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1301 matches for " CPI":
Friday's data added further colour to the September CPI data for the Eurozone.
If you gave us $100, we'd put $90 on inflation, headline and core, being higher a year from now than it is today. Our view, however, is not universally shared, and some commentators continue to argue that the U.S. faces deflation risks. Exhibit one for this view is our first chart, which shows a high correlation between the PPI for finished goods prices and the CPI inflation rate, ex-shelter.
We expect April's consumer price figures, due on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation leapt to 2.3%, from 1.9% in March, exceeding the MPC's 2.2% forecast in the latest Inflation Report.
August's consumer price figures caught everyone by surprise. CPI inflation increased to 2.7%, from 2.4% in July, greatly exceeding the consensus and the MPC's forecast, 2.4%.
A significant minority of investors were betting on a repeat of January's outsized 0.349% increase in the core, judging from the immediate market reaction to the release of the February CPI report.
Today brings a huge wave of data, but most market attention will be on the June CPI, following the run of unexpectedly soft core readings over the past three months.
After soaring in the Spring, inflation has slipped back in the Summer. July's consumer prices report, released while we were away last week, showed that CPI inflation held steady at 2.6% in July, one -tenth below the consensus and three tenths below May's year-to-date peak.
Japan's CPI inflation was unchanged in June, at 0.7%, despite strong upward pressure from energy inflation.
After five straight undershoots to consensus, with the core CPI averaging monthly gains of just 0.05%, investors are asking hard questions about the Fed's belief -- and ours -- that core inflation is headed towards 2% in the not-too-distant future.
Japan's national CPI inflation has peaked, falling to 0.7% in May from 0.9% in April.
The January core CPI numbers are consistent with our view that the U.S. faces bigger upside inflation risks than markets and the Fed believe.
CPI inflation fell to 2.3% in November--its lowest rate since March 2017--from 2.4% in October, and it remains on track to fall rapidly over the winter.
January's consumer price data, released tomorrow, look set to reveal a third consecutive rise in CPI inflation, dampening speculation that the U.K. is stuck in a deflationary funk. Indeed, we think CPI inflation picked up to 0.4%, from 0.2% in December, above the consensus, 0.3%.
CPI inflation was steadfast at 1.9% in March, undershooting the consensus and our forecast for it to rise to 2.0%.
Falling gas prices will make themselves felt in the November CPI data today, with a likely 4% seasonally adjusted decline enough to subtract 0.2% from the month-to-month change in the headline index. But gas prices plunged by 7.2% in November last year, so in year-over-year terms gas prices will push aggregate headline inflation up. We look for the rate to rise to 0.4%, up from 0.2% in October and zero in September. The same story will play out in January and February too, by which time the headline rate should have risen to 1¼%, assuming a crude oil price of about $35 per barrel.
Our base case is that the core CPI rose 0.2% in December, but the net risk probably is to the upside. We see scope for significant increases in sectors as diverse as used autos, apparel, healthcare, and rent, but nothing is guaranteed.
The run of soft core CPI numbers is over. The average 0.18% increase over the past two months probably is a good indication of the underlying trend -- the prints would have been close to this pace in both months had it not been for wild swings in the lodging component -- and the other one-time oddities of recent months' have faded.
October's consumer price figures, released Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation increased to 3.1%, from 3.0% in September.
We agree with the consensus and the MPC that October's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, will show that CPI inflation edged up to 2.5% in October, from 2.4% in September.
The consensus forecast for the October core CPI, which will be reported today, is 0.2%. Take the over. Nothing is certain in these data, but the risk of a 0.3% print is much higher than the chance of 0.1%.
Today's February CPI report is very unlikely to repeat January's surprise, when the core index was reported up 0.3%, a tenth more than expected.
The underlying trend in the core CPI is rising by just under 0.2% per month, so that has to be the starting point for our January forecast.
December's consumer prices report looks set to show that CPI inflation was stable at 1.5%--in line with the consensus--though the risks are skewed to the downside.
Three separate stories will come together to generate today's September core CPI number. First, we wonder if the hurricanes will lift the core CPI.
RPI inflation picked up to a six-year high of 4.1% in December, from 3.9% in November, even though CPI inflation fell to 3.0%, from 3.1%.
January's consumer price report, released today, likely will show that CPI inflation jumped to 1.9%--its highest rate since June 2014--from 1.6% in December. Inflation will continue to take big upward steps over the coming months, as retailers pass on to consumers large increase in import prices and energy companies increase tariffs.
We have no real argument with the consensus forecasts for the January CPI, with the headline likely to rise by 0.3%, with the core up 0.2%.
The 0.242% increase in the January core CPI left the year-over-year rate at 2.3% for the third straight month.
July's consumer price figures, released on Wednesday, look set to show that CPI inflation rose to 2.5%, from 2.4% in June.
Since January 2015, Core CPI inflation has risen to 2.3% from 1.6%, propelled by a combination of accelerating rents, a substantial rebound in the rate of increase of healthcare costs, and a modest-- though unexpected--upturn in core goods prices. It's always risky, though, simply to extrapolate recent trends and assume you now have a clear guide to the future.
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.
Japanese CPI inflation jumped to 0.7% in August from 0.4% in July. The ris e in prices over the last year, however, was mainly driven by food and energy.
Economists are evenly split on December's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, with half expecting CPI inflation to fall to 2.1%, from 2.3% in November, and the other half expecting a 2.2% print.
CPI inflation looks set to remain below the 2% target this year, driven by sterling's recent appreciation and lower energy prices.
Forecasting the health insurance component of the CPI is a mug's game, so you'll look in vain for hard projections in this note.
The jump in CPI inflation to 2.7% in April, from 2.3% in March, was only partly to a temporary boost from the later timing of Easter this year. Indeed, inflation likely will rise further over the coming months as food, energy and core goods prices all continue to pick up in response to last year's depreciation of sterling.
CPI inflation held steady at -0.1% in October, matching its lowest rate since March 1960. We had expected the rate to tick down to -0.2%, but the rebound in clothing inflation in October, following a period of discounting in September, was larger than we had anticipated. Looking ahead, we can be fairly confident that CPI inflation will pic k up sharply over the coming months.
New BoE Governor Andrew Bailey will be reaching for his letter-writing pen soon, to explain to the Chancellor why CPI inflation is more than one percentage point below the 2% target.
Economists are divided evenly on whether Tuesday's consumer price figures will show that CPI inflation held steady at 2.9% or edged down to 2.8% in June.
Tokyo CPI inflation jumped to 1.5% in October, from 1.2% in September. That
We expect May's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation fell to 2.0% in May, from 2.1% in April.
CPI inflation has undershot the consensus forecast six times this year, but surprised to the upside only twice.
CPI inflation last Friday gave Japanese policymakers a break from the run of bad data, jumping to 0.9% in April, from 0.5% in March.
Our forecast that CPI inflation will return to the 2% target by the end of 2018 sets us apart from the MPC and consensus, which expect a more modest decline, to 2.4%.
Yesterday's final EZ CPI data for March confirmed the message from the advance report that inflation pressures eased last month.
We expect August's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to reveal that CPI inflation dropped to 1.8% in August, from 2.1% in July, thereby undershooting the consensus, 1.9%.
We expect August's consumer price figures, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation declined to 2.4%, from 2.5% in July, matching the consensus and the Bank of England's forecast.
CPI inflation surprises look set to trigger larger- than-usual market reactions over the coming months, given that the MPC emphasised last month that it wants to see domestically-generated inflation rebound swiftly, after falling suddenly late last year, in order to justify keeping Bank Rate on hold.
The September core CPI was held down by prescription drug prices, which fell by 0.6%, and vehicle prices, which fell by 0.4%.
We expect September's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation held steady at 1.7%, below the 1.8% consensus.
CPI inflation is on track to fall back to 2.0% in the winter and below the MPC's target thereafter, despite rising to 2.5% in July, from 2.4% in June.
CPI inflation held steady at 2.4% in October, undershooting the 2.5% consensus expectation and the MPC's forecast in this month's Inflation Report.
February's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, likely will show that CPI inflation fell to 2.8%--one tenth below the MPC's forecast--from 3.0% in January.
The decline in CPI inflation to 1.7% in August, from 2.1% in July, has not materially boosted the chances of the MPC cutting interest rates within the next six months.
A modest dip in gasoline prices will hold down the October CPI, due today, but investors' attention will be on the core, after five undershoots to consensus in the past six months.
Core CPI inflation plunged in the aftermath of the crash, reaching a low of 0.6% in October 2010. It then rebounded to a peak of 2.3% in the spring of 2012, before subsiding to a range from 1.6-to-1.9%, held down by slow wage gains and the strengthening dollar, until late last year. Faster increases in services prices and rents lifted core inflation to 2.3% in February, matching the 2012 high, but it has since been unchanged, net.
The closer we look at the data, the more convinced we become that the rollover in CPI physicians' services prices, which has subtracted nearly 0.1% from core CPI inflation since January, is a response to sharply higher Medicare part B premiums, especially for new enrollees.
China is facing a nasty mix of spiking CPI inflation and ongoing PPI deflation.
The average month-to-month increase in the core CPI in the past three months is a solid 0.20, much firmer than the 0.05% average over the previous five months, stretching back to the first of the run of downside surprises, in March.
We expect June's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation fell to 1.9%, from 2.0% in May.
We expect June's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation increased to 2.7%, from 2.4% in May, above the consensus, 2.6%, and the Bank of England's forecast, 2.5%.
Friday's CPI data in the euro area confirmed our expectation that inflation jumped last month.
The fall in CPI inflation to 2.6% in June, from 2.9% in May, greatly undershot expectations for an unchanged rate and it has made a vote by the MPC to keep interest rates at 0.25% in August a near certainty.
The pick-up in CPI inflation to 3.1% in November--its highest rate since March 2012-- from 3.0% in October, shouldn't alarm the MPC at this week's meeting.
Now that the run of unfavorable base effects in the core CPI--triggered by five straight soft numbers last year--is over, we're expecting little change in the year- over-year rate through the remainder of this year.
The April CPI report today will be watched even more closely than usual, after the surprise 0.12% month-to-month fall in the March core index. The biggest single driver of the dip was a record 7.0% plunge in cellphone service plan prices, reflecting Verizon's decision to offer an unlimited data option.
Today's consumer prices figures likely will show that CPI inflation increased to 3.1% in November, from 3.0% in October.
The sudden downshift in core inflation at the consumer level since March, clearly visible in the CPI and the PCE, and shown in our first chart, has been accompanied by a steady increase in core producer price inflation.
The CPI report due today will be released on schedule, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the data, remains open during the partial government shutdown.
The year-long surge in CPI inflation in China will soon end.
In March, CPI rents--the weighted average of primary and owners' equivalents rents--rose by 0.35% month- to-month.
After three straight 0.3% increases in the core CPI, we are in agreement with the consensus view that September's report, due today, will revert to the 0.2% trend.
Monthly core CPI prints of 0.3% are unusual; June's was the first since January 2018, so it requires investigation.
The downside surprise in the November core CPI, which rose by 0.1%, a tenth less than expected, was due entirely to an unexpected 1.3% drop in apparel prices. This alone subtracted 0.05% from the core, but we think the chance of a reversal in December is quite high.
For the past six years, the PCE measure of core inflation has undershot the CPI version. The average spread between the two year-over-year rates since January 2011 has been 0.3 percentage points, and as far as we can tell most observers expect it to be little changed for the foreseeable future.
January's consumer price figures, due on Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation held steady at December's 3.0% rate.
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.
It's pretty easy to dismiss back-to-back 0.3% increases in the core CPI, especially when they follow a run of much smaller gains.
China's CPI inflation rose to 2.1% in July, from 1.9% in June.
October's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, likely will show that CPI inflation has continued to drift further below the 2% target
We'd be surprised to see a repeat today of August's very modest 0.08% increase in the core CPI.
We expect July's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, to reveal that CPI inflation dropped to 1.8% in July, from 2.0% in June.
November's consumer price report likely will show that October's dip in CPI inflation was just a blip against a strong upward trend. We think that CPI inflation picked up to 1.1% in November, from 0.9% in October, in line with the consensus.
Yesterday's advance EZ CPI report bolstered the ECB doves' case for only marginal adjustments to the language on forward guidance at next week's meeting. Inflation in the euro area fell to 1.4% in May, from 1.9% in April, constrained by almost all the key components.
Yesterday's detailed CPI data in Germany and France broadly confirmed the message from the advance data in the Eurozone as a whole.
The PBoC will find itself between a rock and a hard place in the coming months, as CPI inflation creeps further up towards its 3% target but PPI deflation deepens.
The upward trend in CPI inflation likely reasserted itself in August, following a hiatus in the last two months due to the decline in oil prices.
In one line: Robust spending in France through Q3; the German labour market is rolling over.
In one line: Back to trend?
Our chief economist, Ian Shepherdson, set out our initial thoughts on the rising tensions between U.S. and Iran here.
In one line: Disinflation will resume in Q2; core pressures are easing
In one line: Underlying inflation pressures are falling, and we expect further declines across the year due to the recession.
In some sense, today's ECB meeting will be a sobering one for policymakers.
In one line: The bottom in German inflation is in, at least in the near term.
In one line: Inflation falling rapidly as the economy comes under severe strain.
In one line: Headline up, but core down.
In one line: Core inflation is finally edging down.
In one line: Inflation is well under control, around Banxico's target.
In one line: Inflation pressures are finally easing, but the MXN--that is, President Trump's actions--is the key variable now for policymakers.
In one line: Inflation pressures in check, allowing Banxico to cut interest rates further.
In one line: Modest inflation pressures amid subpar economic activity.
In one line: Rents and heathcare lift the core; they are the key risks for 2020.
In one word: Ignorable.
Today brings only the preliminary Michigan consumer sentiment data for January so we want to take some time to look at how recent changes to Medicare Part B premiums, which cover doctors' fees, are likely to affect inflation over the next few months.
In one line: Lower energy prices push inflation down at the end of Q2.
In one line: Undershooting consensus; Banxico to cut rates next week.
In one line: A downside surprise, and the underlying trend is falling, for now.
In one line: Inflation edges lower to Baxico's target, and the downtrend will continue.
In one line: Underlying pressures are in check, despite the modest uptick in headline inflation.
Last week's final barrage of data showed that EZ headline inflation rose slightly last month, by 0.1 percentage points to 1.5%, driven mainly by increases in the unprocessed food energy components.
In one line: A bad-looking start to Q2, but the y/y rate was hurt by an unfavourable base effect.
In one line: Bad weather has pushed inflation up, temporarily.
In one line: Underlying inflation pressures continue to ease.
In one line: Inflation falls close to target, allowing Banxico to cut rates.
In one line: Inflation pressures are starting to ease.
Currency markets often make a mockery of consensus forecasts, and this year has been no exception. Monetary policy divergence between the U.S. and the Eurozone has widened this year; the spread between the Fed funds rate and the ECB's refi rate rose to a 10-year high after the Fed's last hike.
We have been hearing a good deal recently about the risk that the plunge in headline inflation will feed back into the labor market, keeping the pace of wage gains lower than they would otherwise have been and, therefore, slowing the pace of Fed tightening.
We see clear upside risk to the inflation data due before the FOMC announcement, from three main sources.
We remain confident in the success of legislation designed to compel the PM to request a further extension of the U.K.'s E.U. membership on October 19, in the overwhelmingly likely scenario that an exit deal is not agreed at next week's E.U. Council meeting.
Friday's inflation data in the Eurozone were a mixed bag.
Today's producer price report for March likely will show a further increase in core goods inflation, which already has risen to 2.0% in February, from 0.2% in the same month last year. The acceleration in the U.S. PPI follows the even more dramatic surge in China's PPI for manufactured goods, which jumped to 6.6% year-over-year in February, from minus 4.9% a year ago. China's PPI is much more sensitive to commodity prices than the U.S. series, so there's very little chance that core U.S. PPI goods inflation will rise to anything like this rate.
The national February inflation data are due this Friday, a couple of weeks after the Tokyo report, as usual.
Analysts' forecasts for January's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, are unusually dispersed.
Tokyo inflation surprised us on Friday, rising to 0.9% in July, from 0.6% in June.
Friday's inflation data in the Eurozone added a dovish twist to the story ahead of the key ECB meeting later this month.
The overshoot in the November core PPI does not change the key story, which is that PPI inflation, headline and core, is set to fall sharply through the first half of next year, at least.
Yesterday's accounts from the June ECB meeting broadly confirmed markets' expectations of further easing between now and the end of the year.
Today brings the April PPI data, which likely will show core inflation creeping higher, with upward pressure in both good and services. The upside risk in the goods component is clear enough, as our first chart shows.
A few ECB governors has attempted to lean against dovish expectations in the past week.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the RPI is a terrible measure of inflation. The ONS describes it as "very poor" and discourages its use.
February's consumer price figures give the MPC reason to doubt the case for raising interest rates again as soon as May.
September's consumer price figures helped to curb expectations that the MPC might raise Bank Rate again before the March Brexit deadline.
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its meeting on January 30 jumped to 63%, from 44%, following the release of December's consumer prices report.
A couple of Fed speakers this week have described the economy as being at "full employment". Looking at the headline unemployment rate, it's easy to see why they would reach that conclusion.
Two key reports today, on January consumer prices and durable goods orders, have the power to move markets substantially. We think both will undershoot market expectations, though we would be deeply reluctant to read too much into either report; both are distorted by temporary factors.
September's consumer price figures likely will surprise to the downside, prompting markets to reassess their view that the MPC will almost certainly raise interest rates next month.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone edged lower last month.
Chinese prices largely moved in line with our expectations in September, according to yesterday's data.
March's consumer prices figures, released on Wednesday, are even more important than usual, as they are the last to be published before the MPC's next meeting on May 10.
Brexit talks will dominate the headlines this week, with the focal point set to be a meeting of the European Council on Wednesday, where E.U. leaders might give the green light for an extraordinary summit next month to formalise the Withdrawal Agreement.
The near-term U.S. inflation outlook is benign, but it is not without risk.
Next week is so crammed full of data releases that we need to preview November's consumer price data early, in the eye of the storm of the general election.
While Brexit news will dominate the headlines again--see here for why the odds remain against Mrs. May winning the third "meaningful vote"--February's consumer prices report is the highlight in this week's congested economic data calendar.
Inflation data in Germany remain up in the air following recent revisions and restatements of the underlying indices.
Speculation that the ECB is considering a rethink of its inflation target has intensified in the past few weeks.
After four straight above-trend increases in the core CPI, you could be forgiven for thinking that something is afoot. It's still too soon, though to rush to judgment. The data show three previous streaks of 0.2%-or-bigger over four-month periods since the crash of 2008, and none of them were sustained.
Mexico's inflation is heading down. Wednesday's advance CPI report showed that inflation pressures are finally fading, following temporary shocks in recent months, and the end of the "gasolinazo" effect.
The solid 0.2% increase in January's core CPI, coupled with the small upward revision to December, ought to offer a degree of comfort to anyone worried about European-style deflation pressures in the U.S.
Japan's CPI inflation has risen sharply in recent months, driven by non-core elements. The headline faces cross-currents in coming months, but should remain high, posing problems for BoJ policy.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany and Spain suggest that inflation in the Eurozone as a whole dipped slightly in February.
The FOMC minutes confirmed that most FOMC members were not swayed by the weak-looking first quarter GDP numbers or the soft March core CPI. Both are considered likely to prove "transitory", and the underlying economic outlook is little changed from March.
Mexico's CPI rose just 0.1% in the first half of March, due to higher core prices. The increase was broadbased within this component, with goods prices increasing by 0.2% and core services 0.4%. Core services prices were driven by temporary factors, including vacation packages and higher airfare tickets. Non-core prices, meanwhile, fell 0.5%, due mainly to falling fresh food prices.
Brazil has made a convincing escape from high inflation in the past few months, laying the groundwork for a gradual economic recovery and faster cuts in interest rates. Mid-March CPI data, released this week, confirmed that inflation pressures eased substantially this month.
February's consumer price figures provided hard evidence that the import price shock, caused by sterling's depreciation last year, is filtering through faster than the MPC expected. We expect CPI inflation to continue to exceed the forecast set out in February's Inflation Report.
Japan's headline CPI inflation is set to edge down in coming months, thanks to non-core prices.
It's probably too soon to start looking for second round effects from the drop in gasoline prices in the core CPI. History suggests quite strongly that sharp declines in energy prices feed into the core by depressing the costs of production, distribution and service delivery, but the lags are quite long, a year or more.
October likely was the peak in Japanese CPI inflation, at 1.4%, up from 1.2% in September. The uptick was driven by the non-core elements, primarily food.
CPI inflation rose only to 2.1% in April, from 1.9% in March, undershooting the 2.2% consensus and MPC forecasts, as well as our own 2.3% estimate.
CPI inflation remained at 0.3% in February, below the consensus, 0.4%, and our own expectation, 0.5%. All the unexpected weakness, however, was in food and core goods prices, and past movements in commodity and import prices suggest that this will be fleeting
Here's something we didn't expect to write: The CPI measure of goods prices, excluding food and energy, rose in the three months to January, compared to the previous three months. OK, the increase was marginal, a mere 0.3%, but conventional wisdom has assumed for some time that the strong dollar would push goods prices down indefinitely.
The period of surprisingly low inflation following sterling's plunge when the UK left the Exchange Rate Mechanism in September 1992 appears to challenge our view that inflation will overshoot the MPC's 2% target over the next couple of years. As our first chart shows, CPI inflation averaged just 2.5% in 1993 and 2% in 1994, even though trade-weighted sterling plunged by 15% and import prices surged.
Japan's CPI inflation was stable at 0.2% in October, despite the sales tax hike, thanks to a combination of offsetting measures from the government and a deepening of energy deflation.
The contribution of energy prices to CPI inflation is set to increase over the coming months, following the pick-up in Brent oil prices to $74 per barrel, from $65 at the beginning of March.
All eyes will be on the core PCE deflator data today, in the wake of the upside surprise in the January core CPI, reported last week. The numbers do not move perfectly together each month, but a 0.2% increase in the core deflator is a solid bet, with an outside chance of an outsized 0.3% jump.
Japan's CPI inflation was unchanged, at 0.2% in February.
We've seen some alarming estimates of the potential impact on inflation of the House Republicans' plans for corporate tax reform, with some forecasts suggesting the CPI would be pushed up as much as 5%. We think the impact will be much smaller, more like 1-to-11⁄2% at most, and it could be much less, depending on what happens to the dollar. But the timing would be terrible, given the Fed's fears over the inflation risk posed by the tightness of the labor market.
Japan's CPI inflation jumped to 1.3% in August, from 0.9% in July.
The bad economic news in Brazil is unstoppable. The mid-month CPI index rose 1.3% month-to-month in February, as education, housing, and transport prices increased. School tuition fees jumped 6% month-to-month in February, reflecting their annual adjustment, and transport costs rose by 2% due to an increase in regulated gasoline prices.
The rate of increase of the financial services and insurance component of the PCE deflator has slowed from a recent peak of 5.8% in May 2014 to 3.3% in June this year. This matters, because it accounts for 8.4% of the core deflator, a much bigger weight than in the core CPI.
Friday's final CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that inflation dipped marginally in January, by 0.1 percentage points, to 1.3%.
National CPI probably will rise in October, despite Tokyo stability
Chinese quarterly GDP growth was dire. China's industrial production was due an upward correction. China's retail sales data suggest that households took a Q3 battering. China's FAI growth shows no signs of turning. Japan's CPI avoids deflation.
CPI deflation in Japan is looming, due to the collapse in global oil prices. January will be as good as it gets for Japan's all-industry activity index
Japan's CPI inflation has troughed; Japan's budget forecasts for next year are on the rosy side; China's LPR stability reflects precarious banking sector; Korea should make a complete exit from PPI deflation this month
Further weakness to come for Japan's manufacturing PMI. First services hit from the coronavirus is damning. Japan's all-industry activity index suggests the 2019 tax hike was as bad as 2014. A drop in food inflation was enough to offset lagged oil pressures in Japan's January CPI. Ignore the headline; the coronavirus is now hurting Korean exports.
CPI inflation in China punches through the 3% target. PPI deflation in China should soon bottom out. Japan's rugby boost small in the face of pre-tax front loading. September machinery orders data seriously undermines Japan's "resilient capex" story.
China's PPI back in deflation until fall. China's February CPI inflation was a battle between food and services. M2 growth in Japan was due a further uptick, given the perkier trends at the margin. Favourable base effects flattered Japanese machine tool orders in February.
Japan's labour market remains tight but will face persistent slackening from here. Caixin manufacturing on a tear. In the end, CPI deflation in Korea lasted just one month. October probably was the y/y trough in Korea's export slump. Business sentiment in Korea is recovering... albeit only slowly.
CPI inflation in China is nearing a peak, with pork prices starting to stabilise. November's data confirm that PPI deflation in China has bottomed out. Japan's M2 growth looks exposed to a downward revision. Japan's machine tool orders refuse to turn.
PPI inflation reflect pre-virus state of play. China's CPI inflation spikes due to holiday effects. Japan's current account to be damaged by virus
Expect Chinese PPI deflation in the second half. China's CPI inflation faces non-core cross currents; services inflation still slowing. Unemployment in Korea held steady in June; the BoK will be chuffed about improving job growth. PPI deflation in Japan will persist until the end of the year.
Japan's CPI inflation has peaked. Japan's PMI hit by renewed trade wars, while domestic demand shows signs of slowing. The fledgling recovery in Korean exports lost steam in June.
Non-core items outweigh government measures in Japan's October CPI. Ignore the minor rebound in Japan's manufacturing PMI; the trend remains very weak. The post-tax drop and rebound in Japan's services PMI isn't as sharp, but Q4 looks vulnerable to a painful GDP hit.
Non-core base effects push Korean CPI inflation to a 14-month high in January. Monetary base data show BoJ back-peddling against virus.
