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751 matches for " business":
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
The recovery in small business sentiment since the fourth quarter rollover has been extremely modest, so far.
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.
If the economy is to enter recession, falling business investment probably will have to be the main driver. Growth in consumer spending likely will slow sharply over the next year as firms become more cautious about hiring new workers and inflation begins to exceed wage growth again.
The headline index in today's NFIB small business survey probably won't quite converge with the ISM manufacturing index, but it will come v ery close. To close the gap completely, for the first time since the crash, the NFIB needs to rise to just over 102, from 100.4.
Business investment has held up better than most economists--ourselves included--expected after the Brexit vote.
All the regional PMIs and Fed business surveys are volatile in the short-term, so observations for single months need to be viewed with due skepticism.
Business investment has been resilient to the slowdown in the wider economy so far, with year-over-year growth in the first three quarters of 2015 averaging a very respectable 6.2%. Outside the oil sector, firms are generating healthy profits and can borrow cheaply.
Make no mistake, business investment has been depressed by Brexit uncertainty over the last year.
The recent spate of manufacturing business survey indices from Korea show that sentiment is deteriorating in the wake of its trade spat with Japan and the re-intensification of U.S.-China tensions.
We can see no hard evidence, yet, that the expanding trade war with China and other U.S. trading partners is hitting business investment.
On the face of it, the potential for a tangible boost to GDP growth from a revival in business investment after a no-deal Brexit has been averted appears modest.
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 INSEE business sentiment data in France continue to tell a story of a robust economy.
Yesterday's barrage of French business surveys contains hundreds of indicators, but its central story is comfortably simple.
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.
In the wake of the unexpectedly weak September Empire State survey, released Monday, we are now very keen to see what today's Philadelphia Fed survey has to say.
The January durable goods numbers, viewed in isolation, were not terrible.
A quick rebound in growth, after the slowdown to a reported 2.6% in the fourth quarter, is unlikely.
The startling jump in the Philly Fed index in May, when it rose 11.2 points to a 12-month high, seemed at first sight to be a response to fading tensions over global trade.
For some time now, we have puzzled over the softness of small firms' capital spending intentions, as measured by the monthly NFIB survey.
Money supply data in the euro area disappointed yesterday. Growth in M3 fell to 4.6% year-over-year in April, from 5.0% in March, due to an accelerated fall in the pace of narrow money growth. M1 rose 9.7% year-over-year, down from 10.1% in March. It was hit by lower growth in both overnight deposits and currency in circulation.
In one line: Not bad at all.
Consumer sentiment in Mexico continues to improve, consistent with tailwinds from the relatively strong labour market and the president's rising approval ratings.
Chile's economy is showing the first reliable signs of improvement, at last. December retail sales rose 1.9% year-over-year, up from 0.4% in November, indicating that household expenditure is starting to revive, in line with a pick-up in consumer confidence and the improving labor market.
September PMI surveys in Mexico continued to bolster our argument for a subpar recovery in the second half of the year.
In one line: What strikes?
In one line: Not pretty in manufacturing; the remaining details were robust.
In one line: Soft, but still consistent with decent GDP growth.
In one line: Marginally better in manufacturing; upturn in consumer sentiment halted, for now.
In one line: Much better than the PMIs.
In one line: Grim, but the details are more encouraging.
In one line: Relief; but manufacturing is not out of the woods yet.
This week's key data releases in Mexico likely will reaffirm that growth remains below trend, while inflation continues to ease.
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.
French manufacturing confidence soared at the start of Q2. The headline INSEE index jumped to a six-year high of 108 in April, from an upwardly revised 105 in March. The headline was flattered by a big increase in the "past activity" index, but the survey's leading indicators also improved.French manufacturing confidence soared at the start of Q2. The headline INSEE index jumped to a six-year high of 108 in April, from an upwardly revised 105 in March. The headline was flattered by a big increase in the "past activity" index, but the survey's leading indicators also improved.
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.
In one line: Disappointing, but not a change in the trend.
May's E.C. Economic Sentiment survey was a blow to hopes that the six-month stay of execution on Brexit would facilitate a recovery in confidence.
Money supply data in the EZ continue to suggest that headline GDP growth will slow soon.
A round of recent conversations with investors suggests to us that markets remain quite skeptical of the idea that the recent upturn in capital spending will be sustained.
Yesterday's business confidence data in the EZ core were mixed.
The trend of consensus-beating EZ economic data was brought to a halt yesterday. The IFO business climate index in Germany slipped to a five-month low of 109.8 in January, from 111.0 in December, mainly due to a fall in the expectations index. But we are not alarmed. The dip in the headline comes after a run of strong data, and the IFO remains consistent with GDP growth of about 1.6% year-over-year.
The verdict from the German business surveys is in; economic growth probably slowed further in Q2.
The shortfall in nominal wage growth, relative to measures of labor market tightness, remains the single biggest mystery of this business cycle.
French business sentiment cooled marginally at the end of Q3. The headline manufacturing confidence index dipped to 110 in September, from 111 in August, though the overall business sentiment gauge was unchanged at 110.
After three straight 1.3% month-to-month increases in core capital goods orders, we are becoming increasingly confident that the upturn in business investment signalled by the NFIB survey is now materializing.
Yesterday's national business surveys provided an optimistic counterbalance to the underwhelming PMIs on Monday, although they all suggest that the euro area economy is in good form.
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.
Consensus forecasts expect further gains in this week's key EZ business surveys, but the data will struggle to live up to expectations. The headline EZ PMIs, the IFO in Germany, and French manufacturing sentiment have increased almost uninterruptedly since August, and we think the consensus is getting ahead of itself expecting further gains. Our first chart shows that macroeconomic surprise indices in the euro area have jumped to levels which usually have been followed by mean-reversion.
Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor last week threatened to cut business taxes aggressively to persuade multinationals to remain in Britain in the event of hard Brexit. But these threats lack credibility, given the likely lingering weakness of the public finances by the time of the U.K.'s departure from the EU and the scale of demographic pressures set to weigh on public spending over the next decade.
Further evidence that the general election has transformed business confidence emerged yesterday, in the form of January's CBI Industrial Trends survey.
Korea's business survey index rose for a second straight month in March, to 75 from 73 in February, on our adjustment.
Whether the economy enters recession will hinge more on corporate behaviour than on consumers. Household spending accounts for about two thirds of GDP, but it is a relatively stable component of demand. By contrast, business investment and inventories--which are often overlooked--are prone to wild swings.
Yesterday's barrage of survey data in France, tentatively suggest that business sentiment is stabilising following a string of declines since the start of the year.
Today's data dump will deliver the advance PMIs and the French INSEE business sentiment indices for February, all of which will be examined closely for signs of stabilisation in the wake of recent evidence that EZ growth is slowing quicker than markets and the ECB have been expecting.
The April IFO business sentiment survey increased the degree of uncertainty over the German economy, following stabilisation in the PMIs earlier this week.
Yesterday's IFO survey capped a fine Q4 for German business survey data. The headline business climate index climbed to a 34-month high of 111.0 in December, from 110.4 in November. An increase in the "current assessment" index was the main driver of the gain, while the expectations index rose only trivially.
The PMIs are telling an increasingly upbeat story for the EZ economy in Q4. The composite PMI in the euro area rose to an 11-month high of 54.1 in November, from 53.3 in October. The uptick was driven by strong new business growth across all private sectors, and employment also increased in response to higher work backlogs.
The apparent softness of business capex is worrying the Fed.
Most of the indicators we follow point to another very strong payroll report today; we look for a 260K gain, matching May's performance. The best single leading indicator, the NFIB small business hiring intentions number, points to a massive 320K leap in private payrolls, as our first chart shows.
November's monetary indicators provide an upbeat rebuttal to the swathe of downbeat business surveys. Year-over-year growth in the MPC's preferred measure of broad money--M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations--rose to a 19-month high of 4.0% in November, from 3.5% in October.
Business surveys released over the last week have made us more confident in our call that quarter-on- quarter GDP growth will recover to about 0.4% in Q2, from Q1's weather-impacted 0.1% rate.
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.
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.
Yesterday's barrage of survey data in France suggests that business sentiment in the industrial sector remained soft mid-way through Q4, but the numbers are more uncertain than usual this month.
The newly-revised data on capital goods orders, released on Friday, support our view that sustained strength in business capex remains a good bet for this year.
Recently released data in Mexico are sending weak signals for the business outlook, and the Texcoco airport saga won't help.
Economists failed to foresee the U.K.'s growth spurt in 2013 partly because they underestimated the positive impact of the Funding for Lending Scheme, launched in mid-2012. In fact, the FLS was so successful at stimulating mortgage lending that it had to be "refocussed" to apply solely to business lending in January 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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 August NFIB survey of activity and sentiment at small businesses was soft, but it could have been worse.
Yesterday's news that the business activity index of the Markit/CIPS services survey fell again in January, to just 50.1--its lowest level since July 2016--has created a downbeat backdrop to the MPC meeting; the minutes and Q1 Inflation Report will be published on Thursday.
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.
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.
China is set to ease reserve requirements for banks lending to small businesses. In a statement after the State Council meeting yesterday, Premier Li Keqiang said that commercial banks would receive a cut in their RRR , from 17% currently, based on how much they lend to businesses run by individuals.
Yesterday's euro area PMI data continue to tell a story of a firm business cycle upturn. The composite PMI was unchanged at 53.9 in December; an increase in the manufacturing index offset a decline in the services PMI.
The emergence last month of a new E.U. Withdrawal Agreement that has a strong chance of being ratified by MPs appears to have given a small boost to business confidence.
We are not concerned by the very modest tightening in business lending standards reported in the Fed's quarterly survey of senior loan officers, published on Monday.
One of the more disheartening aspects of the Q2 national accounts, released last week, was the downward revision to business investment. Quarteron-quarter growth was revised to -0.7%, from +0.5% previously.
We are expecting a hefty increase in the August ADP employment number today--our forecast is 225K, above the 175K consensus --but we do not anticipate a similar official payroll number on Friday. Remember, the ADP number is based on a model which incorporates lagged official employment data, the Philly Fed's ADS Business Conditions Index, and data from firms which use ADP for payroll processing.
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.
All the main surveys of business activity in Q1 now have been released and they present a uniformly downbeat picture.
