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696 matches for " car":
Growth in new EZ car sales remained brisk last month, growth slowed in Q3. New registrations rose 9.4% year-over-year in September, marginally lower than the 9.6% increase in August. Growth in France fell most, sliding to 2.5% from 6.7% in August, but sales in Germany picked up to 9.4%, from 8.3%.
Car registrations, French inflation, advance PMIs and a central bank meeting make up today's substantial menu for investors in the euro area.
Investors have concluded from June's Markit/CIPS PMIs and Governor Carney's speech on Tuesday that the chance of the MPC cutting Bank Rate before the end of this year now is about 50%, rising to 55% by the time of Mr. Carney's final meeting at the end of January.
Car sales were predictably weak in September, but they could have been a lot worse. Private registrations were down 8.8% year-over-year in the second most important month of the year.
It would be a mistake to conclude from July's car registrations data that the market finally has turned a corner.
The downturn in car sales is showing no sign of abating. Data released yesterday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that private registrations fell 10.1% year-over-year in October, much worse than the 6.6% average drop in the previous 12 months.
At first glance, car sales appear to be staging a strong recovery, mirroring the better news on high street spending in Q2.
The 5% year-over-year increase in private new car registrations in January ended a nine-month period of falling sales. January's increase, however, is unlikely to be a bellwether for car sales over the whole year, or for the strength of consumer spending more generally.
It's hard to know what to make of the October CPI data, which recorded hefty increases in healthcare costs and used car prices but a huge drop in hotel room rates, and big decline in apparel prices, and inexplicable weakness in rents.
Demand for new cars in the Eurozone bounced back strongly last month. Accelerating growth in the major economies lifted new registrations by 14.6% year-over-year in February, up from a 6.8% increase in January. Surging growth in Italy was a key driver, with new registrations jumping 27.3%, up from an already sizzling 17.4% in January.
EZ households' demand for new cars was off to a strong start in 2017. Car registrations in the euro area jumped 10.9% year-over-year in January, accelerating from a 2.1% rise in December. We have to discount the headline level of sales by about a fifth to account for dealers' own registrations. Even with this provision, though, the January report was solid. Growth rebounded in France and Germany, and a 27.1% surge in Dutch car registrations also lifted the headline. We think car registrations will rise about 1.5% quarter-onquarter in Q1, rebounding from a weak Q4. But this does not change the story of downside risks to private spending.
We are still waiting for the promised rebound in EZ car sales.
Consumers' demand for cars slowed in the Eurozone at the end of the second quarter. New car registrations in the euro area rose 3.0% year-over-year in June, slowing dramatically from a 10.3% rise in May.
Yesterday's data on EZ car sales added to the evidence that consumers' spending is slowing. We now reckon sales will rise by 1% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter, after gains averaging 2.6% in the first half of the year.
Growth in new EZ car sales slipped last month, following a strong start to the year. New registrations rose 4.4% year-over-year in February, slowing from a 8.7% rise in January.
Momentum in new EZ car sales improved slightly in the middle of Q3. New registrations in the euro area rose 6.8% year-over-year in August, accelerating marginally from a 5.3% increase in July.
Demand for new cars rebounded strongly last month, following the dip in October. Registrations in the EU27 rose 13.7% year-over-year in November, up from 2.9% in October, lifted mainly by buoyant growth in the periphery. New registrations surged 25.4% and 23.4% year-over-year in Spain and Italy respectively, while growth in the core was a more modest 10%. We also see few signs of the VW emissions scandal hitting the aggregate data. VW group sales have weakened, but were still up a respectable 4.1% year-over-year. This pushed the company's market share down marginally compared to last year. But sizzling growth rates for other manufacturers indicate that consumers are simply choosing different brands.
The market for new cars in the Eurozone remained red-hot last month. New registrations surged 18.4% year-over-year in May, up from a 9.4% rise in April, and pushing the 12-month average level of registrations to a post-crisis high of 843K units. Accelerating growth in Italy and France was the key driver.
Car manufacturers have been at the sharp end o f the slowdown in consumers' spending this year. In response, several brands have launched generous scrappage schemes, giving buyers a big discount when they trade in their old vehicle.
Growth in Eurozone car sales slowed slightly at the end of the first quarter. New car registrations in the euro area rose 5.8% year-over-year in March, down from a 14.4% increase in February. But the 12-month average level of new registrations jumped to new cyclical highs of 440,000 and 252,000 in the core and periphery respectively.
Mark Carney's assertion that "now is not yet the time to raise rates" fell on deaf ears last week. Markets are pricing-in a 20% chance that the MPC will increase Bank Rate at the next meeting on August 3, up from 10% just after the MPC's meeting on June 15, when three members voted to hike rates.
Demand for new cars in the Eurozone rebounded last month. New car registrations jumped 10.3% year-over-year in May, reversing the 5.1% decline in April. The headline was boosted by solid growth in all the major economies.
Car sales continue to offer solid support for consumption spending in the Eurozone. Growth of new car registrations in the euro area fell trivially to 10.6% year-over-year in September, from 10.8% in August, consistent with a stable trend. Surging sales in the periphery are the key driver of the impressive performance, with new registrations rising 22.1% and 17.1% in Spain and Italy respectively, and surging 30% in Portugal. Favorable base effects mean that rapid growth rates will continue in Q4, supporting consumers' spending.
Growth in EZ car sales slowed further at the beginning of Q4. New registrations in the euro area fell 1.2% year-over-year in October, down from a 7.2% increase in September.
Growth in new EZ car registrations slowed last month, but the data continue to tell a story of strong consumer demand for new cars. New registrations in the euro area rose 6.9% y/y in June, down from a 16.9% jump in May, mainly due to slowing growth in France. New registrations in the euro area's second largest economy rose a mere 0.8% year-over-year, after a 22% surge in May.
In one line: Recovering consumer confidence should stabilise car sales in 2020.
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.
In one line: The post-election recovery in confidence should support car sales soon.
The 10.3% year-over-year decline in private new car registrations in April likely is not a sign that the trend in either vehic le sales or consumers' overall spending is taking a turn f or the worse.
The EZ manufacturing data have shown signs of a rebound in the auto sector recently.
The shortfall in nominal wage growth, relative to measures of labor market tightness, remains the single biggest mystery of this business cycle.
Data yesterday added further evidence of a slow recovery in Eurozone auto sales.
In one line: Back on disinflation watch.
Having panicked at the January hourly earnings numbers, markets now seem to have decided that higher inflation might not be such a bad thing after all, and stocks rallied after both Wednesday's core CPI overshoot and yesterday's repeat performance in the PPI.
Economic data in the Eurozone auto sector remain under the influence of the aftershock from the EU's new emissions regulation--WLTP-- introduced in September.
A strong finish to the fourth quarter spared the EZ auto sector the embarrassment of posting an outright fall in domestic sales through 2019 as a whole.
In one line: More poor Q2 data; EZ core inflation rebounds, but it is not going anywhere fast.
The MPC was relatively bullish on the outlook for households' spending when it signalled its view, in February's Inflation Report, that the case for raising interest rates before the end of this year had strengthened.
In one line: Still depressed by new testing procedures.
In one line: Payback for the Brexit-related surge in Q1.
In one line: Volatility caused by regulations; still trending down slowly.
In one line: Stalled; expect a slow restart.
In one line: Still hit be regulatory changes; demand should stabilise in 2020.
In one line: A recovery should emerge soon.
The renewed fall in market interest rates and sterling this month indicates that markets expect the MPC to strike a dovish note at midday, when the Inflation Report is published, alongside the rate decision and minutes of this week's meeting.
In one line: Probably still artificially low due to the original Brexit deadline.
In one line: An inevitable pull-back after Q1's pick-up.
In one line: Pronounced weakness in Q2 likely a consequence of the original Brexit deadline.
Momentum in the EZ auto sector rebounded at the end of the second quarter.
The consensus forecast for the October core CPI, which will be reported today, is 0.2%. Take the over. Nothing is certain in these data, but the risk of a 0.3% print is much higher than the chance of 0.1%.
In one line: Surprisingly strong.
The underlying trend in the core CPI is rising by just under 0.2% per month, so that has to be the starting point for our January forecast.
The core CPI rose only 0.1% in May, marking the fourth straight soft reading.
In the wake of April's 0.2% increase in real consumers' spending, and the upward revisions to the first quarter numbers, we now think that second quarter spending is on course to rise at an annualized rate of about 3.5%.
In one line: Solid, but base effects flatter the headline.
In one line: Ugly, but mostly mean reversion from a leap in December.
In one line: The Eurozone was a bit better than the EU 28, but still poor overall.
We look for August's GDP report, released on Thursday, to show that output held steady, following July's 0.3% month-to-month jump.
In one line: Solid numbers in Germany, but grim elsewhere.
In one line: No sales when showrooms are closed.
In one line: Brace for a year-long slump in sales.
In one line: A slow recovery is underway
Consumer spending has been the main locomotive of the economic recovery over the last couple of quarters, as investment and net trade have dragged on growth. Signs are emerging, however, that consumption is slowing too.
Data later today will likely show that the Eurozone's external balance remained firm last quarter at a record 2.5% of GDP. We think the seasonally adjusted current account surplus rose to €20.0B in December from €18.1B in November, with positive momentum in the key components continuing.
The news-flow in the Eurozone was almost unequivocally bad over the summer.
In one line: Solid, but boosted by base effects.
Since January 2015, Core CPI inflation has risen to 2.3% from 1.6%, propelled by a combination of accelerating rents, a substantial rebound in the rate of increase of healthcare costs, and a modest-- though unexpected--upturn in core goods prices. It's always risky, though, simply to extrapolate recent trends and assume you now have a clear guide to the future.
The government last week fired the starting gun for the contest to replace Mark Carney as Governor of the Bank of England.
Our base case is that the core CPI rose 0.2% in December, but the net risk probably is to the upside. We see scope for significant increases in sectors as diverse as used autos, apparel, healthcare, and rent, but nothing is guaranteed.
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.
Today's November retail sales numbers are something of a wild card, given the absence of reliable indicators of the strength of sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, and the difficulty of seasonally adjusting the data for a holiday which falls on a different date this year.
Mark Carney revealed last week that recent data had given him "greater confidence" that the weakness of Q1 GDP was almost entirely due to severe weather.
Today's consumer credit report for April likely will show that the stock of debt rose by about $15B, a bit below the recent trend. The monthly numbers are volatile, but the underlying trend rate of increase has eased over the past year-and-a-half, as our first chart shows. The slowdown has been concentrated in the non-revolving component, though the rate of growth of the stock of revolving credit--mostly credit cards--has dipped recently, perhaps because of weather effects and the late Easter.
The undershoot in the April core CPI wasn't a huge surprise to us; the downside risk we set out in yesterday's Monitor duly materialized, with used car prices dropping by a hefty 1.6% month-to-month, subtracting 0.05% from the core index.
French manufacturing cooled at the end of 2016. Industrial production slipped 0.9% month-to-month in December, partially reversing an upwardly revised 2.4% jump in November. The main hits came from declines in oil refining and manufacturing of cars and other transport equipment.
The beleaguered EZ car sector finally enjoyed some relief at the end of Q3, though base effects were the major driver of yesterday's strong headline.
The closer we look at the data, the more convinced we become that the rollover in CPI physicians' services prices, which has subtracted nearly 0.1% from core CPI inflation since January, is a response to sharply higher Medicare part B premiums, especially for new enrollees.
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.
Sterling will be under the spotlight again today when four members of the Monetary Policy Committee, including Governor Mark Carney, answer questions from the Treasury Select Committee about the recent Inflation Report.
The re-opening of businesses in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, starting this week and expanding next week, comes as the rate of increase of confirmed Covid-19 infections in these states remains much faster than in European countries where lockdowns have started to ease.
The failure of House Republicans to support Speaker Ryan's healthcare bill has laid bare the splits within the Republican party. The fissures weren't hard to see even before last week's debacle but the equity market has appeared determined since November to believe that all the earnings-friendly elements of Mr. Trump's and Mr. Ryan's agendas would be implemented with the minimum of fuss.
Inflation pressures in Brazil are still easing rapidly. The mid-May unadjusted IPCA- 15 index rose just 0.2% month-to-month, much less than the 0.6% historical average for the month. Base effects pushed the year-over-year rate down to 3.8% from 4.1% in April. Food prices, healthcare and personal costs were the main drivers of the modest month-to-month increase.
Most of the time, markets view auto sales as a bellwether indicator of the state of the consumer. Vehicles are the biggest-ticket item for most households, after housing, and most people buy cars and trucks with credit. Auto purchase decisions, therefore, tend not to be taken lightly, and so are a good guide to peoples' underlying confidence and cashflow. We appreciate that things were different at the peak of the boom, when anyone could get a loan and homeowners could tap the rising values of their properties, but that's not the situation today.