Korea's Q1 GDP downgrade will fuel calls for a rate cut. CPI inflation in Korea should soon peak out. Ignore the uptick in Japanese monetary base; it's a one off.
China's PPI turning the corner. China's CPI inflation should peak this month ber's punchy trade data.
Not giving up on China's stimulus yet. China's PPI inflation will head higher this month. China's CPI inflation will peak soon.
China's manufacturing PMI was poised for major disappointment... the trade war impact is clear. Don't be fooled by the relative stability of China's non-manufacturing PMI. Japan's March unemployment uptick was early; April was payback. Japan's CPI inflation has peaked. Japan's industrial production ticks up after extreme weakness; don't hold your breath for the recovery. Japan's consumers in poor shape, but maybe it's not that bad. The upswing in Korean industrial production likely to take a breather this month. The BoK holds firm, despite rising calls for a rate cut.
Marginally stronger Q4 GDP growth in Korea implies a more painful Q1 virus hit, CPI inflation in Korea should continue to slide, as the slump in oil prices starts to feed through, Remember the BoJ never officially abandoned it's ¥80T JGB purchase target
Japan is creeping towards CPI deflation, but it should just about avoid it in Q4.
Non-core items drive Japan's CPI inflation higher, with energy also indirectly pushing up core inflation. Sino-U.S. Phase One trade deal gives Japan's manufacturing PMI a boost. Japan's services PMI levels look unsustainable.
April's consumer price figures, due on Wednesday, are set to show that CPI inflation has fallen, primarily due to the earlier timing of Easter this year than last. We
The price of Brent oil has fallen sharply to $40 per barrel from about $50 just a month ago, and speculation is mounting that it could plunge to $20 soon. But CPI inflation should still pick up over coming months, provided oil prices remain above $30. And the absence of "second-round" effects of lower oil prices this year should reassure the Monetary Policy Committee that lower oil prices won't bear down on inflation over the medium-term.
Inflation pressures in Colombia cooled considerably last month. Saturday's CPI report showed that inflation fell to 3.4% year-over-year in July, its lowest level since 2014, from 4.0% in June.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone are building rapidly, setting up an "interesting" ECB meeting next week. Yesterday's advance CPI report showed that inflation edged up further in February to 2.0%, from 1.8% in January. The headline rate is now in line with the ECB's target, and up sharply from the average of 0.2% last year.
The CPIH--the controversial, modified version of the existing CPI that includes a measure of owner occupied housing, or OOH, costs--will become the headline measure of consumer price inflation when February's data are published on March 21.
We have argued recently that the year-over-year rates of core CPI and core PCE inflation could cross over the next year, with core PCE rising more quickly for the first time since 2010.
The modest overshoot to consensus in September's core PCE deflator won't trouble any lists of great economic surprises, but it did serve to demonstrate that the PCE can diverge from the CPI, in both the short and medium-term.
Last week's May CPI data in the major EZ economies all but confirmed the story for this week's advance estimate for the euro area as a whole.
Eurozone September CPI data this week will show that inflation pressures remain weak, appearing to support the ECB's focus on downside risks. We think Eurozone inflation--data released Wednesday-- rose slightly to 0.2% year-over-year in September from 0.1% in August, as core inflation edged higher, offsetting weak energy prices. Looking ahead, structural inflation pressures will keep inflation well below the central bank's 2% target for a considerable period.
Mexico's inflation has started to edge higher due mainly to an unfavorable base effect and pressures on food prices. The bi-weekly headline CPI for the first half of February edged up to 2.9% year-over-year and up from 2.7% in January and the record low of 2.3% in December.
Advance inflation data on Friday added to the gloom on the Eurozone economy. Reports from Germany, France, and Spain all surprised to the downside, indicating the euro area as a whole slipped back into deflation in February. Inflation in Germany dipped to 0.0% year-over-year in February, from 0.5% in January, and France slid back into deflation as the CPI index fell 0.2%, down from a 0.2 increase last month.
Tokyo CPI inflation edged down to 0.4% in May, from 0.5% in April.
Today's advance CPI data will show that EZ inflation pressures rose further at the end of Q3. The headline number likely will exceed the consensus. We think inflation rose to 0.5% year-over-year in September from 0.2% in August, slightly higher than the 0.4% consensus.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany suggest that inflation fell slightly in August.
The latest drop in crude oil prices me ans that sub-zero headline CPI inflation in the spring is now more likely than not. We expect a lurch down from November's 1.3% to 0.7% in December, then 0.3% in January. The rate will remain close to that level for the next few months before hitting zero in May and slipping into negative territory--just--in June and July.
January CPI data in Colombia, released on Saturday, confirmed that inflation pressures eased last month, but the details weren't as good as the headline. Inflation fell to 5.5% year-over-year, from 5.8% in December, as a result of falling food inflation-- helped mainly by a favourable base effect--and lower clothing prices.
A steep drop in prices for financial services in January was a key factor behind the sharp slowdown in the rate of increase of the core PCE deflator in the first quarter, relative to the core CPI.
Inflation pressures are easing rapidly in Colombia, according to October's CPI report, released on Saturday. Inflation fell to 6.5% year-over-year in October, down from 7.3% in September; the consensus expectation was 6.7%.
Friday's early EZ CPI data for December were red hot. Headline HICP inflation in Germany jumped to 1.5%, from 1.3% in November, while the headline rate in France increased by 0.4pp, to 1.6%.
The CPI inflation rate for non-energy industrial goods--core goods, for short--has tracked past movements in trade-weighted sterling closely over the last ten years, because virtually all goods in this sector are imported.
The pullback in CPI inflation in June and continued slow GDP growth in Q2 mean that the MPC almost certainly will keep Bank Rate at 0.25% on Thursday.
Global monetary policy divergence has returned with a vengeance. In the U.S., despite recent soft CPI data, a resolute Fed has prompted markets to reprice rates across the curve.
Yesterday's advance CPI report in the Eurozone showed that inflation pressures are rising rapidly. Inflation rose to 1.1% year-over-year in December, from 0.6% in November. Surging energy inflation was the key driver, and this component likely will continue to rise in the next few months. Core inflation, however, stayed subdued, rising only slightly to 0.9%, from 0.8% in November.
Our forecast that CPI inflation will shoot up to about 3% in the second half of 2017, from 0.6% last month, assumes that pass-through from the exchange rate to consumer goods prices will be as swift and complete as in the past. Our first chart shows that this relationship has held firm recently, with core goods prices falling at the rate implied by sterling's appreciation in 2014 and 2015.
The Tankan points to a q/q contraction for capex in Q3, but GDP growth overall will stay strong. Japan's unemployment steady, but details bode ill for Q4. September's full-month data dispel some export worries in Korea; expect a Q3 lift from net trade. Korea's PMI pours cold water on the spectacular jobs report for August. September is as bad as it gets for Korean CPI deflation.
The third straight 0.3% increase in the core CPI-- that hasn't happened since 1995--was ignored by the Treasury market yesterday, which appeared to be focusing its attention on the ECB.
The worst phase of the squeeze on real wages is nearly over; CPI inflation looks set to peak at slightly above 3% in October, before falling back steadily to about 2% by the end of 2018.
The core CPI inflation rate rose in April to 2.1% from 2.0%, thanks to unfavorable rounding, despite the below consensus 0.14% month-to-month print.
August's consumer price figures, released today, likely will show that households' spending power is being increasingly eroded by rising inflation. We think CPI inflation picked up to 0.8%, from 0.6% in July, exceeding the consensus, 0.7%, for the third consecutive month.
At today's MPC meeting, the centre of gravity of the policy debate is likely to shift towards the merits of raising interest rates, rather than cutting them. CPI inflation rose from 0.3% in February to 0.5% in March, one tenth above the MPC's forecast in February's Inflation Report.
German inflation pressures were unchanged last month. The CPI index rose 0.8% year-over-year, matching the increase in October, and in line with the consensus and initial estimate. Energy deflation intensified marginally, as a result of lower prices for household utilities.
November's consumer prices figures, released tomorrow, look set to show that the U.K.'s spell of negative inflation has ended. CPI inflation is set to pick-up decisively over the coming months, even if oil prices continue to drift down. In fact, fuel prices likely will contribute to the pick-up in inflation from October's -0.1% rate. November's 1.5% fall in prices at the pump was smaller than the 2.3% drop in the same month last year, so the year-over-year rate will rise. Fuel's contribution to CPI inflation therefore will pick up, albeit very marginally, to -0.47pp from -0.50pp in October.
Data over the weekend revealed a further slowdown in China's CPI inflation, to 1.5% in February, from 1.7% in January.
The MPC's meeting on Thursday looks set to be a perfunctory affair. Signs that the economy has lost momentum this year, alongside downward surprises from CPI inflation in January and wage growth in December, mean the Committee won't give the idea of hiking rates a moment's thought.
Thursday's CPI report in Mexico showed that inflation is edging lower. We are confident that it will continue to fall consistently during Q1, thanks chiefly to the subpar economic recovery, low inertia and the effect of the recent MXN rebound.
The odds favor--just--an end to the three-month streak of solid 0.2% increases in the core CPI with the release of today's January report.
CPI inflation picked up to 0.5% in March, from 0.3% in February. The jump was entirely attributable to core inflation, which leapt to 1.5%--its highest rate since October 2014--from 1.2%. With core inflation on track to rise further over the next year, we continue to think that markets will be caught out by interest rate rises later this year.
Over the last decade, the MPC has underestimated the extent and duration of departures of CPI inflation from the 2% target. Inflation exceeded the MPC's expectations in the early 2010s, as policymakers underestimated the impact of sterling's prior depreciation and overestimated the role that slack would play in stifling price pressures. Inflation also undershot the MPC's forecast between 2014 and 2016, when sterling's appreciation reduced import prices.
In recent years we have argued consistently that investors and the commentariat overstate the importance of the dollar as a driver of U.S. inflation. Only about 15% of the core CPI is meaningfully affected by shifts in the value of the dollar, because the index is dominated by domestic non-tradable services.
The core CPI rose only 0.1% in May, marking the fourth straight soft reading.
May's consumer price figures, released today, will provide the first clean inflation read for three months, following the distortions created by this year's late Easter. Consensus forecasts and the MPC have underestimated CPI inflation regularly since the middle of last year, when the impact of sterling's depreciation began to push into the data.
CPI inflation held steady at 3.0% in January, above the consensus by one tenth and thus pushing up the market-implied probability of a May rate hike to 65%, from 62% earlier this week.
CPI inflation increased to 2.9% in May, from 2.7% in April, exceeding the no-change expectation of both the consensus and the MPC, as well as our own 2.8% forecast.
January's CPI inflation of 1.8%, up from 1.6% in December, was one-tenth lower than anticipated by the consensus, the Bank of England and ourselves. The undershoot, however, was entirely due to a pull-back in clothing inflation which is unlikely to be sustained. Price pressures across the rest of the economy have continued to intensify, suggesting that CPI inflation still is on course greatly to exceed the 2% target later this year.
July's consumer price figures, due tomorrow, likely will bring early evidence that sterling's Brexit-driven depreciation already is pushing up inflation. We think that CPI inflation picked up to 0.6% in July from 0.5% in June, exceeding the consensus forecast for an unchanged reading. Experience of past depreciations suggests that July's figures likely won't be the last time the consensus is surprised by the speed of the rise in inflation.
Our view on the trade data last week was that U.S. tariff hikes have caused minimal damage, so far. China's tariff increases on imports to date have resulted in stockpiling, with little evidence in the CPI of any inflationary pressure.
The ONS published provisional new weights for the main components of the CPI on Tuesday. The changes boost our forecast for the average rate of CPI inflation this year by a trivial 0.03 percentage points.
December's consumer price figures, released on Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation fell more than most analysts expect.
April's consumer price figures, released on Tuesday, look set to reveal that CPI inflation jumped to 2.7%--its highest rate since September 2013--from 2.3% in March. Inflation likely will be driven up entirely by a jump in the cor e rate to 2.3%, from 1.8% in March.
The failure of the core CPI to mean-revert in April, after the unexpected March drop, does not mean that the Fed can relax.
The unexpected rise in CPI inflation to 2.1% in July--well above the Bank of England's 1.8% forecast and the 1.9% consensus--from 2.0% in June undermines the case for expecting the MPC to cut Bank Rate, in the event that a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
German inflation pressures are rising. Yesterday's final September CPI report showed that inflation rose to 0.7% year-over-year, from 0.4% in August, chiefly as a result of continued easing of deflation in energy prices.
It's hard to know what to make of the October CPI data, which recorded hefty increases in healthcare costs and used car prices but a huge drop in hotel room rates, and big decline in apparel prices, and inexplicable weakness in rents.
The fall in CPI inflation to just 1.5% in October-- its lowest rate since November 2016--from 1.7% in September, isn't a game-changer for the monetary policy outlook.
We expect today's consumer prices figures to show that CPI inflation picked up to 0.5% in May, from 0.3% in April, exceeding the 0.4% rate anticipated by both the consensus and the MPC, in last month's Inflation Report. We expect the increase to be driven by a jump in the core rate to 1.4%, from 1.2% in April.
Japan's PPI data yesterday confirmed that October was a turning point for prices--due to the consumption tax hike--despite the surprising stability of CPI inflation in Tokyo for the same month.
Friday's detailed October CPI report in Germany confirmed that inflation pressures are steadily rising. Inflation rose to 0.8% year-over-year in October, from 0.7% in September, lifted mostly by a continuing increase in energy prices.
Collapsing energy prices continue to weigh on the headline inflation rate in the Eurozone's largest economy. Final September CPI data in Germany confirmed that inflation fell to 0.0% year-over-year from 0.2%, due to a 9.3% plunge in energy prices -- down from a 7.6% fall in August--mainly a result of a collapse in petrol price inflation. This comfortably offset an increase in food inflation to 1.1% from 0.8%, due to surging vegetable and fruit prices.
Today's CPI report from India should raise the pressure on the RBI to abandon its aggressive easing, which has resulted in 135 basis points worth of rate cuts since February.
CPI data today in France and Germany will confirm that current inflation rates remain very low in the euro area. Inflation in Germany likely rose to 0.3% year-over-year from 0.0% in September, in line with the consensus and initial estimate. State data indicate that the rise was driven by surging fresh food prices and slightly higher services inflation, principally due to a jump in the volatile recreation and culture sector. Looking ahead, food prices will drop back, but energy inflation will rise rapidly as last year's plunge drops out of the year-over-year comparison, while upward core pressure is now emerging too.
Brazil's April CPI data this week showed that inflation pressures remain weak, supporting the BCB's focus on the downside risks to economic activity. Wednesday's report revealed that the benchmark IPCA inflation index rose 0.1% unadjusted month-to-month in April, marginally below market expectations.
Yesterday's CPI report in Mexico showed that inflation remains high, but we are confident that it will start to fall consistently during Q1, thanks chiefly to a favourable base effect.
Yesterday's CPI report in Mexico showed that inflation pressures are rising consistently. Headline inflation rose to 3.4% year-over-year in December, from 3.3% in November, above the mid-point of the central bank's 2-to-4% target range. Surging goods inflation and higher services prices--especially seasonal increases for package holidays and airline fares--were mainly to blame.
Inflation pressures are falling rapidly in Brazil, suggesting that the Copom will continue to ease aggressively in the near term. January's CPI report,released Wednesday, showed that inflation plunged to 5.4% year-over-year, from 6.3% in December, chiefly as a result of continued disinflation in key components, such as food, housing prices--including utilities--and transportation.
Inflation pressures are gradually easing in Mexico, opening the door for rate cuts as early as next month. The June CPI report, released yesterday, showed that prices rose 0.1% month-to-month unadjusted in June, in line with market expectations.
The headline April CPI, due today, will be boosted slightly by rising gasoline prices.
Yesterday's CPI report in Mexico confirmed that headline inflation edged higher, to 5.0% in September from 4.9% in August, as the mid-month inflation index suggested.
Inflation in Mexico fell significantly in September. Data yesterday showed that the CPI rose just 0.3% month-to-month, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 6.4% from 6.7% in August, its highest level in 16 years.
Core CPI inflation has been 2.1-to-2.2% year-over- year for the past seven months, a remarkably stable run which likely will persist for a few more months.
March's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, look set to show that inflation's ascent was kept in check by the later Easter this year compared to last. Nonetheless, CPI inflation will take big upward strides over the coming months, and it likely will exceed 3% by the summer.
While we were out, Brazil's economic, fiscal and political position continued to deteriorate further. The recession deepened in the fourth quarter, with Brazil's economic activity index surprising yet again to the downside in October, falling for the eight consecutive month. The index fell 0.6% month-to-month and 6.4% year-over-year, the biggest contraction since the index began in 2004. And the prospects for first quarter consumption and industrial output have deteriorated substantially. Unemployment increased further in November, and inflation continues to rise, with the mid-month CPI--the IPCA-15 index-- increasing 1.2% month-to-month in November, after a 0.9% increase in October.
Investors were presented with a barrage of mixed EZ economic data on Friday, fighting for attention amid markets celebrating the arrival of negative interest rates in Japan. Advance Eurozone CPI data gave some respite to the ECB, with inflation rising to 0.4% year-over-year in January from 0.2% in December.
February's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, are likely to show that CPI inflation has picked up again, perhaps to 0.5%--the highest rate since December 2014--from 0.3% in January. This will give the Monetary Policy Committee more confidence in its judgement that CPI inflation will be back at the 2% target in two years' time.
Inflation in the Eurozone rose modestly last month. Yesterday's advance CPI report showed the headline rate rising to 0.6% year-over-year in November, from 0.5% in October, mainly because of a jump in fresh food inflation. Energy prices fell 1.1% year-over-year, slightly more than the 0.9% decline in October, but we expect a sharp increase over the next six months.
All eyes today will be on the core PCE deflator for January, following the unexpectedly large 0.3% increase in the core CPI.
Yesterday's EZ CPI report points to a dovish backdrop for next week's ECB meeting. Advance data show that inflation was unchanged at 0.2% year-overyear in August, lower than the consensus, 0.3%. The headline was held back by a dip in the core rate to 0.8%, from 0.9% in July; this offset a lower deflationary drag from energy prices.
Yesterday's advance CPI data for the major EZ economies suggest that today's report for the euro area as a whole will undershoot the consensus slightly.
Consumer price figures for March, released on Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation has taken another step up, probably to 0.4% from 0.3% in February. This should jettison lingering fears that the U.K. is mired in deflation and bolster the Monetary Policy Committee's conviction that inflation will hit the 2% target within the next two years.
A plunge in apparel prices attracted most of the attention after the release of the March CPI report, but it was not, in our view, the most important number.
CPI inflation in China surged to a five-month high of 2.3% in March, from 1.5% in February.
The month-to-month core CPI numbers in March were consistent, in aggregate, with the underlying trend.
CPI inflation held steady at 2.3% in March, as we and the consensus had expected. Nonetheless, the consumer price figures boosted sterling and bond yields, as the details of the report made it clear that inflation is on a very steep upward path.
Chinese CPI inflation trends point to diminishing wage growth, as the services sector begins to struggle with the influx of labour displaced by the industrial productivity drive.
The announcement, late Tuesday, that the administration plans to impose 10% tariffs on some $200B-worth of imports from China raises the prospect of a substantial hit to the CPI.
May's consumer price figures, released on Wednesday, likely will show that CPI inflation held steady at 2.4%--matching the consensus and the MPC's forecast--though the risks lie to the upside.
We continue to expect core CPI inflation to drift up further over the course of this year, partly because of adverse base effects running through November, but it's hard to expect a serious acceleration in the monthly run rate when the rate of increase of unit labor costs is so low.
The latest CPI data in Brazil confirm that inflationary pressures eased considerably last month. Inflation fell to 8.5% year-over-year in September, from 9.0% in August, as a result of both lower market- set and regulated inflation.
If sustained, sterling's recent depreciation looks set to drive CPI inflation up to about 3.5% by the end of next year.
Yesterday's price data for China showed continued declines in both CPI and PPI inflation.
If the CPI measure of core consumer goods inflation were currently tracking the same measure in the PPI in the usual way, core CPI inflation would now be at 2.3%, rather than the 1.7% reported in November.
The MPC went against the grain last month by forecasting that CPI inflation would overshoot the 2% target if it raised Bank Rate as slowly as markets anticipated.
The undershoot in the April core CPI wasn't a huge surprise to us; the downside risk we set out in yesterday's Monitor duly materialized, with used car prices dropping by a hefty 1.6% month-to-month, subtracting 0.05% from the core index.
The undershoot in the September core CPI does not change our view that the trend in core inflation is rising, and is likely to surprise substantially to the upside over the next six-to-12 months.
Mexico is the only major LatAm economy not struggling with inflation. The headline April CPI fell 0.3% month-to-month, with the year-over-year rate unchanged at 3.1%, in the middle o f Banxico's 2-to-4% target. Inflationary pressures have been broadly absent since the beginning of the year, with the annual core CPI rate slowing to 2.3% in April from 2.5% in March.
CPI inflation held steady at 3.0% in October, undershooting our forecast and the consensus by 0.1 percentage point and the MPC's forecast by 0.2pp.
Markets were right to conclude that September's slightly weaker average weekly wage figures will have little impact on the MPC's decision on when to raise official interest rates. Fundamentally, wage pressures are building and likely will contribute to pushing CPI inflation back to its 2% target towards the end of 2016.
A November interest rate rise is far from the done deal that markets still anticipate, even though CPI inflation rose to 3.0% in September from 2.9% in August.
Yesterday's final CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that headline inflation was unchanged at 1.5% in September.
CPI inflation surprised to the downside in April, falling to 0.3% from 0.5% in March. Both the consensus and ourselves expected the rate to hold steady. Nearly all of the surprise, however, was in airfares and clothing inflation, which were depressed, to a greater extent than we anticipated, by the shift in the timing of Easter and bad weather, respectively.
In September last year, headline CPI inflation stood at exactly zero. Today, we expect to see a 1.5% print, thanks mostly to the fading impact of falling energy prices.
We expect today's consumer price figures to show that CPI inflation jumped to 0.9% in September, from 0.6% in August.
CPI inflation held steady at 1.5% in November, marking the fourth consecutive below-target print, though it was a tenth above both the MPC's forecast and the consensus.
If the rate of increase of the core CPI in the second half of the year matches the 0.19% average gains in the first half, the year-over-year rate will rise to 2.3% by December. In December last year, core inflation stood at just 1.6%, following a run of soft second half numbers. We can't rule out a slowdown in the monthly increases in the second half of this year too, given the evidence suggesting a small bias in the seasonal adjustments.
Yesterday's final CPI report confirmed that inflation in the EZ fell marginally in August, by 0.1 percentage points to 2.0%.
Trouble is brewing in the core inflation data, despite the benign-looking 0.17% increase in the June report, released Friday. If you annualize that rate indefinitely, core inflation will reach a steady state of 2.1%, so the Fed never needs to raise rates. Alas this only makes sense if you think that single monthly CPI numbers tell the whole truth, and that the fundamental forces acting on inflation are stable. Neither of these propositions is remotely true.
The headline rate of CPI inflation held steady at the 2% target in June, in line with the consensus and the MPC's Inflation Report forecast.
The year-over-year rate of core CPI inflation rose steadily from a low of 1.6% in January 2015 to 2.3% in February this year. At that point, the three-month annualized rate had reached a startling 3.0%. You could be forgiven, therefore, for thinking that the dip in core inflation back to 2.2% in March was an inevitable correction after a period of unsustainably rapid gains, and that the underlying trend in core inflation isn't really heading towards 3%.
The final and detailed April CPI data confirmed that inflation pressures in the Eurozone eased last month. Headline inflation slipped to 1.2%, from 1.3% in March.
Core CPI inflation is heading for 2½% by the end of this year, and perhaps sooner. The trend in the monthly numbers is now a solid 0.2%, and that's before the weaker dollar arrests the decline in goods prices. Goods account for only a quarter of the core CPI, and right now they are the only part of the index under downward pressure. If--when--that changes, core inflation could rise quite rapidly.
The upturn in core CPI inflation this year has passed by almost unnoticed in the markets and media. In the year to September, the core CPI rose 1.9%, up from a low of 1.6% in January. But that's still a very low rate, and with core PCE inflation unchanged at only 1.3% over the same period, it's easy to see why investors have remained relaxed. In our view, though, things are about to change, because a combination of very adverse base effects and gradually increasing momentum in the monthly numbers, is set to lift both core inflation measures substantially over the next few months.
Yesterday's CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that inflation pressures remain subdued, even as GDP growth is accelerating.
December's consumer prices figures, released tomorrow, look set to show CPI inflation ticked up to 0.2% from 0.1% in November, despite the renewed collapse in oil prices. The further fall in energy prices this year means that the inflation print won't reach 1% until May's figures are published in June. But Governor Carney has emphasised that core price pressures will motivate the first rate hike--a focus he likely will reiterate in a speech on Tuesday-- meaning that a May lift-off is still on the table.
Higher gasoline prices will lift today's headline October CPI, which should rise by 0.3%. Unfavorable rounding could easily push it to 0.4%, though, and year-over-year headline inflation should rise to 1.6% or 1.7%, from 1.5% in September and just 0.2% a year ago.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone nudged higher last month. Friday's final CPI report showed that inflation rose to 0.6% year-over-year in November, from 0.5% in October, in line with the initial estimate. The food, alcohol and tobacco component was the key driver of the increase.
RPI inflation has declined in importance as a measure of U.K. inflation and was stripped of its status as a National Statistic in 2013. Yet it is still used to negotiate most wage settlements, calculate interest payments on index-linked gilts, and revalue excise duties. We have set out our above-consensus view on CPI inflation several times, including in yesterday's Monitor. But the potential for the gap between RPI and CPI inflation to widen over the coming years also threatens the markets' view that the former will remain subdued indefinitely.
Friday's CPI data for April provided the final piece of evidence for the significant Easter distortions in this year's data.
