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20 October. 2016 Are Jobless Claims Really at a 43-Year Low?  (Publication Centre)

The recent jobless claims numbers have been spectacularly good, with the absolute level dropping unexpectedly in the past two weeks to a 43-year low. The four-week moving average has dropped by a hefty 14K since late August.

18 Feb. 2016 How to Read the Jobless Claims Numbers, Wherever They Go (Publication Centre)

The question of what's really happening to the pace of layoffs is still unanswered, despite the apparent upturn over the past couple of months. The weekly jobless claims numbers are only just emerging from the fog of the usual holiday season chaos. The pattern of pre-holiday hiring and post-holiday layoffs is broadly the same each year, but Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a different day each year, making seasonal adjustment difficult.

22 February 2018 Jobless Claims Still Under Downward Pressure, Labor is Scarce (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

8 September 2017 Jobless Claims will be Elevated for Some Time, Payroll hit Uncertain (Publication Centre)

The 62K jump in jobless claims for the week ended September 2 is a hint of what's to come. Claims usually don't surge until the second week after major hurricanes, because people have better things to do in the immediate aftermath, so we are braced for a further big increase next week.

13 December 2018 The Rise in Jobless Claims is Convincing Evidence of... Not Much (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the upturn in initial jobless claims since late September appears to signal a softening in the economy.

17 January 2019 How Many Government Workers are Making Unemployment Claims (Publication Centre)

The weekly jobless claims numbers tend to be choppy around the turn of the year, and our take on the seasonal adjustments points to a clear increase in today's report, for the week ended January 11, even without the impact of the government shutdown.

7 September 2017 Jobless Claims will Rocket After Harvey, but Timing is Tricky (Publication Centre)

The jobless claims numbers today likely will mark the end of the calm before the storm effect, even though the data cover the week ended September 1, and Harvey hit on August 26.

04 Feb. 2016 Are Jobless Claims Starting to Rise? If so, Where Will They Stop? (Publication Centre)

The pace of layoffs might be picking up. Our first chart looks pretty convincing, but it's much too soon to know for sure. The claims data from mid-December through late January are subject to serious seasonal adjustment problems, partly because Christmas falls on a different day of the week each year and partly because the exact timing of post-holiday layoffs varies from year-to-year.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Jobless Claims, June (Publication Centre)

In one line: Claims noise likely insignificant; hefty upward revisions to Q1 capex.

9 November 2017 Claims Data Look Great, but Payrolls are Driven More by Shifts in Hiring (Publication Centre)

We were pretty sure that the underlying trend in jobless claims had bottomed, in the high 230s, before the hurricanes began to distort the data in early September.

U.S. Datanote: Advance Trade, August and Jobless Claims and GDP, Q2 third estimate (Publication Centre)

In one line: The calm before the export storm?

U.S. Datanote: Employment Costs Index, Q3 and Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Nothing to lose sleep over.

U.S. Datanote: ADP Employment, August & Weekly Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Solid, but it won't last.

U.S. Datanote: International Trade, March Weekly Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Trade deficit has stabilized, provided the China talks don't fall apart.

8 September. 2016 Claims, JOLTS, and Sales Don't Support the Grim ISM Message (Publication Centre)

We argued yesterday that the steep declines in the ISM surveys in August, both manufacturing and services, likely were one-time events, triggered by a combination of weather events, seasonal adjustment issues and sampling error. These declines don't chime with most other data.

27 June 2019 Are Rising Jobless Claims a Drag on German Consumer Sentiment (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's consumer sentiment data provided further evidence of a strengthening French economy, amid signs of cracks in the otherwise solid German economy.

EZ Datanote: Advance Trade, July: GDP Q2 revised: Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Decent July means net foreign trade unlikely to be a big drag on Q3 GDP growth.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Consumer Prices, September & Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Expect a rebound in the October core; too late to prevent a Fed easing this month.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. International Trade, Jobless Claims, May (Publication Centre)

In one line: Trade will be a small drag on Q2 GDP growth.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: The trend remains stable and very low.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Philadelphia Fed survey, Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Philly surge looks great, but it's not definitive.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Producer Prices and Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Healthcare inflation is accelerating; will it be sustained?

U.S. Datanote: U.S. International Trade, April & Weekly Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Little sign of the feared trade hit on Q2 GDP growth, so far.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Durable Goods Orders, Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Core orders soft, but likely to be even softer in Q4.

U.S. Datanote: Jobless Claims, November (Publication Centre)

In one line: The trend is low and stable; all the payroll slowdown is due to reduced hiring activity.

U.S. Datanote: Jobless Claims, September (Publication Centre)

In one line: A correction; the trend is stable, for now.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Consumer Prices, August & Weekly Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Looks bad, but the trend is not--yet--running at 0.3% per month.

U.S. Datanote: Jobless Claims, August (Publication Centre)

In one line: Policy uncertainty is not lifting layoffs.

U.S. Datanote: Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: The trend is back to the cycle low.

5 June. 2015 Payroll consensus looks low, but watch out for the birth death model (Publication Centre)

All the fundamentals point to a very strong payroll number for May. The NFIB hiring in tentions index, the best single leading indicator of payrolls five months ahead, signalled back in December that May employment would rise by about 300K. The NFIB actual net hiring number, released yesterday, is a bit less bullish, implying 250K, but the extraordinarily low level of jobless claims, shown in our first chart, points to 300K. Finally, the ISM non-manufacturing employment index suggests we should be looking for payrolls to rise by about 260K. Our estimate is 280K.

1 September 2017 Expect Strong August Payrolls, but Calendar Distortions will hit Wages (Publication Centre)

Leading indicators all point to a solid August payroll number. Survey-based measures of the pace of hiring signal a 200K-plus increase, and jobless claims--a proxy for the pace of gross layoffs--are at a record low as a share of the workforce.

3 July 2019 ADP Set for Clear Rebound, but it Likely will Understate Payrolls (Publication Centre)

Today brings an array of economic data, including the jobless claims report, brought forward because July 4 falls on Thursday.

10 March 2017 February Payrolls Look set for Strength, Seasonals Permitting (Publication Centre)

We're expecting a hefty increase in February payrolls today, but even a surprise weak number likely wouldn't prevent a rate hike next week. The trends in all the private sector employment surveys are strong and improving, and jobless claims have dropped to new lows too, though we think that's probably less important than it appears.

