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23 February 2017 Fiscal Easing Could Boost Growth Substantially, but not for Long

By Ian Shepherdson

The White House budget proposals, which Roll Call says will be released in limited form on March 14, will include forecasts of sustained real GDP growth in a 3-to-3.5% range, according to an array of recent press reports.

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22 February 2017 Easier lending standards to boost housing market?

By Ian Shepherdson

Whatever today's report tells us about existing home sales in January, the underlying state of housing demand right now is unclear. The sales numbers lag mortgage applications by a few months, as our first chart shows, so they're usually the best place to start if you're pondering the near-term outlook for sales. But the applications data right now are suffering from two separate distortions, one pushing the numbers up and the other pushing them down. Both distortions should fade by the late spring, but in they meantime we'd hesitate to say we have a good idea what's really happening to demand.

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21 February 2017 Wages Don't Necessarily Lead Inflation, but Unit Labor Costs do

By Ian Shepherdson

Fed Chair Yellen said something which sounded odd, at first, in her Q&A at the Senate Banking Committee last Tuesday. It is "not clear" she argued, that the rate of growth of wages has a "direct impact on inflation".

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17 February 2017 Slowing Real Incomes Threaten Spending

By Ian Shepherdson

The rate of growth of real personal incomes is under sustained downward pressure, slowing to 2.1% year-over-year in December from 3.4% in the year to December 2015. In January, we think real income growth will dip below 2%, thanks to the spike in the headline CPI, reported Wednesday. Our first chart shows that the 0.6% increase in the index likely will translate into a 0.5% jump in the PCE deflator, generating the first month-to-month decline in real incomes since January last year.

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16 February 2017 Core inflation isn't rocketing, but the upside risks are real

By Ian Shepherdson

In yesterday's Monitor, we argued that if the upside risk in an array of core CPI components crystallised in January, the month-to-month gain would print at 0.3%, for the first time since August. That's exactly what happened, though we couldn't justify it as our base forecast. A combination of rebounding airline fares, apparel prices, new vehicle prices, and education costs conspired to generate a 0.31% gain, lifting the year-over-year rate back to the 2.3% cycle high, first reached in February last year.

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*Feb 2017 - EZ Economic Chartbook*

By Claus Vistesen

The EZ Economy is in a good Cyclical Shape.. But Can It Shrug off Political Changes in 2017?

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15 February 2017 Yellen Says no "Active" Balance Sheet Management from the Fed

By Ian Shepherdson

Fed Chair Yellen delivered no great surprises in her semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony, though she certainly was clear on her attitude to the balance sheet. The Fed does not want to "...use the balance sheet as an active tool of monetary policy."

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14 February 2017 Yellen to Keep March Open, and Signal Fiscal Easing not Needed

By Ian Shepherdson

We're not expecting drama from Chair Yellen's semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony in the Senate today. Dr. Yellen will want to keep alive the idea of a rate hike next month, but she will not signal that action is likely, given the continuing lack of clarity on the path of fiscal policy.

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13 February 2017 What Would it Take to Persuade the Fed to Hike in March?

By Ian Shepherdson

Our argument that rates could rise as soon as March has always been contingent on two factors, namely, robust labor market data and a degree of clarity on the extent of fiscal easing likely to emerge from Congress. On the first of these issues, the latest evidence is mixed.

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*Feb 2017 - U.S. Economic Chartbook*

By Ian Shepherdson

How and when will the Fed respond to Fiscal Easing?

Category: U.S. Documents / Document PDF (3.61 MB) Download

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