December's consumer prices figures, released tomorrow, look set to show CPI inflation ticked up to 0.2% from 0.1% in November, despite the renewed collapse in oil prices. The further fall in energy prices this year means that the inflation print won't reach 1% until May's figures are published in June. But Governor Carney has emphasised that core price pressures will motivate the first rate hike--a focus he likely will reiterate in a speech on Tuesday-- meaning that a May lift-off is still on the table.
Price action in Italian bonds went from hairy to scary yesterday as two-year yields jumped to just under 3.0%.
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.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. New Car Sales
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing U.K. New Car Registrations
Demand for new cars in the Eurozone has climbed a long way since the last recession, but growth is slowing. Overall, new car registrations in the EZ rose a solid 15.2% in 2016 as a whole. But momen tum slowed in the second half, and sales likely will remain comparatively muted this year. In December, registrations in the euro area rose 2.1% year-over-year in December, down from 5.8% in November. The headline was depressed by plunging growth in some of the smaller countries, offsetting better numbers in the major four economies.
The flattening of the curve in recent months has been substantial, but in our view it is telling us little, if anything, about the outlook for growth. More than anything else, investors in longer Treasuries care about inflation, and the likely path of headline inflation clearly has been lowered by the plunge in oil prices.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. New Car Registrations, July
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on European Car Sales
Careers at Pantheon Macroeconomics
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Automotive Industry
February's consumer price figures, released yesterday, put more pressure on the MPC to stick to its plans for an "ongoing" tightening of monetary policy, despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit chaos.
Here's something we didn't expect to write: The CPI measure of goods prices, excluding food and energy, rose in the three months to January, compared to the previous three months. OK, the increase was marginal, a mere 0.3%, but conventional wisdom has assumed for some time that the strong dollar would push goods prices down indefinitely.
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.
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.
Mexican retail sales jumped 1.0% month-to-month in October, the biggest gain since February, following a poor performance in Q3.
Consumer sentiment in the euro area has slipped this year, though the headline indices remain robust overall.
Retail sales increased by 1.0% month-to-month in August, exceeding our no-change forecast and spurring markets to price-in a 65% chance that the MPC will raise interest rates at its next meeting on November 2, up from 60% beforehand.
In recent client meetings the first and last topic of conversation has been the market implications of the possible departure of President Trump from office.
This is the final U.S. Economic Monitor of 2017, a year which has seen the economy strengthen, the labor market tighten substantially, and the Fed raise rates three times, with zero deleterious effect on growth.
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.
The recent plunge in oil prices is another positive development, alongside looser fiscal policy and the striking of a Brexit deal with the E.U., pointing to scope for GDP growth to pick up next year.
The CBI's Industrial Trends Survey, for July and Q3, supplied encouraging evidence yesterday that the manufacturing upswing still has momentum.
The participation rate--the proportion of people either in or looking for work--has held steady over the last decade, despite the ageing of the population and the rise in student numbers.
In a relatively light week in terms of economic indicators in Brazil, the inflation numbers and the potential effect of the recent BRL sell-off garnered all the attention.
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.
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.
Friday's economic data in Germany left markets with a confused picture of the Eurozone's largest economy.
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.
The PM now is at a fork in the road and will have to decide in the coming days whether to risk all and seek a general election, or restart the process of trying to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--through parliament.
The path of new home sales over the past couple of years has followed the mortgage applications numbers quite closely.
The Prime Minister's refusal last week to reaffirm her party's 2015 election pledge not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT has fuelled speculation that taxes will rise if the Conservatives are re-elected on June 8. Admittedly, Mrs. May asserted that her party "believes in lower taxes", and the tax pledge s till might appear in the Conservatives' manifesto, which won't be published for a few weeks.
Yesterday's stock market bloodbath stands in contrast to the U.S. economic data, most of which so far show no impact from the Covid-19 outbreak.
The mortgage market is continuing to hold up surprisingly well, given the calamitous political backdrop.
August's public finances figures, released last week, were an unwelcome but manageable setback for the Chancellor.
A decade of public deficit reduction was fully reversed in April, as the coronavirus tore through the economy.
The closer we look at the data, the less concerned we are at the painfully slow decline in the number of new daily confirmed Covid-19 cases.
We were terrified by the plunge in the ISM manufacturing export orders index in August and September, which appeared to point to a 2008-style meltdown in trade flows.
The Conservatives have continued to gain ground over the last week, with support averaging 43% across the 13 opinion polls conducted last week, up from 41% in the previous week.
In our view, the chances of a no-deal Brexit on October 31 have not surged just because Boris Johnson has become Prime Minister and is gesticulating wildly at the Despatch Box.
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 contribution of energy prices to CPI inflation is set to increase over the coming months, following the pick-up in Brent oil prices to $74 per barrel, from $65 at the beginning of March.
According to Brazil's mid-August inflation reading, which is a preview of the IPCA index, overall inflation pressures are easing. But some price stickiness remains, due to inertia and temporary shocks, despite the severity of the recession and the rapid deterioration of the labour market in recent months.
The spread of the Covid-19 virus remains the key issue for markets, which were deeply unhappy yesterday at reports of new cases in Austria, Spain and Switzerland, all of which appear to be connected to the cluster in northern Italy.
Friday's final CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that inflation dipped marginally in January, by 0.1 percentage points, to 1.3%.
The 1.4% month-to-month rise in retail sales volumes in February is not a game-changer for the economy's growth prospects in Q1. The increase reversed just under half of the 2.9% decline between October and January. The 1.5% fall in retail sales in the three months to February, compared to the previous three months, is the worst result in seven years.
Data released yesterday in Brazil helped to lay the ground for interest rate cuts over the coming months.
Public borrowing was below consensus expectations in August, fuelling speculation that the Chancellor might pare back the remaining fiscal tightening in the Autumn Budget on November 22.
We fully expect to see the third straight decline in initial jobless claims in today's report for the week ended April 18.
The Governor's comments late last week successfully recalibrated markets, which had concluded that a May rate hike was virtually certain, despite the MPC's deliberately vague guidance.
Inflation in Brazil remained subdued at the start of the second quarter, strengthening the odds for an additional interest rate cut next month, and opening the door for further stimulus in June.
Sterling briefly touched $1.30 yesterday, in response to signs that a very small majority in the Commons stands ready to vote for an unamended version of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB-- on Tuesday.
Data released on Monday showed that Chile's external accounts remained under pressure at the start of the year, and trade tensions mean that it will be harder to finance the gap.
We have to pinch ourselves when looking at economic data in Spain at the moment. Real GDP rose a dizzying 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, driven by solid gains of 0.7% and 1.1% in consumer's spending and investment respectively. Retail sales and industrial production data indicate GDP growth remained strong in Q2, even if survey data lost some momentum towards the end of the quarter. We will be looking for signs of further moderation in Q3, but surging private deposit growth indicate the cyclical recovery will continue.
Brazil's central bank kept the SELIC rate on hold on Wednesday at 14.25% for the eight consecutive meeting. The decision, which was widely expected, was unanimous, but the post-meeting statement was more detailed and informative than the central bank's June communiqué. We think the shift was intentional; the central bank's new board, headed by Mr. Ilan Goldfajn, is eager to strengthen the institution's credibility and transparency.
Brazil's mid-June inflation reading surprised to the downside, falling to 9.0% from 9.6% in May. The reading essentially confirmed that May's rebound was a pause in the downward trend rather than a resurgence of inflationary pressures. A 1.3% increase in housing prices, including services, was the main driver of mid-June's modest unadjusted 0.4% month-to-month rise in the IPCA-15.
February's consumer price figures provided hard evidence that the import price shock, caused by sterling's depreciation last year, is filtering through faster than the MPC expected. We expect CPI inflation to continue to exceed the forecast set out in February's Inflation Report.
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 flash PMI numbers for August were a mixed bag.
The automotive sector accounts for 6.1% of total employment, and 4% of GDP, in the Eurozone.
Growth appears to have accelerated in the first quarter in Mexico, as NAFTA-related uncertainty abated, inflation started to fall, and the MXN rebounded.
We expect today's second estimate of Q2 GDP to confirm that the U.K. has been the slowest growing G7 economy this year.
While we were out last week, market nervousness over the Covid-19 outbreak intensified, though most key indicators of the spread of the infection continued to improve.
As we write, the Commons appears to be on the verge of voting for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--at its second reading but then voting against the government's "Programme Motion", which sets out a very tight timetable for its passage through parliament, in a bid to meet the October 31 deadline and to minimise parliamentary scrutiny.
Mexico's economy gathered momentum in Q3, thanks mainly to solid gains in industrial and services activity. Real GDP rose 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, the fastest pace since Q3 2013 and the ninth consecutive increase. Year-over-year growth rose to 2.6% year-over-year, from 2.3% in Q2. In short, a positive report, surprising to the upside, and above the INEGI's advance estimate, released in late October.
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.
U.K. activity data have consistently surprised to the downside over the last month.
The MXN remains the best performer in LatAm year-to-date, despite some ugly periods of high volatility driven by external and domestic threats.
Policymakers and governments are gradually deploying major fiscal and monetary policy measures to ease the hit from Covid-19 and the related financial crisis.
The intensity of the pressure on households' finances was highlighted last week by December's retail sales report, which showed that volumes fell by 1.5% month-to-month, the most since June 2016.
The recent sell-off in Treasuries has not yet reached significant proportions.
Yesterday's final CPI report confirmed that inflation in the EZ fell marginally in August, by 0.1 percentage points to 2.0%.
Economic news in Europe continues to take a back-seat to volatility in politics. Yesterday's announcement by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that she is seeking a snap general election on June 8th cast further doubt over what exactly Brexit will look like.
It would be a serious mistake to conclude from July's retail sales figures that consumers' spending will be immune to the fallout of the Brexit vote. Households have yet to endure the hiring freeze and pay squeeze indicated by surveys of employers, or the price surge signalled by sterling's sharp depreciation. The real test for consumers' spending lies ahead.
Yesterday's German ZEW investor sentiment survey provided the first clear evidence of the coronavirus in the EZ survey data.
Headline inflation in the EZ remained elevated in September, rising by 0.1 percentage point to 2.1%, while the core rate was unchanged at 0.9% in August; both numbers are in line with the initial estimates.
Yesterday's final CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that headline inflation was unchanged at 1.5% in September.
China's two-tier post-lockdown economic revival continued in April. Industrial production beat expectations easily, rising by 3.9% year-over-year, after slipping by 1.1% in March.
The April FOMC statement dropped the March assertion that "global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks" to the U.S. economy, even though growth "appears to have slowed". Instead policymakers pointed out that "labor conditions have improved further", perhaps suggesting they don't take the weak-looking March data at face value. We certainly don't.
October's colossal 1.9% month-to-month jump in retail sales volumes greatly exceeded the 0.5% consensus and even our own top-of-the- range 1.0% forecast.
Slower growth in households' spending was the main reason why the economy lost momentum last year.
China's official GDP data, published on Monday, showed year-over-year growth edging down to 6.7% in Q2, from 6.8% in Q1.
At the October FOMC meeting, policymakers softened their view on the threat posed by the summer's market turmoil and the slowdown in China, dropping September's stark warning that "Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term." Instead, the October statement merely said that the committee is "monitoring global economic and financial developments."
A sharp increase in unsecured borrowing has played a big role in supporting consumers' spending over the past year. The stock of unsecured credit, excluding student loans, increased by 8.2% year-over-year in September--the fastest growth since February 2006--boosting the funds available for households to spend by around 1%.
Construction data in the Eurozone usually don't attract much attention, but today's July report will provide encouraging news, compared with recent poor manufacturing data. We think construction output leapt 2.1% month-to-month, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 2.3%, from 0.7% in June. This strong start to the third quarter was due mainly to a jump in non-residential building activity in France and Germany.
Our view that the economy is slowing sharply appears, superficially, to be challenged by the surge in the money supply. Year-over-year growth in the value of banknotes and coins in circulation has shot up this year, to 8.3% in August, from 5.5% in December 2015.
Italy's economy is still bumping along the bottom, after emerging from recession in the middle of last year.
This week sees the release of most of the key May surveys. The prospect of mean reversion following a very strong start to the year, coupled with the impact of recent market volatility, points to a modest loss of momentum, especially for surveys of investors.
The spike in the May core CPI, and its likely echo in the core PCE, won't stop the Fed easing at the end of this month.
It is a known axiom among EZ economists that the ECB never pre-commits, but yesterday's speech by Mr. Draghi in Sintra--see here--is as close as it gets.
The uncertainty over the strength and speed of the economic rebound is still a concern for investors in terms of putting money to work.