6 April 2017 ADP Likely Overstates Payrolls, ISM Non-manufacturing Understates (Publication Centre)

We don't directly plug the ADP employment data into our model for the official payroll number. ADP's estimate is derived itself from a model which incorporates lagged official payroll data, because payrolls tend to mean-revert, as well as macroeconomic variables including oil prices, industrial production and jobless claims -- and actual employment data from firms which use ADP's payroll processing services.

6 December 2018 No Real Signs of the Slowdown Story in the Labor Market Data (Publication Centre)

Behind all the talk of slowdowns and Fed pauses, we see no sign that the labor market is loosening beyond a very modest uptick in jobless claims, and even that looks suspicious.

20 January 2017 Are Layoffs Really Falling Again, Signalling Stronger Payroll Gains? (Publication Centre)

After three straight lower-than-expected jobless claims numbers, we have to consider, at least, the idea that maybe the trend is falling again. This would be a remarkable development, given that claims already are at their lowest level ever, when adjusted for population growth, and at their lowest absolute level since the early 1970s.

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Jobless Claims Rise Slightly in April 18 Week (Media Centre)

Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson on today's Inital Jobless Claims data

CHANNEL NEWS ASIA - US weekly jobless claims fall 14% (Media Centre)

Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 265,000 in the week ending Jan 24, a hefty decline of 43,000 from the prior week's slightly upwardly revised level of 308,000

Wall Street Journal - U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Below 300,000 for Longest Streak on Record (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. Jobless Claims

WALL STREET JOURNAL - U.S. Jobless Claims Decline (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. Unemployment

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

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

27 Mar. 2015 No Hit from Oil Sector's Troubles Yet - Gains Elsewhere Offsetting? (Publication Centre)

We argued in the Monitor yesterday that the plunge in capital spending on equipment in the oil sector could cost about 300K jobs over the course of this year. Adding in the potential hit from falling spending on structures, which likely will occur over a longer period, given the lead times in the construction process, the payroll hit this year could easily be 500K, or just over 40K per month.

26 January 2017 Will Today's Data Shift Fourth Quarter GDP Growth Forecasts? (Publication Centre)

Three of today's economic reports, all for December, could move the needle on fourth quarter GDP growth. Ahead of the data, we're looking for growth of 1.8%, a bit below the consensus, 2.2%, and significantly weaker than the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model, which projects 2.8%.

26 Feb. 2016 Core PCE Inflation Set to Jump - Fed Target is Within Reach in 2016 (Publication Centre)

All eyes will be on the core PCE deflator data today, in the wake of the upside surprise in the January core CPI, reported last week. The numbers do not move perfectly together each month, but a 0.2% increase in the core deflator is a solid bet, with an outside chance of an outsized 0.3% jump.

26 July 2018 June Durable Orders Likely Hit by a Quirk in the Aircra Component (Publication Centre)

We're braced for a hefty downside surprise in today's durable goods orders numbers, thanks to a technicality.

26 October 2017 The Capex Rebound Promised by the NFIB is Reaching the Hard Data (Publication Centre)

After three straight 1.3% month-to-month increases in core capital goods orders, we are becoming increasingly confident that the upturn in business investment signalled by the NFIB survey is now materializing.

27 September 2018 Fed Confirms December Rate Hike (Publication Centre)

The Fed is on course to hike again in December, with 12 of the 16 FOMC forecasters expecting rates to end the year 25bp higher than the current 2-to-21⁄4%; back in June, just eight expected four or more hikes for the year.

28 Apr. 2016 Global Risks Gone, but the Fed is Still Relaxed About Inflation Risk (Publication Centre)

The disappearance from the FOMC statement of any reference to global risks, which first appeared back in September, was both surprising and, in the context of this cautious Fed, quite bold. After all, one bad month in global markets or a reversal of the jump in the latest Chinese PMI surveys presumably would force the Fed quickly to reinstate the global get-out clause. So, why drop it now?

29 Aug 2019 Is the Growth Drag from Foreign Trade set to Persist (Publication Centre)

Net foreign trade was a drag on GDP growth in the second quarter, subtracting 0.7 percentage points from the headline number.

3 April 2018 GDP Growth in the Eurozone is Slowing, but Not Collapsing (Publication Centre)

The economic data in the Eurozone were mixed while we were away.

29 September 2017 Inventories Look set to Boost Q3 GDP Growth Substantially (Publication Centre)

With almost two thirds of the nominal data for the third quarter now available, we can make a stab at the contribution of inventories to real GDP growth.

3 March 2017 Yellen and Fischer Won't Push Back Against a March Rate Hike Today (Publication Centre)

Speeches by Chair Yellen and Vice-Chair Fischer give the two most important Fed officials the perfect platform today to signal to markets whether rates will rise this month.

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

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

3 October 2018 September ADP Employment Likely Subdued, thanks to Florence (Publication Centre)

We're fully expecting to see a hit to September payrolls from Hurricane Florence, which struck during the employment survey week.

29 Oct. 2015 All Fed Eyes Now on the October, November Employment Reports (Publication Centre)

The Fed yesterday toned down its warnings on the potential impact on the U.S. of "global economic and financial developments", and upgraded its view on the domestic economy, pointing out that consumption and fixed investment "have been increasing at solid rates in recent months". In September, they were merely growing "moderately". Policymakers are still "monitoring" global and market developments, but the urgency and fear of September has gone. The statement acknowledged the slower payroll gains of recent months--without offering an explanation--but pointed out, as usual, that "underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year" and that it will be appropriate to begin raising rates "some further improvement in the labor market".

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

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

29 Jan. 2015 Fed Upgrades its Growth View - Markets Look Elsewhere (Publication Centre)

The Fed left in place the three key elements of its statement yesterday, repeating that the extent of labor market under-utilization is "diminishing"; that the inflation drop as a result of falling oil prices will be "transitory" and that the Fed can be "patient" before starting to raise rates.

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

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

29 June 2017 GDP Seasonal Adjustment Problems Persist, a Fix is Promised in July (Publication Centre)

The third estimate of first quarter GDP growth, due today, will not be the final word on the subject. Indeed, there never will be a final word, because the numbers are revised indefinitely into the future.

29 March 2019 Core PCE Inflation is Stable, but Risk from Higher January Airline Fares (Publication Centre)

Our base case forecast has core PCE inflation at 1.9% from November 2018 through July this year.