Economic sentiment in the Eurozone's largest economy stayed solid at the start of the fourth quarter, despite subdued manufacturing and poor investor sentiment. The headline IFO business climate index fell slightly to 108.2 in October from 108.5 in September, due to a fall in the current assessment index. The expectations index rose, though, to 103.8 from 103.5 last month pointing to a resilient outlook for businesses and solid GDP growth in coming quarters.
We have been waiting a long time to see signs that business investment spending is becoming less reliant on movements in oil prices.
The recent deceleration in households' real spending means that either business investment or net exports will have to pickup if the economy is to avoid a severe slowdown this year.
We already know that the month-to-month movements in the key labor market components of the December NFIB small business survey were mixed; the data were released last week, ahead the official employment report, as usual.
All the main business surveys released last week continued to paint a picture of a listless economy.
News that the U.K.'s departure from the E.U. has been delayed by six months, unless MPs ratify the existing deal sooner, appears to have done little to revive confidence among businesses.
Yesterday's IFO survey in Germany was a nasty downside surprise for markets. The business climate index slipped to 106.2 in August, from 108.3 in July, well below the consensus forecast for a modest rise. In addition, the expectations index slid ominously to 100.1, from a revised 102.1 in July.
April's public finances indicate that the economy has remained weak in Q2, casting doubt on the suggestion from recent business surveys that the slowdown in Q1 was just a blip.
Business investment has punched above its weight in the economic recovery from the crash of 2008; annual real growth in capex has averaged 5% over the last five years, greatly exceeding GDP growth of 2%. This recovery is unlikely to grind to a halt soon, since profit margins are still high and borrowing costs will remain low. But corporate balance sheets are not quite as robust as they seem, while capex in the investment-intensive oil sector still has a lot further to fall.
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on French Business Confidence
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.
Claus Vistesen on Eurozone Business Lending
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on NAHB
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. GDP
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on Nationwide's June House Price Index
Housing Starts Surge In December
Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson on "Remarkable" New Home Sales Data for February
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Eurozone Economies
Chief Eurozone Economist Samuel Tombs on Brexit
Chief Asia economist Freya Beamish on the weak yuan
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing U.K. Consumer Confidence
Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson comments on disappointing Homebuilder Confidence data
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S.-China Trade Wars
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on European Car Sales
Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on June Consumer Confidence data
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Money Supply
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the government's fiscal policy
Ian Shepherdsonon why the ADP report is simply not a reliable indicator
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. Employment
Germany's consumer price index fell 0.3% month-over-month in January. It's the first time the inflation rate went negative since September 2009. "Deflation has arrived," Pantheon Macroeconomics' Claus Vistesen said
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen discussing Germany's economy
Germany's exporters just broke another record: The trade surplus for Europe's biggest economy is now at its highest on record.........Here's how Germany's recent export history looks, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics
Claus Vistesen discussing the German PMI's
An unusual factor may have contributed to the German economy's likely fall into a shallow recession at the tail end of 2018, a new report from research house Pantheon Macroeconomics suggests.
Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson on Retail Sales figures, March
Ian Shepherdson comments on Retail Sales data for June
In January, average hourly wages grew 0.5% over the prior month, the biggest month-on-month increase since November 2008......Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro said the outlook for wage growth is still strong
The US trade deficit unexpectedly widened by 17% to $46.6 billion in December from $39.8 billion in November.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs the recent increase in Oil
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the latest from the U.S. Economy
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing the General Election in June
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Retail Sales
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the U.S. Trade Deficit
Chief UK Economist Samuel Tombs on the chance of a no-deal Brexit
Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson attributes bad weather to February US Retail Sales
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson with the latest on the trade war
On Thursday morning, we'll get the best-performing indicator of the US labor market: initial jobless claims. For a while now, Pantheon Macroeconomics' Ian Shepherdson has been stressing that the weekly print is noisy, particularly with the volatility the end-of-year season brings
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing the effect the general election will have on the pound,
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the chances of a second Brexit Referendum
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing sterling in 2018
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Q3 Preliminary GDP data
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Latvia
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the latest NFIB data
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the impact of the Referendum
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the U.K. Economy in 2018
A look back on Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Toombs' predictions ahead of the U.K. General Election
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing U.K. GDP
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%.
The ECB made no changes to policy yesterday, leaving its key refinancing and deposit rates unchanged, at 0.00% and -0.5%, and confirmed that it will restart QE in November at €20B per month.
Investors think it more likely that the MPC will cut Bank Rate in the first half of next year, following Friday's release of the flash Markit/CIPS PMIs for November.
The PMIs in the Eurozone are still warning that the economy is in much worse shape than implied by remarkably stable GDP growth so far this year.
The IFO continues to tell a story of a German economy on the ropes.
The latest data from container ports around the country are consistent with our view that imports are still correcting after the surge late last year, triggered by the hurricanes.
Last week's data added yet more weight to our view that manufacturing is in deep trouble, and that the bottom has not yet been reached.
Yesterday's advance PMI reports in the euro area signal that economic momentum slowed slightly at the start of Q4.
Data released yesterday in Mexico strengthened the case for interest rate cuts this year.
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.
Everyone needs to take a deep breath: This is not 1930, and Smoot-Hawley all over again.
The ECB kept its cool yesterday, at the headline level, amid crashing stock markets, volatile BTPs and souring economic data.
Mexico's economic picture remains positive, although the outlook for 2019 is growing cloudy as the economy likely will lose momentum if AMLO's populist approach continues next year.
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.
Recent upbeat economic reports have mitigated the downside risks we had been flagging to our growth forecast for Mexico for the current quarter.
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.
The BRL remains under severe stress, despite renewed signals of a sustained economic recovery and strengthening expectations that the end of the monetary easing cycle is near.
Yesterday's sole economic report in the EZ showed that consumer sentiment in Germany improved mid-way through the fourth quarter.
The November IFO report suggests that the headline indices are on track for a tepid recovery in Q4 as a whole, but the central message is still one of downside risks to growth
Yesterday's IFO offered a rare upside surprise in the German survey data.
Today's preliminary estimate of GDP likely will show that the economy continued to struggle in response to high inflation, further fiscal austerity and Brexit uncertainty.
need to add docMea culpa: We failed to spot the press release from the Commerce Department announcing the delay of the release of the advance December trade and inventory data, due to the government shutdown.
The key data today, covering March durable goods orders and international trade in goods, should both beat consensus forecasts.
I need to ask your indulgence today, because the release of the durable goods and advance international trade reports coincides with my elder daughter's college graduation ceremony.
The INSEE's manufacturing sentiment data in France are slightly confusing at the moment.
We expect today's first estimate of third quarter GDP growth to show that the economy expanded at a 2.4% annualized rate over the summer.
The last few years have thrown up surprise after surprise for establishment parties. Mr. Abe's Liberal Democrat Party is about as establishment as they come.
If you're looking for points of light in the economy over the next few months, the housing market is a good place to start.
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.
Last week's national accounts were a setback for the hawks on the MPC seeking to raise interest rates at the next meeting, on November 2.
The U.S. reached a trade agreement with Canada on Sunday, adding its northern neighbour to the pact sealed a month ago with Mexico.
Argentina's economic and financial situation has deteriorated significantly in recent weeks and the outlook is becoming increasingly bleak.
Japan's Tankan survey continues to paint a picture of a contracting economy.
Brazil's industrial production rose 0.8% month- to-month in August, well above our call, and the consensus, for a trivial increase.
Brazil's economic data last week were appalling. The IPCA-15 price index rose 1.3% month-to-month, the fastest pace in 12 years, pushing the annual rate to 7.4% in mid-February from 6.7% in mid-January,well above the 6.5% upper bound of the BCB's target range.
China's manufacturing PMI posted a surprise, albeit trivial, increase in February, to 51.6 up from 51.5 in January.
Brazil's central bank kept the Selic policy rate at 6.50% this week, as markets broadly expected.
The BoJ yesterday published its semi-annual Financial System Report, which often gives insights into the longer-term thinking driving BoJ policy.
Halfway through the third quarter, we have no objection to the idea that GDP growth likely will exceed 2% for the third straight quarter.
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.
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.
Just as we turned more positive on the labor market, following three straight months of payroll gains outstripping the message from an array of surveys, the Labor Department's JOLTS report shows that the number of job openings plunged in November.
Mexico's recent rebound in inflation and a more volatile financial environment, due to increasing global trade tensions, forced Banxico to keep its policy rate unchanged at 8.25% last Thursday.
Construction in the EZ stumbled at the start of the year.
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.
Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, has set out the first points of his austerity plan, two weeks after his overwhelming victory at the polls.
Yesterday's final May manufacturing PMIs confirmed that the EZ industrial sector is in fine form. The PMI for the euro area was unchanged at a cyclical high of 57.0 in May, in line with the initial estimate.
The economy's fragility was underlined by the Q3 national accounts, released just before the Christmas break.
Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively soft footing.
Judging by the monthly production data, construction in the Eurozone slowed sharply in the second half of 2018.
We can't finalize our forecast for residential investment in the second quarter until we see the June home sales reports, due next week, but in the wake of yesterday's housing starts numbers we can be pretty sure that our estimate will be a bit below zero.
The Eurozone economy all but stalled at the start of Q4.
Inflation pressures in LatAm are moderating, and governments have been taking steps to pursue fiscal consolidation. These factors, coupled with a relatively favourable external environment, are providing policymakers with the opportunity to start relaxing monetary policy.
Hard data on Mexico's industrial sector for the last couple of months have highlighted major divergences across sectors.
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.
Some shoes never drop. But it would be unwise to assume that the steep plunge in manufacturing output apparently signalled by the ISM manufacturing index won't happen, just because the hard data recently have been better than the survey implied.
Iván Duque, the conservative candidate for the Democratic Centre Party, won the presidential election held in Colombia on Sunday.
Peru's April supply-side monthly GDP data confirm that the economic rebound lost momentum at the start of the second quarter.
LatAm assets and currencies had a bad November, due to global trade war concerns, the USD rebound and domestic factors.
Brazil's December industrial production and labour reports, released this week, confirmed that the recovery remained solidly on track at the end of last year.
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.
With campaigning for the general election intensifying last week, it was unsurprising that October's money and credit release from the Bank of England received virtually no media or market attention.
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.
We doubt there will ever be a fail-safe leading indicator of when a recession is about to hit, but asset prices can help us to assess the risks, at least.
