Up more than expected this month, but last month revised down, inline with a recent pattern of reporting a better than expected number that subsequently gets revised down to where it no longer looks so good:

The year end blip up, funded by out sized credit card advances, may have reversed:


Same store sales were up 2.6 percent year-on-year in the January 13 week, continuing the deceleration seen in the prior two weeks to fall to the smallest year-on-year weekly gain since November 11. Month-to-date sales versus the prior month were down 0.3 percent, the first negative reading in four weeks, while the full month year-on-year gain dropped 0.4 percentage points to 3.0 percent, matching the weakest pace since November 11. The second week of the year extends the weakening in sales metrics seen in the first week by retailers in Redbook’s same-store sample, suggesting a cooling in ex-auto ex-gas retail sales in January following December’s strength.

So you have a Fed policy of maintaining some minimum unemployment rate to meet their price stability mandate, which now means that many people won’t qualify for Medicaid?

Political risk looms over Republicans’ welfare tinkering (Reuters) Republicans are seeking tougher work and job training requirements for those helped by assistance programs. Kentucky on Friday became the first U.S. state to get approval from Washington to impose work requirements on recipients of Medicaid. The approval came a day after the Trump administration said states could move toward putting work or job training conditions on Medicaid.

They are inching their way towards single payer, as once you’ve decided not to let people die in the streets the “process” will get you there, one way or another:

Ryan suggests room for bipartisanship on ObamaCare (The Hill) House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday there might be an opportunity for a bipartisan deal to shore up ObamaCare’s insurance markets. Ryan expressed optimism that Congress could pass a bill similar to one sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins and Bill Nelson. The bill would provide billions of dollars to states to help establish high-risk pools or reinsurance programs. “I’ve talked to Susan Collins and Democrats about this … It’s basically different ways of saying, let’s all agree a person with a catastrophic illness shouldn’t go bankrupt if they get sick,” Ryan said.