29 November 2018 Powell Says the Funds Rate is Just Below... Well, What, Exactly (Publication Centre)

The stock market loved Fed Chair Powell's remarks on the economy yesterday, specifically, his comment that rates are now "just below" neutral.

28 September 2017 Is Business Capex Finally Breaking to the Upside, led by Small Firms? (Publication Centre)

We have been waiting a long time to see signs that business investment spending is becoming less reliant on movements in oil prices.

25 April 2019 Aircraft will Flatter March Durable Goods Orders Expect a Weak Core (Publication Centre)

If you wanted to be charitable, you could argue that the downturn in the rate of growth of core durable goods orders in recent months has not been as bad as implied by the ISM manufacturing survey.

23 Aug 2019 Chair Powell will Struggle to Meet Market Expectations Today (Publication Centre)

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.

30 Apr. 2015 FOMC acknowledges slowdown in Q1, but core view unchanged (Publication Centre)

The FOMC delivered no big surprises yesterday, but seemed keen to make it clear that policymakers are sticking to their core views, despite the slowdown in growth in the first quarter. Unlike the March statement, yesterday's note pointed out that the slowdown came in the winter months, though it did not directly blame the weather for the sluggishness in growth.

23 Apr. 2015 More signs of life in the housing market - This time, for real? (Publication Centre)

New home sales performed better during the winter than any other indicator of economic activity. At least, we think they did. The mar gin of error in the monthly numbers is enormous, typically more than +/-15%.

22 September. 2016 December Fed Hike Still Most Likely (Publication Centre)

The hawks clearly tried hard to persuade their more nervous colleagues to raise rates yesterday. In the end, though, they had to make do with shifting the language of the FOMC statement, which did not read like it had come after a run of weaker data.

23 Jan. 2015 Can Treasuries Focus on the U.S. Economy as Euro Risk Recedes? (Publication Centre)

The ECB's decision to go all-in and buy sovereign debt has three key consequences for U.S. markets. First, Treasuries will no longer benefit from safe-haven flows, because shorting Eurozone government debt has just become a fantastically risky proposition.

23 July. 2015 Mortgage Demand Signals Rising Third Quarter Home Sales (Publication Centre)

If the recovery in existing homes hadn't been interrupted by the taper tantrum, in the spring of 2013, sales by now would likely be running at an annualized rate in excess of 6M. The rising trend in sales from late 2010 through early 2013 was strong and stable, as our first chart shows, but the decline was steep after the Fed signalled it would soon slow the pace of QE, and it was made temporarily worse by the severe late fall and early winter weather.

23 May 2019 Patience to Persist FOMC Members Content to Wait for Developments (Publication Centre)

It's hard to read the minutes of the April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting as anything other than a statement of the Fed's intent to do nothing for some time yet.

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

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

24 February 2017 Did the Warmer-than-Usual January Lift New Home Sales? (Publication Centre)

New home sales have tended to track the path of mortgage applications over the past year or so, with a lag of a few months. The message for today's January sales numbers, show in our next chart, is that sales likely dipped a bit, to about 525K.

23 June 2017 Fed Officials Cite "Full Employment" but Worry About Recent CPI Data (Publication Centre)

A couple of Fed speakers this week have described the economy as being at "full employment". Looking at the headline unemployment rate, it's easy to see why they would reach that conclusion.

22 September 2017 How far will the Hurricanes Depress September Payrolls? (Publication Centre)

The trend rate of increase in private payrolls in the months before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was about 240K per month.

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

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

25 August 2017 Yellen to Talk on Financial Stability, But Might Refer to Policy too (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen speaks at Jackson Hole today, at 10:00 Eastern. Her topic is billed as "financial stability", but that does not necessarily preclude remarks on the outlook for the economy and policy.

25 August. 2016 The Collapse in Core Capex Orders is Over, Where's the Rebound? (Publication Centre)

The alarming-looking decline in core capital goods orders since late 2014 has been substantially due, in our view, to the rollover in investment in the mining sector. But the 29% jump in the number of oil rigs in operation, since the mid-May low, makes it clear that the collapse is over.

25 January 2019 Analysts are too Bearish on Housing, but too Bullish on Manufacturing (Publication Centre)

Neither of the major economic reports due today will be published on schedule.

25 May 2017 Balance Sheet Run-off set to Start in the Fall, but Slowly (Publication Centre)

The FOMC minutes confirmed that most FOMC members were not swayed by the weak-looking first quarter GDP numbers or the soft March core CPI. Both are considered likely to prove "transitory", and the underlying economic outlook is little changed from March.

23 March 2017 Warm Weather Points to Upside Risk for February New Home Sales (Publication Centre)

New home sales are much more susceptible to weather effects -- in both directions -- than existing home sales. We have lifted our forecast for today's February numbers above the 575K pace implied by the mortgage applications data in recognition of the likely boost from the much warmer-than-usual temperatures.

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

Core durable goods orders have not weakened as much as implied by the ISM manufacturing survey, as our first chart shows, but it is risky to assume this situation persists.

22 November 2017 Core Capital Goods Orders Rising Strongly, Further Gains Ahead? (Publication Centre)

Today brings a wave of data, some brought forward because of Thanksgiving. We are most interested in the durable goods orders report for October, which we expect will show the upward trend in core capital goods orders continues.

24 March 2017 Boeing Likely Boosted February Orders,Oil Lifting the Core Trend (Publication Centre)

The nominal value of orders for non-defense capital equipment, excluding aircraft, fell by 3.4% last year. This was less terrible than 2015, when orders plunged by 8.4%, but both years were grim when compared to the average 7.5% increase over the previous five years.

24 May 2018 April Existing Home Sales Likely to Signal that Activity has Peaked (Publication Centre)

The recovery in existing home sales appears to have stalled, at best.

25 May 2018 Aircraft Likely Drove up April Durable Goods Orders, Core Softer? (Publication Centre)

We see significant upside risk to today's headline durable goods orders numbers for April.

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

Productivity growth reached the dizzy heights of 1.8% year-over-year in the second quarter, following a couple of hefty quarter-on-quarter increases, averaging 2.9%.

8 December. 2016 Will the Fed Move up the Dotplot in Anticipation of Fiscal Easing? (Publication Centre)

We're hearing a good deal of speculation about the dotplot after next week's FOMC meeting, with investors wondering whether the median dot will rise in anticipation of the increased inflation threat posed by substantial fiscal loosening under the new administration. We suspect not, though for the record we think that higher rate forecasts could easily be justified simply by the tightening of the labor market even before any stimulus is implemented.