February's consumer price report, released tomorrow, likely will show that CPI inflation has breached the MPC's 2% target for the first time since November 2013. Indeed, we think the headline rate jumped to 2.2%, from 1.8% in January, exceeding the 2.1% rate expected by the MPC and the consensus.
May's consumer prices report contained few surprises. The fall in the headline rate of CPI inflation to 2.0%, from April's Easter-boosted 2.1%, matched the consensus, our forecast and the MPC's.
We expect today's consumer price figures to show that CPI inflation remained at 1.0% in October, after jumping in September from 0.6% in August.
Leading indicators are giving conflicting signals regarding the outlook for core goods CPI inflation.
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.
The consensus view on the Monetary Policy Committee, that it will take two years for CPI inflation to return to the 2% target, looks complacent. Leading indicators suggest that price pressures will return faster than both policymakers and markets expect. Interest rates are therefore likely to rise in the first half of 2016, even if the recovery loses momentum.
When FOMC members sit down to begin their two-day meeting on September 16, the August CPI numbers will have just been released. We expect the data will show core inflation at 2.0% or a bit higher, up from a low this year of just 1.6%. Shorter-term measures of inflation will, we think, be 2¼-to-½%. These numbers are not outlandish; they just require the monthly gains in the core CPI to match June's pace, which was in line with the average for the previous six months.
Gasoline prices dropped sharply last month, but the 4½% seasonally adjusted fall we expect to see in the December CPI report today was rather smaller than the 9% collapse in December 2014, so the year-over-year rate of change of gas prices will rise, to -20% from -24% in November. This means headline inflation will rise too, though the extent of the increase also depends on what happens to the core rate.
Housing rents account for some 41% of the core CPI and 18% of the core PCE, making them hugely important determinants of the core inflation rate.
CPI inflation has been extremely stable this year, only breaking away from 0.3% in March due to the shift in the timing of Easter. June, however, should mark the beginning of a sustained upward trend in inflation, fuelled by rising prices for imports, raw materials and labour. Indeed, we think CPI inflation is on course to hit 3% in 2017, ensuring that the MPC provides additional stimulus only cautiously.
The spike in the May core CPI, and its likely echo in the core PCE, won't stop the Fed easing at the end of this month.
July's consumer price figures--published on August 15th, while we are on vacation--look set to show that June's drop in CPI inflation was just a blip. We think that CPI inflation ticked up to 2.7% in July, from 2.6% in June, on track to slightly exceed 3% toward the end of this year.
Friday's final EZ CPI data for July confirm the advance report.
Friday's detailed euro area CPI report for December confirmed that inflation pushed higher at the end of last year. Headline inflation increased to 1.3% year-over- year, from 1.0% in November, lifted primarily by higher energy inflation, rising by 3.4pp, to +0.2%. Inflation in food, alcohol and tobacco also rose, albeit marginally, to 2.1%, from 2.0% in November.
Under normal circumstances, the 0.23% increase in the core CPI, reported earlier this month, would be enough to ensure a 0.2% print in today's core PCE deflator.
June's headline CPI, due this morning, will be boosted by the rebound in gasoline prices, but market focus will be on the core, in the wake of the startling, broad-based jump in the core PPI, reported Wednesday. Core PPI consumer goods prices jumped by 0.7% in June, with big incr eases in the pharmaceuticals, trucks and cigarette components, among others. The year-over-year rate of increase rose to 3.0%, up from 2.1% at the turn of the year and the biggest gain since August 2012. Then, the trend was downwards.
CPI inflation in India jumped to 4.6% in October, from 4.0% in September, marking a 16-month high and blasting through the RBI's target.
The coronavirus outbreak and its associated movements in asset prices have radically changed the outlook for CPI inflation, which ultimately the MPC is tasked with targeting.
Final May CPI data in the Eurozone today likely will confirm that inflation pressures edged marginally higher last month. We think inflation increased to -0.1% year-over-year, from -0.2% in April, as a result of slightly higher services inflation, and a reduced drag from falling energy prices.
The MPC predicted in last week's Inflation Report that CPI inflation eased to 0.3% in April, thereby fully reversing its increase in March to 0.5%. We think, however, the Committee is underestimating the strength of inflation pressures across the economy.
October's consumer price figures, to be released tomorrow, look set to show CPI inflation easing to -0.2%, from -0.1%, below the no-change consensus and the lowest rate since March 1960. No doubt this will spark more hyperbolic headlines about the U.K.'s descent into pernicious deflation; ignore them. October's print will almost certainly represent the nadir and we think it will take only a year for CPI inflation to return to the MPC's 2% target.
Last week's import price data, showing prices excluding fuels and food fell in January for the fourth month, support our view that the goods component of the CPI is set to drop sharply this year.
The strong dollar is pushing down goods prices, but not very quickly. As a result, the sustained upward pressure on rents is gradually nudging core CPI inflation higher. It now stands at 1.9%, up from a low of 1.6% in January, and even relatively modest gains over the third quarter will push the rate above 2% by year-end. We can't rule out core CPI inflation ending the year at a startling 2.3%.
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.
December's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, likely will reveal that CPI inflation rose to 1.4%--its highest rate since August 2014--from 1.2% in November. Inflation will take even bigger upward steps over the coming months as the anniversary of sharp falls in commodity prices is reached and retailers pass on hefty increases in import prices to consumers.
The fall in CPI inflation to 3.0% in December, from 3.1% in November, likely marks the first step in its journey back to the 2% target.
After four straight sub-consensus core CPI readings, we think the odds now favor reversion to the prior trend, 0.2%, over the next few months.
Having panicked at the January hourly earnings numbers, markets now seem to have decided that higher inflation might not be such a bad thing after all, and stocks rallied after both Wednesday's core CPI overshoot and yesterday's repeat performance in the PPI.
The headline CPI inflation rate almost certainly dipped below zero in September, barring a startling and deeply improbable surge in the core. We look for a 0.4% month-to-month headline drop, driven by an 11% plunge in gasoline prices, pushing the year-over-year rate to -0.3%. This is of no real economic significance, not least because hugely unfavorable base effects mean the year-over-year rate almost certainly will rise sharply over the next few months, reaching about 1¾% as soon as January.
Markets expect RPI inflation--which still is used to calculate index-linked gilt payments, negotiate wage settlements, and revalue excise duties--to rise to only 2.7% a year from now, from 1.6% in June. By contrast, we expect RPI inflation to leap to 3.5%. As we outlined in yesterday's Monitor which previewed today's numbers, CPI inflation likely will shoot up to 3% from 0.5% over the next year.
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.
The rapid fall in CPI inflation over the last two months challenges the MPC's view that sterling's 2016 depreciation will keep inflation above the 2% target for the next three years, and greatly undermines the case for another interest rate increase in May.
We look for February's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation declined to 1.7%, from 1.8% in January, in line with the consensus.
January's CPI data contained no major surprises, even though the 1.8% headline rate undershot our forecast and the consensus by one tenth.
The core CPI has now risen by 0.2% in each of the past five months, a streak last seen 11 years ago.
Japan's CPI inflation jumped to 1.0% in December from 0.6% in November, driven by food prices.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. CPI
At first glance, the U.K. consumer price data show a perplexing absence of domestically generated inflation.
As the situation with the coronavirus develops, and we gain more information on the authorities' response, it's becoming clear that the damage to Q1 GDP is going to be nasty.
Mexican economic data was surprisingly benign last week.
Last week the Chinese authorities issued a series of new measures to help with bank recapitalisation, and, we think, to supplement interbank liquidity.
Equity prices for companies dependent on the U.K.'s residential property market tumbled yesterday as several companies reported poor results for the first half of 2017. Most companies blamed a decline in housing transactions for falling profits.
Yesterday's January EZ money supply data offered support for investors betting on a further dovish shift by the ECB at next month's meeting.
The Brazilian labour market is slowly healing following the severe recession of 2015-16. The latest employment data, released last week, showed that the economy added 35K net jobs in August, compared to a 34K loss in August 2016.
Economic news in the Eurozone, and virtually everywhere else, has been mostly downbeat in the past few months, but French consumers are doing great.
The E.C.'s Economic Sentiment Indicator for the U.K., released yesterday, painted an upbeat picture of the economy's recent performance. The ESI picked up to 109.4 in February from 107.1 in January; its average level since 1990 is 100. February's reading was the highest since December 2015, and it slightly exceeded the E.U.'s average of 108.9.
Taken at face value, the preliminary estimate of Q2 GDP suggests that the economic recovery weathered Brexit risk well. But growth received support from some unsustainable sources, and also probably was boosted by a calendar quirk. Meanwhile, with few firms or consumers expecting a vote for Brexit prior to the referendum, Q2's brisk growth tells us little about how well the economy will cope in the current climate of heightened uncertainty.
Data and events have gone against the idea of further BoK policy normalisation since the November hike.
Fed Chair Powell sounded a lot like Janet Yellen yesterday, at least in terms of substance.
The minutes of the MPC's meeting in June indicated that several members' patience for tolerating for above-target inflation is wearing thin.
The persistence of no-deal Brexit risk has taken a toll on confidence across the economy over the last month.
The preliminary estimate of Q3 GDP, showing quarter-on-quarter growth slowing only to 0.5% from 0.7% in Q2, has kiboshed the chance that the MPC cuts Bank Rate next Thursday.
Recent polls in Argentina suggest that Alberto Fernández, from the opposition platform Frente de Todos, has comfortably beaten Mauricio Macri, to become Argentina's president.
It seems reasonable to think that manufacturing should be doing better in the U.S. than other major economies.
Momentum in EZ money supply slipped marginally in September. Headline M3 growth slowed to 5.0%, from 5.1%, mainly due to a slowdown in narrow money. Overnight deposit growth slowed to 9.4%, from 9.9% in August, offsetting a slight rise in growth of currency in circulation.
The MPC likely will vote unanimously to keep Bank Rate at 0.75% on Thursday.
The BoJ until last week had been in wait-and-see mode over China's slowdown, but they finally folded with Thursday's decision.
China's official real GDP growth slowed to 6.0% year-over-year in Q3, from 6.2% in Q2 and 6.4% in Q1. Consecutive 0.2 percentage points declines are significant in China.
The second estimate of Q3 GDP last week confirmed that the Brexit vote didn't immediately drain momentum from the economic recovery. But it is extremely difficult to see how growth will remain robust next year, when high inflation will cripple consumers and the impact of the decline in investment intentions will be felt.
The Chancellor indicated yesterday that the current fiscal plans--which set out a 1% of GDP reduction in the structural budget deficit this year--will remain in place until a new Prime Minister is chosen by September 2. So for now, the burden of leaning against the imminent downturn is on the MPC's shoulders.
The downshift in core PCE inflation this year has unnerved the Fed, along with the intensification of the trade war and slower global growth.
Bond yields in the Eurozone took another leg lower yesterday.
China's abysmal industrial profits data for October underscore why the chances of less- timid monetary easing are rising rapidly.
The latest profits data out of China were grim, as we had expected.
Sharp falls in energy prices have been a boon for consumers, freeing up considerable funds for discretionary purchases. Domestic energy and motor fuel absorbed just 4.7% of consumers' spending in Q2, the lowest proportion for 12 years and well below the 6.7% recorded three years ago.
Money supply dynamics in the Eurozone continue to signal a solid outlook for the economy. Headline M3 growth eased marginally to 4.9% year-over-year in January, from 5.0% in December; the dip was due to slowing narrow money growth, falling to 8.4% from 8.8% the month before. The details of the M1 data, however, showed that the headline chiefly was hit by slowing growth in deposits by insurance and pension funds.
The Fed will soon have to step in to try to put a firebreak in the stock market.
The rate of growth of Covid-19 cases outside China appears to have peaked, for now, but we can't yet have any confidence that this represents a definitive shift in the progress of the epidemic.
This week's economic data for the Mexican economy have been encouraging, especially for Banxico, which left its main interest rate unchanged yesterday at 3.0%. Inflation remained on target for the second consecutive month in the first half of February, and the closely-watched IGAE economic activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--continued to grow at a relatively solid pace, despite the big hit from lower oil prices.
A series of events have forced markets and analysts to re-evaluate their assumption that Bank Rate will remain on hold throughout 2017. First, the minutes of the MPC's meeting had a hawkish tilt.
The Fed wants price stability--currently defined as 2% inflation--and maximum sustainable employment.
India's GDP report for the second quarter, due on Friday, is likely to show a decent rebound in growth from the first quarter.
After a busy week of data, and a holiday weekend ahead, it's worth stepping back a bit and evaluating the arguments over the timing of the next Fed hike. The first question, though, is whether the data will support action, on the Fed's own terms. The April FOMC minutes said: "Most participants judged that if incoming data were consistent with economic growth picking up in the second quarter, labor market conditions continuing to strengthen, and inflation making progress toward the Committee's 2 percent objective, then it likely would be appropriate for the Committee to increase the target range for the federal funds rate in June".
February's retail sales figures highlighted that consumers' spending was flagging even before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Yesterday's State Council meeting significantly expanded support to the economy, through a number of channels.
Mexico's policymakers are battling two opposing forces. First, inflation pressures are rising, on the back of the one-time increase in petrol prices and the lagged effect of the MXN's sell-off in Q4. These factors are pushing short-term inflation expectations higher, even though the MXN has remained relatively stable since President Trump took office and has risen by about 6% against the USD year-to-date.
Yesterday's consumer sentiment data in the two major euro area economies were mixed, but they still support our view that a rebound in EZ consumption growth is underway.
On Friday last week, the Chinese authorities suspended sales of domestic and international tours, in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which started in Wuhan.
Japanese services price inflation edged down in May as the twin upside drivers of commodity price inflation and yen weakness began to lose steam. We expect wage costs to begin edging up in the second half but this will provide only a partial counterbalance.
Data from trade body U.K. Finance show that mortgage lending has remained unyielding in the face of heightened economic and political uncertainty.
It's always dangerous when risk assets rally strongly into an ECB meeting, but we doubt that investors have much to fear from today's session in Frankfurt. We think the central bank will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively.
Japan's retail sales data--due out on Thursday-- have been badly affected by the October tax hike.
Yesterday's ECB meeting painted a picture of a central bank in wait-and-see mode. The main refinancing and deposit rates were kept at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and the marginal lending facility rate also was unchanged at 0.25%.
Our ECB-story since Ms. Lagarde took the helm as president has been that the central bank will do as little as possible through 2020, at least in terms of shifting its major policy tools.
The Mexican economy shrank by 0.2% quarter- on-quarter in Q2, according to the final GDP report, a tenth worse than the preliminary reading.
The rise in oil prices to a four-year high of $82 will slow the pace at which inflation falls back over the next year only modestly.
China's annual "two sessions" conference is due to start on Sunday, with the economic targets for this year set to be made official over the course of the meetings.
The BoK surprised markets and commentators by keeping rates unchanged at 1.25% yesterday, rather than cutting to 1.0%.
The preliminary estimate of Q1 GDP looks set to show that the economy started 2017 on a weak footing. We share the consensus view that quarter-on-quarter GDP growth slowed to 0.4%, from 0.7% in Q4.
A rate hike today would be a surprise of monumental proportions, and the Yellen Fed is not in that business. What matters to markets, then, is the language the Fed uses to describe the soft-looking recent domestic economic data, the upturn in inflation, and, critically, policymakers' views of the extent of global risks.
We have argued for some time that the revival in nonoil capex represents clear upside risk for GDP growth next year, but it's now time to make this our base case.
Since the Party Congress last month, China has made a number of bold moves in multiple policy fields, with a regularity that almost implies the authorities are working through a list.
Yesterday's consumer confidence report in Germany was soft, in contrast to surging business sentiment data earlier in the week.
Money supply data are sending an increasingly contrarian, and bullish, signal for the euro area economy.
Fed Chair Yellen's speech in Cleveland yesterday elaborated on the key themes from last week's FOMC meeting.
Retail sales in Mexico fell in Q4, but we think households' spending will continue to contribute to GDP growth in the first quarter, at the margin.
LatAm currencies have risen against the USD so far this year, easing the upward pressure on imported good prices and allowing most central banks to cut interest rates. The first direct effects of stronger currencies should be felt by firms which import high-turnover intermediate or final goods.
We expect China's quarterly real GDP growth in the second quarter to edge down from Q1, but only because Q1 growth was unsustainable. The official data shows real GDP growth at 1.3% quarter-onquarter in Q1.
The absence of hawkish undertones in the minutes of the MPC's meeting or in the Inflation Report forecasts took markets by surprise yesterday. The dominant view on the Committee remains that the economy will slow over the next couple of years, preventing wage growth from reaching a pace which would put inflation on trac k permanently to exceed the 2% target.
Yesterday's final manufacturing PMIs confirmed that the headline index in the euro area rebounded further last month.
Yesterday's advance Q1 GDP data in the EZ confirmed that growth slowed at the start of the year.
Friday's euro area inflation reported capped a difficult week for EZ bondholders, although most of the damage was done beforehand by the advance German data.
December's money and credit data support the MPC's decision last week to hold back from providing the economy with more stimulus.
The MPC made a concerted effort yesterday with its forecasts to signal that it is committed to raising Bank Rate at a faster rate than markets currently expect.
The forward-looking indices of China's Caixin manufacturing PMI for April attracted more attention than the headline, which was a bit of a non-event; it rose trivially 51.1, from 51.0 in March.
Japan's unemployment rate edged back up to 2.5% in February after the drop in January to 2.4%.
Modern Money Theory has come up at two consecutive BoJ press conferences.
Why should Japan, the U.S., the Euro Area, the U.K. and Japan all have the same inflation target?
Korean trade ended the year strongly, salvaging what was shaping up as a dull fourth quarter for the economy.
A robust April payroll number today is a good bet, but a gain in line with the 275K ADP reading probably is out of reach.
The Redbook chainstore sales survey today is likely to give the superficial impression that the peak holiday shopping season got off to a robust start last week.
The next nine weeks bring three jobs reports, which will determine whether the Fed hikes again in September, as we expect, and will also help shape market expectations for December and beyond.
Households' inflation expectations have fallen again over the last few months, but we doubt they will constrain the forthcoming rebound in actual inflation. Past experience shows that inflation expectations are more of a coincident than a leading indicator of inflation. In addition, inflation is weakest right now in sectors where demand is relatively insensitive to price changes, so, when retailers' costs rise, they won't pay much heed to households' expectations.
Colombia's sluggish growth and near-term economic outlook resembles that of most other LatAm economies. Domestic demand is weak, credit conditions are tight, and confidence is depressed. The medium term outlook, however, is perking up, slowly.
Last week we made a big call and further downgraded our China GDP forecasts for Q1; daily data and survey evidence suggested that our initial take, though grim, had not been grim enough.
China's manufacturing PMIs put in a better performance in November, with the official gauge ticking up to 50.2 in November, from 49.3 in October, and the Caixin measure little changed, at 51.8, up from 51.7.
The Bank of England issued a statement yesterday that it is "working closely with HM Treasury and the FCA--as well as our international partners--to ensure all necessary steps are taken to protect financial and monetary stability".
President Trump tweeted yesterday that he wants to re-introduce tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Brazil and Argentina, after accusing these economies of intentionally devaluing their currencies, hurting the competitiveness of U.S. farmers.
Both the E.U. and the U.K. government have been keen to emphasise, since the Withdrawal Agreement was provisionally signed off, that March 29 is a hard deadline for Brexit.
Friday's inflation and labour market data in the Eurozone were dovish.
The official PMIs suggest that the January survey data have escaped the worst of the hit from the virus.
President Trump's volatile diplomatic style is one of the biggest risks facing the Mexican economy in the near term, as we have discussed in previous Monitors.
The Bank of Korea finally pulled the trigger, raising its base rate to 1.75% at its meeting on Friday. After a year of will-they-or-won't-they, five of the Monetary Policy Board's seven members voted to add another 25 basis points to their previous hike twelve months ago.
Expectations that the MPC will raise Bank Rate again soon have taken a big knock over the last two weeks.
The Fed likely will do nothing today, both in terms of interest rates and substantive changes to the statement. We'd be very surprised to hear anything new on the Fed's plans for its balance sheet.
The MPC restated its commitment to an "ongoing tightening of monetary policy" yesterday, but provided no new guidance to suggest that the next hike is imminent.
The data in LatAm were all over the map while we were out.
Mexico's economy hit a sticky patch in the first quarter, with confidence slipping, employment growth slowing and the downward trend in unemployment stalling. Indeed, the headline unemployment rate rose to 4.5% in May from 4.3% in April. The seasonally adjusted rate, though, was little changed at 4.4%, with a stable participation rate.
Our base-case forecast for the May core PCE deflator, due today, is a 0.17% increase, lifting the year-over-year rate by a tenth to 1.9%.
The national accounts, released today, likely will restate that quarter-on-quarter GDP growth held steady at 0.4% in Q4.
If we're right with our forecast that real consumers' spending rose by just 0.1% month-to-month in February -- enough only to reverse January's decline -- then it would be reasonable to expect consumption across the first quarter as a whole to climb at a mere 1.2% annualized rate.
Data yesterday revealed that headline inflation in Germany was unchanged in March at 1.5%, thanks mainly to higher energy inflation, which offset a dip in food inflation.
Our base case forecast has core PCE inflation at 1.9% from November 2018 through July this year.
Money supply dynamics in the Eurozone were broadly stable last month. M3 rose 5.0% year-over-year in May, accelerating slightly from a 4.9% increase in April, in line with the trend since the middle of 2015.
The MPC won't seek to make waves on Thursday.
The preliminary estimate of Q4 GDP was unambiguously strong and has forced us to modify our view of the likely timing of the next interest rate increase.
We learned last week that the U.S. no longer has a coherent dollar policy.
In the last few weeks markets have been treated to the news that euro area industrial production crashed towards the end of Q4, warning that GDP growth failed to rebound at the end of 2018 from an already weak Q3.
Data released in recent weeks have confirmed that the Andean economies retained a degree of momentum in Q4, with inflation well under con trol.
China's Q2 real GDP growth officially slowed to 6.2% year-over-year, from 6.4% in Q1, which already matched the trough in the financial crisis.
Leading economic indicators in the Eurozone continue to send contradictory signals. Most of the headline surveys indicate that a further slowdown, and perhaps even recession, are imminent, while the money supply data suggest that GDP growth is about to re-accelerate.
Retail sales values in Japan plunged by 14.4% month-on-month in October, reversing September's 7.2% spike twice over.
This week's main economic data from Korea--the last batch before the BoK meets on the 16th--missed consensus expectations, further fuelling speculation that it will cut rates for a second time, after pausing in August.
The U.K. economy retained its momentum last year, despite the seismic shock of the vote to leave the EU. Quarter-on-quarter GDP growth averaged 0.5% in the first three quarters of 2016, matching 2015's rate and the average pace of growth across the Atlantic.
The first economic report of 2020 confirmed the main story in the euro area last year; namely a recession in manufacturing.
Yesterday's sole economic report in the Eurozone confirmed that the economy slowed further at the end of 2018.
Markets were surprised yesterday by the absence of hawkish comments or guidance accompanying the MPC's decision to raise interest rates to 0.50%, from 0.25%.
The economic data in the Eurozone were mixed while we were away.
We fear that private spending in the EZ slowed in Q1, despite rocketing survey data. This fits our view that household consumption will slow in 2017 after sustained above-trend growth in the beginning of this business cycle.
Our analysis of the Q3 activity and GDP data in yesterday's Monitor strongly suggests that China's authorities will soon ready further stimulus.
The stock market loved Fed Chair Powell's remarks on the economy yesterday, specifically, his comment that rates are now "just below" neutral.
Monetary policy usually is the first line of defence whenever a recession hits.
While we were out, data released in Mexico added to our downbeat view of the economy in the near term, supporting our base case for interest rate cuts in the near future.
We want to revisit remarks from Fed Vice-Chair Clarida last week.
The extent of shut downs within China is now reaching extreme levels, going far beyond services and threatening demand for commodities, as well as posing a severe risk to the nascent upturn in the tech cycle.
Industry estimates for August light vehicle sales suggest that the downshift in sales which began at the turn of the year is over, at least for now.
Yesterday's German IFO survey broadly confirmed the bullish message from the PMIs earlier this week. The headline business climate index rose to 111.0 in February from a revised 109.9 in January, boosted by increases in both the current assessment and the expectations index.
Sterling will be under the spotlight again today when four members of the Monetary Policy Committee, including Governor Mark Carney, answer questions from the Treasury Select Committee about the recent Inflation Report.
GDP growth in Korea surprised to the upside in the fourth quarter, with the economy expanding by 1.2% quarter-on-quarter, three times as fast as in Q3, and the biggest increase in nine quarters.
Brazil's central bank is finally decisively facing its demon, persistently high inflation. The eight-member policy board, known as Copom, decided unanimously on Wednesday to increase the Selic rate by 50bp to 12.25%, the highest level in more than three years, in line with the consensus.
In April last year, something odd happened in the FX market.
The Eurozone has come under the spotlight for its growing external surplus, but domestic households have been doing the heavy lifting for GDP growth in this business cycle. During the last four quarters, consumers' spending has boosted year-over-year GDP growth by an average of 1.0 percentage points, in contrast to a 0.4pp drag from net exports.
This week brings home sales data for July, which we expect will be mixed. New home sales likely rose a bit, but we are pretty confident that existing home sales will be reported down, following four straight gains. We're still expecting a clear positive contribution to GDP growth from housing construction in the third quarter, but from the Fed's perspective the more immediate threat comes from the rate of increase of housing rents, rather than the pace of home sales.
The performance of Italy's economy in the first half of 2017 proves that the strengthening euro area recovery is a tide lifting all the r egion's boats.
It's going to be very hard for Fed Chair Powell's Jackson Hole speech today to satisfy markets, which now expect three further rate cuts by March next year.
The FOMC's view of the economic outlook and the likely required policy response, set out in yesterday's statement and Chair Yellen's press conference, could not be clearer.
