Dan Celia: Do March Numbers Point to ‘Economic Ruin?’

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PHILADELPHIA – Nationally syndicated host and biblical investing authority Dan Celia is looking this morning at new economic data for March – its significance for the present and what it will mean for the future.

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First off, new jobless claims out just a few hours ago were on par with expectations, Celia said, with an additional 5.2 million filing claims.

“The real unemployment number right now has to be between 15% and 19%,” he added. “Oddly enough, markets are up on the news, since numbers were just about what was expected. The concerning number here for me is that housing starts are down 22.3%. That is a huge number, and it’s basically saying that the construction industry will be at a complete standstill, and it doesn’t look like it will pick up anytime soon since we are also seeing building permit numbers down 7 million.”

Likewise, other areas of economic data have been every bit as bad as everyone thought it might be, Celia added.

“Some are saying the economy is in ruins. I don’t know about ‘in ruins,’ but the economy and the economic data will be worse than most feared. March retail sales also fell 8.7%, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Manufacturing activity declined to a shocking negative 86%that is a surprise because these numbers are for the month of March. I would expect that for April, but not for March. That is a huge decline. And then industrial production saw a 5.4% decline—the largest since 1946. Manufacturing was down 6.3%, reflecting, in part, the 28% decline in auto production, as plants are shut down.”

Revisiting the housing realm, homebuilder sentiment hit a 35-year low, Celia noted. Builder confidence for single-family homes plunged 42 points to 30—the lowest level seen since 2012, according to the National Homebuilders Association.

“I don’t think anyone saw a 42-point drop coming in the homebuilder index, and, of course, mortgages will be impossible to get if people don’t have a job,” he said. “Homebuilders obviously realize that and are concerned, as they should be. Some are also saying the unemployment rate will hit 13% in June. I have to believe it’s already at 13%, and the April numbers are only going to get worse. These are huge numbers and certainly a lot worse than many had calculated. These look more like what we would expect in April, so my concern is what we will see for April, especially with the numbers so horrible for March.

“Nonetheless, this is a one-time event,” Celia concluded. “We know that it’s a one-off. It’s a worldwide pandemic that no one could have anticipated, but all of that aside, it is still pulling the economy down extremely low, and the lower it goes, the longer it will take to recover. I’ve said this before, but the odds of the economy really starting to turn around anytime soon are pretty slim, and each day it will get tougher and tougher. Without coronavirus treatment or, better yet, a vaccine, it will be very difficult for the economy to get any kind of a quick start since workers won’t have any confidence that the people they are working alongside are clear of any virus, which means we need widespread testing in the absence of clear treatment or a vaccine, but even that won’t be as effective as a treatment or vaccine.”

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Dan Celia is the CEO and President of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries. Married to Registered Nurse, Yvonne, in 1980, Dan has two married daughters, is blessed with sons-in law who love the Lord, and has seven grandchildren. Dan has worked for 35 years as an entrepreneur and businessman, starting eight corporations and co-founder of two others. In 1999 Dan sold his Small Trust Company (managing over 900 million dollars) to go into Ministry. Dan has developed and uses a biblically-responsible system of financial management with great success. He started a radio ministry in 1997 as a part time ministry and has seen the Lord expand and bless this ministry to his current full-time ministry. Dan has interviewed newsmakers and pundits like Steve Forbes, Ben Stein, T. Boone Pickens, Tony Perkins, John Alison, Rayola Dougher API, Congressmen, Senators and Presidential candidates. He is proud of his partnership with the American Family Association where he serves as a board member. Dan is now on over 640 stations three hours daily, NRB TV, BizTV, Dove TV and CBN Life Style Network. Financial Issues is heard in every state in America and throughout the internet globally. Financial Issues has supporters from over 17 countries. Dan is a Regular Weekly Contributor to Townhall.com (the number 1 source for conservative news and analyzation). Dan has been a guest on Fox Business, Bloomberg, Salem Radio, Family Net, 700 Club,and many others . He is a conference speaker, author of six books, publishes a weekly newsletter and has been Executive Producer of several video productions and FISM TV is producing original family friendly content and other video projects all keeping with in FISM’s Christian world view.