8 June 2017 Hiring Plans Signal 200K-plus Summer Payroll Gains (Publication Centre)

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.

8 June 2018 Q2 Growth is Looking Very Strong, but Inventories Set to Disappoint? (Publication Centre)

The latest iteration of the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model of second quarter GDP growth shows the economy expanding at a 4.5% annualized rate.

8 March 2018 Labor Demand Remains Strong, Can Supply Keep Up? (Publication Centre)

ADP's report of a 235K increase in private payrolls in February is not definitive evidence of anything, but it is consistent with the idea that labor demand remains very strong.

7 November. 2016 Wage Gains Will Focus Fed Minds (Publication Centre)

If the Fed needed further encouragement to raise rates next month, it arrived Friday in the form of solid jobs numbers, a new cycle low for the broad unemployment rate, and a new cycle high for wage growth.

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

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

7 December 2018 Expect Solid November Jobs (Publication Centre)

We're sticking to our 220K forecast for today's official payroll number, despite the slightly smaller-than- expected 179K increase in the ADP measure of private employment.

7 February 2019 November's Drop in Imports won't be Repeated, but it will Lift Q4 Growth (Publication Centre)

The startling November international trade numbers, released yesterday, greatly improve the chance that the fourth quarter saw a third straight quarter of 3%- plus GDP growth.

7 July. 2016 June ADP Set to be Constrained by Weak May Payroll Data (Publication Centre)

We have argued frequently that the ADP employment report is not a reliable advance payroll indicator--see our Monitor of May 4, for example-- so for now we'll just note that it is generated by a regression model which includes a host of nonpayroll data and the official jobs numbers from the previous month. It is not based solely on reports from employers who use ADP for payroll processing, despite ADP's best efforts to insinuate that it is.

7 June 2018 Slower Growth in Consumer Credit is a Correction, not a Warning (Publication Centre)

We've been hearing a good deal about the slowdown in the rate of growth of consumer credit in recent months, and with the April data due for release today, it makes sense now to reiterate our view that the recent numbers are no cause for alarm.

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

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

8 November 2018 Fed on Hold Today, but Zero Real Rates won't Slow the Labor Market (Publication Centre)

The Fed today will do nothing to rates and won't materially change the language of the post-meeting statement.

9 May 2019 Core PPI Inflation has Fallen Recently, but the Bottom is Near (Publication Centre)

Core producer price inflation is falling, and it probably has not yet hit bottom.

9 November 2018 The Fed is Still on Course to Hike in December no Mention of Stocks (Publication Centre)

Convention dictates that we lead with yesterday's Fed meeting, but it's hard to argue that it really deserves top billing.

9 September. 2016 Inventories are Key to Q3 Growth, but Anything Could Happen (Publication Centre)

Inventories subtracted 1.3 percentage points from headline GDP growth in the second quarter and were by far the biggest constraint on the economy. This was the fifth straight drag from inventories, but it was more than twice the average hit over the previous year.

US 19 January 2018 Where is the Rebound in CPI Physicians' Services? (Publication Centre)

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.

9 March 2018 Payrolls Likely Strong Again, All Eyes on Unemployment and Wages (Publication Centre)

We'd be quite surprised if the headline payroll number today turned out to be far from the consensus, 205K, or our forecast, 225K.

9 March 2017 ADP Report Raises the Chance of a Blockbuster February Jobs Number (Publication Centre)

We expected a consensus-beating ADP employment number for February, but the 298K leap was much better than our forecast, 210K. The error now becomes an input into our payroll model, shifting our estimate for tomorrow's official number to 250K; our initial forecast was 210K.

9 February 2017 Is the Jump in Wholesale Inventories Sustainable? (Publication Centre)

Total real inventories rose at a $48.7B annualized rate in the fourth quarter, contributing 1.0 percentage points to headline GDP growth. Wholesale durable goods accounted for $34B of the aggregate increase, following startling 1.0% month-to-month nominal increases in both November and December. The November jump was lead by a 3.2% leap in the auto sector, but inventories rose sharply across a broad and diverse range of other durables, including lumber, professional equipment, electricals and miscellaneous.

9 February 2018 Congress Set to Spray Yet More Fuel on the Fire, Over to You, Mr. Powell (Publication Centre)

The budget sequestration process, which cut discretionary government spending by a total of $114B in fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014, was one of the dumbest things Congress has done in recent years.

9 June 2017 Bank C&I Lending has Levelled-off, Expect a Second-Half Rebound (Publication Centre)

The rollover in bank lending to commercial and industrial companies probably is over. On the face of it, the slowdown has been alarming, with year-over-year growth in the stock of lending slowing to just 2.6% in April, from a sustained peak of more than 10% in the early part of last year.

9 June. 2016 The Inventory Rundown isn't Over, but the Intensity Will Soon Diminish (Publication Centre)

The collapse in capital spending in the oil sector last year was the biggest single drag on the manufacturing sector, by far. The strong dollar hurt too, as did the slowdown in growth in China, but most companies don't export anything. Capex has fallen in proportion to the drop in oil prices, so our first chart strongly suggests that the bottom of the cycle is now very near.

7 Apr. 2016 The Oil Industry Won't Disappear - the Contraction Will End Soon (Publication Centre)

If the current rate of contraction continues, the U.S. onshore oil industry will cease to exist in the third week of January next year. Over the past six weeks, the number of operating rigs has dropped by an average of 8.5, and 362 rigs were running last week. At the peak, in early October 2014--just 18 months ago--the rig count reached 1,609.

6 September. 2016 Payrolls Will Revive, but not Immediately, Ignore "So" AHE (Publication Centre)

Over the past six months, payroll growth has averaged exactly 150K. Over the previous six months, the average increase was 230K. And in the six months to August 2015--a fairer comparison, because the fourth quarter numbers enjoy very favorable seasonals, flattering the data--payroll growth averaged 197K.

31 March 2017 February Consumption Will Look Grim (Publication Centre)

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

4 June 2019 Dark Clouds Still Linger Over Manufacturing in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

The most positive thing to say about the EZ manufacturing PMI at the moment is that it has stopped falling.

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

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

4 November. 2016 October Payrolls Likely Were Good Enough (Publication Centre)

For analysts with a broadly positive view of the U.S. economy, it is tempting to argue that the slowdown in payroll growth this year reflects supply constraints, as the pool of qualified labor dries up.

