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20 May 2019 Soaring Sales at Discounters Explain the Strong Redbook, Mostly (Publication Centre)

We have been puzzled in recent months by the sudden and substantial divergence between the Redbook chainstore sales numbers and the official data.

4 Feb 2020 Consumer Fundamentals Will Support Spending, Look at Redbook (Publication Centre)

The fundamentals underpinning our forecast of solid first half growth in consumers' spending remain robust.

11 June. 2015 Autos Will Lift May Retail Sales - Core a Mystery as Redbook Drops (Publication Centre)

We can be reasonably sure that the headline May retail sales number will look quite strong, thanks to the surge in auto sales reported by the manufacturers last week. Sales of cars and light trucks soared past industry analysts' expectations to a nine-year high, rising 7.5% from their April level.

09 Mar. 2016 Why are Chainstore Sales so Weak Compared to the Official Data? (Publication Centre)

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

7 March 2017 Why has Spending not Faltered After Tax Refunds were Delayed? (Publication Centre)

The delay in the processing of personal income tax refunds this year appears not to have had any adverse impact on retail sales, so far. Indeed, the Redbook chainstore sales survey suggests that sales have accelerated over the past few weeks.

9 May 2017 Chainstore Sales Rebound Points to Robust Q2 Consumption (Publication Centre)

If the Redbook chain store sales survey moved consistently in line with the official core retail sales numbers, it would attract a good deal more attention in the markets. We appreciate that brick-and-mortar retailers are losing market share to online sellers, but the rate at which sales are moving to the web is quite steady and easy to accommodate when comparing the Redbook with the official data.

15 May 2019 Q2 Consumption on Course for 3%, Despite Auto Drag on April Retailing (Publication Centre)

The gap between the official measure of the rate of growth of core retail sales and the Redbook chainstore sales numbers remains bafflingly huge, but we have no specific reason to expect it to narrow substantially with the release of the April report today.

18 September 2018 Chainstore Sales Growth has Jumped Thank the Tax Cuts (Publication Centre)

The first estimate of retail sales growth in August was weaker than implied by the Redbook chainstore sales survey, but our first chart shows that the difference between the numbers was well within the usual margin of error.

3 Dec 2019 Chainstore Sales for Thanksgiving Week Usually Look Good, but... (Publication Centre)

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.

8 August 2018 Chainstore Sales Growth is Strong, but the Tax Cuts aren't Responsible (Publication Centre)

The release yesterday of the weekly Redbook chainstore sales report for the week ended Saturday August 4 means that we now have a complete picture of July sales.

21 Jan. 2015 - Spending Not Yet Surging in the Wake of Cheaper Gas, But it Will (Publication Centre)

So far, the surge in retail spending promised by the plunge in gasoline prices has not materialized. The latest Redbook chain store sales numbers dipped below the gently rising trend last week, perhaps because of severe weather, but the point is that the holiday season burst of spending has not been maintained.

22 May 2018 Chainstore Sales Growth has Surged, Thank Warmer Weather? (Publication Centre)

We have been pleasantly surprised by the recent Redbook chainstore sales numbers.

22 July. 2015 Chain Store Sales Growth Will Slow Further - Don't be Misled (Publication Centre)

The downshift in the rate of growth of retail sales, which has caused a degree of consternation among investors, likely has further to run. The Redbook chain store sales survey clearly warned at the turn of the year that a slowdown was coming, but forecasters didn't want hear the warning: Five of the seven non-auto retail sales numbers released this year have undershot consensus.

22 Sept. 2015 Nominal Retail Sales Set to Slow Further, Thanks to the Dollar (Publication Centre)

The rate of growth of chain store sales has levelled off in recent months, after slowing dramatically in the first four months of this year, almost certainly in response to falling prices for dollar-sensitive goods like household electronics. In the fourth quarter of last year, the Redbook recorded same-store sales growth averaging 4.3%, but that has slowed to a 1-to-2% range since April.

25 Nov 2019 Deferring the December 15 Tariffs is not Alone Enough to Lift Growth (Publication Centre)

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.

25 March 2019 The Fundamentals are at Odds with the Curve, no Recession Near (Publication Centre)

The commentariat was very excited Friday by the inversion of the curve, with three-year yields dipping to 2.24% while three-month bills yield 2.45%.

25 Oct 2019 Capex is Falling, and a Huge Aircraft Inventory Overhang is Building (Publication Centre)

The gaps in the third quarter GDP data are still quite large, with no numbers yet for September international trade or the public sector, but we're now thinking that growth likely was less than 11⁄2%.

25 October. 2016 Consumers Confidence is High, but Expect an October Correction (Publication Centre)

Recent consumer confidence numbers have been strong enough that we don't need to see any further increase. The expectations components of both the Michigan and Conference Board surveys are consistent with real spending growth of 21⁄2-to- 3%, which is about the best we can expect when real income growth, after tax, is trending at about 21⁄2%.

26 March 2019 Consumers are Cash-Rich and Confident Don't Worry About Them (Publication Centre)

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.

26 Feb 2020 The Fed's "Too Soon to Tell" Line Won't Hold if Markets Keep Falling (Publication Centre)

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.

24 October 2017 Which to Believe, the Markit PMI or the ISM Survey? (Publication Centre)

A startlingly wide gap has emerged over the past nine months between the ISM manufacturing index and Markit's manufacturing PMI.

26 Nov 2019 The Export Collapse Signalled by the Late Summer ISM has been Averted (Publication Centre)

We were terrified by the plunge in the ISM manufacturing export orders index in August and September, which appeared to point to a 2008-style meltdown in trade flows.

24 Oct 2019 Core Capex Orders aren't as Weak as the ISM Suggests... Yet (Publication Centre)

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.

24 October 2018 September New Home Sales Likely Hit by Hurricane Michael (Publication Centre)

The path of new home sales over the past couple of years has followed the mortgage applications numbers quite closely.

24 Sept 2019 September Retail Sales Enjoying a Temporary Tariff-Beating Boost? (Publication Centre)

The rational thing to do when the price of a consumer good you are considering buying is thought likely to rise sharply in the near future is to buy it now, provided that the opportunity cost of the purchase--the interest income foregone on the cash, or the interest charged if you finance the purchase with credit--is less than the expected increase in the price.

25 Feb 2020 The Fed will Blink if Markets have Many More Days Like Yesterday (Publication Centre)

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.

25 April 2017A Government Shutdown Would Say More About Politics Than Economics (Publication Centre)

A shutdown of the federal government, which could happen as early as this weekend, is a political event rather than a macroeconomic shock. But if it happens--if Congress cannot agree on even a shortterm stop-gap spending measure in order to keep the lights on after the 28th--it would demonstrate yet again that the splits in the House mean that the prospects of a substantial near-term loosening of fiscal policy are now very slim.

25 Mar 2020 Surveys Confirm the Services Meltdown, Industry Better, for Now (Publication Centre)

The huge drop in the March Markit services PMI, reported yesterday, and the modest dip in the manufacturing index, are the first national business survey data to capture the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

27 September 2017 Yellen is Following the Tightening Labor Market, it's Telling her to Hike (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen's speech in Cleveland yesterday elaborated on the key themes from last week's FOMC meeting.