Claus Vistesen has several years' experience in the independent macro research space, as a freelancer, consultant and, latterly, as Head of Research of Variant Perception, Inc. He holds Master's degrees in economics and finance from the Copenhagen Business School and the University of Hull.
The Eurozone's external surplus recovered a bit of ground mid-way through the third quarter.
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.
We expect today's second estimate of Q2 GDP to confirm that the U.K. has been the slowest growing G7 economy this year.
Yesterday's detailed German GDP report raised more questions than it answered. The headline confirmed that growth accelerated to 0.4% quarteron- quarter in Q4, from 0.1% in Q3, leaving the year-over- year rate unchanged at 1.7%.
We can't yet know how bad the spread of the coronavirus from the Chinese city of Wuhan will be.
One way or another, the preliminary estimate of Q1 GDP--due Friday--will have a big market impact, following Mark Carney's warning last week that a May rate hike is not a done deal.
We think of recessions usually as processes; namely, the unwinding of private sector financial imbalances.
Japanese policymakers will have been scouring yesterday's data for signs that the trade situation is improving.
The prospect of fiscal stimulus in the euro area-- ostensibly to "help" the ECB reach its inflation target-- remains a hot topic for investors and economists.
The 17-point leap in the Richmond Fed index for October, reported yesterday, was startlingly large.
The public finances are in better health than appeared to be the case a few months ago.
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.
India's National Democratic Alliance, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party,
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 path of new home sales over the past couple of years has followed the mortgage applications numbers quite closely.
A grim-looking headline durable goods orders number for April seems inevitable today, given the troubles at Boeing.
Yesterday's barrage of survey data were a mixed bag. The composite EZ PMI edged higher in May to 51.6, from 51.5 in April, but the details were less upbeat, and also slightly confusing.
GDP data for Q2 are due July 26; we expect the report to show a marginal dip in growth, to a seasonally adjusted 0.8% quarter-on-quarter, from 1.0% in Q1.
Robust demand in the ECB's final TLTRO auction was the main story in EZ financial markets yesterday. Euro area banks--474 in total-- took up €233.5B in the March TLTRO, well above the consensus forecast €110B. To us, this strong demand is a sign that EZ banks are taking advantage of the TLTROs' incredibly generous conditions.
The PBoC hiked its 7-day reverse repo rate by 5bp yesterday, stating that the move was a response to the latest Fed hike.
Yesterday's barrage of economic data in the Eurozone added to the evidence that economic momentum is slowing.
As we reach our Sunday afternoon deadline, no deal has been reached to re-open the federal government.
Back-to-back elevated weekly jobless claims numbers prove nothing, but they have grabbed our attention.
Today brings a wave of data, some brought forward because of Thanksgiving. We are most interested in the durable goods orders report for October, which we expect will show the upward trend in core capital goods orders continues.
Investor sentiment data still indicate that EZ PMIs are set for a significant rebound at start of the year.
November's labour market report provided timely reassurance, after last week's downside data surprises, that the economy did not grind to a halt at the end of last year.
It would be easy to characterize the Fed as quite split at the July meeting.
After a disappointing run of monthly data, the huge surplus on the main "PSNB ex ." measure of borrowing in January must have been greeted with relief at the Treasury.
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.
The slowdown in the EZ economy is well publicised.
Barring a meteor strike, the ECB will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged today, at 0.00% and -0.5% respectively.
We see considerable downside risk to the consensus forecast that GDP increased by 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the same as in Q3.
Back on May 14, we argued--see here--that the stars were aligned to generate very strong second quarter GDP growth, perhaps even reaching 5%.
U.K. activity data have consistently surprised to the downside over the last month.
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.
Japan's headline CPI inflation is set to edge down in coming months, thanks to non-core prices.
The economic data in Brazil were poor while we were away.
The FTSE 100 has dropped by 7% since the end of September--leaving it on course for its worst month since May 2012--and now is 12% below its May peak.
The latest E.C. survey shows the gap between firms' and households' confidence levels has remained substantial.
We have argued for a while that China and the U.S. will not reach a comprehensive trade deal until after the next election.
Economic conditions are deteriorating rapidly in Chile, despite the relatively decent Imacec reading for Q3.
February's Markit/CIPS construction survey brought further evidence that the economy is being weighed down by Brexit uncertainty.
December's Markit/CIPS surveys for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors suggest that the economy ended 2017 on a lacklustre note.
Japan's real GDP seems unlikely to have risen in Q3, and could even have edge down quarter-on- quarter, after the 0.7% leap in Q2.
September's Markit/CIPS PMIs indicate that the economy still is stuck in a low gear.
China is facing a nasty mix of spiking CPI inflation and ongoing PPI deflation.
News last week increased our conviction that the economy will struggle over the coming months, but then will have a spring in its step next year.
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.
August's Markit/CIPS services survey, released today, likely will show that the economy's biggest sector is continuing to slow. We think that the PMI fell to just 53.0--its lowest level since it plunged immediately after the Brexit vote--from 53.8 in July, below the consensus, 53.5.
Headline inflation in Brazil remained low in October, and even breached the lower bound of the BCB's target range.
Recent economic indicators in Mexico have been mixed, distorted by temporary factors, including the effect of the natural disasters in late Q3. Private consumption has lost some momentum, hit by the lagged effect of high interest rates and inflation, as well as the earthquakes.
Recession fears were fanned yesterday by the renewed deterioration of the Markit/CIPS services survey.
Economic data have yielded the limelight in recent months to Brexit news and, alas, we doubt that February's GDP data, released on Wednesday, will reclaim investors' attention.
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.
British firms have adopted a cautious mindset since the Brexit vote and are saving a huge share of their earnings, even though high profit margins make a strong case for investing more. Firms likely will run down their cash stockpiles when they become more confident about the medium-term economic outlook, potentially boosting GDP growth powerfully.
We're relatively optimistic--yes, you read that correctly--on the outlook for the U.K. economy in 2019.
The 15% fall in the FTSE 100 since its May 2018 peak undoubtedly is an unwelcome development for the economy, but past experience suggests we shouldn't rush to revise down our forecasts for GDP growth.
Yesterday's economic reports added to the evidence the euro area economy as a whole is showing signs of resilience in the face of still-terrible conditions in manufacturing.
Brazil's economic recovery faltered in the first quarter and the near-term outlook remains challenging.
Yesterday's barrage of economic data in the Eurozone offered a good snapshot of the grand narrative.
Yesterday's headline economic data in Germany were decent enough. Industrial output edged higher by 0.3% month-to-month in May, lifted primarily by rising production of capital and consumer goods.
Economic prospects in the Andes have deteriorated significantly in recent weeks, due mainly to the escalation of the trade war.
The reported drop in mortgage applications over the holidays is now reversing, not that it ever mattered.
Productivity statistics released yesterday continued to paint a bleak picture. Output per worker rose by a mere 0.1% year-over-year in Q3, despite jumping by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter.
The recent softening in the ISM employment indexes failed to make itself felt in the June payroll numbers, which sailed on serenely even as tariff-induced chaos intensified at the industry and company level.
This week's March economic activity reports in Chile have been relatively strong, with the industrial sector expanding briskly and retail sales solid.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI was steady in May, at 50.2, in contrast to the official gauge published on Friday, which dropped to 49.5, from April's 50.2.
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 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.
Yesterday's industrial production report in Brazil was sizzling. Headline output jumped 0.8% month- to-month in April--well above the 0.4% consensus-- pushing the year-over-year rate up to 8.9%, a five- year high.
Chile's economy started the third quarter decently, after taking a series of hits, including low commodity prices and the slowdown of the global economy.
Chile's near-term economic outlook is still negative, but clouds have been gradually dispersing since late Q4, due mostly to better news on the global trade front, China's improving economic prospects, and rising copper prices.
Yesterday's final May PMI data in the Eurozone confirmed the strength of the cyclical upturn. The composite PMI was unchanged at 56.8, in line with the initial estimate.
The ADP private sector employment number was a bit weaker than we expected in May, and the undershoot relative to our forecast has pulled down our model's estimate for today's official number
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%.
Survey data continue to suggest that GDP growth will accelerate in Q1. The final PMI reports on Friday showed that the headline EZ composite index rose to 56.0 in February, from 54.4 in January, in line with the first estimate.
China's National People's Congress yesterday laid out its main goals for this year, on the first day of its annual meeting.
October's Markit/CIPS services survey suggests that the PM's new Brexit deal has had a lukewarm reception from firms.
Judging by interactions with readers in the past few weeks, fiscal policy is one of the most important topics for EZ investors as we move into the final stretch of the year.
It would be astonishing if the May and June payroll numbers looked much like April's strong data, at least in the private sector.
The small rise in the Markit/CIPS services PMI to 51.3 in February, from 50.1 in January, came as a relief yesterday.
Political risks have been making an unwelcome comeback in the Eurozone in the past month. In Germany, last month's parliamentary elections--see here--has left Mrs. Merkel with a tricky coalition- building exercise.
Evidence that mounting concerns about Brexit have caused the economy to slow to a near-halt continued to accumulate last week.
Industrial activity in LatAm, at least in the largest economies, is taking different paths.
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.
Data while we were away have intensified fears that the global, and by extension EZ, economy is slipping into recession.
Fears of a Chinese hard landing have roiled financial and commodity markets this past year and have constrained the economic recovery of major raw material exporters in LatAm.
We have consistently flagged the likelihood that Japan's government would boost spending after the consumption tax hike was implemented.
The verdict is in.
The record 1,178-point drop in the Dow will garner all the headlines today, but a sense of perspetive is in order, despite the chaos. The 113-point, or 4.1%, fall in the S&P 500 was very startling, but it merely returned the index to its early December level; it has given up the gains only of the past nine weeks.
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.
In the wake of Wednesday's ADP report, showing a mere 27K increase in private payrolls, we cut our payroll forecast to 100K.
Japan's average year-over-year wage growth slowed sharply in May, but this mainly was a correction of the April spike.
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.
Chile's Imacec index confirmed that economic growth ended the year on a soft note, due mainly to weakness in the mining sector.
The jump in the Caixin services PMI in the past two months looks erratic, with holiday effects playing a role, though there could be more going on here.
Yesterday's BoJ statement, outlook and press conference raised our conviction on two key aspects of the policy outlook.
The further depreciation of sterling yesterday, to its lowest level against the dollar and euro since March 2017 and September 2017, respectively, signified deepening pessimism among investors about the chances of a no-deal Brexit.