German producer price inflation rebounded last month. The headline PPI index rose 2.6% year-over-year in August, up from a 2.3% increase in July, driven almost exclusively by a jump in energy inflation.
The ECB held fire yesterday. The central bank kept its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.0%, and also maintained the deposit and marginal lending facility rates at -0.4% and 0.25% respectively.
The government now has a 50:50 chance of getting the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--through parliament in the coming weeks, despite Letwin's successful amendment and the extension request.
November's labour market data were the last before the MPC's February meeting, when it will conduct its annual assessment of the supply side of the economy.
The Eurozone's current account surplus extended its decline in May, falling to a nine-month low of €22.4B, from €29.6B in April.
Eurozone investors are fixed on Mr. Draghi's speaking schedule this week, looking for hints of the ECB's future policy path.
Sterling jumped last week to its highest level against the dollar since last October in response to news that a general election will be held on June 8. Markets are betting that the Conservative Government will sharply increase its majority, enabling Theresa May to ignore Eurosceptic backbenchers when she strikes a deal with the EU.
Speculation that the U.K. will end up leaving the E.U. in March without a deal has dominated the headlines over the last month. Politicians on both sides of the Channel have warned that the probability of a no-deal Brexit is at least as high as 50%, even though more than 80% of the withdrawal deal already has been agreed.
Mexico's economy continues to withstand several headwinds, especially the sharp currency depreciation--shown in our first chart--falling commodity prices, and the tough external environment. The country is still one of the economic bright spots in the region, thanks to its resilient domestic demand. June retail sales rose 5.4% year-over-year, well above expectations, and up from 4.1% in May. The underlying trend is positive, averaging 4.8% in the second quarter, well above its 2014 pace.
Brazilian inflation is off to a bad start this year, but January's jump is not the start of an uptrend, and we think good news is coming.
We can't yet know how bad the spread of the coronavirus from the Chinese city of Wuhan will be.
Data on Friday showed that German producer price inflation is now in free-fall.
The PBoC left its interest rate corridor, including the Medium-term Lending Facility rate, unchanged last Friday, but published the reformed Loan Prime Rate modestly lower, at 4.20% in September, down from 4.25% in August.
The Monetary Policy Committee chose to keep its options open in the minutes of this week's meeting, rather than signal as clearly as it did last year that interest rates will rise very soon.
Political turmoil in Brazil continues to undermine President Dilma Rousseff's leverage over the economy. On Friday, the Lower House of Congress voted to start impeachment proceeding against Ms. Rousseff. She has until early April to present her defense against charges that she doctored government accounts and used graft proceeds to fund the 2014 electoral campaign.
It's hard to read the minutes of the April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting as anything other than a statement of the Fed's intent to do nothing for some time yet.
In the absence of any significant data releases today, we want to take a closer look at the outlook for wage growth, and the implications of an acceleration in hourly earnings for inflation.
China's September activity data, released at the end of last week, back up our claim that GDP growth weakened in Q3, on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
The Governor's comments late last week successfully recalibrated markets, which had concluded that a May rate hike was virtually certain, despite the MPC's deliberately vague guidance.
Before this week's earthquake, the resilience of Mexico's economy in the face of a volatile and challenging global backdrop owed much to the strength of domestic demand, especially private consumption.
This is the final U.S. Economic Monitor of 2017, a year which has seen the economy strengthen, the labor market tighten substantially, and the Fed raise rates three times, with zero deleterious effect on growth.
Yesterday's sole economic report in the Eurozone showed that German producer price inflation edged lower at the end of 2018.
With Fed officials now in pre-FOMC meeting blackout mode, this week will not bring a repeat of Friday's confusion, when the New York Fed felt obligated to issue a clarification following president William's speech on monetary policy close to the zero bound.
Sentiment in the French business sector ended this year on a high. The headline manufacturing index fell slightly to 112 in December, from an upwardly-revised 113 in November, but the aggregate sentiment gauge edged higher to a new cycle high of 112.
Brazil's mid-June inflation reading surprised to the downside, falling to 9.0% from 9.6% in May. The reading essentially confirmed that May's rebound was a pause in the downward trend rather than a resurgence of inflationary pressures. A 1.3% increase in housing prices, including services, was the main driver of mid-June's modest unadjusted 0.4% month-to-month rise in the IPCA-15.
The BoJ left policy unchanged yesterday, but we noted some significant additions and modifications in the statement and the press conference.
The stand-out news yesterday was the increase in the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate to 4.4% in December, from 4.3% in September.
Chinese GDP numbers always require a great deal of detective work, and yesterday's needed more than the norm; multiple rounds of revisions needed decoding.
The intensity of the pressure on households' finances was highlighted last week by December's retail sales report, which showed that volumes fell by 1.5% month-to-month, the most since June 2016.
The BoJ kept its main policy settings unchanged yesterday, in another 7-to-2 split.
The data tell an increasingly convincing story that the Eurozone's external surplus rose further in the second half of last year.
As we reach our Sunday afternoon deadline, no deal has been reached to re-open the federal government.
High interest rates and inflation, coupled with increasing uncertainty, put Mexican consumption under strain last year.
We pointed out in yesterday's Monitor that Fed Chair Yellen appears to be putting a good deal of faith in the idea that the recent upturn in core inflation is temporary. She argued that "some" of the increase reflects "unusually high readings in categories that tend to be quite volatile without very much significance for inflation over time".
Slack in the labour market no longer is being absorbed and wage growth still is struggling for momentum, placing little pressure on the MPC to rush the next rate rise.
Most LatAm currencies have been under pressure recently, with the Brazilian real and the Chilean peso breaking all-time lows versus the USD in recent weeks.
The PBoC's quarterly monetary policy report seemed relatively sanguine on the question of PPI deflation, attributing it mainly to base effects--not entirely fairly--and suggesting that inflation will soon return.
Japan's all-industry activity index fell 0.5% month-on- month in September after a 0.2% rise in August. Construction activity continued to plummet, with the subindex dropping 2.3%, after a 2.2% fall in August.
China's real GDP growth officially slowed to 6.5% year-over-year in Q3, from 6.7% in Q2.
The trend rate of increase in private payrolls in the months before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was about 240K per month.
Germans head to the polls on Sunday to elect representatives for the national parliament. The media has tried to keep investors on alert for a surprise, but polls indicate clearly that Angela Merkel will continue as Chancellor.
Brazil's mid-April inflation report delivered more evidence that inflation is decelerating; it fell to 9.3% from 10.0% in March, reaching the slowest pace since July 2015. The unadjusted month-to-month increase surprised marginally to the upside, but the key story is of a declining year-over-year trend. Core inflation, which is a lagging indicator of the business cycle, slowed again, in line with the decline in services and market prices inflation.
Sterling's renewed depreciation to just €1.10--just below last year's nadir--has fuelled speculation that it could reach parity against the euro within the next year.
Fed policymakers surprised no one with their May 1 statement, which acknowledged the surprisingly "solid " Q1 economic growth--at the time of the March 19-to-20 meeting, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model suggested Q1 growth would be just 0.6%--but stuck to its view that low inflation means the FOMC can be "patient".
Unlike other central banks, the MPC has stuck to its message that "an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period" likely will be required to keep inflation close to the 2% target, provided a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
Colombia's Central Bank is facing a short-term test. The recent fall in inflation was interrupted in August--data due on Thursday will show another increase in September--while economic growth, particularly consumption, is struggling, at least for now.
Mexican retail sales jumped 1.0% month-to-month in October, the biggest gain since February, following a poor performance in Q3.
Brazil's recent political and economics news has shifted the near-term outlook from bad to worse. President Rousseff on Friday replaced hawkish Finance Minister Joaquim Levy, appointed just over a year ago, with a close partner, Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa. Mr. Levy resigned after continued conflicts with the government, including frustration by the Congress of his attempts to rein in the fiscal mess. Mr. Barbosa is known to be less market friendly, and will likely defend countercyclical measures, delaying any rapid fiscal consolidation. The appointment will deteriorate investors' confidence even further, placing the markets under enormous strain.
One of the arguments we hear in favor of an endless Fed pause--in other words, the cyclical tightening is over--is that GDP growth is set to slow markedly this year, to only 2% or so.
We suspect that under the calm surface of the BoJ, a major decision is being debated.
The speed of sterling's rally this month has caught us by surprise.
Inflation in Brazil and Mexico is ending Q3 under control, allowing the central banks to keep easing monetary policy.
The rising trend in U.S. oil production was interrupted only briefly by the hurricanes.
Rising inflation is pressuring some LatAm central banks to take a cautious stance at a time when growth is subpar, particularly in the two biggest economies of the region.
Data released yesterday confirmed that Mexico's economy ended Q4 poorly, confounding the most hawkish Banxico Board members.
According to Brazil's mid-August inflation reading, which is a preview of the IPCA index, overall inflation pressures are easing. But some price stickiness remains, due to inertia and temporary shocks, despite the severity of the recession and the rapid deterioration of the labour market in recent months.
The ECB will not make any major changes to policy today.
Improving fundamentals have supported private spending in Mexico during the last few quarters. This week's soft retail sales report does not change the picture of a strong underlying trend in consumption. Sales were weaker than expected, falling 1.1% month-to-month in September, but this followed a 1.5% jump in August, and average gains of 1.1% in the previous three months. Mexican retail sales are much more volatile than in most developed economies, and we have been expecting mean reversion following rapid gains during the first half of the year and most of Q3.
Argentina's Q4 GDP report, released last week, underscored the severity of the recession, due to the currency crisis and the subsequent tighter fiscal and monetary policies.
We have argued over the past couple of years that if you want to know what's likely to happen to U.S. manufacturing over the next few months, you should look at China's PMI, rather than the domestic ISM survey, which is beset by huge seasonal adjustment problems.
Markets cheered soaring business surveys in the Eurozone earlier this week, and recent consumer sentiment data also have been cause for celebration. The advance GfK consumer confidence index in Germany rose to a record high of 10.4 in June, from 10.2 in May.
The weaker is the economy over the next few months, the more likely it is that Mr. Trump blinks and removes some--perhaps even all--the tariffs on Chinese imports.
Inflation in the biggest economies in the region remains close to cyclical lows, allowing central banks to ease even further over the next few months.
The spread of the Covid-19 virus remains the key issue for markets, which were deeply unhappy yesterday at reports of new cases in Austria, Spain and Switzerland, all of which appear to be connected to the cluster in northern Italy.
In our Webinar--see here--we laid out scenarios for Chinese GDP in Q1 and for this year.
This was supposed to be the year that wage growth finally would pick up and signal clearly to the MPC that the economy needs higher interest rates.
The core economic narrative in U.S. markets right now seems to run something like this: The pace of growth slowed in Q1, depressing the rate of payroll growth in the spring. As a result, the headline plunge in the unemployment rate is unlikely to persist and, even if it does, the wage pressures aren't a threat to the inflation outlook.
When Fed Chair Powell said last week that the "surprise" weakness in the official retail sales numbers is "inconsistent with a significant amount of other data", we're guessing that he had in mind a couple of reports which will be updated today.
The second estimate of Q1 GDP made for grim reading. Quarter-on-quarter GDP growth was revised down to 0.2%--the joint-slowest rate since Q4 2012--from the preliminary estimate of 0.3%.
The Bank of England will be dragged into the political arena on Thursday, when it sends the Treasury Committee its analysis of the economic impact of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration, as well as a no-deal, no- transition outcome.
Hong Kong delivered a resounding landslide victory to pro-Democracy parties in district council elections over the weekend.
Mark Carney's assertion that "now is not yet the time to raise rates" fell on deaf ears last week. Markets are pricing-in a 20% chance that the MPC will increase Bank Rate at the next meeting on August 3, up from 10% just after the MPC's meeting on June 15, when three members voted to hike rates.
Banxico raised its benchmark interest rate by another 25bp to 7.0% at last Thursday's policy meeting. This hike follows nine previous increases, totalling 375bp since December 2015, in order to put a lid on inflation expectations and actual inflation. Both have been lifted this year by the lagged effect of the MXN's weakness last year, the "gasolinazo", and the minimum wage increase in January.
Mexico's inflation is finally falling, giving policymakers room for manoeuvre.
Yesterday's money supply data gave some respite after last month's disappointing slowdown. Broad money growth--M3--rose to 5.0% year-over-year, from 4.7% in December, but the details were less encouraging. The rebound was solely due slower declines in medium-term deposits, short-term debt issuance, and repurchase agreements.
For a central bank already fighting for every decimal in its attempt to convince markets that underlying inflation is slowly edging higher, the recent shift in HICP methodology drives home an increasingly problematic issue.
Today's preliminary estimate of Q4 GDP likely will show that the Brexit vote has not caused the economy to slow yet. But growth at the end of last year appears to have relied excessively on household spending, which has been increasingly financed by debt. GDP growth likely will slow decisively in Q1 as the squeeze on households' real incomes intensifies.
As expected, the ECB made no changes to its policy stance today. The refi and deposit rates were left at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and the pace of purchases under QE was maintained at €30B per month.
If Japan's flash PMIs for March are a sign of things to come, then the government really should get moving on fiscal stimulus.
Financial markets' inflation expectations have risen sharply since the spring. Our first chart shows that the two-year forward rate derived from RPI inflation swaps has picked up to 3.8%, from 3.5% at the end of April.
The PM now is at a fork in the road and will have to decide in the coming days whether to risk all and seek a general election, or restart the process of trying to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--through parliament.
Core durable goods orders have not weakened as much as implied by the ISM manufacturing survey, as our first chart shows, but it is risky to assume this situation persists.
Economic activity in Mexico during the past few months has been stronger than most observers expected. Growth has certainly moderated from the relatively strong pace recorded during the second half of last year, but data for January and February show that it is still quite strong.
In Brazil, last week's formal payroll employment report for March was decent, with employment increasing by 56K, well above the consensus expectation for a 48K gain.
The second estimate of GDP left the estimate of quarter-on-quarter growth unrevised at 0.3%, a trivial improvement on Q1's 0.2% gain.
Mexico's inflation has been LatAm's odd one out over the last few years. In the decade through 2014, Mexico's inflation rate was broadly in sync with those of its regional fellows, as shown in our first chart.
Today's ECB meeting will mainly be a victory lap for Mr. Draghi--it is the president's last meeting before Ms. Lagarde takes over--rather than the scene of any major new policy decisions.
The Chancellor's Autumn Statement dashed hopes that the fiscal consolidation will be paused while the economy struggles to adjust to the implications of Brexit. Admittedly, Mr. Hammond has another opportunity in the Spring Budget to reduce next year's fiscal tightening.
Data released yesterday in Brazil helped to lay the ground for interest rate cuts over the coming months.
After pricing-in the consequences of sterling's depreciation for inflation last year only slowly, markets are at risk of costly inertia again.
The minutes of the May 2/3 FOMC meeting today should add some color to policymakers' blunt assertion that "The Committee views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory and continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further, and inflation will stabilize around 2 percent over the medium term."
The recent run of grim sales and earnings numbers from major national retailers, including Kohl's, Nordstrom, and Macy's, reflects two major trends. The first is obvious; the rising market share of internet sales is squeezing brick and mortar retailers, as our first chart shows. We have no idea how far this trend has yet to run but it shows no signs yet of peaking.
The minutes of Banxico's November 9 policy meeting were released yesterday, in which the Bank left the reference rate unanimously unchanged at 7.0%.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea is likely to keep its benchmark base rate unchanged, at 1.25%, at its meeting this week.
Brazil's inflation rate remained well under control over the first half of February.
Mexican policymakers voted unanimously last Thursday to hike the main rate by 25bp to 7.75%, the highest since early 2009.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea yesterday left its benchmark base rate unchanged, at 1.75%, at its first meeting of the year.
Japan's headline inflation will be volatile for the rest of the year, thanks to movements in the noncore elements.
Data released yesterday in Mexico strengthened the case for interest rate cuts this year.
The Reserve Bank of India was hit by another shock resignation yesterday, with Deputy Governor Viral Acharya confirming his early departure in late July, before the next meeting in August, and well before his term was scheduled to end at the close of this year.
Data released this week in Brazil, coupled with the message from President Bolsonaro at the World Economic Forum, vowing to meet the country's fiscal targets and reduce distortions, support our benign inflation view and monetary policy forecasts for this year.
The ECB won't make any changes to its policy settings today.
China's 2018 property market boomlet let out more air last month.
Yesterday's stock market bloodbath stands in contrast to the U.S. economic data, most of which so far show no impact from the Covid-19 outbreak.
The minutes of the Banxico's monetary policy meeting on February 7, when the board unanimously voted to keep the reference rate on hold at 8.25%, were consistent with the post-meeting statement.
The bad news on economic activity keeps coming for Brazil. The formal payroll employment report-- CAGED--for December was very weak, with 120K net jobs eliminated, compared to a 40K net destruction in December 2014, according to our seasonal adjustment. The severe downturn has translated into huge job losses. The economy eliminated 1.5 million jobs last year, compared to 152K gains in 2014. Last year's job destruction was the worst since the data series started in 1992. The payroll losses have been broad-based, but manufacturing has been hit very hard, with 606K jobs eliminated, followed by civil construction and services. Since the end of 2014, the crisis has hit one sector after another.
Brazil's external accounts were the bright spot last year, once again, but the ne ws will soon take a turn for the worse. The current account deficit fell to just USD24B last year, or 1.3% of GDP, from USD59B in 2015. The improvement was driven by the trade surplus, which rose to USD48B, the highest since 1992, when the comparable data series begins. A 20% plunge in imports, coupled with a mere 3% dip in exports, explain the rising trade surplus.
The tumultuous political and economic crises in Brazil continue to feed off each other, grabbing most of the LatAm headlines. Sentiment will remain depressed, and volatility and uncertainty will persist, hampering any real signs of stabilization in the near-term. The Pacific Alliance countries, by contrast, managed to grow at relatively solid rates during the first half of this year, after absorbing the hit from falling commodity prices.
The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India shocked most forecasters yesterday, including us, with a 4-to-2 majority voting in favour of a 25-basis point rate cut.
India's PMIs for October were grim, indicating minimal carry-over of energy from the third quarter rebound.
We're expecting to learn this morning that productivity rose by a respectable 1.7% in the year to the fourth quarter, the best performance in nearly four years.
Argentina's central bank likely will leave its main interest rate at 27.75% tomorrow at its biweekly monetary policy meeting.
No single measure of labor demand is always a reliable leading indicator of the official payroll numbers, which is why we track an array of private and official measures.
Data while we were away have intensified fears that the global, and by extension EZ, economy is slipping into recession.
The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India voted unanimously on Friday to cut interest rates at a fifth straight meeting, as expected.
In his second confirmation hearing, Governor Kuroda continued his dance with markets, dialling down the exit talk.
If the Chancellor is true to his word, Wednesday's Budget will be a pedestrian affair with few major policy changes designed to prevent the economy from slowing this year. In an article in The Sunday Times, Philip Hammond asserted that "we cannot take our foot off the pedal" in the mission to eliminate the budget deficit by the end of the next parliament.
Hopes that GDP growth will strengthen following the general election, which has eliminated near- term threats of a no-deal Brexit and a business- hostile Labour government, were bolstered yesterday by the release of December's Markit/ CIPS services survey.
The sell-off in equity markets and increases in volatility have put EM assets under pressure. EM equities and bonds, however, have been outperforming their U.S. and global market counterparts.
China's Caixin services PMI for December surprised well to the upside, providing a glimmer of hope that the economy isn't losing steam on all fronts.
The Imacec data released on Wednesday provided further evidence that the Chilean economy grew at a decent pace in the second quarter, following a very sluggish first quarter.
Japan's average year-over-year wage growth slowed sharply in May, but this mainly was a correction of the April spike.
Today's ECB meeting will follow the same script as in July. No-one expects the central bank to make any formal changes to its policy settings. The ECB will keep its main refinancing and deposit rates at zero and -0.4%, respectively.
Brazil's benchmark inflation index, the IPCA, fell 0.1% month-to-month unadjusted in August, below market expectations.
Last week, the Atlanta Fed updated its median hourly earnings series with new October data, showing wage growth accelerating to an eight-year high of 3.9%. That's a full percentage point higher than the increase in this measure of wages in the year to October 2015, and it follows a spring and summer during which wage growth appeared to be topping-out at just under 3½%.
Two fiscal deadlines are on the near-horizon.
In the midst of heightened and potentially longerlasting Brexit uncertainty, the MPC revised down its forecast for GDP growth sharply yesterday and came close to endorsing investors' view that the chances of a 25bp rate hike before the end of this year have slipped to 50:50.
The $10 increase in the price of Brent crude oil over the last three months to $68 is an unhelpful, but manageable, drag on the U.K. economy's growth prospects this year.
The ink has hardly dried on economists' and the ECB's inflation projections for 2020, but we suspect that some forecasters are already considering ripping up the script.
The trade war with the U.S. has taken its toll on the RMB.
Banxico's likely will deliver the widely-anticipated rate hike this Thursday. Policymakers' recent actions suggests that investors should expect a 50bp increase, in line with TIIE pric ing and the market consensus. The balance of risks to inflation has deteriorated markedly on the back of the "gasolinazo", a sharp increase in regulated gasoline prices imposed to raise money and attract foreign investment.
The Brazilian central bank cut its benchmark Selic interest rate by 50bp, to 7.0%, on Thursday night and confirmed our view that the end of the easing cycle is not far off.
Good news keeps on coming from Mexico, and the outlook is still favourable. Overall inflation pressures remain subdued and the domestic economy remains reasonably solid, despite a modest slowdown in recent months. Job creation remains robust, and real wages have been growing at a solid, non-inflationary pace.
The recent less-bad growth and inflation data in Brazil are encouraging news and are setting the stage for easing in October. The minutes of the Copom's August 31 monetary policy meeting, released yesterday, were less hawkish than in previous months, indicating that policymakers are gauging the possibility of cutting rates.
The Monetary Policy Committee of the RBI ventured into the unknown yesterday, cutting its benchmark repo rate further, by an unconventional 35 basis points, to 5.40%.
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.
We hadn't expected the scorching 3.6% year-over- year growth rate in Japan's June average wages
Nobody knows the damage China's virus- containment efforts will have on GDP, and we probably never will, for sure, given the opacity of the statistics.
The rally in U.K. equities immediately after the general election has done little to reverse the prolonged period of underperformance relative to overseas markets since the E.U. referendum in June 2016.
The run of above-consensus news on the U.K. economy came to an abrupt end last week, as a series of survey indicators for January took a turn for the worse. After six months of breathing space, the economic consequences of the Brexit vote are increasingly being felt.
Chilean GDP growth hit bottom in August, but activity is now picking up and will gather speed over the coming quarters. The tailwinds from lower oil prices and fiscal stimulus will soon be visible in the activity data.
The Nikkei services PMI for Japan partly rebounded in January, to 51.6, after it fell sharply to 51.0 in December.
Late last year, China said it would scrap residency restrictions for cities with populations less than three million, while the rules for those of three-to-five million will be relaxed.
The rapid escalation of Covid-19 cases in Korea in recent weeks has broadened the likely damage to the economy this quarter.
Yesterday's Brazilian industrial production data continue to tell a story of a slow business cycle upturn. Output rose 0.2% month-to-month in November, after a downwardly revised 1.2% plunge in October. The year-over-year rate, though, jumped to -1.1%, from -7.3% in October. The underlying trend is now on the mend, following weakness in Q3 and early Q4. Output rose in November three of the four major categories and in 13 of the 24 sectors.
The post-election run of upbeat business surveys was extended yesterday, with the release of the final Markit/CIPS services PMI for January.
Productivity likely rose by 1.7% last year, the best performance since 2010.
We have consistently flagged the likelihood that Japan's government would boost spending after the consumption tax hike was implemented.
The MPC's view that the economy likely will grow at an above-trend rate over the coming quarters was challenged immediately last week by the PMIs.
November's Markit/CIPS surveys for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors suggest that GDP growth is on track to strengthen a touch in Q4.
The slump in the Markit/CIPS services PMI in November to its lowest level since July 2016 provides the clearest indication yet that uncertainty about Brexit has driven the economy virtually to a stand-still.
Korea's trade data for January provided the first real glimpse of the potential hit to international flows from the disruptions caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
If 2017 really is the year of "reflation", somebody forgot to tell the gilt market. Among the G7 group, 10-year yields have fallen only in the U.K. during the last three months, as our first chart shows.
Fed Chair Yellen's speech Friday was remarkably blunt: "Indeed, at our meeting later this month, the Committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate."
Our conviction that the economy continues to grow at a snail's pace increased yesterday following the release of August's Markit/CIPS services survey.
Demand in German manufacturing slid at the start of Q3.
Ms Keiko Fujimori, the candidate of Peru's conservative Fuerza Popular party, seems on course to win the first round of the presidential election this Sunday, April 10. According to the latest Ipsos poll, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori continues to lead the race, with the support or about 34% of voters.
...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.
The Brazilian central bank cut the benchmark Selic interest rate by 25bp, to 4.25%, on Wednesday night, as expected.
December's meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee is likely to be a quiet affair in comparison to this month's pivotal ECB and Fed meetings. It's hard to see what news would have persuaded other members to join Ian McCafferty in voting to raise interest rates this month. The MPC might comment in the minutes to try to reverse the further fall in market interest rate expectations since its previous meeting, when it already thought they were too low. But the potency of any moderately hawkish guidance may be diluted by further strident comments from the Committee's doves.
Inflation in Colombia right now is under control but risks are increasing rapidly, and the outlook for next year has deteriorated significantly.
Markets have interpreted the Monetary Policy Committee's "Super Thursday" releases as an endorsement of their view that interest rates will remain on hold for another year. We think the Committee's communications were more nuanced and believe the door is still open to an interest rate rise in the second quarter of next year.