31 January 2019 Powell Says No Fed Put, but Stocks Jump and the Curve Steepens (Publication Centre)

The FOMC has gone all-in, more or less, on the idea that the headwinds facing the economy mean that the hiking cycle is over.

31 August 2018 Did Eurozone Core Inflation Decline Slightly in August (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany suggest that inflation fell slightly in August.

30 May 2019 The German Labour Market Finally Realises that Growth has Slowed (Publication Centre)

Reporting on the German labour market has been like watching paint dry in this expansion, but yesterday's data were a stark exception to this rule.

30 November 2018 EZ Inflation Likely Fell More than Markets Expected in November (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's November inflation reports from Germany and Spain suggest that today's data for the Eurozone as a whole will undershoot the consensus.

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

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

31 August 2017 Third Quarter Consumption off to a Strong Start? (Publication Centre)

Today's wave of economic reports are all likely to be strong. The most important single number is the increase in real consumers' spending in July, the first month of the third quarter.

4 October 2018 ADP Likely Overstates September Payrolls (Publication Centre)

The ADP employment report suggests that the hit to payrolls from Hurricane Florence was smaller than we feared, so we're revising up our forecast for the official number tomorrow to 150K, from 100K.

5 April 2019 German Manufacturers are Reliving the Horrors of 2008 (Publication Centre)

We have been telling an upbeat story about the EZ economy in recent Monitors, emphasizing solid services and consumers' spending data.

6 June 2019 Even GOP Senators have Limits Tariffs on Mexico Cross the Line (Publication Centre)

The pushback from within the President's own party against the proposed tariffs on Mexican imports has been strong; perhaps strong enough either to prevent the tariffs via Congressional action, or by persuading Mr. Trump that the idea is a losing proposition.

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

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

22 March 2018 Strong Growth, Gradual Hikes, and Only a bit of Inflation, Here's Hoping (Publication Centre)

The most striking feature of the Fed's new forecasts is the projected overshoot in core PCE inflation at end-2019 and end-2020, which fits our definition of "persistent".

6 September 2018 ADP Will Report Another Solid Gain in Private Payrolls for August (Publication Centre)

Labor demand appears to have remained strong through August, so we expect to see a robust ADP report today.

6 July. 2016 ISM Non-manufacturing Jobs Should Rebound, but How Far? (Publication Centre)

The shock of the weak May payroll report means that the June numbers this week will come under even greater scrutiny than usual. We are not optimistic that a substantial rebound is coming immediately. The headline number will be better than in May, because the 35K May drag from the Verizon strike will reverse.

5 October 2017 ADP Confirms that Hurricanes hit Payrolls (Publication Centre)

The ADP employment report for September showed private payrolls rose by 135K, trivially better than we expected.

5 April 2019 Payrolls Probably Failed to Return Fully to Trend in March (Publication Centre)

We set out in detail yesterday, here, why we think the official payroll number today will be better than the 129K ADP reading; we look for 160K.

5 May. 2016 ISM Non-manufacturing Jobs Up, But are Prior Declines a Threat? (Publication Centre)

Markets and the commentariat seemed not to like the April ADP employment report yesterday but we are completely indifferent. We set out in detail in yesterday's Monitor the case for expecting a below consensus ADP reading--in short, the model used to generate the number includes lagging official data, some of which were hugely depressed by the early Easter--so it does not change our 200K forecast for tomorrow's official number.

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

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

30 April 2018 Q1 Slowdown Confirmed in the EZ, but Don't Push the Panic Button (Publication Centre)

Friday's advance GDP data provided the first solid evidence of a Q1 slowdown in the euro area economy.

20 July 2017 The June Housing Starts Rebound is not the Start of a Boom (Publication Centre)

We would like to be able to argue with conviction that the surge in June housing starts and building permits represents the beginning of a renewed strong upward trend, but we think that's unlikely.

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

If the Phase One trade deal with China is completed, and is accompanied by a significant tariff roll-back, we'll revise up our growth forecasts, but we'll probably lower our near-term inflation forecasts, assuming that the tariff reductions are focused on consumer goods.

12 Nov. 2015 NFIB Points to Rising Capex, and Modest Increases in Core Inflation (Publication Centre)

To the extent that markets bother with the NFIB survey at all, most of the attention falls on the labor market numbers. But these data--hiring, compensation, jobs hard-to-fill--haven't changed much in recent months, and in any event most of them are released the week before the main survey, which appeared yesterday. The message from the labor data is unambiguous: Hiring remains very strong, employers are finding it very difficult to fill open positions, and compensation costs are accelerating.

12 Sept 2019 Core CPI Pressure Building Before the Hit from Consumer Goods' Tariffs (Publication Centre)

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.

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

The April CPI report today will be watched even more closely than usual, after the surprise 0.12% month-to-month fall in the March core index. The biggest single driver of the dip was a record 7.0% plunge in cellphone service plan prices, reflecting Verizon's decision to offer an unlimited data option.

12 July 2018 The Latest Proposed Tariffs Would Significantly Boost Core Inflation (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

12 January 2017 How Can Trump Deliver Quickly on his Tax Cut Pledges? (Publication Centre)

As far as we can tell, most forecasters expect the impact of fiscal stimulus this year to be gradual, with perhaps most of the boost to growth coming next year. At this point, with no concrete proposals either from the new administration or Congress, anything can happen, and we can't rule out the idea of a slow roll-out of tax cuts and spending increases.

12 January 2018 Core CPI to Rebound (Publication Centre)

The downside surprise in the November core CPI, which rose by 0.1%, a tenth less than expected, was due entirely to an unexpected 1.3% drop in apparel prices. This alone subtracted 0.05% from the core, but we think the chance of a reversal in December is quite high.

13 April 2018 Stock Price Hit May Hurt Consumers' Sentiment (Publication Centre)

Whatever happened to consumers' sentiment in March, the level of University of Michigan's index will be very high, relative to its long-term average.

22 June 2017 Falling Oil Prices will hit Mining Capex, but no Repeat of 2014 to 16 (Publication Centre)

The renewed slide in oil prices in recent weeks will crimp capital spending, at the margin, but it is not a macroeconomic threat on the scale of the 2014-to-16 hit.

