Alarming Economic Signals: Record-Low Demand for Oil-Based Lubricants, Labor Market Fears, and Depleted Savings

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The dwindling demand for oil-based lubricants, reaching its lowest point in over four decades, is a stark indicator of the challenges facing the manufacturing sector in the United States. This decline in demand is far from indicative of a ‘soft landing,’ and while circumstances may differ this time, historical data presents a concerning pattern.

Over the past half-century, each instance of the unemployment rate surpassing its 24-month moving average has marked the onset of significant labor market deterioration. Furthermore, the crude oil market’s dip below its 200-day moving average for the first time since July is a signal of economic turbulence.

Adding to these concerns, a Bloomberg report highlights that Americans outside the wealthiest 20% of the country have exhausted their extra savings and now possess less cash on hand than when the pandemic initially struck. These facts collectively paint a picture of economic challenges that cannot be ignored, and they emphasize the urgency of addressing the issues affecting labor markets, consumer finances, and economic stability.

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