Flash Commentary No. 1457

(SGS Subscription required) • Pandemic-Driven Unemployment Soared to an April 2020 Peak of About 32%, Worse Than in the Great Depression; Such Was Against a January 2020 Pre-Pandemic U.3 Unemployment Rate of 3.5%
• In the Latest Four Months, Pandemic-Driven Unemployment Has Leveled Off Around 12%, Worst Since Before World War II, Other than for the Pandemic
• Payroll-Employment Benchmark Revisions Showed a Deepening, Accelerating Decline into an April 2020 Trough, With Renewed Deterioration at Present; Recovery from the Pandemic Shutdown Has Stalled and/or Is Regressing
• January 2021 Annual Growth in Money Supply M1 and M2 Surged to Respective Record Highs of 69.7% and 25.8%, Despite Some Downside Benchmark Revisions
• Near Record Growth of Currency in Circulation Foreshadows Inflation Risk
• Nonetheless, January 2021 CPI-U Annual Inflation Hit a Soft, Ten-Month High of 1.4%, Boosted by Gasoline Prices, but Constrained by Mixed Food and Core Inflation
• Stock Indices Are At or Near All-Time Highs, Coming into the First Anniversary of the Pre-Pandemic Stock-Market Peaks and Subsequent Crashes
• Near-Term Financial-Market Turmoil Likely Is Far from Over, Given Renewed Deterioration in Economic Conditions

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