28 February 2019 Expect Underwhelming Q4 GDP Growth Data Today Q1 Likely Worse (Publication Centre)

We expect to learn today that the economy expanded at a 2.1% annualized rate in the fourth quarter, slowing from 3.4% in the third.

28 Feb 2020 The Fed Can't Stand by as Markets Melt, Expect Easing at Any Time (Publication Centre)

The Fed will soon have to step in to try to put a firebreak in the stock market.

28 Jan 2020 Plummeting Boeing Orders Mean Downside Risk for Durable Goods (Publication Centre)

Core durable goods orders in recent months have been much less terrible than implied by both the ISM and Markit manufacturing surveys.

28 June 2017 ISM Survey Suggests May Trade Deficit to Drop Sharply (Publication Centre)

The April international trade numbers were startlingly, and surprisingly, horrible. The deficit in trade in goods leaped by $6.2B -- the biggest one-month jump in two years -- to $67.1B, though the headline damage was limited by a sharp narrowing in the oil deficit, thanks to lower prices, and a rebound in the aircraft surplus.

28 May. 2015 The Oil Hit Matters for Capex, but Not for the Labor Market (Publication Centre)

We argued in the Monitor yesterday that the very low and declining level of jobless claims is a good indicator that businesses were not much bothered by the slowdown in the pace of economic growth in the first quarter. The numbers also help illustrate another key point when thinking about the current state of the economy and, in particular, the rollover in the oil business.

28 Apr. 2015 Confidence is high enough to support strong Q2 and Q3 spending (Publication Centre)

The expectations components of both the Michigan and Conference Board measures of consumers' confidence have risen sharply since gasoline prices rolled over.

24 May 2017 FOMC Minutes will Reinforce Skepticism over the Q1 Slowdown (Publication Centre)

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."

27 Feb 2020 Non-China Covid-19 Spread is Slowing but Big Market Risks Remain (Publication Centre)

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.

26 September 2017 Dudley Follows the Yellen Line, December Hike Increasingly Likely (Publication Centre)

New York Fed president Dudley toed the Yellen line yesterday, arguing that the effects of "...a number of temporary, idiosyncratic factors" will fade, so "...inflation will rise and stabilize around the FOMC's 2 percent objective over the medium term.

27 Jan 2020 CPI Health Insurance is Unstable, But Rapid Gains are More Likely than Not (Publication Centre)

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.

27 June 2017 Flat Capex Orders won't Stop the Labor Market Tightening Further (Publication Centre)

The flat trend in core capital goods orders continued through May, according to yesterday's durable goods orders report. We are not surprised.

27 Nov 2019 The GM Strike Likely Depressed October Orders, Core Soft too? (Publication Centre)

Today's wave of data will bring new information on the industrial sector, consumers, the labor market, and housing, as well as revisions to the third quarter GDP numbers.

26 October. 2016 Soybean Exports Set to Hold Down the Trade Deficit, Again (Publication Centre)

Today's September international trade report will be the third to be distorted by hugely elevated soybean exports. The surge began in July, when soybean exports jumped by $3.6B--that's a 220% month-to-month increase--to $5.2B.

23 August 2017 New Home Sales set for Cycle Highs, but Only Temporarily (Publication Centre)

The level of new home sales is likely to hit new cycle highs over the next few months, with a decent chance that today's July report will show sales at their highest level since late 2007.

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

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

21 December 2017 Fourth Quarter GDP Heading for 3%. Trade, Inventories will be Drags (Publication Centre)

We see no compelling reason to expect a significant revision to the third quarter GDP numbers today, so our base case is that the second estimate, 3.3%, will still stand.

21 June. 2016 Monetary Policy Testimony Won't Signal a Change in Fed Thinking (Publication Centre)

Back in the dim and increasingly distant past the semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony--previously known as the Humphrey-Hawkins--used to be something of an event. Today's Testimony, however, is most unlikely to change anyone's opinion of the likely pace and timing of Fed action.

21 May 2019 The Money Supply is a Poor Guide to U.S. Growth it's Different in Europe (Publication Centre)

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.

21 November 2017 Q4 Growth Shaping up Well, but Holiday Spending Strength is Key (Publication Centre)

It's much too soon to have a very firm view on fourth quarter GDP growth, not least because almost half the quarter hasn't happened yet.

21 Nov 2019 The Philly Fed Looks Great, but it's a Huge Outlier and Can't be Trusted (Publication Centre)

If the only manufacturing survey you track is the Philadelphia Fed report, you could be forgiven for thinking that the sector is booming.

21 December 2016 Home Sales Likely Fell in November, Before the Hit from Higher Rates (Publication Centre)

After two big monthly gains in existing home sales, culminating in October's nine-year high of 5.60M, we expect a dip in sales in today's November report. This wouldn't be such a big deal -- data correct after big movements all the time -- were it not for the downward trend in mortgage applications.

21 Apr 2020 All Pain and No Gain as Oil Prices Plunge, the Windfall is Unspent (Publication Centre)

Under normal circumstances, the boost to consumption from the astonishing collapse in oil prices would act as a substantial--though not complete--offset to the hit to capital spending in the shale business.

20 June 2017 As the Balance Sheet Shrinks, how can we Assess the Fed's Stance? (Publication Centre)

The initial pace of the Fed's balance sheet run-off, which we expect to start in October, will be very low. At first, the balance sheet will shrink by only $10B per month, split between $6B Treasuries and $4B mortgages.

20 December 2017 Single-Family Permits Hit a Cycle High, Q1 Construction Set to Jump (Publication Centre)

The single most important number in the housing construction report is single-family permits, because they lead starts by a month or two but are much less volatile.

20 March 2018 FOMC to Stick to Three Hikes this Year, but an Extra Dot for 2019? (Publication Centre)

We would be astonished if the FOMC meeting starting today does not end with a 25bp rate hike.

20 May 2020 The Labor Market Data will Drive Congress to Act Again (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell broke no new ground in his Senate Testimony alongside--virtually--Treasury Secretary Mnuchin yesterday, maintaining the cautious tone of his recent public statements.

20 Nov 2019 Housing Construction is Trending Higher, Further Gains Ahead (Publication Centre)

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.

21 Oct 2019 Political Uncertainty Comes to U.S. Markets, What Happens Next (Publication Centre)

In recent client meetings the first and last topic of conversation has been the market implications of the possible departure of President Trump from office.

21 Oct. 2015 Are Payrolls Slowing Because the Pool of Labor Has Evaporated? (Publication Centre)

One of the possible explanations for the slowdown in payroll in growth in recent months is that the pool of labor has shrunk to the point where employers can't find the people they want to hire. That's certainly one interpretation of our first chart, which shows that the NFIB survey's measure of jobs-hard-to-fill has risen to near-record levels even as payroll growth has slowed.

23 July 2019 Shock News Politicians Choose not to Cut Spending in Election Year (Publication Centre)

As we reach our deadline--4pm eastern time--media reports indicate that a debt ceiling agreement is close.

23 January 2018 Why Have Rate Expectations Stopped Driving EURUSD? (Publication Centre)

In April last year, something odd happened in the FX market.

23 Oct 2019 The Richmond Fed Suggests the Worst is Over for the ISM, for now (Publication Centre)

The 17-point leap in the Richmond Fed index for October, reported yesterday, was startlingly large.