Barring some sort of out-of-the-blue shock, we are much more interested in the hourly earnings data today than the headline payroll number. The key question is the extent to which wages rebound after being depressed by a persistent calendar quirk in both February and March.
China's National People's Congress yesterday laid out its main goals for this year, on the first day of its annual meeting.
Yesterday's minutes of the October 31 COPOM meeting, at which the Central Bank cut the Selic rate unanimously by 50bp at 5.00%, reaffirmed the committee's post-meeting communiqué, which signalled that rates will be cut by the "same magnitude" in December.
The PBoC finally moved yesterday, cutting its one-year MLF rate by 5bp to 3.25%, whilst replacing around RMB 400B of maturing loans.
Productivity growth reached the dizzy heights of 1.8% year-over-year in the second quarter, following a couple of hefty quarter-on-quarter increases, averaging 2.9%.
Friday's final EZ inflation report of 2017 sent a dovish signal to bond markets.
Japan's services sector PMI last week was disappointing.
The Mexican inflation rate soared at the start of 2017, but this is yesterday's story; the headline will stabilize soon and will decline slowly towards the year-end. May data yesterday showed that inflation rose to 6.2%, from 5.8% in April. Prices fell 0.1% month-to-month unadjusted in May, driven mainly by lower non-core prices, which dropped by 1.3%, as a result of lower seasonal electricity tariffs.
Small business sentiment and activity, as reported by the NFIB survey, has recovered exactly half the drop triggered by the rollover in stock prices in the fourth quarter. This matters, because most people work at small firms, which are responsible for the vast bulk of net job growth.
The Fed's 50bp rate cut last week, aiming to shield the U.S. economy against Covid-19, has opened the door for some central banks in LatAm to emulate the move.
Brazil's central bank is in a very delicate situation. The economy is on the verge of another recession, but at the same time the BRL is falling, inflation expectations are rising and the inflation rate is overshooting. Fiscal policy is also tightening to restore macro stability magnifying the squeeze on growth.
It is still premature to make fundamental changes to our core views for the global or LatAm economy, following President Trump's plan to slap hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, potentially escalating into a global trade war.
The Chancellor lived up to his reputation for fiscal conservatism yesterday and is pressing ahead with a tough fiscal tightening. He hopes that this will create scope to loosen policy if the economy struggles after the U.K. leaves the EU in 2019, but we remain concerned his "fiscal headroom" will be much smaller than he currently anticipates.
Andean inflation remains under control, due to subpar growth, modest pressures on prices for nontradeables, and broadly stable currencies.
The only way to read the December NFIB survey and not be alarmed is to look at the headline, which fell by less than expected, and ignore the details.
Sterling was the worst performing G10 currency in 2016 and most analysts anticipate further weakness in 2017. The cost of purchasing downside protection for sterling over the next year also continues to exceed upside protection, as our first chart shows.
Colombia's annual inflation rate closed last year at 3.7% year-over-year, unchanged from November, and within Banrep's target, 2%-to-4%. Core inflation, ex-food and fuel, advanced to 2.8% in December from 2.6% in November.
For the MXN, last year was especially harsh. The currency endured extreme volatility, plunging 17% against the USD. So far, this year is off to a rocky start too. The MXN fell close to 2.5% during the first week of 2017.
Colombian inflation ended 2017 slightly above the central bank's 2-to-4% target range, after a year in which policymakers cut interest rates to boost economic growth.
The first round of trade talks between the U.S.and China kicked off in Beijing on Monday, marking the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping struck a "truce" in December.
The ECB made no major policy changes yesterday, but tweaked its communication. The key refinancing and deposit rates were kept at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and the pace of QE was maintained at €30B per month.
We just can't get away from the deeply vexed question of wages; specifically, why the rate of growth of nominal hourly earnings has risen only to just over 2.5%, even though the historical relationship between wage gains and the tightness of the labor market points to increases of 4%-plus.
Japanese labour data show early signs of virus hit. Japan's industrial production in a slow recovery... pre-virus. Japan's retail sales still trying to make up lost ground after the tax hike. Tokyo prices already showing signs of virus hit? Korean industrial production wobbles before virus hit.
Horrendous Chinese profits plummet should spur the authorities into further stimulus. No signs yet of persistent discounting in Tokyo, but a lockdown would change things overnight.
Japan's stable unemployment rate belies underlying weakness. Tokyo energy inflation turns the corner. Sales tax preparations breathe life into Japanese production in May... if only temporarily. Korea's IP plunge in May shows why Japan can't rest on its laurels.
China's PMIs are not yet fully picking up the coronavirus; China's non-manufacturing PMI lifted by local government spending; not yet hit by the virus; Japan's job postings still suggest the unemployment rate is unsustainably low; Japan's national inflation has less far to fall than Tokyo's; The coronavirus will delay the return of Japanese retail sales to pre-tax hike levels; Investment goods drive Japan's IP rebound in December; no real support now for consumer goods production; December probably is as good as it will get for Korean industrial production, for now
Japan's Q2 GDP growth was not all it's cracked up to be. M2 growth in Japan inched up in July, but trends at the margin have rolled over. China's July inflation uptick shows that the swine flu outbreak is nowhere near under control. China officially enters PPI deflation... but it shouldn't last beyond Q3.
Japan's services PMI points to Q2 GDP contraction. China's Caixin services PMI highlights the reasons for official concern over employment. Korea's current account slips into deficit for the first time since 2012.
Korean inflation surprises to the upside in April. Manufacturing surveys in Korea are turning up.
BoJ does what it can to avoid more deeply negative yields. Korean inflation should peak this month
Chile's inflation outlook remains benign, allowing policymakers to cut interest rates if the economic recovery falters.
This week's Inflation Report--now released alongside the MPC's decision and minutes of its meeting in a deluge of releases now known as "Super Thursday"--is likely to be a damp squib.
Inflation in most economies in LatAm is well under control, allowing central banks to keep a dovish bias, and giving them room for further rate cuts.
The consequences of sterling's sharp depreciation for inflation were brought home yesterday by the news that the iPhone 7 will cost more than its predecessor. The entry-level version is priced at £60 more than its iPhone 6S equivalent. Of course, the new version is more advanced, but the fact that the dollar price held steady, at $649, demonstrates the U.K. price hike entirely is due to the adverse impact of the weaker pound.
China's manufacturing PMIs turn less grim, but look unsupported, for now. China's non-manufacturing PMI receives a one-off singles day boost. Japan's capex data suggests Q3 upgrade. Net trade is shaping up to be a drag on Q4 GDP, as Korean exports remained weak in November. Korea's exit from deflation is complete, thanks largely to more favourable base effects. Korea's PMI jumps in November... and that's before the likely sentiment boost from normalising ties with Japan.
The reported drop in mortgage applications over the holidays is now reversing, not that it ever mattered.
The MPC signalled yesterday that it is actively considering a May rate hike, stating that rates likely will "...need to be tightened somewhat earlier and by a somewhat greater degree over the forecast period than anticipated at the time of the November Report".
The Chancellor's Budget today looks set to prioritise retaining scope to loosen policy if the economy struggles in future, rather than reducing the near-term fiscal tightening. In November, the OBR predicted that cyclically-adjusted borrowing would fall to 0.8% of GDP in 2019/20, comfortably below the 2% limit stipulated by the Chancellor's new fiscal rules.
Brazil's interim government has been trying to put the kibosh on the vicious circle of recession, capital outflows, and political pandering that has dogged the country for so long. In his first few weeks at the helm, despite the political turmoil, Mr. Temer has started to tackle Brazil's fiscal mess, the country's biggest headache.
The build-up to today's ECB meeting has drowned in the focus on Italy's new political situation and the rising risk of a global trade war.
Mr. Draghi and his colleagues erred on the side of maximum dovishness yesterday.
With little reason to doubt that interest rates will remain at 0.50% on Thursday, focus has turned to what signal the MPC will give about future policy, via its economic forecasts and commentary.
This week's MPC meeting and Inflation Report likely will support the dominant view in markets that the chances of a 2017 rate hike are remote, even though inflation will rise further above the 2% target over the coming months. Overnight index swap markets currently are pricing-in only a 20% chance of an increase in Bank Rate this year.
The ECB will keep all its policy parameters unchanged today. The refi and deposit rates will be maintained at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and the pace of QE will stay at €60B per month, running until the end of the year.
Many observers hoped that the silver lining of a slowdown in house price growth this year would be that more first-time buyers could step onto the first rung of the housing ladder. Instead, purchasing a first home has become even harder for FTBs with modest deposits.
The June employment report pretty much killed the idea that the Fed will cut rates by 50bp on July 31.
Colombia was one of the fastest growing economies in LatAm in 2018, and prospects for this year have improved significantly following June's presidential election, with the market-friendly candidate, Iván Duque, winning.
Odds-on, the consensus forecast for May's GDP report, released on Wednesday, will miss the mark.
One of the main reasons we expect the Reserve Bank of India to roll back at least one of this year's rate cuts before the end of the year is the likely further rise in food inflation.
Favourable inflation conditions in Mexico remain in place with June consumer prices increasing just 0.1% month-to-month, unadjusted, better than expected. A modest gain in core prices was largely offset by falling non-core prices, so year-over-year inflation edged down to 2.5% from 2.6% in May.
Economic growth in Chile slowed in Q1, despite a relatively strong end to the quarter, and the chances of an accelerating recovery remains disappointingly low, due to both global and domestic headwinds.
The 10.3% year-over-year decline in private new car registrations in April likely is not a sign that the trend in either vehic le sales or consumers' overall spending is taking a turn f or the worse.
The recovery in small business sentiment since the fourth quarter rollover has been extremely modest, so far.
Colombia and Chile faced similar broad trends through most of 2018.
Financial markets have gone into another tailspin over the last fortnight, triggered by rising concern about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and President Trump's threat of further tariffs on Chinese goods.
Core PPI inflation has risen steadily this year, with month-to-month increases of 0.3% or more in five of the past six months.
In Friday's Monitor we analysed the draft Japanese budget, as reported by Bloomberg. We suggested that the GDP bang-for-government-expenditure- buck is likely to be less than that implied by the authorities' forecasts.
Most investors remain convinced that the MPC will raise Bank Rate when it meets next, on May 10.
The ECB made no changes to its policy stance yesterday. The central bank left its refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and maintained the pace of QE at €60B per month. The program will run until December "or beyond, if necessary."
Headline inflation in Brazil remained low in October, and even breached the lower bound of the BCB's target range.
Investors now see a 50/50 chance of the MPC cutting Bank Rate within the next nine months, following the slightly dovish minutes of the MPC's meeting, and its new forecasts.
The RMB has been on a tear, as expectations for a "Phase One" trade deal have firmed.
September PMI surveys in Mexico continued to bolster our argument for a subpar recovery in the second half of the year.
Japan's average monthly labour earnings growth tumbled to 0.9% year-over-year in August, from 1.6% in July. This is not a disaster.
We've always said that China's first weapon, should the trade war escalate, is to do nothing and allow the RMB to depreciate.
The run of consensus-beating activity measures and the pickup in leading indicators of inflation have led markets to doubt that the MPC really will follow up August's package of stimulus measures with another Bank Rate cut this year.
FOMC members in fleeces took to the airwaves en masse on Friday morning from Jackson Hole, but most said pretty much what you'd expect them to say. Arch-hawks Loretta Mester and no-quite-so-hawkish Jim Bullard strongly suggested that they think the time to raise rates is very near, while super-dove Naryana Kocherlakota said he doesn't regard a near-term hike as "appropriate". No surprises there.
Today's wave of economic reports are all likely to be strong. The most important single number is the increase in real consumers' spending in July, the first month of the third quarter.
Data yesterday showed that German inflation roared higher at the start of the year, but the devil is in the detail.
The Bank of Korea's two main monthly economic surveys were very perky in January.
Today will be an incredibly busy day for EZ investors with no fewer than eight major economic reports. Overall, we think the data will tell a story of a stable business cycle upturn and rising inflation. Markets will focus on advance Q4 GDP data in France and in the euro area as a whole. Our mo dels, and survey data, indicate that the EZ economy strengthened at the end of 2016, and we expect the headline data to beat the consensus.
The MPC's decision yesterday was a "dovish hold", designed to keep market interest rates at current stimulative levels and to preserve the option of cutting Bank Rate swiftly and without surprise, if the economy fails to rebound in Q1.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone probably firmed slightly in August. Data yesterday showed that inflation in Germany and Spain rose by 0.1 percentage points to 1.8% and 1.6% year-over-year respectively, and we are also pencilling-in an increase in French inflation today, ahead of the aggregate EZ report.
China's industrial profits data for August were a mixed bag.
Chinese industrial profits continue to surge, rising 27.7% year-over-year in September, up from 24.0% in August.
Cast your mind forward to late October 2018. The Fed is preparing to meet next week. What will the economy look like? The key number is three.
The MPC likely will raise interest rates on Thursday, for the first time since July 2007, in response to the uptick in GDP growth and the upside inflation surprise in Q3.
A dovish speech by external MPC member Michael Saunders was the primary catalyst for a renewed fall in interest rate expectations last week.
We have no way of knowing what will be the final outcome of the impeachment inquiry now underway in the House of Representatives, but we are pretty sure that the first key stage will end with a vote to send the President for trial in the Senate.
Chair Yellen's final FOMC meeting today will be something of a non-event in economic terms.
December's money and credit figures suggest that households are in no fit state to step up and drive the economy forwards this year.
The biggest surprise in the revisions to first quarter GDP growth, released yesterday, was in the core PCE deflator.
Many investors probably glossed over yesterday's barrage of data in the Eurozone, for fear of being caught out by another swoon in Italian bond yields. Don't worry, we are here to help.
Yesterday's data kicked off the release of Eurozone Q3 growth numbers with a robust Spanish headline. Real GDP in Spain rose 0.8% quarter-on-quarter, slowing slightly from 0.9% in Q2, and le aving the year-over-year rate unchanged at 3.1%.
Today's advance Q3 GDP report for Mexico will show that the economy performed relatively well at the start of the second half, despite external and domestic shocks.
The MPC would have to change tack sharply on Thursday in order to live up to the markets' expectation that there is a near-zero chance of another rate cut within the next year.
Growth in the broad money supply slowed further in September, providing more evidence that the economy is losing momentum.
In the wake of April's 0.2% increase in real consumers' spending, and the upward revisions to the first quarter numbers, we now think that second quarter spending is on course to rise at an annualized rate of about 3.5%.
Yesterday's advance data from Germany and Spain suggest that today's Eurozone inflation report will undershoot the consensus. In Germany, headline inflation slipped to 1.6% in March from 2.2% in February, and in Spain the headline rate plunged to 2.3% from 3.0%.
Yesterday's data dump in the EZ delivered something investors haven't seen for a while, namely, positive surprises.
Japan's headline jobless rate edged up to 2.8% in December, from 2.7% in November, but the increase was negligible, with the rate moving to 2.76% from 2.74%.
The jobless rate fell back to 2.8% in June after the surprise rise to 3.1% in May. This drop takes us back to where we were in April before voluntary unemployment jumped in May.
The most important number, potentially, in today's wave of economic reports is the Employment Costs Index for second quarter.
Japan's June retail sales data add to the run of numbers suggesting a strong rebound in real GDP growth in Q2, after the 0.2% contraction in activity in Q1.
French consumer confidence and consumption have been among the main bright spots in the euro area economy so far this year.
The news in Brazil on inflation and politics has been relatively positive in recent weeks, allowing policymakers to keep cutting interest rates to boost the stuttering recovery.
Recently data from Argentina continue to signal a firming cyclical recovery. According to INDEC's EMAE economic activity index, a monthly proxy for GDP, the economy grew 4.0% year-over-year in June, up from an already-solid 3.4% in May.
Markets remain convinced that the U.S. faces no meaningful inflation risk for the foreseeable future.
The minutes from Banxico's August 11 monetary policy meeting--in which Board members unanimously voted to keep rates on hold at 4.25%--confirmed that the bank's policy guidance remains broadly neutral. Subdued economic activity, favourable inflation and gradual fiscal consolidation explain policymakers' position.
Japan is one of the countries most exposed to economic damage from the coronavirus.
Today's barrage of data kicks off a couple of busy days in the Eurozone economic calendar.
Markets' expectations for official interest rates have shifted up over the last fortnight, and the consensus view now is that the MPC will hike rates before the end of this year. As our first chart shows, the implied probability of interest rates breaching 0.25% in December 2017 now slightly exceeds 50%.
It's pretty easy to spin a story that the recent core PCE numbers represent a sharp and alarming turn south.
Argentina's financial markets and embattled currency have been under severe pressure in recent weeks, with the ARS hitting a new record low against the USD and government bonds sinking to distress levels.
We are all for ambitious economic targets, but the ECB's pledge to drive EZ core inflation in the Eurozone up to "below, but close to" 2% is particularly fanciful.
China's official PMIs were little changed in August, with the manufacturing gauge up trivially to 51.3, from 51.2 in July and the non-manufacturing gauge up to 54.2, from 54.0.
The BoJ kept policy unchanged last week, but made a significant change to its communication, dropping its previous explicit statement on the timing for hitting the inflation target.
We already have a pretty good idea of what happened to consumers' spending in March, following Friday's GDP release, so the single most important number in today's monthly personal income and spending report, in our view, is the hospital services component of the deflator.
Yesterday's economic numbers in the Eurozone were mixed, but we are inclined to see them through rose-tinted glasses.
Japan returned the ruling LDP coalition to power in an upper house election over the weekend.
Advance country data indicate that headline EZ inflation fell slightly in June; we think the rate dipped to 1.3% year-over-year, from 1.4% in May.
Neither the strength in October consumption nor the softness of core PCE inflation, reported yesterday, are sustainable.
Yesterday's November inflation reports from Germany and Spain suggest that today's data for the Eurozone as a whole will undershoot the consensus.
The November ADP employment report today likely will show private payrolls rose by about 180K. We have no reason to think that the trend in payroll growth has changed much in recent months, though the official data do appear to be biased to the upside in the fourth quarter, probably as a result of seasonal adjustment problems triggered by the crash of 2008. We can't detect any clear seasonal fourth quarter bias in the ADP numbers.
Yesterday's advance inflation data in Germany fell short of forecasts--ours and the consensus--for a further increase. Inflation was unchanged at 0.8% year-over-year in November, but we think this pause will be temporary.
Markets see a strong possibility, though not a probability, that the BoJ will cut rates on Thursday.
Japanese retail sales were unchanged in October month-on-month, after a 0.8% rise in September.
Bullish money supply data last week added to the evidence that the Eurozone's business cycle is strengthening. Broad money growth--M3--rose to 5.3% year-over-year in October from 4.9% in September. Most of the increase came from a surge in short-term debt issuance, rising 8.4% year-over-year, following an inexplicable 1.4% fall in September.
Perhaps the biggest single reason for the Fed's reluctance, so far, to move away from monetary policy designed to cope with catastrophe is that no-one knows for sure how much of the damage has been repaired, and how close the economy is to normalizing.
Eurozone politicians are likely scrambling for a last gasp return to negotiations before the Greek bailout program ends at the end of today. But progress will likely be limited until we have the result of the planned Greek referendum on Sunday. Voters will be asked essentially on whether they agree with the proposal presented by the institutions. The government will campaign for a "no," but a "yes" looks more likely, based on polls that Greeks want to stay in the Eurozone.
Leading indicators for consumers' spending in France are sending conflicting signals. Survey data suggest that households are in a spendthrift mood. Data yesterday showed that the headline consumer sentiment index was unchanged in March at 100, the cycle high.
February's money and credit figures supported recent labour market and retail sales data suggesting that consumers are increasingly financially strained. Households' broad money holdings increased by just 0.2% month-to-month in February, half the average pace of the previous six months.
Investors have concluded that Italy's political crisis will compel the U.K. MPC to increase interest rates even more gradually than they thought previously.
The Tankan survey--published on Monday--points to still buoyant sentiment, a further tightening of the labour market, and building inflation pressures.
Markets still see a near-40% chance of the MPC raising Bank Rate by the end of this year--the same as at the start of this week--despite the notable absence of comments from the Committee yesterday aimed at preparing the ground for a near term hike.
The violent protests in France claimed their first victims over the weekend, providing sombre evidence of the severity of the situation for the government.
The key data originally scheduled for today--ADP employment and the ISM non-manufacturing survey, and the revised Q3 productivity and unit labor costs-- have been pushed to Thursday because the federal government will be closed for the National Day of Mourning for president George H. W. Bush.
We've previously highlighted the pro-cyclical elements of the BoJ's framework, but it's worth repeating, when an economic shock comes along.
The Budget on March 11 will be the first time that the new government's ambition and bluster collide with reality.
The Caixin services PMI jumped sharply to 53.9 in December from 51.9 in November. All the PMIs picked up significantly, but we find this hard to believe and suspect seasonality is to blame, though the adjustment is tricky.
Colombia's BanRep stuck to the script on Thursday by leaving the policy rate on hold at 4.25%.
Peru's inflation continues to surprise to the downside, paving the way for an additional rate cut next week.
Brazil's central bank doubled the pace of rate increases last Wednesday, in the wake of the re-elected Rousseff government's promise to tackle the severe inflation problem.
The President's threat to impose tariffs on imported Chinese consumer goods on September 1 might yet come to nothing.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone edged higher last month, reversing weakness at the start of the year.
The forecasts compiled by Bloomberg for today's June German factory orders data look too timid to us. The consensus is pencilling in a 0.5% month-to month rise, which would push the year-over-year rate down to -2.1%, from zero in May. But survey data point to an increase in year-over-year growth, which would require a large month-to-month rise due to base effects from last year.
The MPC's package of stimulus measures, which exceeded markets' expectations, demonstrates that it is currently placing little weight on the inflation outlook. Even so, if inflation matches our expectations and overshoots the 2% target by a bigger margin next year than the MPC currently thinks is acceptable, it will have to consider its zeal for more stimulus.
India's headline GDP print for the third quarter was damning, with growth slowing further, to 4.5% year- over-year, from 5.0% in Q2.
December's Markit/CIPS surveys for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors suggest that the economy ended 2017 on a lacklustre note.
Brazil's external position continue to improve, but we are sticking to our view that further significant gains are unlikely in the second half, given the stronger BRL. For now, though, we still see some momentum, with the unadjusted trade surplus increasing to USD7.2B in June, up from USD4.0B a year earlier. Exports surged 24% year-over-year but imports rose only 3%.
The latest PMIs indicate that the economy remained listless in Q3, undermining the case for a rate rise before the end of this year. The business activity index of the Markit/CIPS services survey rose trivially to 53.6 in September, from 53.2 in August.
Chile's unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.1% in July-to-September, from 7.3% in June-to-August, but it was up from 6.7% in September last year.
When the BoJ tweaked policy back in July, we think the increase in flexibility in part was to lay groundwork for the BoJ to respond to the Fed's ongoing hiking cycle.
Markets tend to take an eclectic view on macroeconomic data in the Eurozone.
Headline GDP growth in Korea was revised down, to a seasonally-adjusted 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q2, from 0.7% in the preliminary report.
Colombia's Central Bank is about to face a short-term dilemma. The recent fall in inflation will be interrupted while economic growth, particularly private spending, will struggle to build momentum over the second half.
Economic conditions are deteriorating rapidly in Chile, despite the relatively decent Imacec reading for Q3.
The economic slowdown in China is old news for Eurozone investors.
The Fed's unscheduled 50bp cut on Tuesday opens up some space for Asian central banks to follow suit.
Inflation in the Eurozone tumbled last month, increasing the pressure on Mr. Draghi to deliver another dovish message when the central bank meets on Thursday.
China's National People's Congress is set to convene its annual meeting next week.
The Prime Minister told the public to "face up to some hard facts" about Brexit in her speech on Friday, but she still clung to an unachievable vision of what Britain can hope to achieve.
The outlook for Argentina is gradually improving, after a long and painful recession.
China hit back against the Trump-administration tariffs yesterday, targeting Mr. Trump's electorate.
Brazilian February industrial production data, released yesterday, were relatively positive. Output rose 0.1% month-to-month, pushing the yearover- year rate down to -0.8% from 1.4% in January. Statistical quirks were behind February's year-over-year fall, though.
German inflation surged in December, pointing to an upside surprise in today's advance EZ report. The headline inflation rate rose to a three-year high of 1.7% year-over-year in December, from 0.8% in November. This was the biggest increase in the year- over-year rate since 1993.
Investors have revised down their expectations for interest rates since the November Inflation Report and now only a 50% chance of a 25bp hike in Bank Rate is priced-in by the end of this year.
Money supply growth in the euro area eased further towards the end of Q4.
BanRep accelerated the pace of easing last Friday, cutting Colombia's key interest rate by a bold 50 basis points, to 5.75%. Economic activity has been under severe pressure in recent months. The economy expanded by only 1.1% year-over-year in Q1, following an already weak 1.6% in Q4.
Consumption remains an important source of economic growth in LatAm.
The Tankan survey powered ahead in Q2, pulling away from Q1 and mostly beating consensus. This confirms our impression of the strength of the recovery ,just as Prime Minister Abe's Liberal Democratic Party is trounced at the polls in Tokyo. The drubbing is understandable as the main benefits of Abenomics have gone to the business sector, at the expense of the household sector.
The days of +2% inflation in the Eurozone are long gone. Data on Friday showed that the headline rate slipped to 1.4% year-over-year in January, from 1.6% in December, thanks to a 2.9 percentage point plunge in energy inflation to 2.6%.
The PBoC yesterday cut its 7-day and 14-day reverse repo rate by 10bp, to 2.40% and 2.55% respectively, while injecting RMB 1.2T through open market operations.
Japan's labour market is already tight, but last week's data suggest it is set to tighten further.
Korea's final GDP report for the third quarter confirmed the economy's growth slowdown to 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, following the 1.0% bounce-back in Q2.
LatAm assets and currencies enjoyed a good start to the week, following the agreement between the U.S. and China to pause the trade war.