14 Jan. 2016 Does Cost-Push Inflation Give the Fed the Luxury of Time? (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's Monitor we set out the risk that accelerating wages will force the Fed to raise rates more quickly than expected, but we didn't have space to address the underlying premise of this story, namely, the idea that inflation is largely a cost-push phenomenon. From the perspective of fixed income investors, it might not seem to matter whether this is a realistic description of the inflation process, because Fed Chair Yellen believes it wholeheartedly, and her hands are on the levers of monetary policy.

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

Today brings a huge wave of data, but most market attention will be on the June CPI, following the run of unexpectedly soft core readings over the past three months.

14 July. 2016 Faster Pay Gains for Job-Switchers Forcing Employers to Pay More (Publication Centre)

The details of the substantial pay raises being offered to some 18K JP Morgan employees over the next three years are much less important than the signal sent by the company's response to the tightening labor market. In an economy with 144M people on payrolls, hefty raises for JP Morgan employees won't move the needle in the hourly earnings data.

14 December 2018 Look Behind the Headlines for the Real Retail and Industrial Stories (Publication Centre)

We argued earlier this week that the data on the consumer economy are likely to be rather stronger than the industrial numbers.

13 September 2018 Base Effects have Lifted Core CPI Inflation (Publication Centre)

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.

13 June 2019 The Used Car Drag on Core Inflation Probably is Over Trend Still 2% (Publication Centre)

The core CPI rose only 0.1% in May, marking the fourth straight soft reading.

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

The consensus forecast for the October core CPI, which will be reported today, is 0.2%. Take the over. Nothing is certain in these data, but the risk of a 0.3% print is much higher than the chance of 0.1%.

13 October. 2016 The FOMC is Profoundly Split (Publication Centre)

It would not be fair to describe the FOMC as gridlocked, because that would imply no clear way out of the current position. Members' views of the risks to the economy, the state of the labor market, and the degree of inflation risk are all over the map, and the chance of a broad consensus emerging any time soon is slim.

12 April 2019 Foreign Trade Ought to Offset Weak Q1 Domestic Demand, in Part (Publication Centre)

The sluggishness of consumers' spending and business investment in the first quarter means that hopes of a headline GDP print close to 2% rely in part on the noisier components of the economy, namely, inventories and foreign trade.

12 April 2018 Base Effects Kick-in to Core Inflation, Much More to Come (Publication Centre)

The month-to-month core CPI numbers in March were consistent, in aggregate, with the underlying trend.

10 July. 2015 In or Out, the Greek Drama Will Reach its Denouement on Sunday (Publication Centre)

We don't know how Europe will look on Monday. If European officials are to be believed, Greece will either have agreed to bail-out terms to keep it inside the Eurozone, or it will be on its way out. "Deadlines" have come and gone for Greece, but this time really is different, because the banks are bust without further support from the ECB, and that will not be forthcoming without a bail-out deal.

10 Mar. 2016 Calendar Distortions Plague the Hours Data, Not Just Wages (Publication Centre)

We've had some correspondence questioning our view on the "weakness" of February hourly earnings, which we firmly believe were depressed by a persistent calendar quirk. Almost nine times in 10 over the past decade, when the 15th of the month has fallen after the week of the 12th--the payroll survey week--the monthly gain in wages has undershot the prior trend.

10 May 2018 Core Inflation set to Rise Again on Base Effects, Gas, food lift headline? (Publication Centre)

The headline April CPI, due today, will be boosted slightly by rising gasoline prices.

10 January 2019 Fed Doves Sound, Well, Dovish... but don't Ignore the Warning from Evans (Publication Centre)

The latest batch of FOMC speakers yesterday, together with the December minutes--participants said "the committee could afford to be patient about further policy firming"--offered nothing to challenge the idea, now firmly embedded in markets, that the next rate hike will come no sooner than June, if it comes at all.

10 August 2018 Near-Term Core Inflation Risk is Modest the Fed Fears the Future (Publication Centre)

The continued modest rate of increase in unit labor costs makes it hard to worry much about the near-term outlook for core inflation.

08 May. 2015 Payroll Set to Rebound In April - a Return to the 275K Trend? (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the soft-looking ADP employment report released on Wednesday, the true consensus for today's official payroll number likely is lower than the 230K reported in the Bloomberg survey. As we argued in the Monitor yesterday, though, we view ADP as a lagging indicator and we don't use it is as a forecasting tool.

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

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

10 August 2017 Core PPI Inflation is Still Trending Upwards, Don't Ignore it (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

11 August. 2016 Mortgage Demand is Faltering, Will it Rebound Soon? (Publication Centre)

The medium-term trend in the volume of mortgage applications turned up in early 2015, but progress has not been smooth. The trend in the MBA's purchase applications index has risen by about 40% from its late 2014 low, but the increase has been characterized by short bursts of rapid gains followed by periods of stability.

11 May 2017 Core PPI Inflation is set to Rise Further, CPI Components to Follow? (Publication Centre)

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.

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

The undershoot in the September core CPI does not change our view that the trend in core inflation is rising, and is likely to surprise substantially to the upside over the next six-to-12 months.

11 October 2018 The Core CPI Probably Rebounded in September (Publication Centre)

We'd be surprised to see a repeat today of August's very modest 0.08% increase in the core CPI.

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

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

11 January 2019 Downside Risk to December's CPI Watch Used Auto Prices Airline Fares (Publication Centre)

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.

11 Feb. 2016 March is Still in Play, but Only if Data and Markets Cooperate (Publication Centre)

If Fed Chair Yellen's objective yesterday was to deliver studied ambiguity in her Testimony--and we believe it was--she succeeded. She offered plenty to both sides of the rate debate. For the hawks, she noted that unemployment is now "...in line with the median of FOMC participants' most recent estimates of its longer-run normal level", and that inflation is still expected to return to the 2% target, "...once oil and import prices stop falling".

11 January 2018 Slower Chinese PPI Inflation Doesn't Get the U.S. Off the Hook (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

13 July 2018 The Components are Noisy, but Core Inflation is Barely Creeping Higher (Publication Centre)

Core inflation probably will remain close to June's 2.3% rate for the next few months.

20 October 2017 September Existing Home Sales Likely Fell, but the Outlook is Bright (Publication Centre)

Usually, we forecast existing home sales from the pending sales index, which captures sales at the point contracts are signed.

20 September 2018 Business Surveys Wobbling in the Face of Higher Rates (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the unexpectedly weak September Empire State survey, released Monday, we are now very keen to see what today's Philadelphia Fed survey has to say.