24 Jan 2020 Don't Worry About the Downshift in Bank Lending to Businesses, it Lags (Publication Centre)

You could be forgiven for being alarmed at the 1.5% decline in the stock of outstanding bank commercial and industrial lending in the fourth quarter, the first dip since the second quarter of 2017.

24 January 2017 Chainstore Sales Growth is Trending Upwards, but not for Long (Publication Centre)

Now that the holidays are just a distant memory, the distortions they cause in an array of economic data are fading. The problems are particularly acute in the weekly data­ -- mortgage applications, chainstore sales and jobless claims -- because Christmas Day falls on a different day of the week each year.

23 Jan 2020 Leading Indicators are being Hit by the Trade War: Ignore, for Now (Publication Centre)

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators appears to signal that the U.S. economy is plunging headlong into recession.

28 November 2017 Consumers' Spending Ought to be Strong this Holiday Season (Publication Centre)

Media reports suggest that the underlying trends in retailing--rising online sales, declining store sales and mall visits--continued unabated over the Thanksgiving weekend.

22 Jan 2020 Existing Home Sales to Rise in H1, Whatever Happened in December (Publication Centre)

The weather-driven surge in December housing starts, reported last week, is unlikely to be replicated in today's existing home sales numbers for the same month.

22 Apr 2020 Southern U.S. States Set to Try to Emulate Sweden, Will it Work? (Publication Centre)

The re-opening of businesses in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, starting this week and expanding next week, comes as the rate of increase of confirmed Covid-19 infections in these states remains much faster than in European countries where lockdowns have started to ease.

22 Nov 2019 Don't Worry About the Uptick in Jobless Claims, Unless it Persists (Publication Centre)

Back-to-back elevated weekly jobless claims numbers prove nothing, but they have grabbed our attention.

22 Oct 2019 China-Sensitive Regions are Suffering as the Trade War Worsens (Publication Centre)

After the strong Philly Fed survey was released last week, we argued that the regional economy likely was outperforming because of its relatively low dependence on exports, making it less vulnerable to the trade war.

22 Oct. 2015 Claims Signal Payroll Data are Flawed, or Labor Pool Has Run Dry (Publication Centre)

The headline payroll number each month is the difference between the flow of gross hirings and the flow of gross firings. The JOLTS report provides both numbers, with a lag, but we can track the firing side of the equation via the jobless claims numbers. Claims are volatile week-to-week, thanks to the impossibility of ironing out every seasonal fluctuation in such short-term data, but the underlying trend is an accurate measure. The claims data are based on an actual count of all the people making claims, not a sample survey like most other data. That means you'll never be blindsided by outrageous revisions, turning the story upside-down.

24 January 2018 Existing Home Sales Likely Dropped in December, but the Trend is Rising (Publication Centre)

In November, existing home sales substantially overshot the pace implied by the pending home sales index.

3 Feb 2020 Some Hopeful Signs are Emerging in the Coronavirus Data (Publication Centre)

The number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, but we're expecting to see signs that the number of new cases is peaking within the next two to three weeks.

6 Feb 2020 Productivity Growth is Set to Slow After Last Year's Nine-Year High (Publication Centre)

Productivity likely rose by 1.7% last year, the best performance since 2010.

6 December 2017 ADP to Report Strong November Jobs, but will Overstate Official Data (Publication Centre)

The ADP measure of private employment hugely overstated the official measure of payrolls in September, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, but then slightly understated the October number.

6 Jan 2020 Markets in Defensive Crouch, Awaiting Iran's Response (Publication Centre)

It's hard to overstate the geopolitical importance of Friday's assassination of Qassim Soleimani, architect of Iran's external military activity for more than 20 years and perhaps the most powerful man in the country, after the Supreme Leader.

6 June 2017 ISM Non-manufacturing Jobs Up Sharply. Summer Payrolls to Surge? (Publication Centre)

The 6.4-point rebound in the May ISM non-manufacturing employment index, to a very high 57.8, supports our view that summer payroll growth will be strong. On the face of it, the survey is consistent with job gains in excess of 300K, as our first chart shows, but that's very unlikely to happen.

6 March 2019 ISM Non-manufacturing Rebound is Welcome Further Gains Unlikely (Publication Centre)

The rebound in the ISM non-manufacturing index in February was in line with our forecast, but behind the strong headline, the employment index dropped to an eight-month low.

6 Mar 2020 Job Gains Likely Slowed Last Month, but the Covid-19 Hit is Still to Come (Publication Centre)

We think today's February payroll number will be reported at about 140K, undershooting the 175K consensus.

6 Dec 2019 Downside Risk for November Payrolls, Ex-GM, we Expect Just 60K (Publication Centre)

October payrolls were stronger than we expected, rising 128K, despite a 46K hit from the GM strike.

5 Nov 2019 ISM Non-manufacturing Crushed by the Trade War, has it Bottomed (Publication Centre)

The simultaneous decline in both ISM indexes was a key factor driving markets to anticipate last week's Fed easing.

5 July 2017 ISM Signals Continued Industrial Recovery, but not a Boom (Publication Centre)

The June ISM manufacturing index signalled clearly that the industrial recovery continues, with the headline number rising to its highest level since August 2014, propelled by rising orders and production. But the industrial economy is not booming and the upturn likely will lose a bit of momentum in the second half as the rebound in oil sector capex slows.

5 February 2019 Six Days Later, We're Still Struggling to Make Sense of the Fed's Thinking (Publication Centre)

We very much doubt that Fed Chair Powell dramatically changed his position last week because President Trump repeatedly, and publicly, berated him and the idea of further increases in interest rates.

5 Mar 2020 ADP Likely Overstates February Payrolls, but Everything will Change (Publication Centre)

The comforting 183K increase in February private payrolls reported by ADP yesterday likely overstates tomorrow's official number.

5 March 2019 Simultaneous ISM Declines are Disconcerting, but won't Persist (Publication Centre)

The simultaneous weakening of the ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys in recent months is one of the more disconcerting shifts in the recent macro data.

5 May 2020 Core Inflation is Set to Fall, but not Every Component will Drop (Publication Centre)

We're very comfortable with the idea that the coronavirus is a broad deflationary shock to the U.S. economy.

6 May 2020 ADP Today Likely will Understate the Hit to April Payrolls (Publication Centre)

Today's April ADP employment report likely will understate the scale of the net payroll losses which will be reported Friday by the BLS.

6 Nov 2019 The Two-Quarter Productivity Boomlet is Over, ULC Accelerating (Publication Centre)

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%.

9 August. 2016 NFIB Survey Signals Better Non-Oil Business Capex as Soon as Q3 (Publication Centre)

The headline NFIB index of small business activity and sentiment in July likely will be little changed from June--we expect a half-point dip, while the consensus forecast is for a repeat of June's 94.5--but what we really care about is the capex intentions componen

8 November 2017 New Fed Governors Likely to be Dovishly-Inclined, up to a Point (Publication Centre)

The impending retirement of New York Fed president Dudley creates yet another vacancy on the FOMC.

9 Dec 2019 Fluke or Real? Don't Leap to Conclusions Either Way, Yet (Publication Centre)

We have two competing explanations for the unexpected leap in November payrolls. First, it was a fluke, so it will either be revised down substantially, or will be followed by a hefty downside correction in December.

9 Jan 2020 Mortgage Demand Still Rising, Home Price Gains Set to Pick Up (Publication Centre)

The reported drop in mortgage applications over the holidays is now reversing, not that it ever mattered.