Colombia's central bank has found a relatively sweet spot.
January's Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey suggests that the outcome of the general election has brought manufacturers some momentary relief.
The Caixin manufacturing headline was unremarkable, but the input price index signals that PPI inflation is set to rise again in May, to 4.0%-plus, from 3.4% in April.
We're relatively optimistic--yes, you read that correctly--on the outlook for the U.K. economy in 2019.
The MPC surprised markets and ourselves yesterday by the extent to which it abandoned its previous stance and is now emphasising inflation over growth risks.
Thursday and Friday were busy days for LatAm economy watchers. In Brazil, the data underscored our view that the economy is on the mend, but the recent upturn remains shaky, and external risks are still high.
We continue to distrust the suggestion from the Markit/CIPS PMIs that the economy is in recession.
The BoJ has no good options, and its leeway for changes to existing policy instruments is limited.
Activity data from Colombia over the past quarter have been strong. Real GDP expanded by a relatively robust 2.8% year-over-year in Q2, and is on track to post a 3.2% increase in Q3.
The economic and political backdrop to this week's Monetary Policy Committee meeting is significantly more benign than when it last met on September 19.
The downturn in global trade looks set to turn a corner, at least judging by the outlook for Korean exports, which are a key bellwether.
India's GDP report for the fourth quarter surprised to the upside, with the economy growing by 4.7% year-over-year, against the Bloomberg median forecast of 4.5%.
We aren't in the business of trying to divine the explanation for every twist and turn in the stock market at the best of times, and these are not the best of times.
Markets were left somewhat disappointed yesterday by the G7 statement that central banks and finance ministers stand ready "to use all appropriate policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable growth and safeguard against downside risks."
The Fed surprised no-one yesterday, leaving rates on hold, saying nothing new about the balance sheet, and making no substantive changes to its view on the economy. The statement was tweaked slightly, making it clear that policymakers are skeptical of the reported slowdown in GDP growth to just 0.7% in Q1: "The Committee views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory".
We have spent the past few weeks shifting our story on the EZ economy from one focused on slowing growth and downside risks to a more balanced outlook. It seems that markets are starting to agree with us.
Data released on Friday show that the Chilean economy had a weak start to the second half of the year.
Over the past 18 months, the year-over-year rate of growth of manufacturing output has swung from minus 2.1% to plus 2.5%.
A sluggish GDP headline, a further increase in inflation, and poor German manufacturing data were the primary euro area highlights in our absence.
The jump in core inflation in recent months is about as alarming as the sudden decline in the same period last year; that is, not very.
Today's November retail sales numbers are something of a wild card, given the absence of reliable indicators of the strength of sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, and the difficulty of seasonally adjusting the data for a holiday which falls on a different date this year.
We've been consistent in saying that Japanese capex would roll over this year, after strength in the first three quarters was seen by the authorities and many commentators as a sign of resilience.
Today's rate hike will be accompanied by a new round of Fed forecasts, which will have to reflect the faster growth and lower unemployment than expected back in September.
Inflation pressures in France increased significantly at the start of the year.
The Mexican government last week unveiled its 2017 fiscal budget proposal. The plan makes clear that the shocks which have battered the economy and public finances since 2015 will linger in to next year. Mexico's government has been eager to cut spending in recent years.
The imposition of 10% tariffs on $200B-worth of Chinese imports is not a serious threat either to U.S. economic growth--the tariffs amount to 0.1% of GDP--or inflation.
It often is argued that the MPC will raise interest rates in November--even if the economic data are not pressuring the Committee to tighten--because markets would go into a tailspin if the MPC failed to meet their expectations.
Households have been a rock of stability over the last two years, increasing their real spending at a steady rate of 1.8% year-over-year, while the rest of the economy collectively has ground to a halt.
Today's ECB meeting is supposed to be a slam-dunk.
Revisions to Japan's real GDP growth, on Monday, left Q2 blisteringly hot.
We suspect that today's ECB meeting will be a sideshow to the political chaos in the U.K., but that doesn't change the fact that the central bank's to-do list is long.
On the face of it, the upturn in initial jobless claims since late September appears to signal a softening in the economy.
The effects of Covid-19--both negative and positive--on Korea's labour market certainly were felt in February.
For more than two years, the BoJ has fretted, in the outlook for economic activity and prices, that "there are items for which prices are not particularly responsive to the output gap."
Last week's decision by the ECB to keep rates unchanged until the beginning of 2020, at least, raises one overarching question for markets.
Our default position for core durable goods orders over the next few months is that they will fall, sharply.
Brazilian inflation has been well under control in the past few months, still laying the ground for rates to remain on hold for the foreseeable future.
Core inflation probably will remain close to June's 2.3% rate for the next few months.
Manufacturing in the Eurozone rebounded midway through the second quarter.
Jim Bullard, the St. Louis Fed president, said last week that Phillips Curve effects in the U.S. are "weak", and that nominal wage growth is not a good predictor of future inflation.
Japan's money and credit data have shown signs of life in recent months, but that's all set to change quickly, due to the disruptions caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Brexiteers have downplayed the economic consequences of a no-deal exit by arguing that a further depreciation of sterling would cushion the blow.
China's GDP report for the fourth quarter, due on Friday, is likely to show that economic growth has stabilised, on the surface.
Official, real GDP growth was low in Q1, at 1.4% quarter-on-quarter, down from 1.6% in Q4.
Our forecast for a 0.3% increase in the September core PPI, slightly above the underlying trend, is even more tentative than usual.
Next week is a big one for China. The five yearly Party Congress opens on Wednesday, and on Thursday, the monthly raft of activity data is published, along with Q3 GDP.
We're very interested in the detail of today's January NFIB survey; the headline index, not so much.
It's hard to know what will stop the correction in the stock market, but we're pretty sure that robust economic data--growth, prices and/or wages--over the next few weeks would make things worse.
A strong December didn't change the story of another year of Eurozone equity underperformance in 2016. The total return of the MSCI EU, ex-UK, last year was a paltry 3.5%, compared to 11.6% and 10.6% for the S&P 500 and MSCI EM respectively. In principle, the conditions are in place for a reversal in this sluggish performance are present. Equities in the euro area do best when excess liquidity--defined as M1 growth less GDP growth and inflation--is rising.
Markets are looking for the BCCh to remain on hold and the BCRP to ease on Thursday; we think they will be right. In Chile, the BCCh will hold rates because inflation pressures are absent and economic activity is stabilizing following temporary hits in Q1 and early Q2.
Chair Yellen has become quite good at not giving much away at her semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony.
In previous Monitors--see here--we've suggested that, thanks to the coronavirus, China simply will lose some of the spending that would have gone on during the holiday this year.
November's inflation data in Mexico, showing a modest increase in the headline rate, have strengthened the case for further monetary tightening. But we stick to our long-standing view that the Board will leave rates at 7.0% on Thursday.
China concludes its annual Central Economic Work Conference today, where the economic targets and the agenda for next year are set.
The E.U.'s decision to grant the U.K. a Brexit extension until October 31 does not extinguish the possibility that the MPC will raise Bank Rate before the end of the year.
The U.K. general election is the main event in today's European calendar, but the first official ECB meeting and press conference under the leadership of Ms. Lagarde also deserves attention.
The FOMC did mostly what was expected yesterday, though we were a bit surprised that the single rate hike previously expected for next year has been abandoned.
Recent Mexican data have been upbeat, supporting our view that a gradual recovery is underway. In the key auto sector, for example, production increased 11.4% year-over-year in November, while exports rose 5.8% year-over-year in October.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday released a list of Chinese imports, with an annual value of $200B, on which it is threatening to impose a 10% tariff, after a two-month consultation period.
Brazilian political risk remains high but, as we have argued in previous Monitors, it is unlikely to deter policymakers from further near-term monetary easing. The political crisis, however, does suggest that the COPOM will act cautiously, waiting until the latest storm passes before acting more aggressively, despite ongoing good news on the inflation front.
We have downgraded our 2019 and 2020 China GDP forecasts on previous occasions because monetary conditions have been surprisingly unresponsive to lower short-term rates.
The absence of a hawkish slant to the MPC's Inflation Report or the minutes of its meeting suggest that an increase in interest rates remains a long way off.
If the Phase One trade deal with China is completed, and is accompanied by a significant tariff roll-back, we'll revise up our growth forecasts, but we'll probably lower our near-term inflation forecasts, assuming that the tariff reductions are focused on consumer goods.
The headline figures from yesterday's GDP report gave a bad impression. September's 0.1% month-to- month decline in GDP matched the consensus and primarily reflected mean-reversion in car production and car sales, which both picked up in August.
Last week, the Chinese authorities were out in force, talking up the economy and markets, and bearing measures to support private firms.
The reported rebound in January retail sales was welcome, but the overshoot to consensus was matched, more or less, by the unexpected downward revisions to the December numbers.
Brazilian inflation has been well under control in the past few months, laying the ground for a final rate cut at the monetary policy meeting on March 21.
The case for continuing to increase Bank Rate gradually--recently reiterated by MPC members Andy Haldane and Michael Saunders-- strengthened yesterday with the release of April's labour market report, which revealed renewed momentum in wage growth.
China's money and credit data for February were reassuring, at least when compared with the doomsday scenario painted, so far, by other key indicators for last month.
The Fed paved the way with a 50bp emergency rate cut on March 3, with more to come.
One critical point emerged from last week's otherwise uneventful BoJ meeting: Governor Kuroda said that the BoJ might "adjust" rates before hitting the 2% inflation target.
External and domestic shocks in Mexico over the last two years, including the "gasolinazo", NAFTA renegotiation and the presidential election, have put the country's financial metrics under severe stress and pushed inflation to cyclical highs.
The MPC's "Super Thursday" releases suggest that the Committee won't wait long to raise interest rates after a vote to stay in the E.U., which remains the most likely outcome of June's referendum. Meanwhile, we saw nothing to support markets' view that the MPC would ease policy in the wake of a Brexit.
Markets are beginning to grasp that President-elect Trump's economic plans, if implemented in full--or anything like it--will constitute substantial inflationary shock to the U.S.
We remain confident--see here--that today's Q3 GDP report in Germany will be a shocker, but this already is priced-in by markets.
Sterling leapt to $1.27, from $1.22 last week, amid some positive signals from all sides engaged in Brexit talks.
This could have been a momentous week, but now it very likely will be just another week with another Fed meeting where rates are left on hold. Our call has very little to do with the underlying state of the economy, which we think can cope with higher rates, and needs them, given the tightness of the labor market. Instead, the story is all about the perceptions--misplaced, in our view--of both the Fed and the markets.
Today's figures likely will bring the first real signs that the Brexit vote has had an adverse impact on the labour market. The employment balances of the key private-sector surveys weakened sharply in July, and recovered only partially in August. In addition, the three-month average level of job vacancies fell by 7K between April and July.
Japanese trade remained in the doldrums in October, keeping policymakers on their toes as they repeat the refrain of "resilient" domestic demand.
Soft September data in Germany and Italy suggest that today's industrial production report in the Eurozone will be poor. Our first chart shows that data from the major EZ economies point to a 0.8% month-to- month fall in September.
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.
May's consumer prices figures bolster the case for the MPC to sit tight and wait until next year to raise interest rates, when the economy should have more momentum.
Yesterday, China finally retaliated against Mr. Trump's Friday tariff hikes, promising to increase tariffs on around $60B-worth of U.S. goods.
Markets are caught in a trade loop.
Manufacturing in the EZ was held above water by Ireland at the end of Q3.
Manufacturing in the Eurozone had a slow start to the third quarter. Industrial production rose only 0.1% month-to-month in July, though the year-over-year rate was pushed up to 3.2% from a revised 2.8% in June.
Argentina's central bank held interest rates at 60% on Wednesday, as was widely expected.
Yesterday's second estimate of Q4 Eurozone GDP confirmed the upbeat story from the advance report, despite the dip in headline growth.
The MPC chose not to rock the boat yesterday, deferring any reappraisal of the economic outlook until its next meeting in early February.
China's trade surplus jumped to a six-month high of $46.8B in December, from $37.6B in November, on the back of a strong increase in exports.
Inflation in the Andean economies ended 2019 well within central banks' objectives, despite many domestic and external challenges.
The weekly jobless claims numbers are due Thursday, as usual, but in the wake of a flood of emails from readers, all asking a variant of the same question-- should we be worried about the rise in continuing jobless claims?--we want to address the issue now.
The ECB did its utmost not to say or do anything remotely novel today. The central bank kept its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.40%, respectively, and reiterated its plan for QE next year.
Consumers' spending in Brazil slowed at the start of Q4, but we don't see this as the start of a downtrend.
The MPC surprised nobody yesterday by voting unanimously to keep Bank Rate at 0.75% and to maintain the stocks of gilt and corporate bond purchases at £435B and £10B, respectively.
We were right about the below-consensus inflation numbers for June, but wrong about the explanation. We thought the core would be constrained by a drop in used car prices, while apparel and medical costs would rebound after their July declines.
We don't often write about the performance of individual companies, but we have to make an exception for Boeing, because it is big enough to matter at a macro level. Last year, civilian aircraft orders--dominated by Boeing--totalled $102B, equivalent to 0.6% of GDP.
Yesterday's second EZ Q2 GDP report was slightly more upbeat than the advance estimate.
The Fed's unanimous vote for a 25bp rate hike was overshadowed by the bump up in the dotplot for next year, with three hikes now expected, rather than the two anticipated in the September forecast. Chair Yellen argued the uptick in the rate forecasts was "tiny", but acknowledged that some participants moved their forecasts partly on the basis that fiscal policy is likely to be eased by the new Congress.
The Fed was more hawkish than we expected yesterday.
Evidence of a modest upturn in Brazilian consumers' spending continues to mount. Retail sales rose 1.0% month-to-month in April, pushing the year-over-rate up to +1.9%, from an upwardly-revised -3.2% in March.
Korea's jobs report for August was a stonker, with unemployment plunging to 3.1%, from 4.0% in July, marking the lowest rate in more than five years.
Yesterday EZ industrial production report confirmed the message from advance country data that manufacturing rebounded towards the end of summer. Output, ex-construction, jumped 1.6% month-to-month in August, and the July data were revised up by 0.4 percentage points.
Today's labour market report likely will show that employment continued to grow briskly over the summer, but that wage gains still are lagging well behind inflation.
Japan's Q2 GDP was driven by the twin pillars of private consumption and capex.
President Trump blinked again yesterday, delaying tariffs on some $150B-worth of Chinese consumer goods until December 15.
Japanese PPI inflation continues to be driven mainly by imported metals and energy price inflation. Metals, energy, power and water utilities, and related items, account for nearly 30% of the PPI.
The manufacturing sector likely was the primary driver of Q3 GDP growth in the Eurozone. Data yesterday showed that industrial production rose 1.4% month-to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 3.8%, from a revised 3.6% in July.
The rate of deterioration in the labour market remains gradual enough for the MPC to hold back from cutting Bank Rate over the coming months.
PM Abe last week asked the cabinet to put together a package of measures in a 15-month budget aimed at bolstering GDP growth through productivity enhancement, in addition to the shorter-term goal of disaster recovery.
Banxico decided unanimously to hold its benchmark interest rate at 7.0% at last Thursday's policy meeting.
The sharp currency sell-off in Q2 and Q3, the financial crisis and tighter monetary and fiscal policies have pushed the Argentinian economy under stress since Q2.
PPI inflation has finally started to soften, after having increased steadily from 2.0% in April, and holding steady at 3.0% in Q3.
Peru's central bank, the BCRP, admitted defeat again in the face of the inflationary effects of the PEN's depreciation and El Niño, increasing interest rates by 25bp to 3.75% last Thursday, following its 25bp increase in September. Peru is the third LatAm economy in the last few months to raise rates in response to currency weakness, despite sluggish economic growth. The key problem for Peru is that inflation has been trending higher since early 2013 and has remained stubbornly high, above 2.8% all this year. "Temporary" factors just keep on coming.
Car registrations, French inflation, advance PMIs and a central bank meeting make up today's substantial menu for investors in the euro area.
Many economists describe the EZ as the sick man of the global economy, thanks to its incomplete monetary union, low productivity growth and a rapidly ageing population.
Industrial production in India turned around sharply in November, rising by 1.8% year-over-year, following October's 4.0% plunge and beating the consensus forecast for a trivial 0.3% uptick.
The partial government shutdown is now the longest on record, with little chance of a near-term resolution.
Data yesterday showed that industrial production in the Eurozone stumbled in May. Production fell 1.2% month-to-month, driven by weakness in all major economies and falling output in all sub-industries. The poor headline follows an upwardly revised 1.4% jump in April, which means that production rose marginally in the first two months of the second quarter.
The Fed will hike by 25 basis points today, but what really matters is what they say about the future, both in the language of the statement and in the dotplot for this year and next.
Investors concluded too hastily yesterday that November's GDP report boosted the chances that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its upcoming meeting on January 30.
The EZ calendar has been extremely busy in the first few weeks of the year, making it virtually impossible to see the forest for the trees.
The Fed surprised no-one by raising rates 25bp yesterday and leaving in place the median forecast for three hikes next year and two next year.
The broad strokes of yesterday's ECB meeting were in line with markets' expectations. The central bank left its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged, at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and maintained the same forward guidance.
We've already raised a red flag for today's second Q4 GDP estimate in the Eurozone, but for good measure, we repeat the argument here.
Japan's GDP likely dropped by a huge 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, after the 0.5% increase in Q3, with risks skewed firmly to the downside.
At the time of writing, Mr. Trump reportedly is finalising plans to impose tariffs of up to 25% on a further $200B of imports from China.
If you had only the NFIB survey of small businesses as your guide to the state of the business sector, you'd be blissfully unaware that the economic commentariat right now is obsessed with the potential hit from the trade tariffs, actual and threatened.
On the heels of yesterday's benign Q3 employment costs data--wages rebounded but benefit costs slowed, and a 2.9% year-over-year rate is unthreatening--today brings the first estimates of productivity growth and unit labor costs.
The MPC's new inflation forecasts usually take centre stage on "Super Thursday" and provide a numerical indication of how close the Committee is to raising interest rates again.
Yesterday's aggregate economic data for the euro area showed that inflation rose slightly in August. The headline rate rose to a four-month high of 1.5% in August from 1.3% in July. The rate was lifted mainly by energy inflation, rising to 4.6% from 2.2% in July, but we think the rebound will be short-lived.
MPC member Michael Saunders, who has voted to raise interest rates at the last two MPC meetings, argued in a speech yesterday that tighter monetary policy is required now partly because it affects the economy with a long lag.
Brazil's economic activity data have disappointed in recent months, firming expectations that the Q1 GDP report will show another relatively meagre expansion.
The BoJ kept monetary policy unchanged yesterday, as expected, with the signal coming through loud and clear: Japan's central bank will continue its aggressive easing policy until the inflation cows come home...
The more headline hard data we see in the Eurozone, the more we are getting the impression that 2019 is the year of stabilisation, rather than a precursor to recession.
The government last week fired the starting gun for the contest to replace Mark Carney as Governor of the Bank of England.
Yesterday's money supply data in the Eurozone were alarmingly poor.
Yesterday's economic headlines in the Eurozone were pleasant reading.
The Brazilian Central Bank's policy board-- COPOM--voted unanimously on Wednesday to cut the Selic rate by 50bp to 5.00%, as expected.
The BoJ yesterday kept the policy balance rate at -0.1%, and the 10-year yield target at "around zero", in line with the consensus.
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.
The continued modest rate of increase in unit labor costs makes it hard to worry much about the near-term outlook for core inflation.
We'd be surprised to see any serious shift in the tone of Fed Chair Powell's semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony today compared to the FOMC statement and press conference just three weeks ago.
Inflation in Mexico edged higher in the second half, but we expect both the headline and core rates to continue falling, allowing Banxico to keep interest rates on hold.
The pound can't get a break. Sterling fell to just $1.24 yesterday, its lowest level against the dollar since March 2017, bar the momentary "flash crash" in January.
Interest rate expectations continued to fall sharply last week.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Friday, PBoC Governor Yi Gang hinted at the intended policy if the trade war escalates.
For some time now, we have puzzled over the softness of small firms' capital spending intentions, as measured by the monthly NFIB survey.
Mexico's underlying inflation pressures and financial conditions are gradually stabilizing. Eventually, this will open the door for rate cuts in order to ease the stress on the domestic economy, particularly capex.
Recent inflation and activity data in Mexico were dovish.
Japan's GDP growth was revised up, to 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, from 0.1% in the preliminary reading.
China's January trade data were scheduled for release on Friday, but instead, the customs authority delayed the publication, saying it would publish the numbers with the February data
Colombia's January inflation rate easily exceeded BanRep's 2-to-4% target range yet again, jumping to 7.5% from 6.8% in October, the fastest increase since December 2008. This is putting pressure on BanRep to continue tightening, following 150bp rate hikes, to 6.0%, since September.
Japan's regular wage growth continued to edge up in November, maintaining the rising trend. The headline is volatile, with growth in labour cash earnings rising to 0.9% year-over-year in November, up from a downwardly revised 0.2% in October.
A quick rebound in growth, after the slowdown to a reported 2.6% in the fourth quarter, is unlikely.
Sterling fell to $1.38, from $1.39, in the hour following the EU's publication of a draft Article 50 withdrawal treaty, which set out the practical consequences of the principles the U.K. agreed to in December.
The headline number in today's NFIB survey of small businesses probably will look soft. The index is sensitive to the swings in the stock market and we'd be surprised to see no response to the volatility of recent weeks. We also know already that the hiring intentions number dropped by four points, reversing December's gain, because the key labor market numbers are released in advance, the day before the official payroll report.
Whatever you do, don't fret over the apparent loss of momentum in the wages numbers; it's a classic statistical head fake, as we pointed out in Friday's Monitor, before the report. When the 15th of the month--payday for people paid semi monthly-- falls after the employment survey week, the BLS fails properly to capture their income, and hourly earnings are under-reported.
The Redbook chain store sales survey used to be our favorite indicator of the monthly core retail sales numbers, but over the past year it has parted company from the official data. Year-over-year growth in Redbook sales has slowed to just 0.7% in February, from a recent peak of 4.6% in the year to December 2014
Japan's unemployment rate returned unexpectedly to its 26-year low of 2.3% in February, falling from 2.5% in January.
Friday's economic data added to the evidence of a Q1 rebound in EZ consumption growth.
Disappointing inflation data remain a critical dark spot in the context of otherwise solid evidence of a firming cyclical recovery. Advance data indicate that inflation was unchanged at a mere 0.2% year-over-year in December, with falling food inflation and a dip in services inflation offsetting easing deflation in energy prices. Headline inflation likely will be volatile in coming months. Base effects will push up the year-over-year rate in energy price inflation further in Q1, but we are wary that continued declines in food inflation could offset this effect.
Advance data suggest German inflation pressures eased towards the end of last year. Inflation fell to 0.3% year-over-year in December from 0.4% in November, likely due to a fall in food inflation--mean reversion in fruit and vegetables inflation--and a sharp fall in the annual price increase of clothing and shoes. State data indicate that deflation in household utilities persisted, but that inflation of fuel and transportation is slowly recovering. Assuming a stable oil price in coming months, base effects should push up energy price inflation in the first quarter, though it should then fall again slightly in the second quarter. Overall, though, we expect energy price inflation gradually to stabilise and recover this year.
Investors are increasingly anxious that an intentional sharp devaluation of the renminbi, aiming to combat China's slowdown, might lead to prolonged deflation in the West, particularly in an economy as open as the U.K.
The Eurozone is back in headline deflation, increasing the pressure on the ECB to deliver further easing when it meets next week. Inflation fell to -0.2% in February, from +0.3% in January, depressed by energy and food prices.
Distinguishing between the structural and cyclical story is crucial to understanding the inflation picture in the Eurozone. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman recently lamented--New York Times, March 1st--that the Eurozone economy appears to be stalling. We doubt the outlook for GDP growth this year is that dire.
Last week's official data unequivocally indicated that the Brexit vote has not had a detrimental impact on the economy yet.
The "Super Thursday" releases from the Monetary Policy Committee--MPC--indicate that financial market turbulence and the approaching E.U. referendum have kiboshed the chances of an interest rate rise in the first half of this year. Nonetheless, the MPC's forecasts clearly imply that it expects to raise rates much sooner than markets currently anticipate, and the Governor signalled that a rate cut isn't under active consideration.
We agree wholeheartedly with the consensus view that the economy would enter a recession in the event of a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
Friday's data deluge suggests that EZ economic growth slowed less than we expected in the second quarter. The advance estimate indicates that real GDP in the euro area rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q2, down from a 0.6% jump in the first quarter. This was in line with the consensus, but it likely doesn't tell the whole story.
The political limbo in Italy currently appears to have three possible solutions, in the short term. The 5SM and Lega can try to form a coalition, again.
April's money and credit figures suggest that GDP growth has remained sluggish in Q2. Households' broad money holdings increased by just 0.3% month-to-month in April.
A rebound in quarter-on-quarter growth in households' spending in Q2, following the slowdown to just 0.2% in Q1, looks less likely following April's money data.
The Eurozone's TARGET2 system is a clearing mechanism for the real-time settling of large payments between European financial intermediaries. It's an important piece of financial architecture, ensuring the smooth flow of transactions. But we struggle to see these flows containing much information for the economy.
House purchase mortgage approvals by the main street banks jumped to 40.1K in January, from 36.1K in December, fully reversing the 4K fall of the previous two months, according to trade body U.K. Finance.
Mark Carney's assertion that "...some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer" is a clear signal that an interest rate cut is in the pipeline. But easing likely will be modest, due to the much higher outlook for inflation following sterling's precipitous decline.
The Eurozone escaped deflation last month, and we doubt it will return in this business cycle. Inflation rose to 0.1% year-over-year in June, up from -0.1% in May; it was lifted chiefly by the gradual recovery in oil and other global commodity prices. Energy prices fell 6.5% in June, up from a 8.4% fall in May, and we think the recovery will accelerate in coming months.