Data released on Friday confirmed an appalling end to the first quarter for the Brazilian and Colombian economies. In Brazil, the March IBC-Br, a monthly proxy for GDP, plunged 5.9% month-to-month, close to expectations.
Data on Friday confirmed that headline inflation in the Eurozone rose a bit last month, to 1.5% from 1.4% in January, but also that the core rate dipped by 0.1 percentage points, to 1.0%.
Higher gasoline prices will lift today's headline October CPI, which should rise by 0.3%. Unfavorable rounding could easily push it to 0.4%, though, and year-over-year headline inflation should rise to 1.6% or 1.7%, from 1.5% in September and just 0.2% a year ago.
The winds of global politics are changing, and the major Eurozone countries could be forced to take heed. Donald Trump's foreign policy position remains highly uncertain. Our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, expects the U.S. to increase defence spending next year; see the U.S. Monitor of October 20.
Yesterday's final EZ CPI data for March confirmed the message from the advance report that inflation pressures eased last month.
CPI inflation has undershot the consensus forecast six times this year, but surprised to the upside only twice.
Yesterday's CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that inflation pressures remain subdued, even as GDP growth is accelerating.
Final October inflation data surprised to the upside yesterday, consistent with our view that inflation will rise faster than the market and ECB expect in coming months. Inflation rose to 0.1% year-over-year in from -0.1% in September, lifted mainly by higher food inflation due to surging prices for fruits and vegetables. This won't last, but base effects will push the year-over-year rate in energy prices sharply higher into the first quarter, and core inflation is climbing too. Core inflation rose to 1.1% in October from 0.9% in September, higher than the consensus forecast, 1.0%.
Centrist politicians and markets breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as the results of the Dutch parliamentary elections rolled in. The incumbent conservatives, led by PM Mark Rutte, lost ground but emerged as parliament's biggest party with 33 seats out of the total 150.
Yesterday's economic reports confirmed that the Eurozone economy had a strong start to 2017. Real GDP rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, similar to the pace in Q4, and consistent with the first estimate. The year-over-year rate fell marginally to 1.7%, from 1.8% in Q4, mainly due to base effects.
The upturn in core CPI inflation this year has passed by almost unnoticed in the markets and media. In the year to September, the core CPI rose 1.9%, up from a low of 1.6% in January. But that's still a very low rate, and with core PCE inflation unchanged at only 1.3% over the same period, it's easy to see why investors have remained relaxed. In our view, though, things are about to change, because a combination of very adverse base effects and gradually increasing momentum in the monthly numbers, is set to lift both core inflation measures substantially over the next few months.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone edged lower last month.
We remain confident that a deal with Greece will be made, and that the country will stay in the euro area. But the need for both parties to avoid losing face domestically is still complicating the negotiations. Most importantly, Greece is no longer pledging an unconditional exit from the bailout program.
The imposition of 25% tariffs on $50B-worth of imports from China, announced Friday, had been clearly flagged in media reports over the previous couple of weeks.
Markets currently see a 50/50 chance that the MPC will raise Bank Rate in August and will be looking for a strong signal on Thursday that the next meeting is "in play".
In the excitement over the FOMC meeting--all things are relative--we ran out of space to cover some of this week's other data, notably the PPI, industrial production and housing starts. They are worth a recap, given that only the Michigan sentiment report will be released today.
Yesterday's economic data provided further evidence that GDP growth in the EZ economy slowed in Q2.
May's activity data underline the weakness of Colombia's economic growth. Domestic demand still is under pressure due to the lagged effect of the deterioration in the terms of trade and other temporary shocks in 2016, and the VAT increase in January this year.
The Eurozone inflation data have been relatively calm in the past six months. The headline rate has been stable at about 1.5%, and the core rate has fluctuated closely around 1%.
The consensus forecast for retail sales in December has been consistently too upbeat in recent years and we think most analysts are too sanguine yet again.
Data released yesterday confirmed that economic activity is improving in Brazil.
A no-deal Brexit is a remote possibility. The U.K. government and EU are closing in on a deal and Brexiteers within the Conservative party have failed, so far, to trigger a confidence vote on Mrs. May's leadership.
The Fed's strategic view of the economy and policy has not changed since last December, when it first said that "The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run.
The White House Budget for fiscal 2018, released last week, has no chance of becoming law in anything like its current form, so we don't propose to spend much time dissecting it. But we do need to set out our view on what might actually happen to fiscal policy over the next few months, because it potentially could make a material difference to the pace, and ultimate extent, of Fed tightening.
Sterling soared yesterday following news that Britain and the EU have agreed the terms of the transition period from March 2019, which will ensure that goods, services, capital and people continue to move freely, until December 2020.
Friday's CPI data for April provided the final piece of evidence for the significant Easter distortions in this year's data.
Hard data released in Argentina over the last month showed that the economy was struggling in early Q1, even before the Covid-19 hit.
The MPC has wasted no time in seeking to counter this week's undesirable pick-up in gilt yields, which reflects investors dumping assets for cash.
Brazilian inflation is off to a good start this year, and we think more good news is coming. The January mid-month IPCA-15 index rose an unadjusted 0.3% month-to-month, a tenth less than expected. This was the smallest gain for January since 1994 and the sixth consecutive month in which the number came in below expectations.
The FOMC did the minimum expected of it yesterday, raising rates by 25bp--with a 20bp increase in IOER--and dropping one of its dots for 2019.
Argentina's inflation ended 2019 badly, and it is still too early to bet on a protracted downtrend, even after the renewed economic slowdown.
Eurozone current account data yesterday provided further evidence of stabilisation in the economy despite a headline deterioration. The adjusted current account surplus fell to €18.1B in November from a revised €19.5B in October, but the decline was mainly driven by an increase in current transfers; the core components remain solid.
Investors have been treated to good news in the past week, at least if they've managed to side-step the barrage of terrible economic data.
Final inflation in the Eurozone was confirmed at 0.0% year-over-year in April, up slightly from -0.1% in March. The recovery since the trough in January has been driven mostly by a reduced drag from lower energy prices, a trend which should continue in the second quarter.
Mr. Trump fired the shot everyone was expecting this week with a 10% tariff on $200B-worth of Chinese goods, and a pledge to lift the rate to 25% on January 1.
Under normal circumstances, the boost to consumption from the astonishing collapse in oil prices would act as a substantial--though not complete--offset to the hit to capital spending in the shale business.
With a no-deal Brexit still a potential outcome and just over five weeks to go until the U.K. is scheduled to leave, it's about time we put some numbers on how high inflation could get in this worst-case scenario.
August's retail sales figures, released today, look set to show that growth in consumers' spending has remained subpar in Q3, casting doubt over whether the MPC will conclude that the economy can cope with a rate hike this year.
The external surplus in the EZ economy slipped in July. The seasonally-adjusted current account surplus dropped to €21.0B, from a revised €29.5B in June, hit by an increase in the current transfers deficit, and a falling trade surplus. The recent increase in the transfers deficit partly is due to the migrant deal with Turkey, and we expect it to remain elevated.
Yesterday's headline economic data in the euro area were solid across the board, though the details were mixed.
It was widely assumed that the MPC simply would regurgitate its key messages from August in the minutes of September's meeting, released yesterday alongside its unanimous no-change policy decision.
Our forecast of significantly higher core inflation over the next year has been met, it would be fair to say, with a degree of skepticism.
The biggest surprise in the recent inflation numbers has been the surge in the PCE measure of hospital services costs, where the year-over-year rate has jumped to 3.8% in February, an eight-year high, from just 1.3% in September.
As painful as it is, the decision to lock down economies to curb the spread of Covid-19 was easy. The next step, however, is considerably more difficult.
In the wake of last week's national accounts release, markets judge that the probability of a Bank Rate hike at the August 2 MPC meeting has increased to about 65%, from 60% beforehand.
We keep hearing that the auto market is struggling, but that idea is not supported by the recent sales numbers.
Japan's labour data threw another January curve ball this year--last year it was wages--with a change in the standards for job openings.
The number of Covid-19 cases is increasing at a faster rate, though 89% of the new cases reported Saturday were in China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.
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.
Expectations are running high that the MPC will strike a more hawkish tone today in the minutes of this month's meeting and in the quarterly Inflation Report. Investors are pricing in a 45% chance of the MPC raising interest rates before the end of 2017, up from 30% before the last Report in November.
The duration and future scope of the current lockdown is the main uncertainty that U.K economic forecasters have to grapple with at present.
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 key detail in Friday's barrage of economic data was the above-consensus increase in EZ inflation.
Investors moved rapidly last week to price-in renewed easing by central banks around the world, in response to the rapid growth in coronavirus cases outside China and the resulting sell-off in equity markets.
January's money and credit data broadly support our view that the economy still lacks momentum.
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 industrial sector in the EZ slowed further at the end of Q3.
It happened! Before Q1, Chinese GDP year-over- year growth had moved by no more than two tenths of a percentage point for years.
Japanese CPI inflation jumped to 0.7% in August from 0.4% in July. The ris e in prices over the last year, however, was mainly driven by food and energy.
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.
It's probably just a coincidence that "Super Thursday" coincides with Guy Fawkes night, when Britons launch fireworks to commemorate an attempt to blow up parliament in 1605. Nonetheless, the Monetary Policy Committee looks likely to light the touch-paper for a big rise in market interest rates and sterling, by signalling that it intends to raise Bank Rate in the Spring, about six months earlier than investors currently expect.
Korea's trade data have been extremely volatile over the past two months, thanks to distortions caused by last year's odd holiday calendar.
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.
The MPC's unanimous decision to keep Bank Rate at 0.75% and the minutes of its meeting left little impression on markets, which still see a higher chance of the MPC cutting Bank Rate within the next 12 months than raising it.
We already have a pretty good idea of what happened to consumers' spending in March, following Friday's GDP release, so the single most important number in today's monthly personal income and spending report, in our view, is the hospital services component of the deflator.
The small rise in the Markit/CIPS services PMI to 51.3 in February, from 50.1 in January, came as a relief yesterday.
October's Markit/CIPS services survey suggests that the PM's new Brexit deal has had a lukewarm reception from firms.
Inflation in Colombia right now is under control but risks are increasing rapidly, and the outlook for next year has deteriorated significantly.
The case for the MPC to hold back from raising interest rates in May remains strong, despite the improvement in the Markit/CIPS services survey in February.
We think today's February payroll number will be reported at about 140K, undershooting the 175K consensus.
The latest PMIs suggest that investors have jumped the gun in pricing-in a 50% chance of the MPC raising interest rates again as soon as May.
Eurozone consumers had a slow start to the second quarter. Retail sales increased a modest 0.1% month- to-month in April, but the March headline was revised up by 0.3 percentage points, and the year-over-year rate increased by 0.2pp to 1.7% due to base effects.
On the face of it, markets' newfound view that the MPC's next move is more likely to be a rate cut than a hike was supported by May's Markit/CIPS PMIs.
We read the same polls, newspapers, and political websites as everyone else, and we're not claiming any special insight into the outcome of the midterm elections today.
Our conviction that the economy continues to grow at a snail's pace increased yesterday following the release of August's Markit/CIPS services survey.
According to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, it is "almost inevitable" that Labour will table a no-confidence motion in the government next month, shortly after MPs return from the summer recess on September 3.
The tepid recovery in German manufacturing continued in at the start of Q4. Factory orders edged higher by 0.3% month-to-month in October, boosted by a 2.9% month-to-month increase in export orders, primarily for capital and intermediate goods in other EZ economies.
October's GDP report, released on Monday, might just manage to break through the wall of noise coming from parliament ahead of the key Brexit vote on Tuesday.
A trio of data releases yesterday provided no relief from the run of abysmal economic news.
Yesterday's EZ PMI data surprised to the downside. The composite PMI in the euro area dipped to 52.9 in August, from 53.2 in July, below the initial estimate 53.3. The headline was marred by weakness in the German services PMI, which crashed to a 40-month low of 51.7, from 54.4 in July.
Last Friday's August auto sales numbers were overshadowed by the below-consensus payroll report and the six-year high in the ISM manufacturing index, but they are the first data to reflect the impact of Hurricane Harvey.
Labor demand appears to have remained strong through August, so we expect to see a robust ADP report today.
The post-election run of upbeat business surveys was extended yesterday, with the release of the final Markit/CIPS services PMI for January.
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.
The MPC surprised markets and ourselves yesterday by the extent to which it abandoned its previous stance and is now emphasising inflation over growth risks.
We look for a 150K increase in September payrolls, rather better than the August 130K headline number, which was flattered by a 28K increase in federal government jobs, likely due to hiring for the 2020 Census.
Peru is now in the grip of a severe political storm that is shaking the country's foundations and darkening the already fragile economic outlook.
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.