US 15 September 2017 Core CPI Mean-Reverts, Hefty Storm-Induced Increases Ahead? (Publication Centre)

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.

9 January 2019 Small Firms are Cutting their Capex Plans but Raising Prices (Publication Centre)

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.

8 Nov 2019 Markets Like "Phase One" Trade, but the Next Stages Will be Difficult (Publication Centre)

Markets clearly love the idea that the "Phase One" trade deal with China will be signed soon, at a location apparently still subject to haggling between the parties.

8 Jan 2020 ADP is Unlikely To Repeat November's Huge Undershoot (Publication Centre)

The contrast between November's very modest 67K ADP private payroll number and the surprising 254K official reading was startling, even when the 46K boost to the latter from returning GM strikers is stripped out.

7 Jan 2020 Oil Prices haven't Risen Enough to Disturb Consumers, Yet (Publication Centre)

The jump in oil prices over the past two trading days eventually will lift retail gasoline prices by about 35 cents per gallon, or 131⁄2%.

7 Feb 2020 Upside Risk for Payrolls Today, but Forward-Looking Surveys are Soft (Publication Centre)

We raised our forecast for today's January payroll number after the ADP report, to 200K from 160K.

7 Nov 2019 Storm Clouds Gathering for the Auto Market as Loan Standards Tighten (Publication Centre)

One bad month proves nothing, but our first chart shows that October's auto sales numbers were awful, dropping unexpectedly to a six-month low.

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

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.

8 Dec. 2015 Small Firms Are Struggling to Recruit, and Price are Nudging Up (Publication Centre)

The release of the NFIB survey at 6.00AM eastern time this morning--really, they need a new PR advisor--doubtless will bring a flurry of headlines about rising wage pressures, with the expected compensation index rising by a startling three points to a new post-crash high. But this is not news, nor is the high, stable level of hiring intentions; these key labor market numbers were released last week in the NFIB Jobs Report, which appears the day before the official employment report. The data are simply extracted from the main NFIB survey.

5 Feb 2020 ADP Likely to Report Strong Job Growth in January (Publication Centre)

Our composite index of employment indicators, based on survey data and the official JOLTS report, looks ahead about three months.

5 December 2018 "Tariff Man" Doesn't Understand Tariffs that's Unfortunate (Publication Centre)

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.

3 Jan 2020 Manufacturing Still Struggling, but no Longer Sinking Deeper (Publication Centre)

The substantial gap between the key manufacturing surveys for the U.S. and China, relative to their long-term relationship, likely narrowed a bit in December.

3 Feb. 2015 Behind the Noise, U.S. Economic Fundamentals are Solid (Publication Centre)

We are not bothered by either the drop in real December consumption, all of which was due to a weather-induced plunge in utility spending, or the drop in the ISM manufacturing index, which is mostly a story about hopeless seasonal adjustments.

3 Mar 2020 Which Covid-19 Data Matter More, New Cases or Log-Levels (Publication Centre)

Something of a debate appears to be underway in markets over the "correct" way to look at the coronavirus data.

3 Oct 2019 ADP Consistent with September Jobs up 150K the Trend is Slowing (Publication Centre)

ADP's report that September private payrolls rose by 135K was slightly better than we expected, but not by enough to change our 150K forecast for tomorrow's official report.

30 June. 2015 Slowing Aircraft Orders Holding Back Chicago PMI - No Hit to ISM (Publication Centre)

The seasonal adjustment problems which tend to drive up the national ISM manufacturing survey in late spring and summer are more or less absent from the Chicago PMI, which will be released today. As far as we can tell, the biggest short-term influence on the Chicago number is variations in the order flow for Boeing aircraft; the company moved its headquarters to the city from Seattle in 2001.

30 Jan 2020 Fed Policy Still "Appropriate", FOMC Watching Virus Story "Very Carefully" (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's FOMC , announcing a unanimous vote for no change in the funds rate, is almost identical to December's.

20 Dec 2019 Expect a Benign November Core PCE, but Change is Coming in Q1 (Publication Centre)

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.

3 Dec. 2014 - ADP Likely to Overstate November Payrolls, Thanks to Early Snows (Publication Centre)

Since its October 2012 revamp, the ADP measure of private employment--the November survey will be released this morning--has tended to be little more than a lagging indicator of the official number.That's because ADP incorporates official data, lagged by one month, into the regression which generates its employment measure.

29 January 2019 No Trade Data Today, but You Can Assume the Trend is Deteriorating (Publication Centre)

The advance international trade data for December were due for publication today, but the report probably won't appear.

29 Jan 2020 Fed on Hold, Awaiting Macro or Virus Developments, IOER to Rise (Publication Centre)

The Fed will do nothing to the funds rate or its balance sheet expansion program today.

29 November 2017 The Profit Share in GDP is set to Fall Sharply as Wage Growth Picks up (Publication Centre)

It doesn'tt matter if third quarter GDP growth is revised up a couple of tenths in today's third estimate of the data, in line with the consensus forecast.

29 Oct 2019 Consumers Still Confident, but Job Growth will Slow, Testing their Faith (Publication Centre)

We aren't convinced by the idea that consumers' confidence will be depressed as a direct result of the rollover in most of the regular surveys of business sentiment and activity.

3 April 2019 ADP set to Signal Mean Reversion in Payrolls After Wild Months (Publication Centre)

We see no reason to think that the recent volatility in payrolls--the 311K leap in January, followed by the 20K February gain--will continue.

30 May 2017 Why Don't Markets Take the Fed's Interest Rate Forecasts Seriously? (Publication Centre)

Markets expect the Fed will fail to follow through on its current intention to raise rates twice more this year and three times next year. Part of this skepticism reflects recent experience.

30 Oct 2019 The Fed will Ease Today, but will Signal a Pause Unless Growth Tanks (Publication Centre)

The stage is set for the Fed to ease by 25bp today, but to signal that further reductions in the funds rate would require a meaningful deterioration in the outlook for growth or unexpected downward pressure on inflation.

4 Nov. 2015 ADP Tells Us Payrolls Mean- Revert, but That's Not News (Publication Centre)

The underlying trend in payroll growth ought to be running at 250K-plus, based on an array of indicators of the pace of both hiring and firing. The past few months' numbers have fallen far short of this pace, though, for reasons which are not yet clear. We are inclined to blame a shortage of suitably qualified staff, not least because that appears to be the message from the NFIB survey, which shows that the proportion of small businesses with unfilled positions is now close to the highs seen in previous cycles. If we're right, payroll growth won't return to the 254K average recorded in 2014 until the next cyclical upturn, but quite what to expect instead is anyone's guess.

4 Nov 2019 The Jobs Outlook is Deteriorating Despite the Solid October, ex-GM (Publication Centre)

The unexpectedly robust 128K increase in October payrolls--about 175K when the GM strikers are added back in--and the 98K aggregate upward revision to August and September change our picture of the labor market in the late summer and early fall.

4 Sept 2019 The Manufacturing Rollover Worsens Blame the Trade War (Publication Centre)

We have argued for some time that much of the early phase of the downturn in global manufacturing was due to the weakening of China's economic cycle, rather than the trade war.