Last week's second estimate of GDP reaffirmed that quarter-on-quarter growth declined to 0.1% in Q1--the lowest rate since Q4 2012--from 0.4% in Q4.
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.
The MPC won't seek to make waves on Thursday.
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.
The EZ economic survey data for April were disappointing in our absence.
German data yesterday indicate that inflation pressures have, so far, been resilient in the face of the recent collapse in oil prices. Inflation rose to 0.5% year-over-year in January from 0.3% in December, partly due to base effects pushing up the year-over-year rate in energy prices, but core inflation rose too. The detailed state data indicate that almost all key components of the core index contributed positively, lead by leisure and recreation and healthcare.
Yesterday's EZ money supply data confirmed that liquidity conditions in the private sector improved in Q3, despite the dip in the headline.
Friday's consumer sentiment data in the two main Eurozone economies were mixed.
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.
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 political momentum in the run-up to the election now lies with Labour.
Brazil's February industrial production numbers, labour market data, and sentiment indicators are gradually providing clarity on the underlying pace of activity growth, pointing to some red flags.
With almost two thirds of the nominal data for the third quarter now available, we can make a stab at the contribution of inventories to real GDP growth.
The persistence of no-deal Brexit risk has taken a toll on confidence across the economy over the last month.
Survey data in Germany showed few signs of picking up from their depressed level at the start of Q4.
Mexico's central bank, Banxico, will hold its first monetary policy meeting of this year tomorrow. It will break with tradition, holding the meeting on Thursday at 1:00 p.m, local time, instead of the previous 9:00 a.m slot.
The headline in yesterday's EZ money supply report gave the illusion that monetary conditions are stable, but the details tell a different story. M3 growth accelerated marginally to 5.0% year-over-year in June, from 4.9%, but momentum in narrow money fell further. M1 growth slowed to 8.5% year-over-year, from 9.0% in May due to a fall in overnight deposits and currency in circulation.
We have no choice but to revise down our forecast for GDP growth in Q2, now that the threat of a no-deal Brexit likely will hang over the economy beyond March, probably for three more months.
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.
Brazil's external accounts have recovered dramatically this year, and we expect a further improvement--albeit at a much slower pace--in the fourth quarter. The steep depreciation of the BRL last year, and the improving terms of trade due to the gradual recovery in commodity prices, drove the decline in the current account deficit in the first half.
Data last week confirmed that Peru's economic growth slowed sharply in the first half of the year, due to the damaging effects of the global trade war hitting exports.
The decline in headline durable goods orders in May, reported yesterday, doesn't matter.
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%.
French consumers remained in great spirits midway through the fourth quarter. The headline INSEE consumer confidence index jumped to a 28-month high in November, from 104 in October, extending its v-shaped recovery from last year's plunge on the back of the yellow vest protests.
This year has been a story of two halves for EZ equities. The MSCI EU ex-UK jumped 11% in the first five months of 2017, but has since struggled to push higher.
The trade war with China is a macroeconomic event, whose implications for economic growth and inflation can be estimated and measured using straightforward standard macroeconomic tools and data.
The Prime Minister's resignation and the stillborn launch of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill last week has forced us to revise our Brexit base case, from a soft E.U. departure on October 31 to continued paralysis.
The downshift in core PCE inflation this year has unnerved the Fed, along with the intensification of the trade war and slower global growth.
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.
China's Caixin manufacturing PMI doused hopes of turning over a January new leaf; it dropped to 49.7 in November, from 50.2 in December.
Further political wrangling yesterday distracted from data showing that the risk of no -deal Brexit is placing increasing strain on the economy.
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.
Markets will be extremely sensitive to economic data in the run-up to the MPC's next meeting on August 3, following signals from several Committee members that they think the cas e for a rate rise has strengthened.
A flawed theory still is circulating that the economy might outperform over the next two quarters because firms will stockpile goods due to the risk of a no-deal Brexit.
Recently released data in Colombia signal that the economy ended last year quite strongly.
The biggest single surprise in the second quarter GDP report was the unexpected $28B real-terms drop in inventories.
A dovish speech by external MPC member Michael Saunders was the primary catalyst for a renewed fall in interest rate expectations last week.
Data released yesterday show that the Chilean economy had a weak start to the second half of the year.
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.
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.
The FOMC has gone all-in, more or less, on the idea that the headwinds facing the economy mean that the hiking cycle is over.
We were pretty sure that the underlying trend in jobless claims had bottomed, in the high 230s, before the hurricanes began to distort the data in early September.
Chair Yellen's final FOMC meeting today will be something of a non-event in economic terms.
Chile's inflation outlook remains benign, allowing policymakers to cut interest rates if the economic recovery falters.
Payroll growth in September and October probably won't be materially worse than August's meager 96K increase in private jobs.
Gilts continued to rally last week, with 10-year yields dropping to their lowest since October 2016, and the gap between two-year and 10-year yields narrowing to the smallest margin since September 2008.
Yesterday's November EZ construction data offered little respite to the gloomy outlook for the Q4 GDP headline.
Don't write off the outlook for the construction sector purely on the basis of June's grim Markit/CIPS survey.
Today brings an array of economic data, including the jobless claims report, brought forward because July 4 falls on Thursday.
Last week's national accounts confirmed that the economy lost momentum abruptly in Q1, with net trade and investment failing to offset weaker growth in households' spending.
Markets are pricing-in just a 10% chance of the MPC cutting interest rates again within the next six months, odds that look too low given the strong likelihood that the economic recovery loses more pace.
The fall in the Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI to 47.4 in August--its lowest level since July 2012--from 48.0 in July suggests that pre-Brexit stockpiling isn't countering the hit to demand from Brexit uncertainty and the global industrial slowdown.
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.
Money supply data in the euro point to a cyclical peak in GDP growth this year. Headline M3 growth fell to 4.8% year-over-year in July, from 5.0% in June, chiefly due to a slowdown in narrow money. M1 growth declined to 8.4%, from 8.7%, as a result of weaker momentum in overnight deposits and currency in circulation.
Markets remain convinced that the U.S. faces no meaningful inflation risk for the foreseeable future.
Japan's Q1 is coming more sharply into focus.
Last week's preliminary estimate of Q1 GDP has extinguished any lingering chance that the MPC might raise interest rates at its next meeting on May 10.
The Fed is on course to hike again in December, with 12 of the 16 FOMC forecasters expecting rates to end the year 25bp higher than the current 2-to-21⁄4%; back in June, just eight expected four or more hikes for the year.
The Fed will leave rates unchanged today.
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.
French industrial production data surprised to the upside yesterday. Output rose 0.1% month-to-month in September, a solid gain following an upwardly-revised 1.7% rise in August, and also higher than the consensus, forecast for a 0.4% fall. The details, however, were less upbeat than the headline. Transport equipment fell, as expected, following production being pushed forward ahead of the Summer holidays. But this story was overshadowed by a 22.5% month-to-month jump in oil refining-- included in manufacturing--as refineries resumed full production following maintenance over the summer.
A cursory glance at July's labour market report gives no cause for alarm. The headline, three-month average, unemployment rate returned to 3.8% in July, after edging up to 3.9% in June.
The escalation in the U.S.-Chinese trade wars has understandably pushed EZ economic data firmly into the background while we have been resting on the beach.
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.
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.
China's unadjusted trade surplus collapsed in February, to just $4.1B, from $39.2B in January.
The economy looks to be in better shape following May's GDP report than widely feared.
The bad news in German manufacturing keeps coming thick and fast.
We already know that the key labor market numbers in today's May NFIB survey are strong.
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.
Mexico's economy is not accelerating, but it is holding up very well in difficult circumstances, with rising domestic political risk and stifling interest rates.
The outlook for the French economy is changing on a daily basis these days.
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 four-quarter average growth trend in private investment, excluding dwellings, fell to 0.1% in Q4, and the recent improvement in the PMIs indicates only a modest upturn in Q2. The dearth of investment by non-financial corporates remains one of the biggest threats to long-term growth in the Eurozone.
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.
The Mexican economy gathered strength in Q3, due mainly to the strength of the services sector, and the rebound in manufacturing, following a long period of sluggishness, helped by the solid U.S. economy and improving domestic confidence.
September's GDP report laid bare the economy's sluggishness.
Emmanuel Macron's victory in France has lifted investors' hopes that the good times in the Eurozone economy and equity markets are here to stay. On the face of it, we share markets' optimism. Mr. Macron and his opposite number in Germany--our base case is that Ms. Merkel will remain Chancellor--will form a strong pro-EU axis in the core of the Eurozone.
Predictably, last weekend's G7 meeting in Canada ended in acrimony between the U.S. and its key trading partners.
On the face of it, the latest GDP data look awful. December's 0.4% month-to-month fall in GDP closed a poor Q4, in which quar ter-on-quarter growth slowed to 0.2%, from 0.6% in Q3.
We're very interested in the detail of today's January NFIB survey; the headline index, not so much.
Japanese M2 growth increased trivially in June to 3.9% year-on-year from 3.8% in May, significantly higher than the 3.2% rate in August, before the BoJ began targeting the yield curve.
Chair Yellen has become quite good at not giving much away at her semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony.
Momentum in French manufacturing eased slightly in November, but the setback was modest. Industrial production dipped 0.5% month-to-month, only partially reversing the revised 1.7% jump in October.
Japan's Q3 real GDP growth was revised up substantially to 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in the final read, compared with 0.3% in the preliminary report.
Yesterday's money supply data in the Eurozone were alarmingly poor.
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.
We expect to see a 70K increase in October payrolls today.
The case for believing that August's unexpected 14-year high in the ISM manufacturing index was a fluke is pretty straightforward, and it has both short and medium-term elements.
Brazil's economic activity data have disappointed in recent months, firming expectations that the Q1 GDP report will show another relatively meagre expansion.
At next Wednesday's Budget, the Chancellor will have the rare pleasure of announcing lower-than- anticipated near-term borrowing forecasts. But hopes that he will prevent the fiscal tightening from intensifying when the new financial year begins in April look set to be dashed, just as they were at the Autumn Statement in November.
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.
The incidence of the phrase "since the early nineties" has increased sharply in our Japan reports this year.
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.
The Prime Minister is in a position on Brexit all chess players dread: zugzwang.
It's tempting to conclude from the recent decline in consumers' confidence that growth in real spending will continue to weaken over the coming quarters, from the already modest 1.8% year-over-year rate in Q3.