Last week's final barrage of data showed that EZ headline inflation rose slightly last month, by 0.1 percentage points to 1.5%, driven mainly by increases in the unprocessed food energy components.
The 90-day truce in the trade wars between the U.S. and China, brokered on Saturday at the G20 meeting in Argentina, is a big deal for financial markets in the euro area, at least in the near term.
Economic prospects in the Andes have deteriorated significantly in recent weeks, due mainly to the escalation of the trade war.
The MPC's package of stimulus measures, which exceeded markets' expectations, demonstrates that it is currently placing little weight on the inflation outlook. Even so, if inflation matches our expectations and overshoots the 2% target by a bigger margin next year than the MPC currently thinks is acceptable, it will have to consider its zeal for more stimulus.
Brazil's December industrial production report, released yesterday, confirmed that the recovery was stuttering at the end of last year.
Economic conditions are deteriorating rapidly in Chile, despite the relatively decent Imacec reading for Q3.
The run of consensus-beating activity measures and the pickup in leading indicators of inflation have led markets to doubt that the MPC really will follow up August's package of stimulus measures with another Bank Rate cut this year.
For sterling traders, no election news is good news.
Activity surveys picked up across the board in April, offering hope that the slowdown in GDP growth--to just 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q1-- will be just a blip. The headline indicators of surveys from the CBI, European Commission, Lloyds Bank and Markit all improved in April and all exceeded their 2004-to-2016 averages.
Speculation mounted yesterday that the MPC will follow the U.S. Fed and cut interest rates before its next meeting on March 26.
The June ISM manufacturing index signalled clearly that the industrial recovery continues, with the headline number rising to its highest level since August 2014, propelled by rising orders and production. But the industrial economy is not booming and the upturn likely will lose a bit of momentum in the second half as the rebound in oil sector capex slows.
The pick-up in the Markit/CIPS services PMI to an eight-month high of 55.1 in June, from 54.0 in May, has provided another boost to expectations that the MPC will raise Bank Rate at its next meeting on August 2.
The rally in U.K. equities immediately after the general election has done little to reverse the prolonged period of underperformance relative to overseas markets since the E.U. referendum in June 2016.
The sell-off in equity markets and increases in volatility have put EM assets under pressure. EM equities and bonds, however, have been outperforming their U.S. and global market counterparts.
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.
Investors with long sterling positions should not pin their hopes on Friday's GDP report to reverse some of the losses endured over the last week.
Colombia's economy has continued to slow, due mainly to lagged effect of the oil price shock since mid-2014, and stubbornly high inflation, which has triggered painful monetary tightening. Modest fiscal expansion and capital inflows have helped to avoid a hard landing, but the economy is still feeling the pain of weakening domestic demand. And the twin deficits--though improving--remain a threat.
The consensus that industrial production increased by just 0.2% month-to-month in July looks too cautious.
Friday's factory orders report in Germany provided a bit of relief amid the gloom in manufacturing.
Headline inflation in Brazil remained low in October, and even breached the lower bound of the BCB's target range.
Friday's GDP report likely will fuel concerns the economy has little underlying momentum. Granted, quarter-on-quarter growth probably sped up to 0.6% in Q3--exceeding the economy's potential rate--from 0.4% in Q2.
We have two competing explanations for the unexpected leap in November payrolls. First, it was a fluke, so it will either be revised down substantially, or will be followed by a hefty downside correction in December.
The release of October's GDP report on Tuesday likely will be overshadowed by campaigning ahead of Thursday's general election.
The ECB made no major policy changes yesterday, but tweaked its communication. The key refinancing and deposit rates were kept at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and the pace of QE was maintained at €30B per month.
We're among a small minority of economists forecasting that GDP rose by 0.1% month-to-month in March.
German manufacturing rebounded somewhat mid-way through Q3.
The sharp fall in markets' expectations for Bank Rate over the last month has partly reflected the perceived increase in the chance of a no-deal Brexit. Betting markets are pricing-in around a 30% chance of a no-deal departure before the end of this year, up from 10% shortly after the first Brexit deadline was missed.
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.
Figures due on Friday likely will show that the increase in industrial production in December was much smaller than the 0.6% month-to-month assumed by the ONS in its preliminar y Q4 GDP estimate. We expect a 0.2% rise, which would leave production down 0.1% quarter-on-quarter, rather than up 0.1% as the ONS initially estimated.
In contrast to the strong December trade numbers in France--see here--yesterday's German data were soft. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus dipped to €21.5B in December, from €22.3B in November.
Investors now see a 50/50 chance of the MPC cutting Bank Rate within the next nine months, following the slightly dovish minutes of the MPC's meeting, and its new forecasts.
The sharp 0.4% month-to-month fall in GDP in December and the slump in the Markit/CIPS PMIs towards 50 have created the impression the economy is on the cusp of recession.
The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India voted yesterday to cut the benchmark repo rate by a further 25 basis points, to 5.75%, a nine-year low.
Mexican asset prices and sentiment have been helped in recent weeks by less-harsh rhetoric from the Trump administration. The headline consumer confidence for February, reported yesterday, rose to 75.7 from 68.5 in January; all the sub-components improved. The data are not seasonally adjusted, so most local analysts look at the data in year-over-year terms.
The delay in the processing of personal income tax refunds this year appears not to have had any adverse impact on retail sales, so far. Indeed, the Redbook chainstore sales survey suggests that sales have accelerated over the past few weeks.
April's GDP report, released on Monday, likely will add fuel to the fire of the re cent sharp decline in interest rate expectations.
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.
December's GDP report, released next Monday, likely will maintain the flow of negative news on the U.K. economy.
Following the publication of Korea's preliminary Q4 GDP report last month--see here--we said the consensus-beating print would be susceptible to downgrades, unless the economy had a miraculous end to 2018
We are surprised by the EU's reaction to Mr. Trump's announcement that the U.S. will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium.
The economic data calendar for next week is so congested that we need to preview early September's GDP report, released on Monday.
Colombia was the fastest growing LatAm economy in 2019, due mostly to strong domestic demand, offsetting a sharp fall in key exports.
Odds-on, the consensus forecast for May's GDP report, released on Wednesday, will miss the mark.
Our core view on the May payroll number remains that the single most likely cause of the unexpectedly modest increase is a seasonal adjustment error, triggered when the survey is conducted early in the month.
The $10 increase in the price of Brent crude oil over the last three months to $68 is an unhelpful, but manageable, drag on the U.K. economy's growth prospects this year.
The 0.7% month-to-month rise in industrial production in September marked the sixth consecutive increase, a feat last achieved 23 years ago.
Hard data in the Eurozone continue to tell a story of a relatively bright pre-Covid-19 world.
Friday's GDP report should show that the economy narrowly avoided contracting in Q2.
The Tankan survey--published on Monday--points to still buoyant sentiment, a further tightening of the labour market, and building inflation pressures.
The MPC would have to change tack sharply on Thursday in order to live up to the markets' expectation that there is a near-zero chance of another rate cut within the next year.
Fourth quarter GDP growth is likely to be revised down today.
Brazil's economic prospects continue to deteriorate rapidly, due to a combination of rising political uncertainty, the failure of the new government to advance on reforms, and ongoing external threats.
China's abysmal industrial profits data for October underscore why the chances of less- timid monetary easing are rising rapidly.
Japan's May retail sales rebound was underwhelming at a mere 0.3% month-on-month, after a 0.1% fall in April.
The downshift in core PCE inflation this year has unnerved the Fed, along with the intensification of the trade war and slower global growth.
We expect today's preliminary estimate of Q4 GDP growth to surprise the consensus to the downside, underscoring our view that the economic recovery has shifted down to a much slower gear.
The latest E.C. survey shows the gap between firms' and households' confidence levels has remained substantial.
The deadline for registering to vote in the general election passed on Tuesday, with a record 660K people registering on the final day.
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.
The MPC won't seek to make waves on Thursday.
Our base-case forecast for the May core PCE deflator, due today, is a 0.17% increase, lifting the year-over-year rate by a tenth to 1.9%.
We are going to print two days before the July 1 presidential election in Mexico.
Japan's CPI inflation jumped to 1.0% in December from 0.6% in November, driven by food prices.
We expect to learn today that first quarter GDP fell at a 4.3% annualized rate, but the margin of error here is bigger than usual. Under normal circumstances we're disappointed if our quarterly GDP estimate is out by more than a few tenths, but this time around, the uncertainties are huge. Anywhere between -2% and -6% wouldn't be a big surprise.
Our hopes that tax cuts and lower energy inflation would lift French household consumption in Q4 were badly dented by yesterday's consumer sentiment report.
The risk posed by consumer borrowing was once again the focus of the Financial Policy Committee's discussion last week.
All the evidence indicates that growth in Mexican consumers' spending is slowing, despite the better- than-expected November retail sales numbers, released yesterday.
The Fed will soon have to step in to try to put a firebreak in the stock market.
The closer we look at the startling surge in imports in the fourth quarter, the more convinced we become that it was due in large part to a burst of inventory replacement following the late summer hurricanes.
The recovery in the composite PMI to 52.4 in January, from 49.3 in December, should convince a majority of MPC members to vote on Thursday to maintain Bank Rate at 0.75%.
India's government imposed a three-week nationwide lockdown on March 25 to combat the increasingly rapid spread of Covid-19.
The rate of growth of Covid-19 cases outside China appears to have peaked, for now, but we can't yet have any confidence that this represents a definitive shift in the progress of the epidemic.
India's GDP report for the second quarter, due on Friday, is likely to show a decent rebound in growth from the first quarter.
Yesterday's barrage of French business sentiment data was mixed.
The squeeze on real wages has just ended and GfK's consumer confidence index hit a 11-month high in March.
A series of events have forced markets and analysts to re-evaluate their assumption that Bank Rate will remain on hold throughout 2017. First, the minutes of the MPC's meeting had a hawkish tilt.
Don't be alarmed by the second straight jump in consumers' inflation expectations, captured by the Conference Board's May survey, reported yesterday.
All eyes today will be on the core PCE deflator for August, which we think probably rose by a solid 0.2%.
We're revising down our forecast for quarteron-quarter GDP growth in Q3 to 0.3%, from 0.4%, in response to signs that the rebound in industrial production is shaping up to b e smaller than we had anticipated.
Fed Chair Yellen's speech in Cleveland yesterday elaborated on the key themes from last week's FOMC meeting.
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, which contains granular detail on wages and provides a useful cross-check on the regular average weekly wage earnings--AWE--data, was published yesterday.
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.
Political uncertainty is starting to dampen housing market activity again.
Today's wave of data will bring new information on the industrial sector, consumers, the labor market, and housing, as well as revisions to the third quarter GDP numbers.
Yesterday's data don't significantly change our view that first quarter GDP growth will be reported at only about 1%, but the foreign trade and consumer confidence numbers support our contention that the underlying trend in growth is rather stronger than that.
Our base case forecast has core PCE inflation at 1.9% from November 2018 through July this year.
The big news in the EZ yesterday was the announcement by German chancellor Angela Merkel that she will step down as party leader for CDU later this year, and that she will hand over the chancellorship when her term ends in 2021.
Colombia's second quarter GDP data, released Monday, revealed a dismal 2.0% year-over-year growth rate, down from 2.5% in Q1. GDP rose by a very modest 0.2% quarter-on-quarter, for the second consecutive quarter. The year-over-year rate was the slowest since the end of the financial crisis, but it is in line with our 2.1% forecast for this year as a whole.
The headline employment cost index has been remarkably dull recently, with three straight 0.6% quarterly increases. The consensus forecast for today's report, for the three months to December, is for the same again.
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.
The November ADP employment report today likely will show private payrolls rose by about 180K. We have no reason to think that the trend in payroll growth has changed much in recent months, though the official data do appear to be biased to the upside in the fourth quarter, probably as a result of seasonal adjustment problems triggered by the crash of 2008. We can't detect any clear seasonal fourth quarter bias in the ADP numbers.
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.
The U.S. coronavirus outbreak is not slowing. The curve is not bending much, if at all. Confirmed cases continue to increase at a steady rate, averaging 23% per day over the past three days.
December's money data likely will bring further signs that the U.K. economy's growth spurt late last year was paid for with unsecured borrowing. Retail sales fell by 1.9% month-to-month in December, so we doubt that unsecured borrowing will match November's £1.7B increase, which was the biggest since March 2005.
Japan's headline jobless rate edged up to 2.8% in December, from 2.7% in November, but the increase was negligible, with the rate moving to 2.76% from 2.74%.
Defaults by Chinese companies have been on the rise lately. Most recently, China Energy, an oil and gas producer with $1.8B of offshore notes outstanding, missed a bond payment earlier this week. We've highlighted the likelihood of a rise in defaults this year, for three main reasons.