5 Dec 2019 The Downshift in ADP Employment Probably is Signal, not Noise (Publication Centre)

We were worried about downside risk to yesterday's ADP employment measure, but the 67K increase in November private payrolls was at the very bottom of our expected range.

5 December 2017 ISM Non-manufacturing Set for Clear Correction. Don't Worry (Publication Centre)

Last week's strong ISM manufacturing survey for November likely will be followed by robust data for the non-manufacturing sector today, but the headline index, like its industrial counterpart, likely will dip a bit.

4 Mar 2020 More to Come from the Fed, but Fiscal Policy has to Step Up too (Publication Centre)

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.

4 Dec 2019 ADP Employment Likely to Capture Weakening Labor Demand (Publication Centre)

The ADP employment report was on the money in October at the headline level--it undershot the official private payroll number by a trivial 6K--but the BLS's measure was hit by the absence of 46K striking GM workers from the data.

31 July 2018 Employment Costs are Accelerating, but Slowly... For Now (Publication Centre)

The most important number, potentially, in today's wave of economic reports is the Employment Costs Index for second quarter.

31 Jan 2020 The Wage Growth Gap Persists: No Sign Yet of a Labor Scarcity Premium (Publication Centre)

It's a myth that the 10-ye ar decline in the unemployment rate has not driven up the pace of wage growth.

31 Mar 2020 Business and Consumer Confidence are Cratering, Further Falls Ahead (Publication Centre)

A pair of closely-watched reports today will confirm that business and consumer confidence is tanking in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

31 May 2017 A Consumer Rebound is Underway, but Watch out for Healthcare Costs (Publication Centre)

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%.

4 April 2019 It's Hard to Find the Signal Behind the ADP Noise in March (Publication Centre)

We can think of at least three reasons for the apparent softness of ADP's March private sector employment reading.

28 Oct 2019 The Trade Deficit Looks Set to Explode in Q4, it's not Just Boeing (Publication Centre)

Recent export performance has been poor, but the export orders index in the ISM manufacturing survey-- the most reliable short-term leading indicator--strongly suggests that it will be terrible in the fourth quarter.

2 April 2019 Manufacturing Might have Hit Bottom, but Don't Celebrate Yet (Publication Centre)

We were happy to see the small increase in the March ISM manufacturing index yesterday, following better news from China's PMIs, but none of these reports constitute definitive evidence that the manufacturing slowdown is over.

13 Jan 2020 Labor Market Strength Means no Need for the Fed to Ease this Year (Publication Centre)

Here's the bottom line: U.S. businesses appear to have over-reacted to the impact of the trade war in their responses to most surveys, pointing to a serious downturn in economic growth which has not materialized.

13 Feb 2020 Core CPI Likely Back on Trend, Risks in Rent and Healthcare Persist (Publication Centre)

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.

13 Mar 2020 QE4 Underway, Expect the Fed to Extend it Next Week (Publication Centre)

The NY Fed's announcement yesterday restarts QE. The $60B of bill purchases previously planned for the period from March 13 through April 13 will now consist of $60B purchases "across a range of maturities to roughly match the maturity composition of Treasury securities outstanding".

13 May 2020 Core Inflation has Further to Fall, but Sustained Deflation is Unlikely (Publication Centre)

The record 0.4% drop in the core CPI in April would have looked even worse had it not been for favorable rounding; it was just 0.002% away from printing at -0.5%.

13 October 2017 Did the Hurricanes Lift September's Core CPI, as well as the Headline? (Publication Centre)

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.

13 Nov 2019 Used Car Prices Pose an Upside Threat to the October Core CPI (Publication Centre)

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%.

13 Dec 2019 Did a Strong Thanksgiving Weekend Lift November Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

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.

12 Nov 2019 If Trump Chooses to Take the Deal, The Economy will Benefit Quickly (Publication Centre)

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.

12 Mar. 2015 Cheap Gas to Boost Spring Sales, but February Looks Soft (Publication Centre)

Sooner or later, the surge in consumers' spending power triggered by the drop in gas prices and the acceleration in payrolls will appear in the retail sales data.

12 February 2019 The Details Matter Much More than the NFIB Survey's Headline Index (Publication Centre)

We're very interested in the detail of today's January NFIB survey; the headline index, not so much.

12 March 2019 Strong January Retail Sales Can't Alone Rescue Q1 Consumption (Publication Centre)

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.

12 May 2017 Core CPI Inflation to Mean-Revert After the Shocking March Drop (Publication Centre)

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.

12 May 2020 Downside Risk to April CPI from Rent, Apparel, Airline Fares, Lodging, Autos (Publication Centre)

The 0.1% dip in the core CPI in March was the first outright decline in three years, but we expect another-- and bigger--decline in today's April numbers.

13 Sept 2019 Core Inflation is Set to Breach 21⁄2% by Year-End Breakevens have to Rise (Publication Centre)

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.

13 September. 2016 Will the NFIB Survey Point to Stronger Non-mining Capex? (Publication Centre)

The key labor market numbers from today's August NFIB survey of small businesses have already been released--they appear a day or two before the employment report--but they will be reported as though they are news. The headline hiring intentions reading dipped to nine from 12, leaving it near the bottom of the range of the past couple of years.

14 June 2017 Fed to Stick to One More 2017 Hike After Today, and Three More in 2018 (Publication Centre)

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.

14 July. 2015 Did Retail Sales Stutter In June after May's Strength? (Publication Centre)

We are a bit uneasy about today's data on economic activity. The NFIB index of activity in the small business sector is likely to undershoot consensus expectations, while retail sales are something of a black hole, at least at the core level, where we have no reliable month-to-month advance indicators. Our bullish view on the underlying state of the economy, and its likely second-half performance, hasn't changed, but perceptions count in the short-term and these reports will help set the market mood just ahead of Chair Yellen's Testimony tomorrow.

14 June 2018 Four Dots for 2018, and a Hawkish Tilt in the Statement (Publication Centre)

The Fed was more hawkish than we expected yesterday.

14 June 2019 Retail Sales and IP Both Likely Rebounded in May (Publication Centre)

The wave of May data due for release today likely will go some way to countering the market narrative of a seriously slowing economy, a story which gained further momentum last week after the release of the May employment report.

14 June. 2016 May Sales Will Be Less Impressive than April's but Good Enough (Publication Centre)

April's impressive-looking retail sales numbers--the headline jumped 1.3%, with non-auto sales up 0.8%--were boosted by two entirely separate factors, one of which will play no p art in May and one which will offer very modest support. The key lift in April came from the very early Easter, which confounded the seasonal adjustments, as it usually does.

14 July 2017 Core CPI Inflation Won't Fall Forever, but When Will the Rebound Come? (Publication Centre)

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.

14 Jan 2020 Core CPI Inflation is Contained, but Risks Abound for December (Publication Centre)

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.

14 Apr. 2015 Autos, Gas to boost March retail sales - Core is a wildcard (Publication Centre)

The run of soft-looking headline retail sales numbers in recent months--the initial estimates for February, January and December were -0.6%, -0.8% and -0.9% respectively--will end today; the March number will look solid.

14 Apr 2020 Further Fed Action and Better Virus News Limits Downside S&P Risk (Publication Centre)

We argued a couple of weeks ago that the stock market could suffer a relapse, on the grounds that valuations hadn't fallen far enough from their peak to reflect the extent of the hit to the economy; that hopes for an early re-opening were likely to prove forlorn; and that investors were likely to be spooked by the incoming coronavirus data.

