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U.S. Publications

3 April 2017 Expect Strength in Both the ISM and Construction Data Today

By Ian Shepherdson

We'd be very surprised to see a material weakening in today's March ISM manufacturing survey. The regional reports released in recent weeks point to another reading in the high 50s, with a further advance from February's 57.7 a real possibility.

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31 March 2017 February Consumption Will Look Grim

By Ian Shepherdson

On the face of it, the February consumer spending data, due today, will contradict the upbeat signal from confidence surveys. The dramatic upturn in sentiment since the election is consistent with a rapid surge in real consumption, but we're expecting to see unchanged real spending in February, following a startling 0.3% decline in January.

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30 March 2017 Can Unemployment Fall to 4% or Less? What Would the Fed do?

By Ian Shepherdson

The unemployment rate hit its post-1970 low in April 2000, at the peak of the first internet boom, when it nudged down to just 3.8%. The low in the next cycle, first reached in October 2006, was rather higher, at 4.4%.

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29 March 2017 Consumers are Happy, but Spending Will Lag Sentiment

By Ian Shepherdson

Yesterday's data don't significantly change our view that first quarter GDP growth will be reported at only about 1%, but the foreign trade and consumer confidence numbers support our contention that the underlying trend in growth is rather stronger than that.

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28 March 2017 Full-Scale Tax Reform Likely is Dead

By Ian Shepherdson

The failure of House Republicans to support Speaker Ryan's healthcare bill has laid bare the splits within the Republican party. The fissures weren't hard to see even before last week's debacle but the equity market has appeared determined since November to believe that all the earnings-friendly elements of Mr. Trump's and Mr. Ryan's agendas would be implemented with the minimum of fuss.

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27 March 2017 Stronger Global Growth set to Boost U.S. Export Performance

By Ian Shepherdson

It has been difficult to be an optimist about U.S. international trade performance in recent years. The year-over-year growth rate of real exports of goods and services hasn't breached 2% in a single quarter for two years.

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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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