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U.S. Publications

24 March 2017 Boeing Likely Boosted February Orders,Oil Lifting the Core Trend

By Ian Shepherdson

The nominal value of orders for non-defense capital equipment, excluding aircraft, fell by 3.4% last year. This was less terrible than 2015, when orders plunged by 8.4%, but both years were grim when compared to the average 7.5% increase over the previous five years.

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23 March 2017 Warm Weather Points to Upside Risk for February New Home Sales

By Ian Shepherdson

New home sales are much more susceptible to weather effects -- in both directions -- than existing home sales. We have lifted our forecast for today's February numbers above the 575K pace implied by the mortgage applications data in recognition of the likely boost from the much warmer-than-usual temperatures.

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22 March 2017 Why Are Pending Sales Lagging Existing Sales?

By Ian Shepherdson

The remarkably strong existing home sales numbers in recent months, relative to the pending home sales index, are hard to explain. In January, total sales reached 5.69M, some 6% higher than the 5.35M implied by December's pending sales index. The gap between the series has widened in recent months, as our first chart shows, and we think the odds now favor a correction in today's February report.

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21 March 2017 The Debt Ceiling is Back, but no Crisis Likely Until the Fall

By Ian Shepherdson

The federal debt ceiling was re-imposed last week, with no fanfare, and no reaction in the markets. All eyes were focussed instead on the Fed's rate hike and Chair Yellen's press conference.

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20 March 2017 If Fundamental Tax Reform Fails, What Happens to Fiscal Policy?

By Ian Shepherdson

The White House Budget for fiscal 2018, released last week, has no chance of becoming law in anything like its current form, so we don't propose to spend much time dissecting it. But we do need to set out our view on what might actually happen to fiscal policy over the next few months, because it potentially could make a material difference to the pace, and ultimate extent, of Fed tightening.

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*March 2017 - U.S. Economic Chartbook*

By Ian Shepherdson

The Fed Is On Course For Four Hikes This Year...And Another Four In 2018

Category: U.S. Documents / Document PDF (625.64 KB) Download

17 March 2017 February's Manufacturing Data Flattered by Warm Weather?

By Ian Shepherdson

The latest survey evidence strongly supports our view that momentum is building in the industrial economy, but the official production data continue to lag. Yesterday's March Philly Fed survey was remarkably strong, with the correction in the headline sentiment index -- inevitable, after February's 33-year high -- masking increases in all the subindexes.

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16 March 2017 The Fed Won't be Able to Dodge the Fiscal Policy Question in June

By Ian Shepherdson

It might seem odd to describe a meeting at which the Fed raised rates for only the third time since 2006 as a holding operation, but that just about sums up yesterday's actions. The 25bp rate hike was fully anticipated; the forecasts for growth, inflation and interest rates were barely changed from December; and the Fed still expects a total of three hikes this year.

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15 March 2017 Rates Will Rise by 25bp Today, but Extra Dots More Likely in June

By Ian Shepherdson

The Fed will hike by 25 basis points today, citing the tightening labor market as the key reason to press ahead with the process of policy normalization. We think the case for adding an extra dot to the plot for both this year and next is powerful.

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14 March 2017 Small Firms are Happy, but When Will Their Capex Plans Pick up?

By Ian Shepherdson

Small businesses remain extremely positive about the economy, but some of the post-election gloss appears to be wearing off. To be clear, the headline composite index of small business sentiment and activity in February, due this morning, will be much higher than immediately before the election, but a modest correction seems likely after January's 12- year high.

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