14 August 2018 Turkey's Meltdown is no Threat to the U.S. Economy, or Banks (Publication Centre)

Turkey has all the problems you don't want to see in an emerging market when the U.S. is raising interest rates.

14 Feb 2020 Upticks in Smaller CPI Components and Rent Healthcare Pose Threats (Publication Centre)

The 0.242% increase in the January core CPI left the year-over-year rate at 2.3% for the third straight month.

14 February 2018 Gas Prices Will Lift the January CPI: Core has Risks in Both Directions (Publication Centre)

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%.

12 Feb. 2015 Downside Risk to January Retail Sales, Due to Gas and the Core (Publication Centre)

You might remember that the December retail sales report surprised significantly to the downside, thanks to the impact of falling gasoline prices. The data are reported in nominal dollars, not volumes, so falling prices depress the numbers.

12 Feb 2020 Powell Sticks to the Line, Current Policy is "Appropriate" (Publication Centre)

Chair Powell broke no new ground in his semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony yesterday, repeating the Fed's new core view that the current stance of policy is "appropriate".

10 July 2018 Businesses' Capex Plans Set to Surge, Following Stronger Earnings (Publication Centre)

For some time now, we have puzzled over the softness of small firms' capital spending intentions, as measured by the monthly NFIB survey.

10 January 2017 The Core Inventory Cycle is Turning, but Q4 Data Likely Won't Show it (Publication Centre)

For some time now we have argued that collapse in capital spending in the oil sector was the source of most of the softening of activity in the manufacturing and wholesaling sectors last year.

10 Mar 2020 Oil Sector Capex is Set to Collapse, Outweighing Consumers' Gain (Publication Centre)

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.

10 Mar. 2015 Can the Uptick in New Home Sales be Sustained? (Publication Centre)

The key labor market numbers from today's February NFIB report on small businesses--hiring intentions and the proportion of firms with unfilled job openings--were released last week, as usual, ahead of the official jobs report.

10 October 2018 Hurricane Michael Means Another "Soft" Payroll Number (Publication Centre)

Our hopes of a hefty rebound in payrolls in October, following the hurricane-hit September number, have been dashed by the imminent landfall of Hurricane Michael in Florida panhandle.

10 Nov. 2015 Focus on Older Workers in Jobs Report Misses the Bigger Picture (Publication Centre)

Investors and market observers of a relatively bearish persuasion argued over the weekend that the details of the October employment report were less encouraging than the headline, principally because the household survey showed that all the job growth, net, was among older workers, defined as people aged 55-plus. This, they argue, suggests that most of the increased demand for labor was concentrated in low-paid service sector jobs, where older workers are concentrated, perhaps reflecting retail hiring ahead of the holidays. Such a wave of hiring is unlikely to be repeated over the next few months, so payroll growth won't be sustained at its October pace.

10 Jan 2020 Payrolls Continuing to Outperform Surveys, Look for 190K in December (Publication Centre)

Our forecast of a solid 190K increase in headline December payrolls ignores our composite employment indicator, which usually leads by about three months and points to a print of just 50K or so.

10 Feb 2020 Job Gains Can't Be Sustained at January's Weather-Assisted Pace (Publication Centre)

The reported 225K jump in payrolls in January was even bigger than we expected, but it is not sustainable. The extraordinarily warm weather last month most obviously boosted job gains in construction, where the 44K increase was the biggest in a year

1 April 2019 Recent Retail Sales Data Make Little Sense, Noise is Swamping the Signal (Publication Centre)

The underlying U.S. consumer story, hidden behind a good deal of recent noise, is that the rate of growth of spending is reverting to the trend in place before last year's tax cuts temporarily boosted people's cashflow.

05 Jan. 2016 ISM Manufacturing Shouldn't Fall Further, Seasonals Permitting (Publication Centre)

The first major data release of 2016 showed manufacturing activity slipping a bit further at the end of last year, but we doubt the underlying trend in the ISM manufacturing index will decline much more. Anything can happen in any given month, especially in data where the seasonal adjustments are so wayward, but the key new orders and production indexes both rose in January; almost all the decline in the headline index was due to a drop in the lagging employment index.

1 Nov 2019 Payrolls Set for GM Hit, but the Trend is Slowing too, with Worse to Come (Publication Centre)

We expect to see a 70K increase in October payrolls today.

1 Sept. 2015 Manufacturing Woes Changing as Oil Hit Eases but Dollar Gains Bite (Publication Centre)

The pressures on U.S. manufacturers are changing. For most of this year to date, the problem has been the collapse in capital spending in the oil business, which has depressed overall investment spending, manufacturing output and employment. Oil exploration is extremely capital-intensive, so the only way for companies in the sector to save themselves when the oil prices collapsed was to slash capex very quickly.

10 Dec 2019 Small Firms Like Rising Stock Prices, even as Trade Uncertainty Continues (Publication Centre)

The monthly survey of small businesses conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business is quite sensitive to short-term movements in the stock market, so we're expecting an increase in the November reading, due today.

10 Sept 2019 NFIB Capex Plans and Selling Prices Point to Trouble Ahead (Publication Centre)

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.

11 Dec 2019 Most of the Risk to November's Core CPI is to the Upside (Publication Centre)

We see clear upside risk to the inflation data due before the FOMC announcement, from three main sources.

11 Oct 2019 Core Inflation is Still Rising, Despite September's Soft Data (Publication Centre)

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.

11 March 2019 Labor Demand Slowing, but February Payrolls Overstate the Downshift (Publication Centre)

The 20K increase in February payrolls is not remotely indicative of the underlying trend, and we see no reason to expect similar numbers over the next few months.

11 October 2017 JOLTS Data Signal Rapid Job Gains, and Tight Labor Supply (Publication Centre)

Today's JOLTS survey covers August, which seems like a long time ago. But the report is worth your attention nonetheless.

12 Dec 2019 The Fed is on Course to do Nothing for the Foreseeable Future (Publication Centre)

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.

12 December 2018 Core PPI Inflation is Set to Plummet, but the Core CPI won't Follow it Down (Publication Centre)

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.

11 Mar. 2015 Can the Uptick in New Home Sales be Sustained? (Publication Centre)

In three of the past four months, new home sales have been reported above the 460K top of the range in place since early 2013. Sales dipped below this mark in November, when the weather across the country as a whole was exceptionally cold, relative to normal.

11 Mar 2020 If Discretionary Spending Tracks the 9,11 and 2008 Paths, Look Out (Publication Centre)

It's just not possible to forecast the reaction of businesses and consumers to the coronavirus outbreak.

11 December 2018 Macro Data set to Split: Consumer Strength, Industrial Weakness (Publication Centre)

The next few months, perhaps the whole of the first quarter, are likely to see a clear split in the U.S. economic data, with numbers from the consumer side of the economy looking much better than the industrial numbers.

11 Dec. 2015 Don't be Swayed by Soft Nominal Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

Retail sales ex-autos have undershot consensus forecasts in eight of the 11 reports released so far this year, prompting interest rate doves to argue that consumers have not spent their windfall from falling gas prices. But this ignores the impact of falling prices--for gasoline, electronics, furniture, and clothing--on the sales numbers, which are presented in nominal terms.