21 Jan. 2016 Why Aren't Core Goods Prices Falling Much Faster? (Publication Centre)

Another day, another sharp drop in the stock market, and another wavelet of commentary suggesting recession and deflation are just around the corner. We have no argument with the idea that the manufacturing sector could contract over, say, the next six months. But the other 88% of the economy--apart from the 1½% of GDP generated by oil extraction-- is benefiting from the strong dollar and cheap fuel.

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

The recent increases in single-family housing construction are consistent with the rise in new home sales, triggered by the substantial fall in mortgage rates over the past year.

20 June 2019 All Eyes on Osaka, if the Trade Talks Succeed, the Fed Won't Ease in July (Publication Centre)

The tone of Fed Chair Powell's opening comments at the press conference yesterday was much more dovish than the statement, which did little more than most analysts expected.

2 May 2019 Powell Pushes Back on Low Q1 Inflation Fed Base Case Unchanged (Publication Centre)

The Fed yesterday acknowledged clearly the new economic information of recent months, namely, that first quarter GDP growth was "solid", with Chair Powell noting that it was stronger than most forecasters expected.

2 November 2018 October Payrolls are Hurricane-Wild, but AHE is Headed for 3%-plus (Publication Centre)

Don't bet the farm on today's October payroll numbers, which will be hopelessly--and unpredictably-- compromised by the impact of hurricanes Florence and Michael.

20 July 2018 Mortgage Lending Standards Tighten Again More to Come (Publication Centre)

The average FICO credit score for successful mortgage applicants has risen in each of the past four months.

21 June 2017 Home Sales set for new Cycle Highs, but not in May (Publication Centre)

Over the past couple of weeks, the number of applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase have reached their highest level since late 2010, when activity was boosted by the impending expiration of a time-limited tax credit for homebuyers.

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

It's hard to know what to make of the October CPI data, which recorded hefty increases in healthcare costs and used car prices but a huge drop in hotel room rates, and big decline in apparel prices, and inexplicable weakness in rents.

22 December 2017 Optimism in the French Corporate Sector is High and Broad-Based (Publication Centre)

Sentiment in the French business sector ended this year on a high. The headline manufacturing index fell slightly to 112 in December, from an upwardly-revised 113 in November, but the aggregate sentiment gauge edged higher to a new cycle high of 112.

22 February 2019 This Month's PMI Headline: Weak Manufacturing, Strong Services (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's February PMI data sent a clear message to markets.

22 Jan. 2015 Should We Be Scared by the Flattening Curve? (Publication Centre)

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.

22 Aug 2019 The Fed's July Differences of Opinion Won't Prevent a September Easing (Publication Centre)

It would be easy to characterize the Fed as quite split at the July meeting.

22 Apr. 2016 Jobs Data Suggest--But Don't Guarantee Faster Q2 Growth (Publication Centre)

Looking back at the numbers over the past few weeks, it is pretty clear that the gap between the strong payroll reports and the activity data widened to a chasm in the first quarter. We now expect GDP growth of about zero--the latest Atlanta Fed estimate is +0.3% and the New York Fed's new model points to 0.8%--but payrolls rose at an annualized 1.9% rate.

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

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

21 September 2017 The FOMC is not Deterred by the Hurricanes, Expect a December Hike (Publication Centre)

The FOMC's view of the economic outlook and the likely required policy response, set out in yesterday's statement and Chair Yellen's press conference, could not be clearer.

21 September 2018 Housing Activity is Faltering, but the Modestly (Publication Centre)

The New York Fed tweeted yesterday that "Housing market fundamentals appear strong.

2 July 2019 More Misery in EZ Manufacturing, but M1 Looks Solid Enough (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's economic data in the Eurozone were soft.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 May. 2015 Oil Still Depressing Industrial Production (Publication Centre)

The consequences of the collapse in oil prices continue to reverberate through the sector. The number of rigs in operation is still falling rapidly, but the rate of decline is slowing. According to data from Baker Hughes, Inc., an average of 23 rigs per week have ceased operation over the past four weeks, the slowest decline since December.

14 September 2017 August Core CPI Set to Mean-Revert to 0.2% as Temporary Factors Fade? (Publication Centre)

After five straight undershoots to consensus, with the core CPI averaging monthly gains of just 0.05%, investors are asking hard questions about the Fed's belief -- and ours -- that core inflation is headed towards 2% in the not-too-distant future.

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

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

15 Jan. 2015 - Falling December Retail Sales no Threat to the Strong Growth Story (Publication Centre)

We want to be very clear about the terrible-looking December retail sales numbers: The core numbers were much less bad than the headline, and there is no reason to think the dip in the core is anything other than noise.

17 February 2017 Slowing Real Incomes Threaten Spending (Publication Centre)

The rate of growth of real personal incomes is under sustained downward pressure, slowing to 2.1% year-over-year in December from 3.4% in the year to December 2015. In January, we think real income growth will dip below 2%, thanks to the spike in the headline CPI, reported Wednesday. Our first chart shows that the 0.6% increase in the index likely will translate into a 0.5% jump in the PCE deflator, generating the first month-to-month decline in real incomes since January last year.

17 May 2018 Labor Market Indicators are Contradictory, Which to Trust? (Publication Centre)

Some of the recent labor market data appear contradictory. For example, the official JOLTS measure of the number of job openings has spiked to an all-time high, and the number of openings is now greater than the number of unemployed people, for the first time since the data series begins, in 2001.

19 July 2018 Housing Investment Likely Dipped in Q2 it's the Only Point of Weakness (Publication Centre)

We can't finalize our forecast for residential investment in the second quarter until we see the June home sales reports, due next week, but in the wake of yesterday's housing starts numbers we can be pretty sure that our estimate will be a bit below zero.

19 May. 2016 Fed on Course to Hike, Soon, but Will Brexit Risk Forestall June? (Publication Centre)

The April FOMC minutes don't mince words: "Most participants judged that if incoming data were consistent with economic growth picking up in the second quarter, labor market conditions continuing to strengthen, and inflation making progress toward the Committee's 2 percent objective, then it likely would be appropriate for the Committee to increase the target range for the federal funds rate in June".

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

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

18 October 2018 FOMC Members won't be Easily Deflected from Raising Rates (Publication Centre)

You'd be hard-pressed to read the minutes of the September FOMC meeting and draw a conclusion other than that most policymakers are very comfortable with their forecasts of one more rate hike this year, and three next year.