The widespread view, which we share, that GDP will rebound in Q2 following the disruption caused by bad weather in Q1, was supported yesterday by the E.C.'s Economic Sentiment survey.
The biggest surprise in the revisions to first quarter GDP growth, released yesterday, was in the core PCE deflator.
Our Chief Eurozone Economist, Claus Vistesen, is covering the Italian situation in detail in his daily Monitor but it's worth summarizing the key points for U.S. investors here.
A pair of closely-watched reports today will confirm that business and consumer confidence is tanking in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Prime Minister achieved a rare victory yesterday, when the Commons passed the government-backed Brady amendment.
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 have argued recently that the year-over-year rates of core CPI and core PCE inflation could cross over the next year, with core PCE rising more quickly for the first time since 2010.
Japan returned the ruling LDP coalition to power in an upper house election over the weekend.
The absence of hawkish undertones in the minutes of the MPC's meeting or in the Inflation Report forecasts took markets by surprise yesterday. The dominant view on the Committee remains that the economy will slow over the next couple of years, preventing wage growth from reaching a pace which would put inflation on trac k permanently to exceed the 2% target.
A bullish EZ money supply report was the key highlight while we were away over the holidays. M3 growth in the euro area accelerated to 4.8% year-over-year in November from 4.4% in October.
Don't write off the outlook for the construction sector purely on the basis of June's grim Markit/CIPS survey.
The MPC made a concerted effort yesterday with its forecasts to signal that it is committed to raising Bank Rate at a faster rate than markets currently expect.
Japan's unemployment rate edged back up to 2.5% in February after the drop in January to 2.4%.
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.
Friday's consumer sentiment data in the two main Eurozone economies were mixed.
Barring some sort of miracle, or substantial upward revision to prior data--it happens--first quarter consumption spending growth is unlikely to reach 3%, despite the robust 0.3% gain reported yesterday for January. Part of the problem is a basis effect.
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.
Markets remain convinced that the U.S. faces no meaningful inflation risk for the foreseeable future.
We're expecting a hefty increase in private payrolls in today's August ADP employment report. ADP's number is generated by a model which incorporates macroeconomic statistics and lagged official payroll data, as well as information collected from firms which use ADP's payroll processing services.
Some closely-watched composite leading indicators for the U.K. economy, and for many others, are flashing red.
Yesterday's economic numbers in the Eurozone were mixed, but we are inclined to see them through rose-tinted glasses.
The Fed's insistence this week that U.S. rates will rise only twice more this year helped to ease pressures on LatAm markets this week, particularly FX. The way is now clear for some LatAm central banks to cut interest rates rapidly over the coming months, even before U.S. fiscal and trade policy becomes clear. We expect the next Fed rate hike to come in June, as the labor market continues to tighten. If we're right, the free-risk window for LatAm rate cuts is relatively short.
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.
Data released on Friday show that the Chilean economy had a weak start to the second half of the year.
Economic news in the Eurozone, and virtually everywhere else, has been mostly downbeat in the past few months, but French consumers are doing great.
Consumption accounts for almost 70% of GDP, and retail sales account for about 45% of consumption.
The MPC went against the grain last month by forecasting that CPI inflation would overshoot the 2% target if it raised Bank Rate as slowly as markets anticipated.
Today brings the April PPI data, which likely will show core inflation creeping higher, with upward pressure in both good and services. The upside risk in the goods component is clear enough, as our first chart shows.
It's just not possible to forecast the reaction of businesses and consumers to the coronavirus outbreak.
We already know that the key labor market numbers in today's May NFIB survey are strong.
April's GDP data give a grim firs t impression, though the details provide reassurance that the economy isn't on the cusp of a recession.
The re-emergence of Chinese PPI inflation in 2016 was instrumental in stabilising equities after the 2015 bubble burst.
Last week finished as it started, with more depressing economic numbers in the Eurozone, this time from manufacturing in the core economies.
The latest GDP data continue to show that the economy is holding up well, despite the Brexit saga.
Recent inflation numbers across the biggest economies in LatAm have surprised to the downside, strengthening the case for further monetary easing.
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.
October's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, likely will show that CPI inflation has continued to drift further below the 2% target
At least some investors clearly were expecting Fed Chair Powell yesterday to offer a degree of resistance to the idea that a rate cut at the end o f this month is a done deal.
The economy looks to be in better shape following May's GDP report than widely feared.
Another day, another solid economic report in the Eurozone. Data yesterday showed that industrial production in France jumped 2.2% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate up to +1.8%, from -1.8% in October. The 2.3% jump in manufacturing output was the key story, offsetting a 0.3% decline in construction activity. Production of food and beverages rebounded from weakness in October, and oil refining also accelerated.
German exports flatlined for most of 2018, driving the trade surplus down by 7.3% amid still-solid growth in imports.
At first glance, the continued weakness of domestically-generated inflation, despite punchy increases in labour costs, is puzzling.
The combination of sluggish GDP growth in October and news that the Prime Minister will attempt to renegotiate the terms of the Brexit backstop, most likely pushing back the key vote in parliament until January, has extinguished any lingering chance that the MPC might be in a position to raise Bank Rate at its February meeting.
If the CPI measure of core consumer goods inflation were currently tracking the same measure in the PPI in the usual way, core CPI inflation would now be at 2.3%, rather than the 1.7% reported in November.
The CPI report due today will be released on schedule, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the data, remains open during the partial government shutdown.
Core PPI inflation has risen relentlessly, though not rapidly, over the past two-and-a-half years.
May's labour market figures, released on Wednesday, likely will have something for both the doves and the hawks on the MPC , who have been wrangling over whether to reverse last year's rate cut.
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.
Economic data in the euro area are still slipping and sliding.
Today's JOLTS survey covers August, which seems like a long time ago. But the report is worth your attention nonetheless.
The Office for National Statistics yesterday released the last major batch of output data before the preliminary estimate of Q3 GDP is published on October 25, just one week before the MPC's key meeting.
The announcement, late Tuesday, that the administration plans to impose 10% tariffs on some $200B-worth of imports from China raises the prospect of a substantial hit to the CPI.
A strong December didn't change the story of another year of Eurozone equity underperformance in 2016. The total return of the MSCI EU, ex-UK, last year was a paltry 3.5%, compared to 11.6% and 10.6% for the S&P 500 and MSCI EM respectively. In principle, the conditions are in place for a reversal in this sluggish performance are present. Equities in the euro area do best when excess liquidity--defined as M1 growth less GDP growth and inflation--is rising.
Outside the battered energy sector, the most consistently disconcerting economic numbers last year, in the eyes of the markets, were the monthly retail sales data. Non-auto sales undershot consensus forecasts in nine of the 12 months in 2015, with a median shortfall of 0.3%.
The latest GDP data confirm that the economy ended last year on a very weak note.
Yesterday's accounts from the June ECB meeting broadly confirmed markets' expectations of further easing between now and the end of the year.
Brazil's political situation is steadily improving, with the latest events proving a step in the right direction.
In March, CPI rents--the weighted average of primary and owners' equivalents rents--rose by 0.35% month- to-month.
China's PPI inflation has been trending down since early 2017.
For the past six years, the PCE measure of core inflation has undershot the CPI version. The average spread between the two year-over-year rates since January 2011 has been 0.3 percentage points, and as far as we can tell most observers expect it to be little changed for the foreseeable future.
Monthly core CPI prints of 0.3% are unusual; June's was the first since January 2018, so it requires investigation.
The sudden downshift in core inflation at the consumer level since March, clearly visible in the CPI and the PCE, and shown in our first chart, has been accompanied by a steady increase in core producer price inflation.
Friday's inflation report for Brazil confirmed that inflation is rapidly falling towards the BCB's target range, helping to make the case for stepping up the pace of monetary easing to 50bp at the Copom's January meeting.
Yesterday's industrial production report in Mexico added weight to the idea that the sector improved marginally in the first quarter, despite many external threats. Industrial output rose 0.1% month-to-month in February, following a similar gain in January. The calendar-adjusted year-over-year rate rose to -0.1%, after a modest 0.3% contraction in January.
Manufacturing in France rebounded only modestly at the start of Q3, despite favourable base effects.
The stagnation of GDP in August, following five consecutive month-to-month gains, confirms that the economy's momentum in prior months was simply weather-related.
We'd be surprised to see a repeat today of August's very modest 0.08% increase in the core CPI.
The month-to-month core CPI numbers in March were consistent, in aggregate, with the underlying trend.
Inflation in Brazil surprised to the upside this week, with a sharp rebound that looks alarming at face value.
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.
Brazil's benchmark inflation index, the IPCA, rose 0.5% unadjusted month-to-month in July, pushing the year-over-year rate down marginally to 8.7%, from 8.8% in June. Overall inflation pressures in Brazil are easing, especially in regulated prices, which have been the main driver of the disinflation trend this year. But market-set prices are still causing problems.
Q2's GDP figures create a terrible first impression, but a closer look suggests that the risk of a recession remains very low.
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.
Retail sales ex-autos have undershot consensus forecasts in eight of the 11 reports released so far this year, prompting interest rate doves to argue that consumers have not spent their windfall from falling gas prices. But this ignores the impact of falling prices--for gasoline, electronics, furniture, and clothing--on the sales numbers, which are presented in nominal terms.
We see clear upside risk to the inflation data due before the FOMC announcement, from three main sources.
A firmer picture is emerging of how Japan's economy fared in Q3, in light of the latest slew of data for August.
Bond investors in Italy voted with their feet on Friday with news that the government has agreed a 2019 budget deficit of 2.4%.
The obsession of markets and the media with the industrial sector means that today's ISM manufacturing survey will be scrutinized far more closely than is justified by its real importance.
The Fed will do nothing today, but the FOMC's statement will re-affirm the intention to continue its "gradual" tightening.
In the absence of an unexpected surge in auto sales or a sudden burst of unseasonably cold weather, lifting spending on utilities, fourth quarter consumption is going to struggle to rise much more quickly than the 2.1% annualized third quarter increase.
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.
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.
The continued modest rate of increase in unit labor costs makes it hard to worry much about the near-term outlook for core inflation.
China's CPI inflation rose to 2.1% in July, from 1.9% in June.
The first of this week's two July inflation reports, the PPI, will be released today. With energy prices dipping slightly between the June and July survey dates, the headline should undercut the 0.2% increase we expect for the core by a tenth or so.
Core CPI inflation has been 2.1-to-2.2% year-over- year for the past seven months, a remarkably stable run which likely will persist for a few more months.
Britain is indisputably beyond the peak of the first wave of Covid-19 infections, though the descent in new cases, hospitalisations and deaths has been shallower than the ascent.
The drop in jobless claims to 3,839K in the week ended April 25, from 4,442K in the previous week, leaves the data still terrible, but markedly less terrible than at the 6,867K peak in late March.
China's manufacturing PMIs have softened in Q4. Indeed, we think the indices understate the slowdown in real GDP growth in Q4, as anti-pollution curbs were implemented. More positively, though, real GDP growth should rebound in Q1 as these measures are loosened.
Investors currently think that official interest rates are more likely to fall than rise this year. Overnight index swap markets are factoring in a 30% chance of a rate cut by December, but just a 1% chance of an increase by year-end. The case for expecting looser monetary policy, however, remains unconvincing.
Unanticipated movements in the Markit/CIPS services PMI often provoke big market reactions, despite its shortcomings as an indicator of the pace of growth. We suspect December's PMI, released today, could surprise to the downside, reversing most of its rise in November to 55.9 from 54.9 in October. Regardless, we place more weight on the official data, which is more comprehensive and shows clearly the recovery is slowing.
The recent slide in market interest rates suggests investors expect the Monetary Policy Committee--MPC--to strike a dovish note today, when the decision and minutes of this week's meeting are released and the Inflation Report is published, at 12.00 GMT.
Headline inflation in the Eurozone eased at the start of the year, but leading indicators suggest that the dip will be short-lived.
We're expecting a strong-looking 225K increase in the May ADP measure of private sector payroll growth, due today. The consensus forecast is 180K.
Yesterday's advance CPI data for the major EZ economies suggest that today's report for the euro area as a whole will undershoot the consensus slightly.
All eyes today will be on the core PCE deflator for January, following the unexpectedly large 0.3% increase in the core CPI.
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.
The political limbo in Italy currently appears to have three possible solutions, in the short term. The 5SM and Lega can try to form a coalition, again.
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.
Friday was a busy day in the Eurozone. The final and detailed GDP report confirmed that growth in the euro area slowed to 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, from 0.4% in Q2, with the year-over-year rate slipping by 0.6 percentage points to 1.6%, just 0.1pp below the first estimate.