11 Feb 2020 Weather Boost to January Payrolls won't Fully Reverse in February (Publication Centre)

A reader pointed out Friday that the standard measurement of the impact of the weather on January payrolls--the number of people unable to work due to the weather, less the long-term average--likely overstated the boost from the extremely mild temperatures.

11 July 2017 Small Businesses are Still Optimistic, but a Correction is Due (Publication Centre)

Before last November's election, movements in the headline NFIB index of activity and sentiment among small businesses could be predicted quite reliably from shifts in the key labor market components, which are released in advance of the main survey.

11 July 2018 Higher Oil Prices have Driven up Core PPI Inflation it will Rise Further (Publication Centre)

Core PPI inflation has risen relentlessly, though not rapidly, over the past two-and-a-half years.

20 Aug 2019 Third Quarter Growth Looks OK on the Surface Details Less Good (Publication Centre)

Halfway through the third quarter, we have no objection to the idea that GDP growth likely will exceed 2% for the third straight quarter.

14 March 2018 Mean Reversion in the CPI Confirms January's Core Jump was a Fluke (Publication Centre)

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.

18 Dec 2019 Boeing's Production Cut will Depress GDP Slightly, IP Hit Much Harder (Publication Centre)

Boeing's announcement that it will temporarily cut production of 737MAX aircraft to zero in January, from the current 42 per month pace, will depress first quarter economic growth, though not by much.

17 September 2018 Hurricane Florence will Distort the Data, but not on Harvey's Scale (Publication Centre)

As we reach our deadline on Sunday afternoon, eastern time, Tropical Storm Florence continues to dump vast quantities of rain on the Carolinas, and is forecast to head through Kentucky and Tennessee, before heading north.

18 January 2018 Housing Starts Likely Dipped Last Month, but the Trend is Rising (Publication Centre)

Hot on the heels of yesterday's news that the NAHB index of homebuilders' sentiment and activity dropped by two points this month -- albeit from December's 18-year high -- we expect to learn today that housing starts fell last month.

18 January 2019 Manufacturing Output Likely Jumped in December Don't be Deceived (Publication Centre)

The monthly industrial production numbers are collected and released by the Fed, rather than the BEA, so today's December report will not be delayed by the government shutdown.

18 Mar 2020 Fed CP Purchases and the $850B Bill are Progress, but Not Enough (Publication Centre)

The establishment of the Fed's commercial paper funding facility, announced yesterday, replicates the first wave of asset purchases undertaken after the crash of 2008.

18 June 2019 Chainstore Sales Growth is Set to Slow Sharply Don't Worry (Publication Centre)

The chainstore sales numbers have been hard to read over the past year.

17 October 2017 Manufacturing Sector set for Modest Post-Hurricane Rebound? (Publication Centre)

The first October survey evidence from the industrial economy, in the form of the Empire State report, is remarkably strong.

17 Oct 2019 September IP Hit by the GM Strike, but the Trend is Soft too (Publication Centre)

The GM strike will make itself felt in the September industrial production data, due today.

17 Mar 2020 Q2 GDP Set to Plunge by About 10%, Stocks have Further to Fall (Publication Centre)

We were not hugely surprised to see stocks tank again yesterday.

17 January 2017 December Data Understates Core Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the December core retail sales numbers were something of a damp squib. The headline numbers were lifted by an incentive-driven jump in auto sales and the rise in gas prices, but our measure of core sales--stripping out autos, gas and food--was dead flat. One soft month doesn't prove anything, and core sales rose at a 3.9% annualized rate in the fourth quarter as a whole.

17 Mar. 2015 Plunging Temperatures Boost Utilities, Depress Manufacturing (Publication Centre)

The February industrial production numbers were flattered by an enormous 7.3% jump in the output of electricity and gas utility companies, thanks to a surge in demand in the face of the extraordinarily cold weather. February this year was the coldest since at least 1997, when comparable data on population weighted heating degree days begin.

17 May 2017 Is Housing Activity set to Reach New Cycle Highs this Summer? (Publication Centre)

Last week, the MBA's measure of the volume of applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase rose 1.7%.

17 May 2019 The China-led Industrial Downturn is Ending, Trade War Permitting (Publication Centre)

Evidence in support of our view that the U.S. industrial slowdown is ending continues to mount, though nothing is yet definitive and the re-escalation of the trade war is a threat of uncertain magnitude to the incipient upturn.

18 Oct 2019 Housing Investment Looks Set for a Double-Digit Q4 Jump (Publication Centre)

The declines in headline housing starts and building permits in September don't matter; both were driven by corrections in the volatile multi-family sector.

18 October 2017 Housing Activity is Poised for a Hefty Q4 Rebound as Demand Rebounds (Publication Centre)

Today brings the September housing construction report, which likely will show that activity was depressed by the hurricanes.

2 June. 2015 Q2 Consumption Heading for 2.5% - Q3 Should be Far Stronger (Publication Centre)

Markets weren't impressed by the sub-consensus consumption numbers for April, reported yesterday, but the undershoot was all in the we ather-related utility component, where spending plunged 5.1% month-to-month. The process of post-winter mean reversion is now complete.

2 Jan 2020 The Post-Tariffs Plunge in Imports Continues, but not Forever (Publication Centre)

While were out over the holidays, the single biggest surprise in the data was yet another drop in imports, reported in the advance trade numbers for November.

2 Mar 2020 Covid-19 Cases Accelerating Outside the Four Major Outbreaks (Publication Centre)

The number of Covid-19 cases is increasing at a faster rate, though 89% of the new cases reported Saturday were in China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

2 May 2017 The Rebounding Auto Sales to Signal the Start of a Q2 Consumer Rebound (Publication Centre)

March auto sales were much weaker than expected, falling by 5.5% month-to-month to a 25-month low, 16.5M. The average for the previous six months was 17.8M. The sudden drop in March likely was driven in large part by the huge snowstorm which tracked across the Northeast in the middle week of the month, so we think a decent rebound in April is a good bet.

2 October 2018 U.S. Manufacturing Outperforms as the Global Cycle Peaks (Publication Centre)

The inevitable--more or less--correction from August's 14-year high is no big deal.

2 Dec 2019 Business Sentiment Likely has Hit Bottom, but Hard Data Still Softening (Publication Centre)

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.

19 September 2017 Housing Takes a Modest Hurricane Hit, so far, More to Come? (Publication Centre)

The September NAHB survey, released yesterday, shows, that the housing market took a knock from the hurricanes but the damage, so far at least, appears to be contained.

19 December 2017 New Home Sales and Construction Appear Set to Rocket Next Year (Publication Centre)

In the short-term, all the housing data are volatile. But you can be sure that if the recent pace of new home sales is sustained, housing construction will rise.

19 Dec 2019 The Philly Fed Likely is Still Outperforming, Treat with Caution (Publication Centre)

The next couple of rounds of business surveys will capture firms' responses to the Phase One trade deal agreed last week, though the news came too late to make much, if any, difference to the December Philly Fed report, which will be released today.

19 March 2019 Lessons from Rapid Wage Gains and Low Inflation in Eastern Europe (Publication Centre)

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.

19 May 2020 Full Recovery is a Long Way Off, but Markets Trade on News and Hopes (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell's comment on Sunday's "60 Minutes", that a recovery in the economy "may take a while... it could stretch through the end of next year" did not prevent a 3% jump in the S&P 500 yesterday.