December's money data brought clear signs that the economy's growth spurt in the second half of 2016 is about to come to an abrupt end. Growth in households' money holdings and borrowing slowed sharply in December, and the pick-up in corporate borrowing shortly after the MPC cut interest rates and announced corporate bond purchases, in August, has run out of steam already.
Yesterday was a good day for headline EZ economic data. GDP growth accelerated, inflation rose and unemployment fell further. Advance Q4 data showed that real GDP in the Eurozone rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, marginally faster than the upwardly revised 0.4% in Q3. Full-year growth in 2016 slowed slightly to 1.7% from 2.0% in 2015.
Experimental figures, released earlier this week, suggest that wages have increased at a faster rate than indicated by the average weekly earnings--AWE--data.
It's probably safe to assume that Q1's 0.5% quarter-on-quarter increase in GDP will be as good as it gets this year.
China's trade balance flipped to an unadjusted deficit of $7.1B in the first two months of the year, from a $47.2B surplus in December.
Most countries in LatAm are now fighting a complex global environment; a viral outbreak of biblical proportions and plunging oil prices, after last week's OPEC fiasco.
The big story in financial markets at the moment is the idea that major global central banks are about to embark on a policy easing cycle.
The border security agreement between the U.S. and Mexico has strengthened hopes that the Sino- U.S. trade war will end soon.
We already know that the key labor market numbers in today's May NFIB survey are strong.
Collapsing oil prices add fresh deflationary pressure on China.
It's just not possible to forecast the reaction of businesses and consumers to the coronavirus outbreak.
Inflation is under control in most LatAm economies, and we expect headline rates to remain close to current levels in the very near term.
At least some investors clearly were expecting Fed Chair Powell yesterday to offer a degree of resistance to the idea that a rate cut at the end o f this month is a done deal.
Chinese PPI inflation fell to 4.9% in December, from 5.8% in November. The decline was expected, but underneath the slowdown in commodity price inflation, the rate of increase of manufacturing goods prices is slowing sharply too.
Investors have lowered once again their expectations for official interest rates and now do not anticipate any rate hikes this year. Markets appear to have judged that the plunge in oil prices will ensure that inflation is too low for the Monetary Policy Committee to tighten policy. Oil prices, however, are not the be-all and end-all for inflation or monetary policy, and we doubt they will distract the MPC from the continued firming of domestic price pressures this year.
Mexico's inflation rate ended 2018 in line with market expectations, strengthening the case for interest rates to remain on hold in the near term.
China's PPI inflation rose again in June, to 4.7%, from 4.1% in May.
Core PPI inflation has risen relentlessly, though not rapidly, over the past two-and-a-half years.
Inflation appears no longer to be an issue for Mexican policymakers. The annual headline rate slowed to 3.0% year-over-year in February from 3.1% in January, in the middle of the central bank's target range, for the first time since May 2006.
Inflation in the Andes remains in check and the near term will be benign, suggesting that central banks will remain on hold over the coming months.
Peru's central bank likely will cut its main interest rate by 25bp to 3.25% on Thursday. Inflation dipped in September and likely will increase only marginally in October, while economic growth was relatively sluggish at the start of Q3.
Business investment in Japan took a nasty hit in the third quarter.
China's PPI deflation deepened in August, with prices dropping 0.8% year-over-year, after a 0.3% decline in July.
As we reach our Sunday afternoon deadline, Hurricane Irma is pounding Florida's west coast with an intensity not seen since Andrew, in 1992.
The key question for the MPC at this week's meeting is whether it is prepared to tolerate the consequences for inflation of sterling's further depreciation since its last meeting in August.
Recent inflation numbers across the biggest economies in LatAm have surprised to the downside, strengthening the case for further monetary easing.
Yesterday's French industrial production data were worse than we expected. Output slipped 1.1% month-to-month in September, pushing the year-over-year rate down to -1.1% from a revised +0.4% in August. Mean-reversion was a big driver of the poor headline, given the upwardly-revised 2.4% jump in August.
The Easter effect depressed services inflation more than markets expected in April, but the main downside surprise was the tepid rebound in non-energy goods inflation.
The re-emergence of Chinese PPI inflation in 2016 was instrumental in stabilising equities after the 2015 bubble burst.
The MPC emphasised yesterday that its faith that interest rates need to rise further has not been shaken by recent downside data surprises.
China's October foreign trade headlines beat expectations, but the year-over-year numbers remain grim, with imports falling 6.4%, only a modest improvement from the 8.5% tumble in September.
The apparent thaw in the U.S.-China trade dispute is great news for LatAm, particularly for the Andean economies, which are highly dependent on commodity prices and the health of the world's two largest economies
Banxico's monetary policy meeting on Thursday was the first to be attended by the two new deputy governors, Jonathan Heath and Gerardo Esquivel, economists appointed by AMLO.
Markets' inflation expectations have fallen in recent weeks, maintaining the trend seen over the previous 18 months. The fall in expectations for the next year or so is justified by the sharp fall in oil prices. But expectations for inflation further ahead have drifted down too, even though lower oil prices will have no effect on the annual comparison of prices beyond a year or so from now.
On the face of it, our forecast of higher core inflation by the end of this year is seriously challenged by the recent data.
China's money and credit numbers for April were a mixed bag. M2 growth merely inched down, to 8.5% year-over-year, from 8.6% in March, keeping its gradual uptrend intact.
Some commentators have asserted that the Monetary Policy Committee won't raise interest rates until all its members agree and investors have fully priced in an increase, arguing that an earlier move would create excessive market turmoil and muddy the Committee's message. But a look back to previous turning points in the interest rate cycle suggests that the Monetary Policy Committee--MPC--hasn't paid much heed to those considerations before.
The Central Bank of Argentina surprised markets on Tuesday, raising its main interest rate by 100bp to 28.75% to cap inflation expectations and push core inflation down at a faster pace.
Donald Trump's victory casts a shadow of political uncertainty over what had appeared to be a decent outlook for the U.S economy. The U.K.'s trade and financial ties with the U.S., however, are small enough to mean that any downturn on the other side of the Atlantic will have little impact on Britain.
Market participants and analysts have gradually softened their cautious stance towards Mexico, as concerns about the new U.S. administration's trade and immigration policies have eased, and risks of a credit rating downgrade have lessened.
April's Retail Sales Monitor from the British Chambers of Commerce, released yesterday, provided a powerful signal that households' spending rebounded in April, following a terrible Q1.
The collapse in oil prices was the immediate trigger for the 7.6% plunge in the S&P 500 yesterday, but the underlying reason is the Covid-19 epidemic.
In this Monitor we'll let the data be, and try to make some sense of the recent market volatility from a Eurozone perspective, with an eye to the implications for the economy and policymakers' actions.
The stakes are raised ahead of today's ECB meeting after the central bank's pledge in January to "review and reassess" its policy stance. Since then, survey data have weakened, inflation has fallen and volatility in financial markets has increased. The ECB likely will act accordingly and deliver a boost to monetary stimulus today.
We've had some correspondence questioning our view on the "weakness" of February hourly earnings, which we firmly believe were depressed by a persistent calendar quirk. Almost nine times in 10 over the past decade, when the 15th of the month has fallen after the week of the 12th--the payroll survey week--the monthly gain in wages has undershot the prior trend.
The ECB made no major policy changes yesterday. The central bank kept its refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and the scheduled reduction in the pace of QE to €60B per month was confirmed. The core part of the central bank's language retained its dovish bias.
Neither the 33K drop in September payrolls nor the 0.5% jump in hourly earnings tells us anything about the underlying state of the labor market.
The pick-up in GDP in July is a re assuring sign that the economy is on course to grow at a solid rate in Q3, thereby substantially weakening the case for the MPC to cut Bank Rate before Britain's Brexit path is known.
The recent FX depreciation and falling oil prices are driving the dynamics of inflation across the Andean economies.
China's trade surplus appears modestly to be rebuilding, edging up to $34.0B in November, on our adjustment, from $33.3B in October. The recent trough was $24.B, in March.
The clear threat to demand posed by the coronavirus and China's efforts at containment have sent a shock wave through commodities markets.
At first glance, the continued weakness of domestically-generated inflation, despite punchy increases in labour costs, is puzzling.
The resilience and adaptability that the Chilean economy has shown over previous cycles has been tested repeatedly over the last year. Uncertainty on the political front, falling metal prices, and growing concerns about growth in China have been the key factors behind expectations of slowing GDP growth.
The MPC was a little irked by the markets' reaction to its November meeting.
China's November money and credit data were a little less grim, with only M2 growth slipping, due to unfavourable base effects.
The likely dip in the headline NFIB index of small business sentiment and activity today will tell us that business owners are unhappy and nervous about the potential impact of the latest China tariffs on their sales and profits.
Lacklustre economic data and persistent no deal Brexit risk mean that the MPC won't rock the boat at this week's meeting.
Investors have been caught out by the speed of the recent rise in RPI inflation and have revised up their expectations. Even so, inflation swaps imply that markets expect RPI inflation to be 3.6% in one year's time, not much above the latest print, 3.2% in February. We still think RPI inflation will exceed markets' expectations.
Recent retail surveys have indicated that consumers are not suffering yet from Brexit blues. The BRC reported that year-over-year growth in total sales values picked up to 1.9% in July, from 0.2% in June. After adjusting for falling prices, this measure suggests that year-over-year growth in official retail sales volumes held steady at about 4% last month.
Members of the Monetary Policy Committee have signalled that January's flash Markit/CIPS composite PMI, released on Friday 24, will have a major bearing on their policy decision the following week.
Chinese monetary conditions have tightened sharply in the past year. Conditions have stabilised in recent months but Fed policy normalisation implies the increase in the money stock should slow again in 2018.
At the October FOMC meeting, policymakers softened their view on the threat posed by the summer's market turmoil and the slowdown in China, dropping September's stark warning that "Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term." Instead, the October statement merely said that the committee is "monitoring global economic and financial developments."
The People's Bank of China cut its seven-day reverse-repo rate yesterday, to 2.50% from 2.55%.
The plunge in oil prices in recent weeks is not a threat to the overall U.S. economic growth story in the near term--we have always expected growth to slow, but remain decent, once the boost from the tax cuts fades--but it will make a difference, at the margin.
Retail sales fell back to earth in September, indicating that the pick-up in spending over the summer largely was a weather-related blip.
The Fed's strategic view of the economy and policy has not changed since last December, when it first said that "The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run.
Chile's Q3 GDP report, released yesterday, confirmed that the economy gathered speed in the third quarter, but this is now in the rearview mirror.
Political risk in Brazil has increased substantially, following reports that President Temer was taped in an alleged cover-up scheme involving the jailed former Speaker of the House. If the tapes are verified, calls for Mr. Temer to face impeachment will mount.
It is a known axiom among EZ economists that the ECB never pre-commits, but yesterday's speech by Mr. Draghi in Sintra--see here--is as close as it gets.
Iván Duque, the conservative candidate for the Democratic Centre Party, won the presidential election held in Colombia on Sunday.
A lot of ink has been spilled over the relative significance of the supply and demand effects of Covid-19, but the short-term story is clear.
Argentina's Recovery Continues, but the Rebound is Facing Setbacks
Following our note yesterday about upside risks to wage growth and the question of how the Fed will respond, given their sensitivity to labor cost-push inflation risk in the past, we want to address a question raised by readers.
The MPC is holding its nerve and not about to join other central banks in providing fresh stimulus.
Investors awaiting today's interest rate decision might be a little unnerved to learn that the MPC has a track record of surprises.
China's official PMIs paint a picture of robust momentum going into 2018 but we find this difficult to reconcile with the other data.
China's official manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 50.2 in December, marking a weak end to the year. But it could have been worse; we had been worried that the return to above-50 territory in November had been boosted by temporary factors. December's print allays some of those fears.
The economy slowed less than we expected in 2017.
At the end of last year, China's Central Economic Work Conference set out the lay of the land for 2019. Cutting through the rhetoric, we think the readout implies more expansionary fiscal policy, and a looser stance on monetary policy.
Perhaps the single strongest U.S. economic data series in recent months has been construction spending, which has risen by more than 1%, month-to-month, in four of the past five months.
Data on EZ consumption were soft while we were enjoying our Christmas break. The advance EC consumer confidence index slipped to a three-year low of -8.1 in December, from -7.2 in November, breaking its recent tight range.
Expectations are running high that the MPC will strike a more hawkish tone today in the minutes of this month's meeting and in the quarterly Inflation Report. Investors are pricing in a 45% chance of the MPC raising interest rates before the end of 2017, up from 30% before the last Report in November.
We're reasonably happy with the idea that business sentiment is stabilizing, albeit at a low level, but that does not mean that all the downside risk to economic growth is over.
The pronounced weakness of activity surveys conducted since the referendum and the Governor's guidance in June, reinforced by the minutes of July's MPC meeting, indicate that a rate cut on Thursday is virtually guaranteed.
The key detail in Friday's barrage of economic data was the above-consensus increase in EZ inflation.
Japan's jobless rate was unchanged, at 2.4% in October, as the market took a breather after September's job losses.
Fed Chair Yellen speaks to the Economics Club of Washington, D.C., at 12.25 Eastern today, a day before she appears before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress at 10.00 Eastern. These will be her last public utterances before the FOMC meeting on December 16. Dr. Yellen won't say anything which could be interpreted as seeking to front-run the outcome of the meeting; that's not her style. But we expect her clearly to repeat that the Fed's decision will depend on whether progress has been made since October towards the Fed's twin objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation.
On the face of it, trade negotiations have deteriorated in the last week.
In the wake of last week's rate increase, the fed funds future puts the chance of another rise in September at just 16%. After hikes in December, March and June, we think the Fed is trying to tell us something about their intention to keep going; this is not 2015 or 2016, when the Fed happily accepted any excuse not to do what it had said it would do.
For the record, we think the Fed should raise rates in December, given the long lags in monetary policy and the clear strength in the economy, especially the labor market, evident in the pre-hurricane data.
Policymakers in Chile left rates unchanged at their monetary policy meeting last week, maintaining their neutral bias.
The MPC took an unprecedented step last week to pave the way for an interest rate rise.
If we're right in our view that the strength of the dollar has been a major factor depressing the rate of growth of nominal retail sales, the weakening of the currency since January should soon be reflected in stronger-looking numbers. In real terms--which is what matters for GDP and, ultimately, the lab or market--nothing will change, but perceptions are important and markets have not looked kindly on the dollar-depressed sales data.
Everyone heard San Francisco Fed president Williams's suggestion Monday that central banks could raise their inflation targets in response to the sustained slow growth and lower-than-expected inflation of recent years. It's not clear, though, that markets grasped the scale of the increase he thinks might be appropriate.
Rapidly increasing food inflation is creating all sorts of dilemmas for policymakers in Asia's giants.
Argentinians are heading to the polls on Sunday October 27 and will likely turn their backs on the current president, Mauricio Macri.
Chile's Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged last week at 3.0%, for the seventh month in a row. The press release maintained its neutral tone, as in previous recent meetings, as the BCCh acknowledged that the economy is growing at a moderate pace, with some indicators suggesting less dynamic growth "at the margin".
Japan's inflation target came under heavy fire yesterday, as Finance Minister Taro Aso suggested that "things will go wrong if you focus too much on 2%."
The April FOMC statement dropped the March assertion that "global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks" to the U.S. economy, even though growth "appears to have slowed". Instead policymakers pointed out that "labor conditions have improved further", perhaps suggesting they don't take the weak-looking March data at face value. We certainly don't.
Eurozone inflation pressures remained subdued in April. Today's final data likely will show that inflation fell to -0.2% year-over-year in April, from 0.0% in March. The main story in this report will be the reversal in services inflation from the March surge, which was due to the early Easter.
China's investment slowdown went from worrying to frightening in October. Last week's fixed asset investment ex-rural numbers showed that year- to-date spending grew by 5.2% year-over-year in October, marking a further slowdown from 5.4% in the year to September.
The Eurozone economy all but stalled at the start of Q4.
The PBoC reduced its 14-day reverse repo by 5bp to 2.65% in a routine operation yesterday.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone have been building in recent months, but we think the headline is close to a peak for the year.
The solid numbers for December mean that core inflation remains on track to breach 2?-?% this year, though probably not until the summer. Over the next few months, base effects will help to hold the core rate close to the December pace.
June's consumer price figures threw a last minute curve-ball at the MPC ahead of its key meeting on August 2.
June's retail sales figures provided a timely reminder that consumers aren't being haunted by the warnings of the damage that a no -deal Brexit would entail.
Mexico's economic and financial outlook is deteriorating rapidly and hopes of a gradual recovery over the next three-to-six months are fading away after AMLO's missteps in recent months.
Markets' reaction last week to the ECB's October meeting accounts--see here--shows that investors are beginning to take seriously the idea of an inflection point in Eurozone monetary policy.
Mexico's central bank, Banxico, capitulated in the face of the rapidly depreciating MXN and unexpectedly increased interest rates by 50bp to 3.75% on Wednesday, following an unscheduled meeting the day before. The decision was a unanimous, brave step, showing that policymakers are extremely worried about the FX sell-off, despite growth still running below potential.
Colombia's GDP report, released last week, confirmed that it was the fastest growing economy in LatAm and everything suggests that it likely will lead the ranking again this year.
India's industrial production data last week are the last set of key economic indicators for the fourth quarter, before next week's Q4 GDP report.
The headline employment numbers masked an otherwise sub-par December labour market report.
January's retail sales figures, released today, look set to indicate that consumers are keeping the recovery going, amid deteriorating business sentiment and faltering external trade.
May's money and credit data indicate, reassuringly, that the economy still is growing at a steady, albeit unspectacular, rate, despite the endless uncertainty created by Brexit.
The ECB will not make any adjustments to its policy stance today. We think the central bank will keep its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.0% and -0.4%, respectively, and also that will maintain the pace of QE purchases at €80B a month. The updated macroeconomic projections likely will include a modest upgrade of this year's GDP forecast to 1.5%, from its 1.4% estimate in March.
The FOMC won't raise rates today, but we expect that the announcement of the start of balance sheet reduction will not be interrupted by Harvey and Irma.
Our forecast of significantly higher core inflation over the next year has been met, it would be fair to say, with a degree of skepticism.
Banxico's tightening cycle has totalled 400 basis points, lifting rates to 7.0%. Since late 2015, Banxico has followed the Fed closely, but other external factors also have guided many of its decisions.
The BoJ kept all policy measures unchanged at its meeting yesterday.
August inflation surprised to the downside across most of LatAm, as food price surges proved transitory, and the lagged effect of the FX depreciations last year faded. Brazil appeared to be the exception last month, but the underlying trend in inflation is downwards.
We don't expect any major policy announcements at today's ECB meeting. We think the central bank will keep its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.0%, and we expect the deposit and marginal lending facility rates to remain at -0.4% and 0.25%, respectively.
On the official gauge, China's real GDP growth fell minimally to 6.8% year-on-year in Q3, from 6.9% in Q2. Growth edged down to 1.7% quarter-on-quarter from an upwardly revised 1.8% in Q2.
Prospects for further rate cuts in Brazil, due to the sluggishness of the economic recovery and low inflation, have played against the BRL in recent weeks.
Brace yourselves; GDP growth forecasts are being slashed left and right, as our colleagues take stock of the economic damage Covid-19 likely will inflict in the U.S. and across Europe, where outbreaks and containment measures have escalated significantly.
Yesterday's headline economic data in the euro area were solid across the board, though the details were mixed.
The recent increases in single-family housing construction are consistent with the rise in new home sales, triggered by the substantial fall in mortgage rates over the past year.
The media and markets are waking up to the idea that the housing market has peaked in the face of higher mortgage rates and slightly--so far--tighter lending standards.
Once again, Chinese January data released so far suggest that the Phase One trade deal was the dominant factor dictating activity for the first two- thirds of the month, with the virus becoming a real consideration only in the last third.
Argentina's latest hard data suggest that activity is softening, but we don't see the start of a renewed downtrend.
February's consumer price figures, released yesterday, put more pressure on the MPC to stick to its plans for an "ongoing" tightening of monetary policy, despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit chaos.
Fed Chair Yellen made it clear in last week's press conference that she is not convinced the increase in core inflation will persist: "I want to warn that there may be some transitory factors that are influencing [the rise in core inflation]... I see some of that is having to do with unusually high inflation readings in categories that tend to be quite volatile without very much significance for inflation over time.
China reportedly has offered President Trump a $200B reduction in its annual trade surplus with the U.S., engineered by increasing imports of American products, among other steps.
We have been asked recently why we rarely talk about the signal from the U.S. money supply numbers, in contrast to the emphasis we give to real M1 growth in our forecasts for economic growth in both the Eurozone and China.
The chances of the first phase of the Brexit saga concluding soon declined sharply last week.
Producer prices in Germany rose 0.4% month-to-month in May, stronger than the consensus expectation of a 0.3% gain, and we think further upside surprises are likely in coming months. The headline was boosted by a 0.7% jump in energy prices, but food and manufacturing goods prices also rose.
The MPC's unanimous decision to keep Bank Rate at 0.75% and the minutes of its meeting left little impression on markets, which still see a higher chance of the MPC cutting Bank Rate within the next 12 months than raising it.
As we write, markets see a 70% chance that the MPC will cut Bank Rate on January 30.
With a no-deal Brexit still a potential outcome and just over five weeks to go until the U.K. is scheduled to leave, it's about time we put some numbers on how high inflation could get in this worst-case scenario.
Another day, another sharp drop in the stock market, and another wavelet of commentary suggesting recession and deflation are just around the corner. We have no argument with the idea that the manufacturing sector could contract over, say, the next six months. But the other 88% of the economy--apart from the 1½% of GDP generated by oil extraction-- is benefiting from the strong dollar and cheap fuel.
Forecasting BoJ policy for this year is trickier than it has been in a long time.
It is looking increasingly likely that core inflation, which already has fallen to 2.1% in May, from a peak of 2.7% last year, will slip below 2% next year.
The average FICO credit score for successful mortgage applicants has risen in each of the past four months.
Officially, China's real GDP growth was unchanged at 6.0% year-over-year in Q4; low by Chinese standards, but not overly worrying. Full-year growth was 6.1% within the 6.0-to-6.1% target down from 6.7% last year, also in keeping with the authorities' long-term poverty reduction goals.
The MPC likely will raise interest rates today, but as we explained here, it probably will revise down its medium-term inflation forecast, signalling that it is content with the further 35bp tightening currently priced-in by markets for 2018.
China's Caixin manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 51.0 in October, continuing the sideways trend this year.
The MPC's "Super Thursday" communications left markets a little more confident that interest rates will rise again in May, shor tly after the likely start of the Brexit transition period.
Renewed stockpiling ahead of the October Brexit deadline finally appears to be providing some near-term support to manufacturing output.
The recent sell-off in Treasuries has not yet reached significant proportions.
Policymakers and macroeconomic forecasters at the ECB will be doing some soul-searching this week. GDP growth in the euro area accelerated to a punchy 2.5% year-over-year in Q3, and unemployment dipped to a cyclical low of 8.9%.
We can't recall a time when we have disagreed so strongly with the consensus narrative, in both the media and the markets, about the state of the U.S. economy. We think both investors and the commentariat are too bearish on growth and too complacent about inflation risks, and as a result, insufficiently worried about the speed with which interest rates will rise over the next couple of years.
We'll cover Friday's barrage of EZ economic data later in this Monitor, but first things first. We regret to inform readers that the ECB is behind the curve. Last week, Ms. Lagarde downplayed the idea that the central bank will respond to the shock from the Covid-19 outbreak.
Japan's labour data threw another January curve ball this year--last year it was wages--with a change in the standards for job openings.
January's money and credit data broadly support our view that the economy still lacks momentum.
In broad terms, the euro has followed the EZ economy in the past 12-to-18 months.
For most of the decade since the whole-economy average hourly earnings numbers were first published, the year-over-year rate of increase has run faster than the ECI measure of private sector wages and salaries, excluding incentive-paid occupations. But in the first quarter of this year, the ECI measure rose 2.5% year-over-year, the fastest increase in six years, while hourly earnings rose 2.3%. That difference might not sound like much, but it matters a good deal when put into context.
August's money and credit figures show that households' incomes remain under pressure, indicating that the recent pick-up in growth in consumers' spending likely won't last.
The biggest surprise in the recent inflation numbers has been the surge in the PCE measure of hospital services costs, where the year-over-year rate has jumped to 3.8% in February, an eight-year high, from just 1.3% in September.
Wednesday's State Council meeting implies that the authorities are starting to take more serious coordinated fiscal measures to counter the virus threat to the labour market and to banks.
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate by June fell to 34%, from 38%, after the release of January's consumer price figures, though investors still see around an 80% chance of a cut by the end of this year.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis' letter requesting a six-month loan extension has been interpreted widely as Syriza throwing in the towel. But we don't see this way. The best possible outcome for Greece is to be able to participate in the ECB's sovereign QE program, and to negotiate a new deal with the Troika; the request for an extension could very well achieve both.
Expectations that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its meeting on January 30 received a further shot in the arm at the end of last week, when December's retail sales figures were released.
Argentina's inflation ended 2019 badly, and it is still too early to bet on a protracted downtrend, even after the renewed economic slowdown.
The FOMC did the minimum expected of it yesterday, raising rates by 25bp--with a 20bp increase in IOER--and dropping one of its dots for 2019.
The run of weak retail sales figures continued yesterday, with the release of November's official data.
The 1.2% month-to-month fall in retail sales volumes in March undoubtedly was due mostly to the bad weather.
Inflation in the Eurozone eased at the start of Q3.
Banxico cut its policy rate by 25bp to 7.25% yesterday, as was widely expected, following similar moves in August, September and November.
The BoJ held firm, for the most part, during this year's bout of central bank dovishness.