Our hopes of a hefty rebound in payrolls in October, following the hurricane-hit September number, have been dashed by the imminent landfall of Hurricane Michael in Florida panhandle.
Industrial production figures look set to surprise the consensus to the downside again today. We think that production was flat on a month-to-month basis in August, falling short of the consensus forecast of 0.2% growth.
Final inflation for February in the Eurozone likely will be confirmed today at -0.3% year-over-year, up from -0.6% in January. This bounce was mainly driven by a reduced drag from falling oil and food prices, but it is too early to call a trough in headline inflation.
After three straight 0.3% increases in the core CPI, we are in agreement with the consensus view that September's report, due today, will revert to the 0.2% trend.
Japan's labour cash earnings rose by 1.5% year-over- year in July, a strong result in the Japanese context, if it hadn't been preceded by the 3.6% leap in June.
Inflation is falling quickly in Colombia, despite the VAT increase in Q1, so we expect more BanRep rate cuts over the next few months. Consumer prices rose 0.5% month-to-month unadjusted in March, pushing the inflation rate down to 4.7% year-over-year, from 5.2% in February. This is the lowest rate in almost two years, thanks to a favourable base effect and fading pressures from food prices.
Recent retail surveys have indicated that consumers are not suffering yet from Brexit blues. The BRC reported that year-over-year growth in total sales values picked up to 1.9% in July, from 0.2% in June. After adjusting for falling prices, this measure suggests that year-over-year growth in official retail sales volumes held steady at about 4% last month.
President Xi Jinping yesterday reiterated China's commitment to reform and the opening of its economy at a highly-anticipated speech at the Boao forum.
Industrial production hit its stride last year, notching up eight consecutive month-to-month gains--the longest run of unbroken growth since May 1994--before a setback in December, which was triggered by the temporary closure of the Forties oil pipeline.
Today's March CPI ought to provide further support for the idea that the trend rate of increase in the core index is running at about 0.2% per month, an annualized rate, if sustained, of about 2.5%.
September's industrial production figures likely will not surprise markets today. We look for a 0.3% month-to-month rise in production, matching the consensus and the ONS assumption in the preliminary estimate of Q3 GDP.
On the face of it, our forecast of higher core inflation by the end of this year is seriously challenged by the recent data.
The consensus expectation that industrial production rose by 1.0% month-to-month in November is far too low; we expect Wednesday's data to show a jump of 2.0% or so. The rebound, however, should not be interpreted as another sign that the economy has been revitalised by the Brexit vote. Instead, we expect the rise chiefly to reflect volatility in oil production and heating energy supply.
Inflation data in Brazil, Mexico and Chile last week reinforced our view that interest rates will remain on hold, or be cut, over the coming meetings. The recent fall in oil prices, and the weakness of domestic demand, will offset recent volatility caused by the FX sell-off, driven mostly by the coronavirus story.
We can't quibble with the consensus that GDP likely rose by 0.2% month-to-month in December, reversing only two-thirds of November's drop.
The softening in payroll growth in November appears mostly to be a story about short-term noise, rather than a sign that tariffs are hurting or that the broader economy is slowing.
The stagnation of industrial production in October ended a run of six consecutive month-to-month increases, the longest spell of unbroken growth since 1994.
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.
LatAm's growth outlook is deteriorating, despite decent domestic fundamentals and political transitions toward more market-oriented governments in some of the region's main economies.
Interest rate expectations continued to fall sharply last week.
The pound can't get a break. Sterling fell to just $1.24 yesterday, its lowest level against the dollar since March 2017, bar the momentary "flash crash" in January.
Mexico's underlying inflation pressures and financial conditions are gradually stabilizing. Eventually, this will open the door for rate cuts in order to ease the stress on the domestic economy, particularly capex.
Last week's official data supported our forecast that GDP growth likely will slow further in Q1, suggesting that a May rate hike is not the sure bet that markets assume.
German manufacturing snapped back at the end of summer. Industrial production jumped 2.6% month-to-month in August, pushing the year-over- year rate up to 4.7% from a revised 4.2% in July.
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.
July's retail sales report signalled a good start to the third quarter but also implied that second quarter spending was stronger than previously thought. The upward revisions--totalling 0.5% for total sales and 0.4% for non-auto sales--were the biggest for some time, but we were not unduly surprised.
Colombian activity data released this week were weak, but mostly better than we expected. Real GDP rose 0.7% quarter- on-quarter in Q2, in contrast to the 0.3% fall in Q1, when the economy was hit by the lagged effect of last year's monetary tightening and the one-off VAT increase.
We are not concerned by the slowdown in retail sales over the past few months.
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 French labour market improved much more than we expected in Q4. The headline unemployment rate plunged to 8.9%, from a downwardly-revised 9.6% in Q3.
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 euro area's external surplus remained resilient toward the end of 2017, in the face of a stronger currency. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose to €22.5B in November, from €19.0B in October, lifted primarily by a jump in German exports.
The 20bp increase in 10-year yields over the past month doesn't live up to the hype; bondmageddon it was not.
CHF traders, and the rest of the market, were blindsided yesterday by the decision of the SNB to scrap the 1.20 EURCHF floor. The SNB has already boosted its balance sheet to about 85% of GDP to prevent the CHF from appreciating, and with the ECB on the brink of adding sovereign bonds to its QE program, the peg was simply indefensible.
The MPC surprised markets, and ourselves, yesterday with the escalation of its hawkish rhetoric in the minutes of its policy meeting.
Industrial production data yesterday indicate manufacturers in the Eurozone enjoyed a decent start to Q3, thanks to strength in Germany, Italy and Spain, which offset weakness in France. Production ex-construction rose 0.6% month-to-month in July, boosted in part by a 3% jump in energy output. If production is unchanged in August and September, output will rise 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, but this estimate is uncertain, and we look for an increase of about 0.4%-to-0.5%.
Yesterday's final CPI estimate in Germany confirmed that inflation fell to a 15-month low of 1.4% year-over-year in February, down from 1.6% in January.
German inflation eased in May, but the underlying upward pressure on the core is increasing. Yesterday's data showed that inflation fell to 1.5% year-over-year in May, from 2.0% in April, as the boost from the late Easter reversed. Inflation in leisure and entertainment services was driven down to +0.8%, from +3.3% in April, as a result of sharply lower inflation in package holidays and airfares.
We are pushing back our forecast for the next rise in Bank Rate to May 2020, from the tail-end of this year.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's five-line letter to House Speaker Pelosi on last Friday--copied to other Congressional leaders--which said that "there is a scenario in which we run out of cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes", introduces a new element of uncertainty to the debt ceiling story.
Inflation data in Germany remain up in the air following recent revisions and restatements of the underlying indices.
The story of U.S. retail sales since last summer is mostly a story about the impact of the hurricanes, Harvey in particular.
Politics remain centre-stage in Brazil, despite positive news on the economic front. President Michel Temer's government continues to advance pension reform, despite the tight calendar and concerns about his political capital. But volatility is on the rise.
A modest dip in gasoline prices will hold down the October CPI, due today, but investors' attention will be on the core, after five undershoots to consensus in the past six months.
Our current base-case forecast for the second quarter is a 30% annualized drop in GDP, based on our assessment of the hit to discretionary spending by both businesses and consumers.
Mexican policymakers stuck to the script yesterday and voted unanimously to cut the main rate by 50bp to 5.50%, its lowest level in more than three years.
Net exports should come roaring back as a driver of Eurozone GDP growth in the second quarter. The euro area trade surplus leapt to €24.3B in April, a new all-time high, up from a revised €19.9B in March. A 1.7% month-to-month fall in imports--mean-reversion from a 3.9% increase in March--was a big contributor to the higher surplus.
The MPC almost certainly will keep interest rates on hold today and likely won't give a strong steer on the outlook for policy in the minutes of its meeting, which are released at mid-day. On the whole, surveys of economic activity have been weak, indicating that GDP growth has slowed sharply in the second quarter.
The Eurozone economy finished last week with a horrendous set of economic data.
Peru's central bank kept the reference rate unchanged at 3.5% at Thursday's meeting, in line with our view and market expectations.
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.
Incoming activity data from Colombia over the past quarter have been surprisingly strong, despite many domestic and external threats.
Sterling weakened further yesterday as anxiety grew that PM Theresa May will indicate she is seeking a "clean and hard Brexit" in a speech today. This could mean the U.K. leaves the EU's single market and customs union, in order to control immigration, shake off the jurisdiction of the European Court and have a free hand in trade negotiations with other countries.
The most eye-catching aspect of December's consumer prices report was the pick-up in core inflation to 1.9%, from 1.8% in November, above the no-change consensus.
Friday's industrial production headlines in the Eurozone were weak, but the details tell a more nuanced story.
We lack an adjective sufficiently strong to describe China's February activity data.
The MPC will have to issue fresh, dovish guidance in order to satisfy markets on Thursday, which now think the Committee is more likely to cut than raise Bank Rate within the next six months.
Yesterday's ECB press conference confirmed our view that Mr. Draghi is the periphery's friend, not enemy. Crucially, the central bank agreed to increase emergency liquidity assistance--ELA--to Greek banks by €900M. This is consistent tent with the agreement by the Eurogroup to give Greece €7B bridge financing, and shows the ECB is ready to act on the back of only a temporary truce between Greece and the EU. The increase in ELA is modest, and we doubt a painful restructuring of the banking system can be avoided. But with Greek bond yields falling, the available pool of collateral will go up, allowing the central bank to provide further relief in coming weeks.
The Eurosystem's position on Greece, echoed by Mr. Draghi earlier this week, is that progress on a deal is up to the Syriza-led government. But recent comments by German officials have added to the speculation that a Grexit is getting closer.
We have not been expecting the Fed to raise rates next week, and yesterday's data made a hike even less likely. The September Philly Fed and Empire State surveys were alarmingly weak everywhere except the headline level, and the official August production data were grim.
Today's labour market figures likely will show that the Brexit vote has inflicted only minimal damage on job prospects so far. The unemployment rate likely held steady at 4.9% in the three months to September, and the risk of a renewed fall in unemployment appears to be bigger than for a rise.
We are sticking to our view that the Eurozone's trade surplus will fall in the next six months, despite yesterday's upbeat report. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus leapt to a record high of €25.0B in September from revised €21.0B in August, lifted by an increase in exports and a decline in imports.
Inflation pressures in France eased in February, in contrast to the story in the rest of the EZ. Yesterday's report confirmed the initial estimate that inflation fell to 1.2% year-over-year in February, from 1.3% in January. The headline was hit by a crash in the core rate to a two-year low of 0.2%, from 0.7% in January.
The House passage of a stimulus bill last Friday, seeking to ameliorate some of the damage done by the coronavirus outbreak, will not be nearly enough.
Yesterday's final inflation data in France for September were misleadingly soft.
The strong dollar is pushing down goods prices, but not very quickly. As a result, the sustained upward pressure on rents is gradually nudging core CPI inflation higher. It now stands at 1.9%, up from a low of 1.6% in January, and even relatively modest gains over the third quarter will push the rate above 2% by year-end. We can't rule out core CPI inflation ending the year at a startling 2.3%.
Without tying its hands, the MPC--which voted unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.25% and to continue with the £60B of gilt purchases and £10B of corporate bond purchases authorised last month--gave a strong indication yesterday that it still expects to cut Bank Rate in November.
Economic data are telling a story of a strengthening recovery, but downbeat investor sentiment points to a more difficult environment. The headline ZEW expectations index fell to a ten-month low of 12.1 in September, from 25.0 in August. This takes sentiment back to levels not seen before QE was announced, highlighting the increasing worry that deflation risks and low growth in China will derail the recovery. We don't agree, but we can't be sure the ECB thinks the same, and risks of additional stimulus this year have increased.
We look for yet another unanimous vote by the MPC to keep Bank Rate at 0.75% on Thursday, with no new guidance on the near-term outlook.
The September core CPI was held down by prescription drug prices, which fell by 0.6%, and vehicle prices, which fell by 0.4%.
Wednesday's better-than-expected, but still grim, November retail sales report in Brazil does not change the miserable underlying trend. Sales volumes rose 1.5% month-to-month, much better than expected, and the biggest increase in a year. But the year-over-year rate fell to -7.8% from -5.7% in October. The details underscored our view that the month-to-month jump in sales was due mostly to temporary factors.
Yesterday's data provided further evidence of the EZ economy's response to the Covid-19 shock, though we recommend that investors take the numbers with a pinch of salt. In Germany, the final CPI report for April showed that headline inflation slipped to 0.9% year-over-year, from 1.4% in March, trivially above the first estimate, 0.8%.
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.
Core inflation probably will remain close to June's 2.3% rate for the next few months.