19 Nov 2019 The End of the Impeachment Process, Push, Jump, or Stay (Publication Centre)

As the impeachment hearings gather momentum, we have been asked to provide a cut-out-and-keep guide to the possible outcomes.

14 May. 2015 Core Retail Sales Aren't Bad, but They Aren't Good, Either--Yet (Publication Centre)

So, what should we make of the fourth straight disappointment in the retail sales numbers? First, we should note that all is probably not how it seems. The 0.2% upward revision to March sales was exactly equal to the difference between the consensus forecast and the initial estimate, neatly illustrating the danger of over-interpreting the first estimates of the data.

17 Jan 2020 Manufacturing is Stagnating, but a Modest H1 Upturn is a Fair Bet (Publication Centre)

The trend in manufacturing output probably is about flat, with no real prospect of any serious improvement in the near term.

15 Jan. 2016 Downside Risk for December Retail Sales and Industrial Output (Publication Centre)

After a very light week for economic data so far, everything changes today, with an array of reports on both activity and inflation. We expect headline weakness across the board, with downside risks to consensus for the December retail sales and industrial production numbers, and the January Empire State survey and Michigan consumer sentiment. The damage will b e done by a combination of falling oil prices, very warm weather, relative to seasonal norms, and the stock market.

15 Jan 2020 The Rise in Continuing Jobless Claims is No Cause for Concern (Publication Centre)

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.

15 May 2018 Autos Likely Constrained April Retail Sales, Core Trend is Gently Upwards (Publication Centre)

The story of U.S. retail sales since last summer is mostly a story about the impact of the hurricanes, Harvey in particular.

15 May 2020 Food Service, Autos and Gas Drops Signal Downside Retail Sales Risk (Publication Centre)

Our current base-case forecast for the second quarter is a 30% annualized drop in GDP, based on our assessment of the hit to discretionary spending by both businesses and consumers.

15 Nov 2019 Core Retail Sales Growth has to Slow in Q4, but How Far (Publication Centre)

The rate of growth of nominal core retail sales substantially outstripped the rate of growth of nominal personal incomes, after tax, in both the second and third quarters.

15 February 2019 Seasonal Problems and Sampling Error Explain December's Sales Drop (Publication Centre)

We can't remember the last time a single economic report was as surprising as the December retail sales numbers, released yesterday.

15 December 2017 Strong November Sales Mean Q3 Consumption Heading for 3% (Publication Centre)

The 0.8% jump in nominal November retail sales is consistent with a 0.4% rise in real total consumption, which in turn suggests that the fourth quarter as a whole is likely to see a near-3% annualized gain.

14 Oct. 2015 Soaring Auto Sales Should Offset Yet Another Gas Price Hit (Publication Centre)

After last week's relatively light flow of data, today brings a wave of information on both the pace of economic growth and inflation. The markets' attention likely will fall first on the September retail sales numbers, which will be subject to at least three separate forces. First, the jump in auto sales reported by the manufacturers a couple of weeks ago ought to keep the headline sales numbers above water.

14 Nov 2019 Healthcare Inflation is Gathering Steam How Far will it Rise (Publication Centre)

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.

14 October. 2016 Retail Sales Rebounded Last Month, Q3 Consumption Looks Solid (Publication Centre)

Retail sales have lost steam over the past couple of months, even if you look through the headline gyrations triggered by swings in auto sales and gasoline prices.

14 September 2018 Core Inflation won't Keep Falling (Publication Centre)

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.

15 Apr 2020 Brace for Grim March Retail Sales and IP Reports, with Worse to Come (Publication Centre)

Today brings a wave of data which will help analysts narrow their estimates for first quarter GDP growth, and will offer some clues, albeit limited, about the early part of the second quarter.

15 November 2017 Core CPI to Mean-Revert as Rents and Vehicle Prices Rebound? (Publication Centre)

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.

15 November 2018 Consumption Seems to have Started Q4 with Surprising Strength (Publication Centre)

Consumption accounts for almost 70% of GDP, and retail sales account for about 45% of consumption.

16 May 2019 The Industrial Sector is Bottoming April's IP Data are Misleading (Publication Centre)

We are not worried about the reported drop in April manufacturing output, which probably will reverse in May.

16 July 2019 No End in Sight Yet to the Industrial Consumer Bifurcation (Publication Centre)

Today's brings the June retail sales and industrial production reports, after which we'll update our second quarter GDP forecast.

16 Oct 2019 Did Pre-Tariff Spending Boost September Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

Tariffs are a tax on imported goods, and higher taxes depress growth, other things equal.

16 October 2018 Q3 Consumption Rose by Nearly 4%, Despite So September Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

The softness of the headline September retail sales numbers hid a decent 0.5% increase in the "control" measure, which is the best guide to consumers' spending on non-durable goods.

16 Sept 2019 The Economy is Set for a Grinding Slowdown, No Relief Until 2021 (Publication Centre)

We have been quite bullish on U.S. economic growth this year.

16 January 2019 If December's Retail Sales Report Could Speak, it Would be Excited (Publication Centre)

The most important retail sales report of the year, for December, won't be published today, unless some overnight miracle means that the government has re-opened.

16 Jan 2020 No Repeat of the December 2018 Plunge in Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

Ahead of the release of the retail sales report for December 2018, markets expected to see unchanged non-auto sales.

15 Sept. 2015 August Retail Sales "Soft" Again? But the Real Story is Different (Publication Centre)

Today's wave of data will be mixed, but most of the headlines are likely to be on the soft side, so the reports are very unlikely to trigger a wave of last minute defections to the hawkish side of the FOMC. As always, though, the headlines don't necessarily capture the underlying story, and that's certainly been the case with the retail sales data this year. Plunging prices for gas and imported goods, especially audio-video items, have driven down the rate of growth of nominal retail sales, but real sales have performed much better.

15 Oct 2019 The China Trade Nothingburger won't Turn the Economy Around (Publication Centre)

The New York Times called the China trade agreement reached Friday "half a deal", but that's absurdly generous.

17 Dec 2019 Behind the Rebound in November IP, the Underlying Trend is Flat (Publication Centre)

The November industrial production numbers will be dominated by the rebound in auto production following the end of the GM strike.

16 April 2018 Core Retail Sales Back on Track After Hurricane-Induced Swings? (Publication Centre)

We are not concerned by the slowdown in retail sales over the past few months.

16 August 2017 Strong July Sales and Revisions Signal Robust Consumption (Publication Centre)

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.

16 Dec 2019 The Trade Deal Should Lift Business Sentiment, but Modestly (Publication Centre)

The "Phase One" China trade deal announced late last week is a step in the right direction, but a small one. With no official text available as we reach our deadline, we're relying on media reporting, but the outline of the agreement is clear.

24 August. 2016 Chainstore Sales Still Pitifully Weak, Despite the Dip in the Dollar (Publication Centre)

We are a bit troubled by the persistent weakness of the Redbook chain store sales numbers. We aren't ready to sound an alarm, but we are puzzled at the recent declines in the rate of growth of same-store sales to new post-crash lows. On the face of it, the recent performance of the Redbook, shown in our first chart, is terrible. Sales rose only 0.5% in the year to July, during which time we estimate nominal personal incomes rose nearly 3%.

Consistently Right

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