Japan's GDP growth was revised up, to 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, from 0.1% in the preliminary reading.
The early Q4 hard data in Germany recovered a bit of ground yesterday.
Brazil's economy remains mired in a renewed slowdown, and low--albeit temporarily rising-- inflation, which is allowing the BCB to keep interest rates on hold, at historic lows.
Lacklustre economic data and persistent no deal Brexit risk mean that the MPC won't rock the boat at this week's meeting.
Recent activity data in Mexico have been soft and leading indicators still point to challenging near-term prospects, due mainly to relatively high domestic political risk, stifling interest rates and difficult external conditions.
Markets rightly placed little weight on October's below-consensus GDP report yesterday, and still think that the chances of the MPC cutting Bank Rate within the next six months are below 50%.
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.
Payroll growth has slowed, no matter how you slice and dice the numbers.
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate in the first half of this year leapt to 50% yesterday, from 35%, following Mark Carney's speech.
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.
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.
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.
Data released yesterday support our view that the Brazilian retail sector has gathered strength in recent months, following a weak Q2, when activity was hit by the truckers' strike.
Yesterday's economic headlines in the Eurozone were pleasant reading.
Leading indicators and survey data in Brazil still suggest a rebound from the relatively soft GDP growth late last year and in Q1.
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.
Incoming activity data from Colombia over the past quarter have been surprisingly strong, despite many domestic and external threats.
We're sticking to our call that the Eurozone PMIs have bottomed, though we concede that the picture so far is more one of stabilisation than an outright rebound.
Brazil's consumer resilience in Q3 continued to November, but retail sales undershot market expectations, suggesting that the sector is not yet accelerating and that downside risks remain.
We see downside risk to the housing starts numbers for April, due today. Our core view on housing market activity, both sales and construction activity, is that the next few months, through the summer, will be broadly flat-to-down.
The IBC-Br index, a monthly proxy for Brazil's GDP--rose 0.5% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 2.8%, from an upwardly-revised 3.1% in October.
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.
Friday's sole economic report showed that wage growth in France remained robust mid-way through the year. The non-seasonally adjusted private wage index, ex-agriculture and public sector workers, published by the Labour Ministry, rose by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q3.
Yesterday's labour market data delivered a further blow to hopes that consumers' spending will retain enough momentum for the MPC to press ahead and raise interest rates this year. The most striking development is the decline in year-over-year growth in average weekly wages to just 1.9% in December, from 2.9% in November.
Ahead of the release of the retail sales report for December 2018, markets expected to see unchanged non-auto sales.
The consensus forecast for a 0.6% month-to month rise in retail sales volumes in December--data released today--is far too timid.
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 February activity report in Colombia showed a modest pick-up in manufacturing activity and strength in the retail sales numbers.
Mortgage applications appear to have recovered from their reported February drop, which was due mostly to a very long-standing seasonal adjustment problem
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.
Banxico will meet tomorrow, and we expect Mexican policymakers to cut the main interest rate by 25bp, to 7.25%.
Last week's comments by Mr. Draghi--see here-- indicate that the ECB is increasingly confident that core inflation will continue to move slowly towards the target of "below, but close to 2%", despite elevated external risks, and marginally tighter monetary policy.
The case for the MPC to hold back from implementing more stimulus was bolstered by September's consumer prices figures.
The Japanese GDP report yesterday contained substantial revisions to Q4. We had expected the Q1 contraction, but the revisions recast the health of the recovery, making the domestic demand performance look much less impressive recently, with the economy struggling since the burst of growth in the first half last year.
Data yesterday added further evidence of a slow recovery in Eurozone auto sales.
Some of the recent labor market data appear contradictory. For example, the official JOLTS measure of the number of job openings has spiked to an all-time high, and the number of openings is now greater than the number of unemployed people, for the first time since the data series begins, in 2001.
Japan's economic data have been very volatile in the last 18 months.
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.
The New York Times called the China trade agreement reached Friday "half a deal", but that's absurdly generous.
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.
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.
The outlook for private investment in the Eurozone has deteriorated this year, especially in manufacturing.
The two biggest economies in the region have taken divergent paths in recent months, with the economic recovery strengthening in Brazil, but slowing sharply in Mexico.
Legislative and presidential elections in Colombia will be held on March 11 and May 27, respectively, with a run-off presidential election on June 17 if no candidate secures more than half the votes.
Our default position for core durable goods orders over the next few months is that they will fall, sharply.
The second presidency of Chile's conservative Sebastián Piñera, a billionaire turned politician, began on Sunday, March 11, in favourable economic circumstances.
The key piece of evidence supporting our view that housing market activity has peaked for this cycle is the softening trend--until recently--in applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase.
GDP growth in Japan surprised to the upside in the second quarter, although the preliminary headline arguably flattered the economy's actual performance.
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.
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.
In a busy week in Brazil, ongoing signals of feeble economic activity have strengthened our forecast for GDP growth of just 1.0% this year, below the 1.3% consensus forecast.
Today's labour market figures likely will bring further signs that firms are recruiting more cautiously and limiting pay awards, due to still-elevated economic uncertainty.
Brazil's consumer spending data yesterday appeared downbeat. Retail sales fell 2.1% month-to-month in December, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 4.9%, from -3.8% in November. This is a poor looking headline, but volatility is normal in these data at this time of the year, and the underlying trend is improving.
To answer the question: Yes, growth could hit 5% in the second quarter.
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.
The story of U.S. retail sales since last summer is mostly a story about the impact of the hurricanes, Harvey in particular.
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.
Japan's 0.3% quarter-on quarter increase in Q4 GDP was disappointing, on the face of it, after a downwardly-revised 0.7% fall in Q3.
Japanese real Q2 GDP growth surprised analysts, increasing sharply to a quarterly annualised rate of 4.0%, up from 1.0% in Q1 and much higher than the consensus, 2.5%. But its no coincidence that the jump in Japanese growth follows strong growth in China in Q1.
Markets are caught in a trade loop.
Chile and Peru faced similar growth trends in 2018, namely, a solid first half, followed by a poor second half, particularly Q3.
September's labour market report suggests that wage growth won't continue to rise for much longer.
Sterling leapt to $1.27, from $1.22 last week, amid some positive signals from all sides engaged in Brexit talks.
Colombia is one of the fastest growing economies in LatAm but over the last few quarters the country has been adjusting to the collapse in oil prices, the depreciating currency and rising inflation. But the slowdown, especially on the domestic side of the economy, has been less dramatic than expected, so far. Our main scenario is that the adjustment process to challenging external conditions will continue over the coming quarters.
The Fed rate hike on Wednesday is fully priced in to LatAm markets, so we expect no significant immediate reaction when the trigger is pulled. But as markets gradually come around to our view that future U.S. rate risk is to the upside, markets will come under renewed pressure.
Within the next few month, and perhaps as soon as next month, the gap between the headline NFIB and ISM manufacturing indexes, shown in our first chart, will close for the first time since late 2008.
U.S. inflation gauges are sliding toward negative territory for the first time in more than five years. But the oil-fueled tumble in prices is far from the kind of growth-sapping episodes of deflation that tend to worry economists
Construction in the euro area stumbled at the end of last year. Output fell 0.2% month-to-month in December, but the year-over-year rose to 2.4%, from a revised 1.6% in November.
In a note to clients ahead of the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro said that while ADP isn't all that reliable of an indicator for the government's payroll release, set for Friday morning.
Brazil's industrial sector had a relatively good start to the year. Data on Wednesday showed that production fell 0.1% month-to-month in January, less than markets expected, and the year-over-year rate rose to 1.4%, after a 0.1% drop in December.
Japan's wage growth fell to -0.2% year-over-year in November, after a flat October, ending hopes of a further uptrend.
A year can make a big difference for the equity market. At this point last year, holders of the MSCI EU ex-UK were looking at a meaty gain of 21% year-to-date. The corresponding number this year is a sobering -12%. This is a remarkable shift, given stable GDP growth, close to cyclical highs, and additional easing by the ECB.
In one line: Slightly confusing manufacturing data; but overall picture is robust.
Banxico's quarterly inflation report, released last week, underscored concerns over growth as well as the weakness of the MXN and the risks p osed by the Fed's imminent tightening. Policymakers downgraded Mexico's GDP forecast for 2017 to 2.3-to-3.3% year-over-year, from 2.5-to-3.5%. Weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing activity is behind the downshift.
A plunge in imports saved the EZ economy from a contraction in second quarter GDP. Yesterday's final data showed that real GDP growth rose 0.3% quarter- on-quarter, slowing from a 0.5% jump in Q1. A 0.4 percentage points boost from net exports was the key driving force.
In yesterday's Monitor, we laid out how conditions last year were conducive to Chinese deleveraging, and how the debt ratio fell for the first time since the financial crisis.
The Eurozone economy is becoming increasingly service-oriented. The private services sector has contributed just over 50% of gross value added-- GVA -- in the past three years, up from 44% in the seven years before the crash of 2008.
Yesterday's national surveys in the EZ confirmed the downbeat message from the PMIs and consumer sentiment data earlier this week.
Today's Monitor is a good opportunity to remind readers about one of the most important rules of EZ business cycle analysis.
The Eurozone has a productivity problem. Between 1997 and 2007, labour productivity rose an average 1.2% year-over-year, but this rate has slowed to a crawl--a mere 0.5%--since the crisis. These data tell an important story about the peaks in EZ GDP growth over the business cycle. Before the financial crisis in 2008, cyclical peaks in Eurozone GDP growth were as high as 3%-to-4% year-over-year.
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.
Historical evidence suggests that we should be worried about the relative weakness in the Eurozone's manufacturing sector. Industrial production ex-construction has historically been a key indicator of the business cycle, despite accounting for a comparatively modest 19% of total value-added in the euro area. In all three previous major downturns, underperformance in the manufacturing sector sounded the alarm six-to-nine months in advance that the economy was about to slip into recession.
Everyone is familiar by now with the conundrum in the labor market: How come wage gains have barely increased over the past few years even as the unemployment rate has fallen to very low levels, and business surveys scream that employers can't find the people they want? To give just one visual example of the scale of the apparent anomaly, our first chart shows the yawning gap between the headline unemployment rate and the rate of growth of hourly earnings, compared to previous cycles.