December's retail sales numbers are the most important of the year for retailers, but they don't necessarily tell us anything about the future prospects for consumers' spending or the broad economy. The December 2016 numbers, however, might be different, because they capture consumers' behavior in the first full month after the election.
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.
Quarter-on-quarter GDP growth last year was buffeted by the accumulation, and subsequent depletion, of inventories, around the two Brexit deadlines in March and October.
In recent years we have argued consistently that investors and the commentariat overstate the importance of the dollar as a driver of U.S. inflation. Only about 15% of the core CPI is meaningfully affected by shifts in the value of the dollar, because the index is dominated by domestic non-tradable services.
LatAm governments and policymakers are bracing for a more dramatic and longer virus-led downturn than initially expected.
October's consumer price figures, released Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation increased to 3.1%, from 3.0% in September.
The core CPI inflation rate rose in April to 2.1% from 2.0%, thanks to unfavorable rounding, despite the below consensus 0.14% month-to-month print.
The measures to support the economy through the coronavirus crisis, unveiled by policymakers on Budget day, exceeded expectations.
The effects of Covid-19--both negative and positive--on Korea's labour market certainly were felt in February.
On the face of it, the upturn in initial jobless claims since late September appears to signal a softening in the economy.
Today's rate hike will be accompanied by a new round of Fed forecasts, which will have to reflect the faster growth and lower unemployment than expected back in September.
The imposition of 10% tariffs on $200B-worth of Chinese imports is not a serious threat either to U.S. economic growth--the tariffs amount to 0.1% of GDP--or inflation.
The 0.1% dip in the core CPI in March was the first outright decline in three years, but we expect another-- and bigger--decline in today's April numbers.
The absence of a hawkish slant to the MPC's Inflation Report or the minutes of its meeting suggest that an increase in interest rates remains a long way off.
The April CPI report today will be watched even more closely than usual, after the surprise 0.12% month-to-month fall in the March core index. The biggest single driver of the dip was a record 7.0% plunge in cellphone service plan prices, reflecting Verizon's decision to offer an unlimited data option.
It's pretty easy to dismiss back-to-back 0.3% increases in the core CPI, especially when they follow a run of much smaller gains.
The Monetary Policy Committee likely will not follow up August's stimulus measures with another rate cut at its meeting on Thursday. The partial revival in surveys of activity and confidence have weakened the case for immediate action.
November's consumer price report likely will show that October's dip in CPI inflation was just a blip against a strong upward trend. We think that CPI inflation picked up to 1.1% in November, from 0.9% in October, in line with the consensus.
While we were out, most of the action was on the political front, while the economic data mostly were unexciting.
GDP growth in Japan surprised to the upside in the second quarter, although the preliminary headline arguably flattered the economy's actual performance.
Chinese PPI inflation surprised analysts with a sharp rebound to 6.3% in August, from 5.5% in July, above the consensus, 5.7%.
Now that the run of unfavorable base effects in the core CPI--triggered by five straight soft numbers last year--is over, we're expecting little change in the year- over-year rate through the remainder of this year.
Yesterday's labour market data gave sterling a shot in the arm on t wo counts. First, the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate fell to just 4.5% in May, from 4.6% in April.
The Brazilian consumer will continue to suffer from high interest rates and a deteriorating labour market this year. But sentiment data imply that the fundamentals are stabilising, at least at the margin. The headline consumer sentiment gauge, published by the FGV, has improved significantly in the past five months, and we expect another modest increase later this month
Yesterday's final CPI report in Germany confirmed the initial estimate that inflation was unchanged at 0.4% year-over-year in August. Deflation in energy prices eased further, but the headline was pegged back by a small fall in the core rate to 1.2% year-over- year, from 1.3% in July.
Friday's data added further colour to the September CPI data for the Eurozone.
The near-term U.S. inflation outlook is benign, but it is not without risk.
The stand-out development in yesterday's labour market report was the drop in the he adline, three-month average, unemployment rate to just 4.0% in June--its lowest rate since February 1975--from 4.2% in May.
The Fed's unanimous vote for a 25bp rate hike was overshadowed by the bump up in the dotplot for next year, with three hikes now expected, rather than the two anticipated in the September forecast. Chair Yellen argued the uptick in the rate forecasts was "tiny", but acknowledged that some participants moved their forecasts partly on the basis that fiscal policy is likely to be eased by the new Congress.
The weekly jobless claims numbers are due Thursday, as usual, but in the wake of a flood of emails from readers, all asking a variant of the same question-- should we be worried about the rise in continuing jobless claims?--we want to address the issue now.
Yesterday's second estimate of Q4 Eurozone GDP confirmed the upbeat story from the advance report, despite the dip in headline growth.
We argued a couple of weeks ago that the stock market could suffer a relapse, on the grounds that valuations hadn't fallen far enough from their peak to reflect the extent of the hit to the economy; that hopes for an early re-opening were likely to prove forlorn; and that investors were likely to be spooked by the incoming coronavirus data.
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.
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."
The ECB did its utmost not to say or do anything remotely novel today. The central bank kept its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.40%, respectively, and reiterated its plan for QE next year.
We have no real argument with the consensus forecasts for the January CPI, with the headline likely to rise by 0.3%, with the core up 0.2%.
All eyes in the Eurozone will be on the second estimate of Q4 GDP today, and the report likely will confirm that growth accelerated in Q4. We think real GDP rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter, up from a 0.3% increase in Q3, in line with the first estimate. If this forecast is correct, the year-over-year rate will be unchanged at 1.8%. Risks to the headline, however, are tilted to the downside.
China's M2 growth surprised on the upside in July, rising to 8.5% year-over-year, from 8.0% in June.
German inflation data are more noise than signal at the moment.
Today's Eurozone data will provide further details on what happened in Q4. Advance data suggest that industrial production rose a modest 0.1% month- to-month, lifting the year-over-year rate to 4.3% in December, from 3.9% in November.
Chancellor Javid's resignation, only eight months after assuming the role, is the clearest sign yet that the Johnson-led government wants fiscal policy to play a bigger part in stimulating the economy over the next couple of years.
The Fed will hike by 25 basis points today, but what really matters is what they say about the future, both in the language of the statement and in the dotplot for this year and next.
The partial government shutdown is now the longest on record, with little chance of a near-term resolution.
After the first round of voting by Tory MPs, Boris Johnson remains the clear favourite to be the next Prime Minister.
Data yesterday showed that industrial production in the Eurozone stumbled in May. Production fell 1.2% month-to-month, driven by weakness in all major economies and falling output in all sub-industries. The poor headline follows an upwardly revised 1.4% jump in April, which means that production rose marginally in the first two months of the second quarter.
Investors have become more concerned about a no-deal Brexit.
The Eurozone's external surplus weakened at the start of Q3.
Under normal circumstances, we would have no hesitation calling for substantially higher long Treasury yields and a lower earnings multiple as the Fed raises rates. History tells us that you fight the Fed at your peril, as our first two charts show.
The Eurozone's current account surplus remains in a firm uptrend, and should continue to rise this year, despite a small dip in the February surplus to €26.4B from a revised €30.4B in January.
In our Monitor May 15 we described the initial government program in Italy, drafted by the leadership of the Five-Star Movement and the League parties, as a "macroeconomic fairytale."
Should you be feeling in the mood to panic over inflation risks--or more positively, benefit from the markets' underpricing of inflation risks--consider the following scenario. First, assume that the uptick in wages reported in October really does mark the start of the long-awaited sustained acceleration promised by a 5% unemployment rate and employers' difficulty in finding people to hire. Second, assume that the rental property market remains extremely tight. Third, assume that the abrupt upturn in medical costs in the October CPI is a harbinger o f things to come. And finally, assume that the Fed hawks are right in their view that the initial increase in interest rates will--to quote the September FOMC minutes--"...spur, rather than restrain economic activity". Under these conditions, what happens to inflation?
Chinese monetary policymakers can rely on several different instruments to affect market and broad liquidity, ranging from various forms of open market operations to interest rates to FX intervention. The tool kit is constantly changing as the PBoC refines its operations.
We have learned over the years not to become too excited in the face of swings in the jobless claims numbers, even when the movement appears to persist for a month or two.
We previewed the FOMC meeting in detail yesterday -- see here -- but to recap briefly, we expect a 25bp rate hike, with no significant changes in the statement, and a repeat of the median forecasts of three rate hikes this year.
German producer price inflation fell last month, following uninterrupted gains since the beginning of this year. Headline PPI inflation fell to 2.8% year-over- year in May, from 3.4% in April, constrained by lower energy inflation, which slipped to 3.0%, from 4.6% in April. Meanwhile, non-energy inflation declined marginally to 2.7%, from 2.8%.
We have argued for some time that market disappointment over the recent sluggishness of consumption has been misplaced. In our view, investors have placed too little weight on the impact of the severe winter, and have been too hasty in looking for the impact of the drop in gasoline sales.
Predictably, last weekend's G7 meeting in Canada ended in acrimony between the U.S. and its key trading partners.
Mexico's inflation nudged up to a fresh 16-year high in August, but the details of the report confirmed that underlying pressures are easing, in line with our core view.
Yesterday's ECB meeting was a much more assured affair, compared to the March calamity. The central bank left its key refinancing and deposit rates unchanged, at 0.00% and -0.5%, respectively, and also maintained the pace and guidance on its two asset purchase programs.
Over the next 18 months we expect to see interest rates break out further on the upside. Initially, we expect developed market growth to be resilient to that.
Political uncertainty is never far away in the Eurozone, though the most recent outbreak could easily swing in favour of markets.
When the Fed raised rates in December, it subverted one of its own long-standing conventions by hiking with the ISM manufacturing index below 50. The December survey, released just 15 days before the meeting, showed the headline index slipping to 48.6, the third straight sub-50 reading. It has since been revised down to 48.0, the lowest reading since June 2009.
Yesterday's second EZ Q2 GDP report was slightly more upbeat than the advance estimate.
The 0.242% increase in the January core CPI left the year-over-year rate at 2.3% for the third straight month.
The run of soft-looking headline retail sales numbers in recent months--the initial estimates for February, January and December were -0.6%, -0.8% and -0.9% respectively--will end today; the March number will look solid.
The starting gun for the "Brexit" referendum will be fired this week if E.U. leaders, who meet for a two-day summit starting Thursday, agree to the draft reform package assembled by Prime Minister and E.U. President Donald Tusk.
It's a myth that the 10-ye ar decline in the unemployment rate has not driven up the pace of wage growth.
Over the weekend, Mr. Trump showed his ability to upend things, once again, tweeting that China was trying to renegotiate trade talks, which he says are progressing too slowly.
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.
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 rapidity with which the BoJ's QE programme has been scaled back is dramatic. Growth in the monetary base slowed to 15.6% year-over-year in September from 16.3% in August.
China's FX reserves fell to $3,134B in February, from $3,161B in January, after a year of gains.
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.
We would like to be able to argue with confidence that today's December durable goods orders report will show core capital goods orders rebounding after three straight declines, totalling 3.4%.
Friday's detailed Q2 growth data in the EZ broadly confirmed the advance numbers.
Recent inflation numbers across LatAm have surprised, in both directions. On the upside, Brazil's IPCA index rose 0.2% month-to-month in September, above the market consensus forecast of 0.1%.
In yesterday's Monitor we set out how government will have to prepare for an increase in debt issuance both to bring debts on-balance sheet and also to issue new debt as government is obliged to run deficits while the corporate sector deleverages.
Yesterday's manufacturing data in Germany provided alarming evidence of a much more severe slowdown in the second half of last year than economists had initially expected.
Fed Chair Powell sounded a lot like Janet Yellen yesterday, at least in terms of substance.
In yesterday's Monitor, we outlined how the government's plans to allow more migrants to register in cities could help counterbalance the effects of aging and put a floor under medium-term property prices.
Brazil's unadjusted current account surplus soared to USD2.9B in May, its highest level since 2006, from USD1.1B in May 2016.
Headline money supply growth in the Eurozone has averaged 5% year-over-year since the beginning of 2015; yesterday's October data did not change that story.
Last week's capsized European Council summit added to our suspicions that uncertainty over the EU's top jobs will linger over the summer.
We were nervous ahead of the GDP numbers on Friday, wondering if our forecast of a 1.5 percentage point hit from foreign trade was too aggressive. In the event, though, the trade hit was a huge 1.7pp, so domestic demand rose at a 3.5% pace.
The first economic report of 2020 confirmed the main story in the euro area last year; namely a recession in manufacturing.
Yesterday's FOMC , announcing a unanimous vote for no change in the funds rate, is almost identical to December's.
China will have to issue a lot of government debt in the next few years. The government will need to continue migrating to its balance sheet, all the debt that should have been registered there in the first place. This will mean a rapid expansion of liabilities, but if handled correctly, the government will also gain valuable assets in the process.
