Inflation: So Hot Right Now
Week in Review: October 10-14
Zack here, filling in for Anirban. This week brought us new data on inflation, retail sales, and a few other odds and ends.
Nobody Wants to Work Anymore
There weren’t any meaningful data releases on Monday, so here’s a great (and funny) thread on the long history of “nobody wants to work anymore,” with newspaper clippings dating back to 1894.
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
Speaking of nobody wants to work anymore, a majority of small business owners want to hire people over the next quarter, but 89% of that majority “reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.” Overall, this measure of small business owner sentiment inched higher in September but remains low by historical standards. The problems are exactly what you would expect: inflation and labor shortages.
Indeed Job Postings
New job postings on the hiring site Indeed are down about 9% over the past month but are still up more than 55% since the start of the pandemic (February 2020). I’m not too familiar with this data series, but it would be great news if job openings are actually falling as quickly as this suggests.
Mortgage applications fell another 2% during the week ending October 7. Not to beat a dead horse (or housing market), but these won’t rebound until rates come back down to earth.
FDA Announces Adderall Shortage
The FDA announced that supply chain problems have led to a nationwide shortage of Adderall, the most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD. An NIH study found that about 16 million U.S. adults use prescription stimulants (only about 11 million of them “appropriately”), so this could potentially affect a lot of people.
Do I think this Adderall shortage will negatively impact labor productivity? Probably not in a meaningful way, but it won’t help, either.
Producer Price Index (PPI)
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