It is very difficult to be positive about the Brazilian economy in the short term, with every indicator of confidence at historic lows. The industrial business confidence index fell 9.2% month-to-month in March alone. Capacity use dropped to 79.7% from 81.5% in February, the lowest level in six years, and inventories rose, presumably because businesses over-estimated the strength of sales.
With plenty of evidence emerging that consumer spending and business investment are set to suffer from a collapse in confidence, attention is turning to whether other sectors of the economy are ready to step up and support growth. But the fruits from reduced fiscal contraction and stronger net trade will be small and will take a long time to emerge.
Yesterday's ECB bank lending survey suggests that credit conditions remain favourable for the EZ economy. Credit standards eased slightly for business and mortgage lending and were unchanged for consumer credit.
Yesterday's economic activity data from Peru signalled that the relatively firm business cycle continues. The monthly GDP index accelerated to 3.6% year-over-year in November, rising from 2.1% in October, but marginally below the 4.4% on average in Q3. Growth continued to be driven by mining output, including oil and gas, which rose 15% year-over- year. The opening of several new mines explains the upturn, and we expect the sector to remain key for the Peruvian economy this year.
The Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points today, 11 years and six months since the previous tightening cycle began, in June 2004. This tightening, like that one, will end in recession eventually, but this time around we expect a garden-variety business cycle downturn rather than a massive financial crash and a near-death experience for global capitalism.
Today's huge wall of data will add significantly to our understanding of third quarter economic growth, with new information on consumers' spending, industrial activity, inflation and business sentiment. In light of the unexpected drop in the ISM surveys in August, we are very keen to see the Empire State and Philly Fed surveys for September.
Italy's long-term challenges--chiefly, structurally high government debt and deteriorating demographics--remain daunting, but the cyclical picture is improving steadily. Final GDP data last week revealed that growth in the first half of the year was 0.2% better than initially estimated, taking the annualised growth rate to 1.4%, the highest in five years. This is the first sign of a durable business cycle upturn since the sovereign debt crisis crashed the economy in 2012.
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.
The dreadful September ISM manufacturing survey reinforces our view that the sector will be in recession for the foreseeable future, and that both business capex and exports are on the verge of a serious downturn.
We have argued consistently since oil prices first began to fall that U.S. consumers would spend most of their windfall, so real spending would accelerate even as nominal retail sales growth was dragged down by the drop in the price of gas and other imported goods. At the same time, we argued that capital spending in the oil business would collapse, and that exports would struggle in the face of the stronger dollar.
The tone of today's FOMC statement likely will be different to the gloomy April missive, which began with a list of bad news: "...economic growth slowed during the winter months, in part reflecting transitory factors. The pace of job gains moderated... underutilization of labor resources was little changed. Growth in household spending declined... Business fixed investment softened, the recovery in the housing sector remained slow, and exports declined."
Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday might mark the beginning of a new era for both the U.S. and the global economy. For commodity-producing Latam countries, such as Chile, Peru and Colombia, attention will shift to Trump's proposed tax reforms, pro-business agenda and planning infrastructure spending. Mexico, on the other hand, will be grappling with Mr. Trump's trade and immigration policies.
The Spanish economy has been punching above its weight in the current business cycle. Real GDP growth has trended at about 0.8% quarter-on-quarter since 2015, far outpacing the other major EZ economies.
Economic survey data this week will give the first clear evidence on whether recent market volatility has dented Eurozone confidence. The key business and consumer surveys dipped in January, and we now expect further declines, starting with today's PMI data. We think the composite index fell slightly to 53.0 in February from 53.6 in January.
November data for most of the major EZ business and consumer surveys arrive this week. We doubt the reports will change our view that EZ GDP growth likely will remain steady at about 1.6% year-over-year in Q4. But appearances matter, and risks are tilted to the downside in some of the main surveys, after jumps in October.
Consumption and investment spending by state and local government accounts for just over 10% of the U.S. economy, making it more important than exports or consumers' spending on durable goods, and roughly equal to all business investment in equipment and intellectual property.
We're expecting a substantial inventory hit in the fourth quarter, subtracting about 1¼ percentage points from headline GDP growth. Businesses very likely added to their inventories in Q4, in real terms, but the we reckon the increase was only about $30B, annualized, compared to the $85.5B jump in the third quarter. Remember, the contribution to GDP growth is the change in the pace of inventory-building between quarters.
Yesterday's barrage of French business sentiment data suggest that confidence in the industrial sector was a little stronger than expected in Q2.
The minutes of the September 19/20 FOMC meeting record that "...it was noted that the National Federation of Independent Business reported that greater optimism among small businesses had contributed to a sharp increase in the proportion of small firms planning increases in their capital expenditures."
Financial markets and economic survey data have been sending a downbeat message on the Eurozone economy so far this year. The composite PMI has declined to a 12-month low, consumer sentiment has weakened, and national business surveys have also been poor.
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.
A classic indicator of impending recession is the emergence of excessive levels of inventory across the economy. The pace of businesses inventory accumulation typically lags sales growth, so when activity slows, usually in response to higher interest rates, firms are left with unsold goods.
The cyclical recovery in Italy likely strengthened in the second quarter. Real GDP rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, and we think the e conomy repeated, or even slightly, beat this number in Q2. This would mark the strongest performance in four years, but it will take more than a business cycle upturn to solve the Italian economy's structural challenges. Government and non-financial corporate debt has risen to 220% of GDP since 2008, and non-performing loans--NPLs--have sky rocketed.
The PBoC late on Wednesday announced measures to provide medium-term funding for smaller businesses.
German survey data did something out of character yesterday; they fell. The IFO business climate index declined to 117.2 in December from a revised 117.6 in November.
We have been asked several times in recent days whether a pick-up in stockbuilding, as part of businesses' contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit, could cause the economy to gather some pace in the run-up to Britain's scheduled departure from the EU in March 2019.
Labour costs growth accelerated modestly last year in the Eurozone. Data on Friday showed that Q4 nominal labour costs in the Eurozone rose 1.3% year-over-year, slightly higher than the 1.1% increase in Q3. The modest acceleration was mainly due to a rise in "non-business" labour costs, which rose 1.6% year-over-year, up from a 0.9% increase in Q3.
We would be very surprised if the Fed were to raise rates today. The Yellen Fed is not in the business of shocking markets, and with the fed funds future putting the odds of a hike at just 22%, action today would assuredly come as a shock, with adverse consequences for all dollar assets.
One of the key characteristics of this euro area business cycle has been near-zero inflation due to structurally weak domestic demand and depressed prices for globally traded goods and commodities. This has supported real incomes, despite sluggish nominal wage growth.
Lending conditions in the EZ economy continued to improve in Q1, according to the ECB's bank lending survey. Business and consumer credit supply conditions eased, but mortgage lending became more difficult to come by as standards tightened sharply in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Demand for new loans also rose, but the increase was due entirely to gains in the mortgage and consumer credit components.
The chances of a cut in official interest rates were boosted yesterday by the sharp fall in the business activity index of the Markit/CIPS report on services in February, to its weakest level since April 2013. Its decline, to just 52.8 from 55.6 in January, mirrored falls in the manufacturing and construction PMIs earlier in the week and pushed the weighted average of the three survey's main balances down to a level consistent with quarter-on-quarter GDP growth of just 0.2% in Q1.
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.
Yesterday's FOMC statement was a bit more upbeat on growth than we expected, with Janet Yellen's final missive describing everything -- economic growth, employment, household spending, and business investment -- as "solid".
We're expecting the FOMC to vote unanimously not raise rates today, but we do expect a modestly hawkish tilt in the statement. Specifically, we're expecting an acknowledgment of the upturn in business investment reported in the Q4 GDP data, and of the increase in market-based measures of inflation expectations, given that 10-year TIPS breakevens are now above 2% for the first time since September 2014.
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.
The Markit/CIPS PMIs for August, slated for release over the next three business days, will be closely watched. They have provided the most resounding indication, so far, that Britain is heading for a recession. In July, the composite PMI--comprised of the manufacturing and services indices--fell to 47.5, from 52.4 in June, its biggest month-to-month fall since records began in 1998.
It's hardly surprising that the consensus forecast for month-to-month growth in November GDP, released on Friday, is a mere 0.1%, given the flow of downbeat business surveys.
It's probably too soon to expect to see a meaningful reaction in the NFIB small business survey to the drop in stock prices, but it likely is coming, and a hit in today's March report can't be ruled out entirely.
External conditions continue to favour Brazil. The recovery in domestic demand in the world's major economies, particularly the rebound in business investment, has driven a gradual revival of global exports.
All the regional PMI and Fed business surveys we follow suggest that today's national ISM manufacturing report for November will be weaker than in October
The revival in the construction sector is slowing on all fronts as the fiscal squeeze intensifies, business confidence fades and the recovery in housebuilding loses momentum. These headwinds are likely to ensure that construction output only holds steady this year, thereby contributing to the broader economic slowdown.
The domestic business cycle doesn't matter, yet: Global Growth and the Trade War are driving the Fed
Today's market attention will be focused on the advance August PMI data in the major EZ economies. We think the composite PMI in the euro area was unchanged at 53.2 in August, consistent with stable GDP growth of 0.3%-to-0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q3. The signal of "stability" in the Eurozone business cycle has been consistently relayed by the PMI since the beginning of the year.
Eurozone manufacturing is showing signs of stabilisation. Final PMI data showed the headline gauge falling trivially to 52.4 in July from 52.5 in June, slightly above the initial estimate of 52.2. New orders slowed, though, with companies reporting weakness in export business amid firm domestic demand.
This week's hard data confirmed the bleak situation of Brazil's industrial sector, signalled over the last few months by key leading indicators such as the PMI manufacturing and the CNI business confidence surveys. March industrial production fell by 0.8% month-to-month and 3.5% year-over-year, following a downwardly-revised 9.4% contraction in February.
The collapse in business activity and consumer confidence since the referendum has sealed the deal on policy easing from the MPC on Thursday. The Committee has cut Bank Rate by 50 basis points when the composite PMI has been near July's level in the past, as our first chart shows.
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.
For some time now we have argued that the forces which have depressed business capex--the collapse in oil prices, the strong dollar, and slower growth in China--are now fading, and will soon become neutral at worst. As these forces dissipate, the year-over-year rate of growth of capex will revert to the prior trend, about 4-to-6%. We have made this point in the context of our forecast of faster GDP growth, but it also matters if you're thinking about the likely performance of the stock market.
