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17 August 2017 The Manufacturing Recovery Continues, but no Boom in Sight

By Ian Shepherdson

The elevated readings from the ISM manufacturing survey this year have not been followed by rapid growth in output. The headline ISM averaged 55.8 in the second quarter, a solid if unspectacular reading. But output rose by only 1.2% year-over-year, and by 1.4% on a quarterly annualized basis.

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16 August 2017 Strong July Sales and Revisions Signal Robust Consumption

By Ian Shepherdson

July's retail sales report signalled a good start to the third quarter but also implied that second quarter spending was stronger than previously thought. The upward revisions--totalling 0.5% for total sales and 0.4% for non-auto sales--were the biggest for some time, but we were not unduly surprised.

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15 August 2017 Time for a Rebound in Core Retail Sales A er Unexpected So ness

By Ian Shepherdson

No matter how you choose to slice-and-dice the recent retail sales numbers, the core data for the past couple of months have been disappointing. Our favorite measure--total sales less autos, gasoline, food and building materials--rose by just 0.1% month-to- month in May but then reversed this minimal gain in June.

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14 August 2017 July's Soft-Looking Core CPI was Different from Previous Weak Data

By Ian Shepherdson

July's fifth straight undershoot to consensus in the core CPI was very different the previous four. Only one component--lodging away from home--prevented the first 0.2% month-to-month print since February.

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11 August 2017 Core CPI Looks Set to Revert to 0.2% in July, but Nothing is Certain

By Ian Shepherdson

Our base case forecast for today's July core CPI is that the remarkable and unexpected run of weak numbers, shown in our first chart, is set to come to an end, with a reversion to the prior 0.2% trend.

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10 August 2017 Core PPI Inflation is Still Trending Upwards, Don't Ignore it

By Ian Shepherdson

The first of this week's two July inflation reports, the PPI, will be released today. With energy prices dipping slightly between the June and July survey dates, the headline should undercut the 0.2% increase we expect for the core by a tenth or so.

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9 August 2017 Productivity Growth Might be Turning up, Labor Costs Subdued

By Ian Shepherdson

We are a bit more optimistic than the consensus on the question of second quarter productivity growth, but the data are so unreliable and erratic that the difference between our 1.2% forecast and the 0.7% consensus estimate doesn't mean much.

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8 August 2017 Watch the NFIB Survey for Clues to Job Growth, Capex and Inflation

By Ian Shepherdson

The NFIB survey of small businesses today will show that July hiring intentions jumped by four points to +19, the highest level since November 2006. The NFIB survey has been running since 1973, and the hiring intentions index has never been sustained above 20.

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7 August 2017 While we were Out...

By Ian Shepherdson

...The Fed did nothing, surprising no-one; the labor market tightened further; the housing market tracked sideways; survey data mostly slipped a bit; and oil prices jumped nearly $4, briefly nudging above $50 for the first time since May.

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21 July 2017 What to Look for from the Fed and the Data Over the next Two Weeks

By Ian Shepherdson

Chair Yellen remains as committed as ever to the idea that the tightening labor market will eventually push up inflation, but the unexpectedly weak core CPI readings for the past four months have complicated the picture in the near-term.

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