Data on Friday confirmed that headline inflation in the Eurozone rose a bit last month, to 1.5% from 1.4% in January, but also that the core rate dipped by 0.1 percentage points, to 1.0%.
A slew of Asian price numbers are due this Friday, and they will all likely show that price gains softened further in January.
Chinese April retail sales growth slowed sharply in value terms, to 9.4% year-over-year, from 10.1% in March.
Inflation pressures in France eased in February, in contrast to the story in the rest of the EZ. Yesterday's report confirmed the initial estimate that inflation fell to 1.2% year-over-year in February, from 1.3% in January. The headline was hit by a crash in the core rate to a two-year low of 0.2%, from 0.7% in January.
Yesterday's data in the EZ provided a little more evidence on what happened in Q1.
Back in September, after the Fed decided to hold fire in the wake of market turmoil, we expected rates to rise in December and again in March. We forecast 10-year yields would rise to 2.75% by the end of March. in the event, the Fed hiked only once, and 10-year yields ended the first quarter at just 1.77%. So, what went wrong with our forecasts?
Japanese GDP growth in the third quarter corrected the imbalances of the second. Domestic demand took a breather after unsustainable growth in Q2, while net exports rebounded.
Media reports allege that the Chancellor's Budget pared back the fiscal squeeze planned for the next couple of years. The Director of the Office for Budget Responsibility, Robert Chote, even compared the Chancellor to Saint Augustine, who supposedly said "make me pure, but not yet."
The MPC almost certainly will keep interest rates on hold today and likely won't give a strong steer on the outlook for policy in the minutes of its meeting, which are released at mid-day. On the whole, surveys of economic activity have been weak, indicating that GDP growth has slowed sharply in the second quarter.
Financial markets and economic data don't always go hand-in-hand, but it is rare to find the divergence presently on display in Italy.
We can see no hard evidence, yet, that the expanding trade war with China and other U.S. trading partners is hitting business investment.
Sterling received a shot in the arm yesterday following the release of the minutes of the MPC's meeting, which revealed that three members voted to raise interest rates to 0.50%, from 0.25% currently. Markets and economists--including ourselves--had expected another 7-1 split, but Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders switched sides and joined Kristin Forbes in seeking higher rates.
It's hard for a central bank presiding over an ageing economy to achieve a core inflation target of close to 2%. In yesterday's Monitor, we showed that German core inflation has averaged a modest 1.3% in this business cycle, despite solid GDP growth. The picture isn't much better for the ECB if we look at France.
If the Fed really believed its own rhetoric--"Inflation is expected... to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"--it would have raised rates yesterday, given the very long lags between policy action and the response from the real economy.
Today's labour market figures likely will show that the Brexit vote has inflicted only minimal damage on job prospects so far. The unemployment rate likely held steady at 4.9% in the three months to September, and the risk of a renewed fall in unemployment appears to be bigger than for a rise.
China's official real GDP growth likely slowed to 6.0% year-over-year in Q3, from 6.2% in Q2.
We have not been expecting the Fed to raise rates next week, and yesterday's data made a hike even less likely. The September Philly Fed and Empire State surveys were alarmingly weak everywhere except the headline level, and the official August production data were grim.
Economic data are telling a story of a strengthening recovery, but downbeat investor sentiment points to a more difficult environment. The headline ZEW expectations index fell to a ten-month low of 12.1 in September, from 25.0 in August. This takes sentiment back to levels not seen before QE was announced, highlighting the increasing worry that deflation risks and low growth in China will derail the recovery. We don't agree, but we can't be sure the ECB thinks the same, and risks of additional stimulus this year have increased.
The plunge in gas prices since their peak last summer likely will exert modest downward pressure on core inflation by the end of this year, via reduced costs of production and distribution, but it probably is too soon to start looking for these effects now.
China's property market looks to be turning the corner, going by the stronger-than-expected March report.
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.
We aren't going to pretend for a minute that the manufacturing sector is anything other than weak, but the 0.5% drop in output in August--the worst month since January 2014--hugely overstates the extent of industry's struggles. All the decline was due to a 6.4% plunge in auto output, but a glance at the recent path of production in this sector makes it very clear that its short-term swings aren't to be taken seriously. Auto production fell by 4.5% in June, rocketed by 10.6% in July, and then dropped sharply in August.
We look for yet another unanimous vote by the MPC to keep Bank Rate at 0.75% on Thursday, with no new guidance on the near-term outlook.
The Brexit-related slump in corporate confidence finally has taken its toll on hiring.
Yesterday's final inflation data in France for September were misleadingly soft.
Consensus expectations for August's labour market data, released today, look well grounded.
Data released last week in Argentina reaffirm that President Macri remains in a challenging position ahead of the October 27 presidential election.
Japan's tertiary index edged up 0.1% month-on-month in July, after the 0.1% decrease in June.
China's money and credit data released last Friday reaffirm our impression that the tightening has gone too far.
Swap markets currently price-in RPI inflation falling to 3.0% this time next year, from 3.2% in November, before recovering to 3.8% at the start of 2020.
Yesterday's second Q3 GDP estimate confirmed that the EZ economy expanded by 0.2% quarter-on- quarter in Q3, the same pace as in Q2, leaving the year-over-year rate unchanged at 1.2%.
China's main activity data for October disappointed across the board, strengthening our conviction that the PBoC probably isn't quite done with easing this year.
Consumption accounts for almost 70% of GDP, and retail sales account for about 45% of consumption.
Data released yesterday from Brazil support our view that the economic recovery continues, but progress has been slow.
China's September imports missed expectations, but commentators and markets tend to focus on the year-over-year numbers.
October's 0.1% month-to-month fall in retail sales volumes was disappointing, following substantial improvements in the CBI, BRC and BDO survey measures.
Following Chinese retaliation against new U.S. tariffs last week, the U.S. responded last night, as promised, setting in train the process to slap tariffs on the remaining approximately $300B of imports from China.
German inflation eased in May, but the underlying upward pressure on the core is increasing. Yesterday's data showed that inflation fell to 1.5% year-over-year in May, from 2.0% in April, as the boost from the late Easter reversed. Inflation in leisure and entertainment services was driven down to +0.8%, from +3.3% in April, as a result of sharply lower inflation in package holidays and airfares.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's five-line letter to House Speaker Pelosi on last Friday--copied to other Congressional leaders--which said that "there is a scenario in which we run out of cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes", introduces a new element of uncertainty to the debt ceiling story.
Today's MPC meeting and minutes are the first opportunity for Committee members to speak out in over a month, now that election "purdah" rules have lifted.
The Fed's action, statement, and forecasts, and Chair Yellen's press conference, made it very clear the Fed is torn between the dovish signals from the recent core inflation data, and the much more hawkish message coming from the rapid decline in the unemployment rate.
Italy is edging closer to a coalition government with the Five-Star Movement, the Northern League, and Forza Italia at the helm.
Momentum in new EZ car sales improved slightly in the middle of Q3. New registrations in the euro area rose 6.8% year-over-year in August, accelerating marginally from a 5.3% increase in July.
The MPC surprised markets, and ourselves, yesterday with the escalation of its hawkish rhetoric in the minutes of its policy meeting.
The BoJ is likely to be thankful next week for a relatively benign environment in which to conduct its monetary policy meeting.
The new Argentinian president, Alberto Fernández, will have to make a quick start on the titanic task of cleaning up the economic and social mess left by his predecessor, Mauricio Macri.
The latest data from the Energy Department show that the feared collapse in U.S. oil production in the wake of the plunge in crude prices has no t started yet. The number of rigs in operation is falling sharply, but our first chart shows it is not yet approaching the collapse seen after the financial crash.
Inflation pressure remained relatively high in Argentina last year, due mostly to the legacy of the Kirchner era. But we think inflation will ease this year, given the lagged effects of the recession and the fiscal consolidation.
The 20bp increase in 10-year yields over the past month doesn't live up to the hype; bondmageddon it was not.
Markets greatly cheered the Conservatives' landslide victory on Friday, but remained cautious on the potential for the MPC to return to the tightening cycle it started in 2017.
ate last week, China and the U.S. reached an agreement, averting the planned U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese consumer goods that were slated to be imposed on December 15.
China's July activity data pretty categorically wiped out any false hopes of a V-shaped recovery, after the June spike.
July's retail sales figures--the first official data for Q3--provided a reassuring signal that consumers can be counted on to drive the economy as the Brexit deadline nears.
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.
The account of BanRep's July meeting revealed a significant tug-of-war between the doves and hawks. The majority argued strongly that Colombia's central bank should hike the main interest rate again, by 25bp. Others judged that the benefits of further tightening did not outweigh the costs.
Your correspondent is headed to the beach for the next couple of weeks, with publication resuming on Tuesday, September 4.
The sharply increased virus spread outside China has lead to a serious downgrade in the global GDP growth outlook.
The idea that the ECB will use its forthcoming strategic policy review to include a measure of real estate prices in its inflation target has been consistently brought up by readers in recent meetings.
Today's labour market report looks set to be a mixed bag, with growth in employment remaining strong, but further signs that momentum in average weekly wages has faded.
We've continuously warned that Japan's national accounts weren't sitting easily with the underlying signals from survey data, and monetary conditions, through last year.
Take China's data dump last Friday with a pinch of salt, as Chinese New Year--CNY-- effects look to have distorted January's money and price data.
We became more confident last week in our call that GDP growth will hold up better than widely feared in the first half of 2019, following signs that consumers have maintained their happy-go-lucky mentality, despite the ongoing political crisis.
Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively weak footing. The IBC-Br index, a monthly proxy for GDP, fell 0.3% month- to-month, pushing down the adjusted year-over- year rate to 0.3%, from a downwardly-revised 0.7% increase in November.
AMLO unveiled on Saturday Mexico's budget plan for 2019, calling for a moderate increase in spending, focused mainly on social programs, without raising taxes or the country's debt.
Inflation data are known to defy economists' forecasts, but it should in principle b e straightforward to predict the cyclical path of EZ core inflation. It is the longest lagging indicator in the economy, and leading indicators currently signal that core inflation pressures are rising.
We can't afford the luxury of believing China's year-over-year growth rates. Real GDP growth was 6.8% year-over-year in Q1, matching the rate in Q4 and Q3, and hitting consensus.
Banxico will meet tomorrow, and we expect Mexican policymakers to cut the main interest rate by 25bp, to 7.25%.
The labour market remains healthy enough to persuade the MPC to keep its powder dry over the coming months.
The BoJ is likely to stay on hold this week for all its main policy settings.
The Eurozone inflation data have been relatively calm in the past six months. The headline rate has been stable at about 1.5%, and the core rate has fluctuated closely around 1%.
The consensus forecast for retail sales in December has been consistently too upbeat in recent years and we think most analysts are too sanguine yet again.
Markets currently see a 50/50 chance that the MPC will raise Bank Rate in August and will be looking for a strong signal on Thursday that the next meeting is "in play".
The imposition of 25% tariffs on $50B-worth of imports from China, announced Friday, had been clearly flagged in media reports over the previous couple of weeks.
The gloom which descended on the FOMC in April has lifted, mostly, and policymakers remain on track for two rate hikes this year, likely starting in September. The median fed funds forecast for the end of this year remains at 0.625%, implying a target range of 0.5-to-0.75%.
Colombia was the fastest growing economy in LatAm last year but it faces major challenges. The collapse of oil prices--which account for about half of exports--the COP depreciation, rising inflation and Fed's impending monetary policy normalization, are dragging down economic activity and damaging confidence.
In the excitement over the FOMC meeting--all things are relative--we ran out of space to cover some of this week's other data, notably the PPI, industrial production and housing starts. They are worth a recap, given that only the Michigan sentiment report will be released today.
Today's labour market figures will provide the first "hard data" showing how the economy has fared since the referendum. The headline employment and unemployment numbers will refer to the three months ending June, but data for July will be published on the number of people claiming unemployment benefit and the level of job vacancies.
The declines in headline housing starts and building permits in June don't matter; both were depressed by declines in the wildly volatile multi-family components.
Data released yesterday confirmed that economic activity is improving in Brazil.
Yesterday's November EZ construction data offered little respite to the gloomy outlook for the Q4 GDP headline.
Chinese official headline data paint a picture of a strengthening economy in Q2. Our analysis shows a sharply contrasting picture. China's nominal GDP, real GDP and deflators are often internally inconsistent.
Markets usually ignore the monthly import price data, presumably because they are far removed, especially at the headline level, from the consumer price numbers the Fed targets.
Yesterday's economic data provided further evidence that GDP growth in the EZ economy slowed in Q2.
The February activity report in Colombia showed a modest pick-up in manufacturing activity and strength in the retail sales numbers.
Polls suggest that Ivan Duque has comfortably beat Gustavo Petro to become Colombia's president.
The consensus forecast for a 0.6% month-to month rise in retail sales volumes in December--data released today--is far too timid.
Over the past 30 years China's role in LatAm and the global economy has increased sharply. Its share of world trade has surged, and its exports have gained significant market share in LatAm.
A strong finish to the fourth quarter spared the EZ auto sector the embarrassment of posting an outright fall in domestic sales through 2019 as a whole.
To avoid rocking the 2020 boat, the Phase One trade deal needed to be sufficiently vague, so that neither side, and particularly Mr. Trump, would have much cause to kick up a fuss around missed targets.
Sterling weakened further yesterday as anxiety grew that PM Theresa May will indicate she is seeking a "clean and hard Brexit" in a speech today. This could mean the U.K. leaves the EU's single market and customs union, in order to control immigration, shake off the jurisdiction of the European Court and have a free hand in trade negotiations with other countries.
Data on air quality in China provide some useful insights into the economic disruptions--or lack thereof--caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus from Wuhan and the government's aggressive containment measures.
When the MPC last met, on November 2, it attempted to persuade markets that Bank Rate would need to rise three times over the next three years to keep inflation close to the 2% target.
The headlines of China's August activity data are missing the real story in recent months.
The most important number released yesterday was hidden well behind the headline inflation, production and housing construction data. We have been waiting to see how quickly the upturn in the number of rigs in operation would translate into rising oil and gas well-drilling, and now we know: In July, well-drilling jumped by 4.7%
Incoming activity data from Colombia over the past quarter have been surprisingly strong, despite many domestic and external threats.
China's activity data outperformed expectations in November.
The most eye-catching aspect of December's consumer prices report was the pick-up in core inflation to 1.9%, from 1.8% in November, above the no-change consensus.
The FOMC yesterday did what it had to do, and said what it had to say. The super-doves were kicked into line, with a unanimous vote, though two members' blue dots showed they think rates should not have been raised. In our view, though, Dr. Yellen's avowed intention to raise rates gradually sits uneasily with her--correct--assertion that policy remains very accommodative, bearing in mind that the unemployment rate is now at the Fed's estimate of the Nairu, while evidence of accelerating wage gains is burgeoning.
The case for the MPC to hold back from implementing more stimulus was bolstered by September's consumer prices figures.
China's activity data yesterday made pretty uncomfortable reading for policymakers.
Swap rates imply that markets expect RPI inflation to settle within a 3.3% to 3.5% range over the next five years, once the boost from sterling's depreciation has faded.
Labour costs are rising so quickly that the MPC cannot justify an "insurance" cut in Bank Rate to counteract the impending damage from Brexit uncertainty in the run-up to the October deadline.
The MPC's forecast in August, which predicted that inflation would overshoot its 2% target over the next two years only modestly--giving it the green light to ease policy--assumed that inflation in sectors insensitive to swings in import prices would remain low. We doubt, however, that domestically generated inflation will remain benign.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea voted yesterday to lower its policy base rate to 1.25%, from 1.50%.
The minutes of March's MPC meeting were more newsworthy than we--and the markets--expected. Kristin Forbes broke ranks and voted to raise Bank Rate to 0.50%, from 0.25%.
The MPC will have to issue fresh, dovish guidance in order to satisfy markets on Thursday, which now think the Committee is more likely to cut than raise Bank Rate within the next six months.
China's activity data for May were a mixed bag, but they broadly paint a consistent picture of a slowdown in economic growth from the first quarter.
The presidential election in Argentina is only four months away and the race is heating up.
This week's Fed meeting eased many LatAm investors' minds, fuelling rallies in most of the region's currencies. We think the U.S. labour market is going through a genuine soft patch but will regain momentum over the coming months, prompting policymakers to hike rates in September.
The FOMC delivered no great surprises in the statement yesterday, but the new forecasts of both interest rates and inflation were, in our view, startlingly low. The stage is now set for an eventful few months as the tightening labor market and rising inflation force markets and policymakers to ramp up their expectations for interest rates.
The ECB disappointed slightly on the big headlines in yesterday's policy announcements, but it delivered shock and awe with the details
Japanese PPI inflation rose sharply to 2.6% in July from 2.2% in June, well above the consensus for a modest rise.
Advance inflation data from Germany and Spain indicate that the Eurozone slipped into deflation last month, piling maximum pressure on Mr. Draghi later this month. Inflation in the euro area's largest economy fell to 0.2% year-over-year in December from 0.6% in November, driven by a 6.6% plunge in the energy component.
Eurozone inflation continued its slow rebound last month. Final CPI data showed that inflation rose marginally to 0.2% in November from 0.1% in October, a bit higher than the initial estimate of 0.1%. The upward revision was due to marginally higher services inflation at 1.2%, compared to the initial 1.1% estimate. Non-energy goods inflation eased slightly to 0.5% from 0.6% last month. We have received push-back on our call for higher inflation next year, but core inflation is a lagging indicator, and it can rise independently of the story told by GDP or survey data. Core inflation tends to peak during recessions, and only starts falling later as prices are adjusted downwards, with a lag, to the cyclical downturn.
Yesterday's final CPI estimate in Germany confirmed that inflation fell to a 15-month low of 1.4% year-over-year in February, down from 1.6% in January.
Reporting on German CPI data has been like watching paint dry in recent months, but that will change in the first half of the year.
Core CPI inflation was little changed last year, after rising in 2015. The year-over-year rate stood at 2.1% in November, unchanged from December 2015. We look for a trivial nudge up to 2.2% in today's December report, but our first chart makes it clear that the trend no longer is clearly rising. The key reason that progress has been slower than we expected is that the rate of increase of prices for core non-rent services has slowed since the middle of last year, as our second chart shows.
In recent weeks Brazilian central bank officials have reinforced their message that they will continue fighting inflation with "determination and perseverance". CPI inflation is failing to subside, at least at the headline level, where the latest readings are very disappointing, and expectations have remained stubbornly high. And the BRL has fallen 13% year-to-date, posing further inflation threats ahead. All these factors mean that the BCB will increase its main interest rate yet again in July.
Yesterday's detailed CPI data for August confirmed that inflation in the Eurozone stayed subdued over the summer.
Yesterday's final CPI report confirmed that inflation in the euro area increased slightly last month. The headline rate rose to 1.5%, from 1.4% in October, lifted by a 1.7 percentage point increase in energy inflation to 4.9%.
France just about avoided slipping into deflation in December, with the CPI rising 0.1% year-over-year, down from 0.3% in November. The 4.4% drop in the energy component should have pushed inflation below zero, but a seasonal increase in tourism services was enough to offset the drag from oil prices.
Investors anticipate a shift up in the MPC's hawkish rhetoric today. After August's consumer price figures showed CPI inflation rising to 2.9%--0.2 percentage points above the Committee's forecast--the market implied probabilities of a rate hike by the November and February meetings jumped to 35% and 60%, respectively, from 20% and 40%.
Brazil's March report reinforced recent evidence indicating that inflation is decelerating. The headline CPI surprised to the downside again, slowing to a nine-month low of 9.4% year-over-year from 10.4% in February. The index rose 2.6% quarter-to-quarter in Q1, well below the 3.8% increase in the same period last year.
The Fed plans to keep on hiking...falling unemployment is the key, not the softer CPI
Today's March CPI ought to provide further support for the idea that the trend rate of increase in the core index is running at about 0.2% per month, an annualized rate, if sustained, of about 2.5%.
Brazil's headline CPI has been well above the upper limit of the BCB's target zone since January 2015. We expect this situation will continue for some time, due to the lagged effect of last year's sharp increases in regulated prices, El Niño, the BRL's sell-off in 2015, and, especially, widespread price indexation.
Yesterday's final CPI report in Germany confirmed the initial estimate that inflation was unchanged at 0.4% year-over-year in August. Deflation in energy prices eased further, but the headline was pegged back by a small fall in the core rate to 1.2% year-over- year, from 1.3% in July.
Inflation in the Eurozone is under pressure from all angles, and data from France and Germany yesterday confirmed that the risk of outright deflation has risen significantly. In Germany, inflation fell to 0.6% yearover- year in November, and in France the CPI rose a paltry 0.3%.
The bad news just keeps coming for Brazil's economy. The mid-month CPI, the IPCA-15 index, rose 1.2% month-to-month in March. Soaring energy prices remain the key contributor to the inflation story in Brazil, pushing up the housing component by 2.8% in March, after a 2.2% increase in February.
Japan: Monetary base growth slowed to 2.8% y/y in August, from 3.7% in July. Bloomberg reports no consensus, Korea: Q2 GDP growth was revised down to 1.0% q/q, from 1.1% in the preliminary report, below the no-change consensus. • Korea: CPI inflation fell to 0.0% in August, from 0.6% in July, below the consensus, 0.2%.
In one line: Soft CPI data, but temporary distortions are depressing the core.
The big four LatAm economies, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, released September inflation this week and the data showed three clear--and contrasting--trends. Inflation is accelerating in the Andes, whereas the headline rate hit another historic low in Mexico. Inflation in Brazil is still the depressing outlier, with annual CPI inflation hovering around 9.5% year-over-year in recent months, well above the rates of its regional peers. But it is close to peaking, at last.
Should you be feeling in the mood to panic over inflation risks--or more positively, benefit from the markets' underpricing of inflation risks--consider the following scenario. First, assume that the uptick in wages reported in October really does mark the start of the long-awaited sustained acceleration promised by a 5% unemployment rate and employers' difficulty in finding people to hire. Second, assume that the rental property market remains extremely tight. Third, assume that the abrupt upturn in medical costs in the October CPI is a harbinger o f things to come. And finally, assume that the Fed hawks are right in their view that the initial increase in interest rates will--to quote the September FOMC minutes--"...spur, rather than restrain economic activity". Under these conditions, what happens to inflation?
In one line: Rebound in the CPI confirmed; the rebound in construction will be short-lived, but Q4 now looks solid overall.
In one line: Old news in the CPI data, weak trade, and a horrible ZEW.
In one line: The headline CPI has bottomed for the year.
Inflation data later today will likely show that the Eurozone fell into deflation driven primarily by the big plunge in oil prices since 2008. The consensus expects a 0.1% decline year-over-year, but we look for the CPI to fall slightly more, by 0.2%.
In one line: Easter distortions drove services inflation higher; the core goods CPI is still subdued
Brazil's inflation data continue to disappoint, but they are showing some signs of improvement, at the margin. The mid-month CPI, the IPCA-15 index, jumped to 9.3% year-over-year in July, up from 8.8% in June, soaring well above the upper bound of the inflation target and reaching the highest level since December 2003, as shown in our first chart.
Friday's Italian CPI data for January were confusing.
The MPC looks set to raise Bank Rate to 0.75% on Thursday, from 0.50%, despite below-trend GDP growth in the first half of this year and rapidly falling core CPI inflation.
CPI inflation dropped to 2.4% in April, from 2.5% in March, undershooting the no-change consensus and prompting many commentators to argue that the chances of an August rate hike have declined further.
The 0.18% increase in the core PCE deflator in December was at the lower end of the range implied by the core CPI. It left the year-over-year rate at just 1.5%.
Today's advance EZ CPI report likely will show that inflation pressures eased in May. We think inflation slipped to 1.5% year-over-year, from 1.9% in April, as the boost to the core rate from the late Easter faded.
Advance CPI data yesterday continue to indicate that inflation pressures remain depressed in the Eurozone's largest economy, for now. Inflation in Germany rose slightly in May, but only to 0.1% year-over-year, from -0.1% in April. The downward pressure on the headline from the crash in oil prices remains significant. Energy prices fell 7.9% year-over-year, slowing slightly from the 8.5% drop in the year to April.
Samuel Tombs has more than a decade of experience covering the U.K. economy for investors. At Pantheon, Samuel's research is rigorous, free of dogma and jargon, and unafraid to challenge consensus views. His work focuses on what matters to professional investors: The links between the real economy, monetary policy and asset prices. He has a strong track record of getting the big calls right. The Sunday Times ranked Samuel as the most accurate forecaster of the U.K. economy in both 2014 and 2018. In addition, Bloomberg consistently has ranked Samuel as one of the top three U.K. forecasters, out of pool of 35 economists, throughout 2018 and 2019. His in-depth knowledge of market-moving data and his forensic forecasting approach explain why he consistently beats the consensus. Samuel's work on Brexit goes beyond simply reporting developments and is always analytical and unbiased, enabling investors to see through the noise of the daily headlines. While his analysis points to a particular path that politicians will take, he acknowledges the inherent uncertainty and draws out the economic and financial market implications of all plausible Brexit scenarios. Samuel holds an MSc in Economics from Birkbeck College, University of London and an undergraduate degree in History and Economics from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining Pantheon in 2015, he was Senior U.K. Economist at Capital Economics. In 2011, Samuel won the Society of Business Economists' prestigious Rybczynski Prize for an article on quantitative easing in the UK. He is based in London but frequently visits our other offices. Recent key calls include: 2018 - Correctly forecast that GDP growth would slow and inflation would undershoot the MPC's initial forecast, prompting the Committee to shock investors and almost other economists by waiting until August to raise Bank Rate, rather than pressing ahead in May. 2017 - Argued that the MPC was wrong to expect CPI inflation to stay below 3% following sterling's depreciation. He also highlighted that economic indicators pointed to the Conservatives losing their outright majority in the snap general election.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the U.K. Economy in 2018
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