happened between February 29, 2012 and February 28, 2013… Oh yes, the US government issued some $1,198,397,883,967.30 in debt. Oh, and the Fed monetized about half of this amount, and virtually all of the Treasuries issued to the right of the ZIRP period (i.e., risky debt). To summarize: $1.2 trillion in debt buys the US…. 61% of the jobs created a year ago.
The Z1 report for Q4 2012 also came out today. I’ll do a more detailed post on it this weekend, but here are the highlights. Keep in mind that I keep track on an ongoing basis, so this ignores the quarterly revisions.
Households, State and Local Governments almost insignificantly down. Financial up, Federal up, Corporate up big at 3.56%, the third biggest quarterly increase since 2004. Total credit market debt outstanding up 1.76%, still shy of the 2.36% 60-year historical average.
Q4 2012 credit gap: $333.8 billion
2012 credit gap: $3.1 trillion
Post-2008 credit gap: $27.3 trillion
Translation: debt-disinflation continues.