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

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

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

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

18 July 2019 Multi-family Construction has Peaked Vacancy Rate to Fall Further (Publication Centre)

The declines in headline housing starts and building permits in June don't matter; both were depressed by declines in the wildly volatile multi-family components.

19 October 2017 Leading Indicators Will be Hit by Storms, but not on the Katrina Scale (Publication Centre)

We don't use the index of leading economic indicators as a forecasting tool. If it leads the pace of growth at all, it's not by much, and in recent years it has proved deeply unreliable.

02 Mar. 2016 Are Falling German Unemployment Claims too Good to be True? (Publication Centre)

Unemployment in the Eurozone fell to a 22-month low of 10.3% in January, from 10.4% in December, helped by a continued fall in Spain but underpinned by low unemployment in Germany.

US Datanote Productivity and Labor Costs Jobless Claims (Publication Centre)

In one line: Spectacular but unsustainable.

23 Nov. 2015 If the Chancellor Wants A Budget Surplus, Taxes Will Have to Rise (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor claims he can eliminate public borrowing without raising taxes. But the latest borrowing overshoot and the continual optimistic bias of the OBR's forecasts cast doubt on whether his approach will be sufficient to meet his self-imposed surplus target.

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

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

27 July. 2015 PMIs Point to Stable GDP Growth, but EM Rout is Hurting Germany (Publication Centre)

The July Eurozone PMI survey echoed the message from consumer sentiment earlier of a mild dip in momentum going into Q3. The composite PMI in the euro area fell to 53.7, from 54.2 in June due mainly to a fall in the services index. Companies' own expectations for future business fell in the core, but the survey was conducted soon after the Greek referendum. Markit claims this didn't depress the data, but we are on alert for revisions to the headline and expectations next week, or a rebound next month.

BUSINESS INSIDER - This key labor market indicator hasn't been this strong in years (Media Centre)

On Thursday morning, we'll get the best-performing indicator of the US labor market: initial jobless claims. For a while now, Pantheon Macroeconomics' Ian Shepherdson has been stressing that the weekly print is noisy, particularly with the volatility the end-of-year season brings

13 Jan. 2016 Sterling Has Not Priced-in Brexit Risks Yet, Despite Recent Plunge (Publication Centre)

Claims abound that sterling's sharp depreciation since the start of the year--to its lowest level against the dollar since May 2010--partly reflects the growing risk that the U.K. will vote to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum. We see little evidence to support this assertion. Sterling's decline to date can be explained by the weakness of the economic data, meaning that scope remains for Brexit fears to push the currency even lower this year.

08 Jan. 2016 Expect Robust Jobs Data, but Downside Risk for Wages (Publication Centre)

The underlying trend in payroll growth is running at about 225K-to-250K, perhaps more, and the leading indicators we follow suggest that's a reasonable starting point for our December forecast. The trend in jobless claims is extraordinarily low and stable--the week-to-week volatility is eye-catching, especially over the holidays, but unimportant--and indicators of hiring remain robust. The unusually warm weather in the eastern half of the country between the November and December survey weeks also likely will give payrolls a small nudge upwards, with construction likely the key beneficiary, as in November.

12 January 2018 China's SAFE Could end up Diversifying Away from USD After all (Publication Centre)

China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange-- SAFE--yesterday refuted claims, made earlier in the week, that senior government officials had recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasuries.

12 May. 2016 Does the Challenger Survey Signal an Upturn in the Pace of Layoffs? (Publication Centre)

You may have seen the chart below, which shows what appears to be an alarming divergence between the official jobless claims numbers and the Challenger survey's measure of job cut announcements. We should say at the outset that the chart makes the fundamental mistake of comparing the unadjusted Challenger data with the seasonally adjusted claims data.

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

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

6 Nov. 2015 Payroll Uncertainty (Even) Greater than Usual in October (Publication Centre)

Any model of payrolls based on the usual indicators--jobless claims, ISM hiring, NFIB hiring, and other sundry surveys--right now points to payroll growth at 250K or better. Indeed, the ISM non-manufacturing report on Wednesday is consistent with payroll growth closer to 400K, and the lagged NFIB hiring intentions number points to 300K. Yet the consensus forecast for today's October report is just 182K. Why so timid?

EZ Datanote: Unemployment, Germany, June (Publication Centre)

In one line: Mean-reversion from last month, but claims likely are now rising a bit.

EZ Datanote: Unemployment, Germany, May (Publication Centre)

In one line: Yikes! Jump in claims is partly a statistical quirk, but the trend is turning for the worse.

5 October 2018 Jobs Likely Weaker than ADP but Still Solid (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the ADP report released Wednesday, we moved up our payroll forecast to 150K from 100K, but we've now taken a closer look at the post-Florence path of jobless claims.

4 January 2018 Unemployment in Germany is Close to Nairu. Will Wages Rise? (Publication Centre)

The labour market in Germany tightened further at the end of last year. The headline unemployment rate--unemployment claims as a share of the labour force--fell to 5.5% in December, from 5.6% in November, driven by a 29K plunge in claims.

29 Apr. 2016 German Labour Market are Solid, but Likely Will Disappoint Soon (Publication Centre)

German labour market data continue to break records on a monthly basis. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.2% in A pril, with jobless claims falling 16,000, following a revised 2,000 fall in March. March employment rose 1.2% year-over-year, down slightly from 1.3% in February, but the total number of people in jobs rose to a new high of 43.4 million.

30 May 2018 ADP Likely to Report Solid Gain in May Payrolls (Publication Centre)

The models which generate the ADP measure of private payrolls will benefit in May from the strength of the headline industrial production, business sales and jobless claims numbers.

4 Dec. 2015 November Labor Data Will Support Yellen's Case for Hiking (Publication Centre)

We're expecting to see November payrolls up by about 200K this morning, but our forecast takes into account the likelihood that the initial reading will be revised up. In the five years through 2014, the first estimate of November payrolls was revised up by an average of 73K by the time o f the third estimate. Our forecast for today, therefore, is consistent with our view that the underlying trend in payrolls is 250K-plus. That's the message of the very low level of jobless claims, and the strength of all surveys of hiring, with the exception of the depressed ISM manufacturing employment index. Manufacturing accounts for only 9% of payrolls, though, so this just doesn't matter.

Bloomberg - Latvia Scandal Places ECB Under Spotlight as Bank Supervisor (Media Centre)

Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Latvia

Consistently Right

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