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.
Chinese monetary conditions remain tight. Systemic tightening through higher interest rates last year is playing a role, but intensified and ever- more public regulatory enforcement is becoming the primary driver of tightening credit conditions for businesses.
The falling unemployment rate and the threat it poses to the inflation outlook mean that the labor market numbers in the NFIB small business survey attract more attention than the other data in the report.
Japan's GDP growth came roaring back in Q2, thanks to a strong rebound in private consumption, and an acceleration in business capex.
We are still annoyed, for want of a better word, by the May payroll numbers. Specifically, we're annoyed that we got it wrong, and we want to know why. Our initial thoughts centered on the idea that the plunge in the stock market in the first six weeks of the year hit business confidence and triggered a pause in hiring decisions, later reflected in the payroll numbers.
Retail sales account for some 30% of GDP--more than all business investment and government spending combined--so the monthly numbers directly capture more of the economy than any other indicator. Translating the monthly sales numbers into real GDP growth is not straightforward, though, because the sales numbers are nominal. Sales have been hugely depressed over the past year by the plunging price of gasoline and, to a lesser extent, declines in prices of imported consumer goods.
Industrial production in the euro area dipped in February. Output fell 0.8% month-to-month pushing the year-over-year rate down to 0.8% from a revised 2.9% in January. This indicates that Eurozone manufacturing continues to lag the pace seen in previous business cycle upturns.
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.
The key labor market numbers from the monthly NFIB survey of small businesses are released ahead of the main report, due today.
On the face of it, small business have taken quite a hit over the past few months. The headline index from the NFIB survey of small businesses has dropped to a nine-month low of 95.2 in March from 100.4 in December. As a result, the gap between the NFIB and the ISM manufacturing indexes, which had been narrowing, has widened again.
We're pretty sure our forecast of a levelling-off in capital spending in the oil sector will prove correct. Unless you think the U.S. oil business is going to disappear, capex has fallen so far already that it must now be approaching the incompressible minimum required for replacement parts and equipment needed to keep production going.
Nowhere is the gap between sentiment and activity wider than in the NFIB survey of small businesses. The economic expectations component leaped by an astonishing 57 points between October and December, but the capex intentions index rose by only two points over the same period, and it has since slipped back. In February, the capex intentions index stood at 26, compared to an average of 27.3 in the three months to October.
New business in German manufacturing ended the first quarter on a strong note. Factory orders rose 1.9% month-to-month in March, above the consensus 0.6%, and net revisions to the February data were +0.4 percentage points. The rise in new orders was exclusively due to a 4.3% increase in export orders, which offset a 1.2% fall in domestic orders. These are strong numbers, but the details suggest that mean reversion will push the headline down next month.
Business investment in Japan took a nasty hit in the third quarter.
The sluggishness of consumers' spending and business investment in the first quarter means that hopes of a headline GDP print close to 2% rely in part on the noisier components of the economy, namely, inventories and foreign trade.
Judging from our inbox, economy bulls are pinning a great deal of hope on the idea that the collapse in the Help Wanted Online index is misleading, because the index is subject to distortions caused by shifts in pricing behavior in the online job advertising business. These distortions were analyzed in a recent Fed paper--click here to read on the Fed's website-- which makes a convincing case that at least some of the decline in the HWOL over the past half-year represents a change in recruiters' behavior rather than slowing in labor demand.
The recent cyclical upturn in the EZ began in the first quarter of 2013. GDP growth has accelerated almost uninterruptedly for the last two years to 1.5% year-over-year in Q3, despite the Greek debt crisis and slower growth in emerging markets. Overall we think the recovery will continue with full-year GDP growth of about 1.6%. But we also think the business cycle is maturing, characterised by stable GDP growth and higher inflation, and we see the economy slowing next year.
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.
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.
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.
The models which generate the ADP measure of private payrolls will benefit in May from the strength of the headline industrial production, business sales and jobless claims numbers.
The business cycle upturn in the Eurozone likely will remain resilient in the first half of 2017. Friday's money supply data showed that headline M3 growth increased to 5.0% in December, from 4.9% in November.
Consumer sentiment data yesterday from the major economies were mixed, signalling that support to Eurozone GDP growth from surging German household consumption is waning. The key "business outlook" index--which correlates best with spending--plunged to a 30-month low in October, while the advance GfK sentiment index dipped to 9.4 in November from 9.6 in October. We see little signs in retail sales data of slowing momentum, and also think consumers' spending rebounded in Q3. But our first chart shows that the fall in the GfK index implies clear downside risks in coming quarters.
The summer usually is a quiet time for business, but seemingly not for CFOs this year. Yesterday's money and credit figures from the Bank of England showed that borrowing by private non-financial corporations has rocketed. Net finance raised by PNFC's from all sources increased by £8.9B in July, compared to an average increase of just £2.5B in the previous 12 months.
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.
Brazil is now paying the price of President Rousseff's first term, which was characterized by unaffordable expansionary policies. As a result, inflation is now trending higher, forcing the BCB to tighten at a more aggressive pace than initially intended--or expected by investors--depressing business and investment confidence.
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.
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.
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.
While businesses--and farmers--fret over the damage already wrought by the trade war with China and the further pain to come, consumers are remarkably happy.
Money supply data continue to send a bullish message on the euro area economy. Broad money growth was unchanged at 5.0% year-over-year in June, but M1 growth surged to 11.8%, from 11.2% in May. Combined with low inflation, real M1--the best leading indicator in the Eurozone--indicates a surge in GDP growth on par with previous record business cycle upturns in 1999, 2005-06 and 2009-10.
Judging by the survey data, German business sentiment remained depressed at the start of the year.
We were happy to see upside surprises from both sides of the domestic economy yesterday, but we doubt that the August readings from both the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey and the Richmond Fed business survey can hold.
Yesterday's IFO survey in Germany was a big relief for markets, in light of recent soft data. The main business climate index jumped to 109.5 in September, from 106.3 in August, the biggest month-to-month increase since 2010.
Business surveys coming out of the Eurozone have been remarkably strong recently. The composite PMI for the Eurozone jumped to 56.7 in March--its highest level since April 2011--from 56.1 in February. Germany's IFO business climate index leaped to a 67-month high in March.
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.
In theory, any hit to sentiment and business investment as the E.U. referendum nears could be offset by a better foreign trade performance, due to the Brexit-related depreciation of sterling. But not every cloud has a silver lining.
Brazil's economic outlook is gradually improving following a challenging Q2, which was hit by political risk, putting business and consumer confidence under pressure.
Mr. Draghi used his introductory statement at the ECON--EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee-- hearing last week to assure investors that the central bank is vigilant to downside risks. The president noted the governing council "would not hesitate to act" if it deems growth and inflation to be undershooting expectations. Market volatility has increased the ECB's worries, but economic data continue to tell a story of a firm business cycle upturn.
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.
We have argued consistently for some time that the next year will bring a clear acceleration in U.S. wage growth, because the unemployment rate has fallen below the Nairu and a host of business survey indicators point to clear upward wage pressures. Nominal wage growth has been constrained, in our view, by the unexpected decline in core inflation from 2012 through early 2015, which boosted real wage growth and, hence, eased the pressure from employees for bigger nominal raises.
Business investment held up surprisingly well last year.
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.
The point when businesses and households can breathe a sigh of relief about Brexit looks set to be delayed again this week.
Growth momentum in Mexico has improved marginally over the last few months after the soft patch during the first quarter, with business and households gaining confidence in the economic recovery. But the upswing has been rather modest, due to the volatility in global financial markets and the challenging external environment. The outlook for the global economy has deteriorated over recent months due to China's problems, and commodity prices remain under pressure. All these factors are now weighing on investors' confidence and hurting EM across asset classes.
We're looking forward to today's April NFIB survey of activity and sentiment in the small business sector with some trepidation.
The slew of EZ economic data on Friday supports our view that the economy ended 2016. The Commission's economic sentiment index jumped to 107.8 in December from a revised 106.6 in November. The headline strength was due to a big increase in "business climate indicator" and higher consumer sentiment. In individual countries, solid numbers for German construction and French services sentiment were the stand-out details.
In one line: Small business owners responding to the Jan-Apr stock market rally with the usual lag.
In one line: Business and consumer confidence is diverging.
In one line: Still a big gap between business and consumer confidence.
In our recent Monitors, we stressed that some leading indicators in Brazil, particularly business and consumer confidence, are still pointing to a gradual economic recovery.
If our composite index of businesses' hiring plans could speak, it would say: "Told you payrolls were going to go nuts at the end of the year."
Labor demand, as measured by an array of business surveys, clearly slowed from the cycle peak, recorded late last year.
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.
The flow of downbeat business surveys continued yesterday, with the release of the Markit/CIPS construction survey.
The final EZ PMI data for November yesterday confirmed that the composite index in the Eurozone rose to an 11-month high of 53.9, from 53.3 in October. The key driver was an improvement in services, boosted by stronger data in all the major economies. Manufacturing activity also improved, though, and the details showed that new business growth was robust in both sectors.
The fall in the services PMI to 53.8 in May, from 55.8 in April, is a setback for hopes that the slowdown in GDP growth in Q1 will be fleeting. Both business activity and orders rose at their slowest rates since February.
Chile's economic outlook is still positive, but clouds have been gradually gathering since mid-year, due mostly to the slowdown in China, low copper prices and falling consumer and business confidence.
The improvement in the August services PMI has generated hyperbolic headlines suggesting the U.K. is on a tear despite the Brexit vote. Taken literally, however, the PMIs suggest that the revival in business activity in August only partially reversed July's decline. Meanwhile, the impact of sterling's sharp depreciation on the purchasing power of firms and consumers has only just begun to be felt.
Chile's economy remains under pressure, at least temporarily. After signs of recovery in Q1, activity deteriorated in Q2 and at the start of the third quarter. The sluggish global economy--especially China, Chile's main trading partner--is exacerbating the domestic slowdown, hit by low business and consumer confidence.
Yesterday's consumer confidence report in Germany was soft, in contrast to surging business sentiment data earlier in the week.
A further rise in the business activity index of the November Markit/CIPS report on services offset declines in the manufacturing and construction surveys' key balances. The composite PMI--a weighted average of three survey's activity indices -- therefore rose, to a level consistent with quarter-on-quarter GDP growth strengthening to 0.6% in the fourth quarter, from 0.5% in Q3. Nonetheless, we do not think this is a convincing signal that the economic recovery is regaining strength.