As we reach our deadline on Sunday afternoon, eastern time, Tropical Storm Florence continues to dump vast quantities of rain on the Carolinas, and is forecast to head through Kentucky and Tennessee, before heading north.
Detailed German inflation data today likely will confirm that inflation fell to 0.3% year-over-year in December from 0.4% in November, mainly due to falling food inflation. Preliminary data suggest that food inflation declined sharply to 1.4% from 2.3% in November, offsetting slower energy price deflation, due to base effects. Food and energy prices are wild cards in the next three-to-six months, and could weigh on the headline, given the renewed weakness in oil prices, and lower fresh food prices. Core inflation, however, is a lagging indicator, and will continue to increase this year.
We were right about the below-consensus inflation numbers for June, but wrong about the explanation. We thought the core would be constrained by a drop in used car prices, while apparel and medical costs would rebound after their July declines.
Barring a gigantic shock from the Fed this week--we expect a 25bp hike--Eurozone equities will end the year with a solid return for investors, who have been overweight. Total return of the MSCI EU ex-UK should come in around 10%, which compares to a likely flat return for the MSCI World, reflecting the boost from the ECB's QE driving out performance. Our first chart shows the index has been mainly lifted by consumer sector, healthcare and IT stocks, comfortably making up for weakness in materials and energy. The year has been a story of two halves, however, and global headwinds have intensified since the summer, partly offsetting the surge in the Q1 as markets celebrated the arrival of QE and negative interest rates.
All major EZ governments are now in the process of lifting lockdowns, but investors should expect less a grand opening, more of a careful tip-toeing.
The recent jump in Treasury yields, despite more carnage in the stock market, can't be allowed to continue as economic activity collapses.
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.
Brazil's recession carried over into the beginning of Q2, but with diminishing intensity. The IBC-BR economic activity index, a monthly proxy for GDP, fell 5.0% year-over-year in April, up from a revised 6.4% contraction in March. The index's underlying trend has improved in recent months, suggesting that the economy is turning around, slowly.
Colombia's industrial and retail sectors surprised to the upside in August, suggesting that the domestic economy has been resilient during most of the third quarter, despite the hit from an array of external headwinds. Industrial production increased by a solid 2.6% year-over-year in August, up from an upwardly revised 0.6% expansion in July, and above its recent trend. In the first half of the year, industrial activity fell on average by 1.1%, the worst performance since 2013, due mainly to the oil hit and ex tended works at Reficar, the country's second biggest oil refinery. But Colombia's manufacturers appear to have shrugged off part of the oil pain in recent months.
Mark Carney emphasised in his Mansion House speech last month that he wants wage growth to "begin to firm" from recent "anaemic" rates before voting to raise interest rates.
Venezuela is on the brink o f economic and social collapse. Looting, food scarcity, power rationing, and other problems have become rampant. This week, Venezuela's government allowed citizens to flock across the Colombian border to shop for food and medicine, for the second time this month. Last year, Venezuela's President Maduro shut the border in a bid to crack down on smuggling of subsidized products.
Bank Governor Mark Carney reiterated in a speech yesterday that he wants to see sustained momentum in GDP growth, domestic cost pressures firm and core inflation rise further towards 2%, before raising interest rates. We doubt he will have long to wait on the last two points, given the tightness of the labour market.
Earlier this week the New York Times bleakly suggested--see here--that people in Italy are too depressed to care about this weekend's parliamentary elections.
The Fed headlines yesterday carried no real surprises; rates were cut by 25bp, with a promise to take further action if "appropriate to sustain the expansion".
Don't be distracted by weak first quarter GDP...The Fed doesn't care (much)
Long term benchmark yields in the Eurozone almost fell to zero towards the end of the first quarter as investors were carried away in their celebration of QE. The counter-reaction to this move, though, was violent with 10-year yields surging from 0.2% to 0.9% in the space of two months from April to June, and we think a similar tantrum could be waiting in the wings for investors. We are particularly wary that upside surprises in inflation data--mainly in Germany--could push yields up sharply in the next few months.
The Eurozone economy is slowing...will the ECB care?
Dutch Pro-EU Centrists Carry The Day...But We Can't Assume The Same Will Happen In France
Raise Your Hand If You Don't What Happens Next...Covid-19 Is A Wildcard For The EZ Economy And Markets
The economic momentum evident late last year carried into 2015, the Labor Department said Friday, with American employers adding 257,000 jobs in January as wage growth rebounded and more people joined the workforce
Expect a Rare Q/Q Fall in Chinese GDP In Q1...A Technical Recession In Japan is on the Cards...The Real Hit to Korean Trade will Start This Month...Post-Virus in Oil Will Help India's Recovery
Mexico's economy lost some momentum in Q4, due mainly to weakness in industrial and agricultural activity, but this was partly offset by the strength of the services sector as consumers' spending again carried the economic recovery. Real GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, after a 0.8% expansion in Q3, the tenth consecutive increase. Year-over-year growth dipped marginally to 2.5% from 2.6% in Q3, but the underlying trend remains stable. In 2015 as a whole the economy expanded by 2.5%, up from 2.3% in 2014.
The headline ISM non-manufacturing index is not, in our view, a leading indicator of anything much. The survey covers a broad array of non manufacturing activity, including mining, healthcare, and financial services, but most of the time it tends to follow the track of real core retail sales, as our first chart shows.
Workers in the euro area remain scarred by the zone's repeated crises, but the strengthening cyclical recovery is slowly starting to spread to the labour market. The unemployment rate fell to a three-year low of 10.9% in July, and employment has edged higher after hitting a low in the middle of 2013. Germany's outperformance is a key story, with employment increasing uninterruptedly since 2009, and the unemployment rate declining to an all-time low of 6.4%. Among the other major economies, the unemployment rate in Spain and Italy remains higher than in France. But employment in Spain has outperformed in the cyclical recovery since 2013.
Yesterday's Sentix investor sentiment survey provided the first glimpse of conditions on the ground in the EZ economy in the wake of the coronavirus scare.
Mark Carney's assertion that "...some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer" is a clear signal that an interest rate cut is in the pipeline. But easing likely will be modest, due to the much higher outlook for inflation following sterling's precipitous decline.
Japan's industrial production data for May carried more evidence that the economy is getting a lift--at least temporarily--from the front-loading of activity ahead of the scheduled sales tax increase in October.
A looming rate lift-off at the Fed, chaos in Greece, and a renewed rout in commodities have given credit markets plenty to worry about this year. The Bloomberg global high yield index is just about holding on to a 0.7% gain year-to-date, but down 2.5% since the middle of May. The picture carries over to the euro area where the sell-off is worse than during the taper tantrum in 2013.
We can be reasonably sure that the headline May retail sales number will look quite strong, thanks to the surge in auto sales reported by the manufacturers last week. Sales of cars and light trucks soared past industry analysts' expectations to a nine-year high, rising 7.5% from their April level.
The U.S. household sector carries substantial gross debts, even after the sustained deleveraging since the crash of 2008. The gross debt-to-income ratio stood at 105.3% in the second quarter of this year, down from the 135% peak in late 2007 but still well above the 88% average recorded in the 1990s, which was not a decade of restraint on the part of consumers.
Consensus-beating March PMI merely underscores how bad February was... the economy isn't out of the woods. The non-manufacturing bounce was broad-based, but construction led the way. Japan's job openings plunge shows the direction of travel for unemployment. Japan's retail sales suggest Q1 pain to be concentrated in March. Japan inc granted a last month of reprieve before the Covid-19 storm hits. Korean carmakers' sourcing woes largely to blame for February hit.
Let's not get carried away with the Japanese fiscal stimulus. Korea's current account surplus rebounded in October, as the services gap returned to its narrowing trend.
Japan's CPI inflation has troughed; Japan's budget forecasts for next year are on the rosy side; China's LPR stability reflects precarious banking sector; Korea should make a complete exit from PPI deflation this month
China's retail sector is on its knees at best. China's IP data suggest that the horrendous PMIs underplayed the carnage. A damning FAI report... tertiary capex should rebound, but the hit to global demand will hold back the secondary industry. China's property market grounds to a halt in February. The Bank of Korea steps in with an emergency cut, despite falling new infections locally.
Japan's monetary and credit trends were looking better, but now stand to be damaged by... the virus scare. Virus hit still to come for Japanese machine tool orders? Korea's jobless rate is back to its pre-August one-off plunge.
Political Reform and change in the Eurozone...How much should investors care?
In one line: Hit by energy inflation; the core rate is now a wildcard until the virus recedes.
In one line: Healthcare inflation is accelerating; will it be sustained?
In one line: Rents and heathcare lift the core; they are the key risks for 2020.
In one line: Used car prices a drag yet again, but they'll stop falling soon.
In one line: Did the ECB just revive the bank-carry trade in government bonds?
The ECB will deliver a carbon copy of its December meeting today, at least in terms of the main headlines.
Yesterday's ECB policy decision was a carbon copy of the announcement in July. The central bank maintained its key refinancing rate at 0.00%, and also kept its deposit and marginal lending facility rates unchanged at -0.4% and 0.25% respectively. The ECB also kept the pace of QE unchanged at €80B per month. Finally, the central bank refrained from formally extending QE.
In one line: The EZ economy was improving coming into the Covid-19 scare.
Volatile commodity prices make this week's inflation data in Germany and the Eurozone a wild card. Crude oil in euro terms is down about 20% month-to-month in July, which will weigh on energy prices. In Germany, though, we think higher core inflation offset the hit from oil, pushing inflation slightly higher to 0.4% year-over-year in July from 0.3% in June.
The current momentum in house prices partly reflects a dearth of homes offered for sale by existing homeowners. This scarcity reflects a series of constraints, which we think will ease only gradually. Further punchy gains in house prices therefore look sustainable and we expect average prices to rise by about 8% next year.
Sunday's referendum on independence in Catalonia is a wild-card. The central government has taken drastic steps to ensure that a vote doesn't happen.
The Covid-19 scare can be split into two stages, the initial outbreak in China, concentrated in Wuhan, and the now-worrying signs that clusters are forming in other parts of the world, primarily in South Korea, the Middle East and Italy.
December's payroll numbers were unexciting, exactly matching the 175K consensus when the 19K upward revision to November is taken into account. Some of the details were a bit odd, though, notably the 63K jump in healthcare jobs, well above the 40K trend, and the 19K drop in temporary workers, compared to the typical 15K monthly gain.
The MXN came under pressure last week as news broke that Banxico Governor Agustin Carstens plans to resign next year. Mr. Carstens has led the bank since 2010; during his term, Banxico cut interest rates to record low levels and managed to keep inflation under control.
Early results project that Andrés Manuel López Obrador--AMLO--will become the new Mexican president with 53.4% of the votes, against Ricardo Anaya's 22.6%, and José Antonio Meade's 15.7%. AMLO has declared victory and thanked his opponents, who recognized his triumph.
Mortgage applications have risen, net, over the past couple of months, despite the 70bp surge in 30-year mortgage rates since the election. Indeed, we'd argue that the increase in applications is a result of the spike in rates, because it likely scared would-be homebuyers, triggering a wave of demand from people seeking to lock-in rates, fearing further increases.
Tomorrow, Mexico's INEGI will release its inflation report for the second half of May, which is of key importance for Banxico's monetary policy. The Bank, in particular governor Agustin Carstens, has said on many occasions that it will watch external conditions and their impact on consumer prices closely. We expect inflation to edge down to 2.9% year-over-year in May, thanks to a 0.1% increase in the second half.
The results of Sunday's parliamentary elections in Italy carry two key messages.
The scars from previous economic crises have not healed fully in the Eurozone, and we think the ECB will extend QE today, by six months to Q3 2017. We expect Mr. Draghi to retain his dovish bias in the opening statement, and to repeat the emphasis on downside risks, due to the weak external environment and political fears.
India's PMIs for October were grim, indicating minimal carry-over of energy from the third quarter rebound.
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
Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist, discusses the economic impact of falling oil prices with Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal and Scarlet Fu
Claus Vistesen, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief euro zone economist, discusses the outlook for the euro-zone economy in 2018 with Bloomberg's Scarlet Fu and Joe Weisenthal on "What'd You Miss?"
Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics founder and chief economist, discusses the outlook for the global economy with Bloomberg's Julie Hyman, Joe Weisenthal and Scarlet Fu on "What'd You Miss?"
With the Mexican Elections on July 1st, our Chief Latam Economist Andres Abadia has received many questions about the possible outcomes and how this will affect the Mexican economy going forward.
Will EZ services hold their own amid weakness in manufacturing?
Provocative notes from Ian Shepherdson, the Chief Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics
Is Japan's pending 15-month anything to write home about?
What to expect from the ECB as Ms. Lagarde takes the seat as new president?
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