The IFO survey released yesterday provides further evidence that the cyclical recovery in Germany's economy continued in the current quarter. The headline business climate index rose to 107.9 in March from 106.8 in February, lifted by increases in both the current assessments and expectations index.
This morning's second estimate of Q1 GDP likely will restate the preliminary estimate of a 0.4% quarter-on-quarter rise, confirming that the economic recovery has lost momentum since last year. Meanwhile, the new expenditure breakdown is set to show that growth remained extremely dependent on households and will bring more evidence that businesses held back from investing, ostensibly due to Brexit concerns.
Yesterday's IFO report reinforced the message from the PMIs that the Eurozone economy stumbled slightly at the beginning of the first quarter. The headline business climate index fell to an 11-month low of 107.3 in January, from a revised 108.6 in December, hit mainly by a drop in the expectations component. Intensified market volatility and worries over further weakness in the Chinese economy likely were the main drivers. Last week's dovish message from Mr. Draghi, however, came after the survey's cut-off date, leaving us cautiously optimistic for a rebound next month.
The decline in China's unofficial PMI, which has dropped to a six-year low, signals increasing troubles ahead for U.S. manufacturers selling into China, and U.S. businesses operating in China. This does not mean, though, that the U.S. ISM will immediately fall as low as the Caixin/Markit China index appears to suggest in the next couple of months. Our first chart shows that in recent years the U.S. manufacturing ISM has tended hugely to outperform China's PMI from late spring to late fall, thanks to flawed seasonals.
Yesterday's German IFO survey suggests that economic momentum in the Eurozone's largest country remained modest at the start of Q2. The headline business climate index fell trivially to 106.6 in April, from 106.7 in March, lower than the consensus expectation of an increase to 107.2.
The IFO did its part to alleviate the stock market gloom yesterday, with the business climate index rising slightly to 108.3 in August from 108.0 in July. The August reading doesn't reflect the panic in equities, though, and we need to wait until next month to gauge the real hit to business sentiment. The increase in the headline index was driven by businesses assessment of current output, with the key expectations index falling trivially to 102.2 from a revised 102.3 in July. This survey currently points to a stable trend in real GDP growth of about 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, consistent with our expectation of full year growth of about 1.5%.
A rate hike from the Fed this week would be a gigantic surprise, and Yellen Fed has not, so far, been in the surprise business. It would be more accurate to describe the Fed's modus operandi as one of extreme caution, and raising rates when the fed funds future puts the odds of action at close to zero just does not fit the bill.
Yesterday's IFO survey confirmed that the private business sector in Germany was off to a flying start in Q4. The headline business climate index rose to 110.5 in October, from 109.5 in September, lifted mainly by a rise in the expectations index to a 30-month high of 106.5.
The July Eurozone PMI survey echoed the message from consumer sentiment earlier of a mild dip in momentum going into Q3. The composite PMI in the euro area fell to 53.7, from 54.2 in June due mainly to a fall in the services index. Companies' own expectations for future business fell in the core, but the survey was conducted soon after the Greek referendum. Markit claims this didn't depress the data, but we are on alert for revisions to the headline and expectations next week, or a rebound next month.
The second estimate of Q1 GDP confirmed that the recovery has lost momentum and revealed that growth would have ground to a halt without consumers. GDP growth likely will slow further in Q2, as Brexit risk undermines business investment.
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.
It would be astonishing if the Fed doesn't raise rates today, and Chair Powell is not in the astonishment business; they will hike by 25bp.
Yesterday's IFO survey in Germany sent a marginally more downbeat message than the strong PMIs last week. The IFO business climate index fell to 115.2 in September, from 115.9 in August, its second straight monthly dip.
Yesterday's barrage of French business sentiment data was mixed.
The two main national surveys--IFO and INSEE-- both beat consensus forecasts yesterday, supporting our story of that economic sentiment is holding up relatively well in the face increasing investor anxiety. In Germany, the main IFO business climate index rose marginally to 108.5 from a revised 108.4 in August, boosted by an increase in the expectations index to a six-month high of 103.3, up from 102.0 in August. The IFO expectations index points to real GDP growth rising 0.5%-to-0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q3.
Survey data in Germany continue to tell an upbeat story on the economy. The IFO business climate index rose to 109.0 in November from 108.2 in October, lifted by gains in both the expectations and current assessment indexes. The IFO tends to be slightly over-optimistic on GDP growth, but our first chart shows that the survey points to upside risks in the fourth quarter.
Yesterday's IFO survey sent a clear signal that the German economy's engine is stuttering. The business climate index fell to a 14-month low of 105.7 in February from 107.3 in January, and the expectations index slumped to 98.8 from 102.3. The weakness was driven by weaker sentiment in manufacturing, which plunged at its fastest rate since November 2008.
Of all the regional Fed and PMI business surveys, the Richmond Fed index appears to be the most sensitive to U.S. trade policy.
French manufacturers recovered their optimism towards the end of Q3. The headline INSEE manufacturing sentiment index rose to 103 in September, from 101 in August, and the composite business confidence gauge also increased. A rebound in transport equipment firms' own production expectations was the key driver of the recovery.
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.
The recovery in the French economy since the sovereign debt crisis has been lukewarm. Growth in domestic demand, excluding inventories, has averaged 0.4% quarter-on-quarter since 2012. This comp ares with 0.8%-to-1.1% in the two major business cycle upturns in the 1990s and from 2000s before the crisis.
The June batch of the French statistical office's business surveys continues to signal a firming cyclical recovery. The aggregate business index rose to cyclical high of 106 in June from a revised 105 in May, continuing an uptrend that began in the middle of 2016.
All the evidence indicates that growth in Eurozone consumers' spending is slowing. We think data today will show that the advance GfK consumer sentiment index in Germany was unchanged at 9.5 in April, but the headline index does not correlate well with spending. The "business expectations" index is better, and while it likely will increase slightly, our first chart shows that it continues to signal a slowdown in consumers' spending growth.
Yesterday's PMI reports repeated the message of a firm cyclical Eurozone recovery, despite investors' angst over deflation and the underwhelming Q3 GDP data earlier this month. The composite index in the zone rose to a 54-month high of 54.4 in November from 53.9 in October, lifted by strong output and solid new business growth. Our first chart shows the rise in the PMI points to slight upside risks in Q4 to the four quarter trend in real GDP growth of 0.4% per quarter.
The high and rising proportion of small businesses reporting difficulty in filling job openings is perhaps the biggest reason to worry that the pace of wage increases could accelerate quickly. If they pick up too far, the Fed's intention to raise rates at a "gradual" pace will be upended. The NFIB survey of small businesses--mostly very small--shows employers are having as much trouble recruiting staff as at the peak of the boom in 2006.
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 chaos in Greece was identified as the main culprit for yesterday's soft IFO report. The headline business climate index fell to 107.4 in July, down from 108.1 in May, driven by declines in respondents' views on the current economy and their expectations for the future. We expected a dip in the he adline IFO, but we were surprised by the fall in the manufacturing sub-index, given the firmer PMI earlier this week.
The preliminary estimate of first quarter GDP likely will confirm that the economic recovery lost considerable pace in early 2016. Bedlam in financial markets in January and business fears over the E.U. referendum are partly responsible for the slowdown. The deceleration, however, also reflects tighter fiscal policy, uncompetitive exports, and the economy running into supply-side constraints.
The plunge in capital spending in the oil business appears to be over, at least for now. Orders for non-defense capital goods, excluding aircraft, fell by 8.9% from their September peak to their February low, but they have since rebounded, as our first chart shows. We can't be certain that the sudden drop in core capex orders late last year was triggered by a rollover in oil companies' spending, but it is the most likely explanation, by far.
Financial market performance and economic survey data on the Brazilian economy have been better than many investors and commentators feared this year. The composite PMI has improved gradually since November last year, consumer sentiment has stabilized, and national business surveys have been less bleak.
The durable goods numbers were among the first short-term indicators to warn clearly of the hit to manufacturing from the rollover in oil sector capex, which began last fall. The trend in core capital goods orders was rising strongly before oil firms began to cut back, with the year-over-year rate peaking at 11.9% in September. Leading capex indicators in the small business sector remained quite robust, but just nine months later, core capex orders were down 6.4% year-over-year, following annualized declines of more than 14% in both the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of this year.
Sentiment in Germany has improved slightly this month with the IFO business climate index rising to 106.8 from 106.7 in January, pushed higher by a small increase in the expectations index.
Andres Abadia authors our Latin American service. Andres is a native of Colombia and has many years' experience covering the global economy, with a particular focus on Latin America. In 2017, he won the Thomson Reuters Starmine Top Forecaster Award for Latam FX. Andres's research covers Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, focusing on economic, political and financial developments. The countries of Latin America differ substantially in terms of structure, business cycle and politics, and Andres' researchhighlights the impact of these differences on currencies, interest rates and equity markets. He believes that most LatAm economies are heavily influenced by cyclical forces in the U.S. and China, as well as domestic policy shocks and local politics. He keeps a close eye on both external and domestic developments to forecast their effects on LatAm economies, monetary policy, and financial markets. Before starting to work at Pantheon Macroeconomics in 2013, Dr. Abadia was the Head of Research for Arcalia/Bancaja (now Bankia) in Madrid, and formerly Chief Economist for the same institution. Previously, he worked at Ahorro Coporacion Financiera, as an Economist. Andres earned a PhD in Applied Economics, and a Masters Degree in Economics and International Business Administration from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and a BSc in Economics from the Universidad Externado de Colombia.
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Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Manufacturing
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Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. House Prices
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on today's Payroll report
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. economy growth
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Chief UK Economist Samuel Tombs on the latest PMI data
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Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Inflation
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Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Eurozone Growth
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Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. GDP
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Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the latest GDP figures
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Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson discussing Durable Goods Orders in May
Ian Shepherdson, founder and chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, discusses low job growth, the continuing recovery from the financial crisis and the state of the U.S. economy. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
Pantheon Macroeconomics Founder Ian Shepherdson discusses Fed policy. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
Pantheon Macroeconomics Founder Ian Shepherdson discusses the price of oil, the U.S. economy and the Greek crisis. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
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Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Eurozone growth
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Samuel Tombs on U.K. House Prices
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Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson discussing U.S. Q1 GDP
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