Search Results: 1709
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1709 matches for " consumer":
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.
Consumer sentiment in Mexico continues to improve, consistent with tailwinds from the relatively strong labour market and the president's rising approval ratings.
January's retail sales figures, released today, look set to indicate that consumers are keeping the recovery going, amid deteriorating business sentiment and faltering external trade.
July's retail sales figures--the first official data for Q3--provided a reassuring signal that consumers can be counted on to drive the economy as the Brexit deadline nears.
In one line: French consumers roared back mid-way through Q2; deflation ahead for the CPI?
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.
In one line: A slow start to Q4 for the consumer; headline inflation is now rising.
In one line: Don't panic over the dip in consumer sentiment; net trade likely lifted Q4 GDP growth.
In one line: Marginally better in manufacturing; upturn in consumer sentiment halted, for now.
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.
June's retail sales figures provided a timely reminder that consumers aren't being haunted by the warnings of the damage that a no -deal Brexit would entail.
Consumers' spending in the Eurozone slowed in the second half of 2017, providing a favourable base for growth in H1 2018.
Evidence of slowing growth in Eurozone consumers' spending continues to mount. Retail sales in the euro area fell 0.5% month-to-month in March, pushing the year-over-rate down to 2.1% from a revised 2.7% in February. The headline likely was depressed by the early Easter. March had one trading day less than February, which was not picked up the seasonals.
Data on EZ consumption were soft while we were enjoying our Christmas break. The advance EC consumer confidence index slipped to a three-year low of -8.1 in December, from -7.2 in November, breaking its recent tight range.
The President's threat to impose tariffs on imported Chinese consumer goods on September 1 might yet come to nothing.
Taken at face value, the retail sales data in the euro area suggest that consumers' spending hit a brick wall at the end of 2018.
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.
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.
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.
EZ consumers' spending slowed at the start of Q3. Retail sales slipped 0.3% month-to-month in July, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 2.6% from an upwardly revised 3.3% in June.
In one line: A good start to Q3 for French consumers; German inflation likely fell in August.
In one line: French consumers' spending crumbled under Covid-19.
October's retail sales figures confirm that consumers have adopted a more cautious mindset since the summer, when retail sales increased at a faster rate than incomes.
The robust July retail sales numbers, coupled with the substantial upward revisions to prior data, should finally put to bed the idea that consumers have chosen spontaneously to raise their saving rate, accelerating the pace of deleveraging seven years after the financial crash. People just don't behave like that unless interest rates are soaring and the economy is rolling over, and that's not happening.
In one line: Horrible, and consumer confidence likely has further to fall.
President Trump blinked again yesterday, delaying tariffs on some $150B-worth of Chinese consumer goods until December 15.
Evidence of a modest upturn in Brazilian consumers' spending continues to mount. Retail sales rose 1.0% month-to-month in April, pushing the year-over-rate up to +1.9%, from an upwardly-revised -3.2% in March.
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.
Eurozone consumers' spending jumped in Q2, but we are pretty certain that a slowdown in retail sales constrained growth in Q3.
The rate of growth of Brazil consumers' spending is perhaps beginning to stabilize, though at a very low pace. Core retail sales volumes were flat in Q4 after a 2.7% contraction in Q3, and sentiment data suggest this improving trend should continue, at least in the very near term.
The consumer in Brazil was off to a strong start to the first quarter, and we expect household spending will continue to boost GDP growth in the near term.
In one line: Boeing constrains Chicago PMI: Consumers happier, for now.
Evidence of slowing growth in Brazil consumers' spending continues to mount.
In one line: Consumers on track for a solid Q2; services inflation on the rebound?
In one line: French consumers' spending was slowing before the virus-hit.
In one line: The French consumer looks o.k.; in Germany, surveys now point to slower growth.
In one line: Covid-19 finally hits EZ consumer sentiment; worse is to come.
In one line: Consumers remain gloomy.
We became more confident last week in our call that GDP growth will hold up better than widely feared in the first half of 2019, following signs that consumers have maintained their happy-go-lucky mentality, despite the ongoing political crisis.
In one line: Consumers are mostly still quite happy, but no sustained improvement is likely.
In one line: The consumer is just fine; recent softness in spending is temporary.
In one line: Poor capex in Q3, and consumer confidence is deteriorating.
The fundamentals underpinning our forecast of solid first half growth in consumers' spending remain robust.
Household sentiment in Mexico continues to improve, consistent with tailwinds from low inflation, accommodative monetary policy, and the improving labor market. The consumers confidence index rose to 94.7 in June from 92.0 in May, with four of the five components improving, especially big-ticket purchasing expectations and expectations for the economy.
Don't be alarmed by the second straight jump in consumers' inflation expectations, captured by the Conference Board's May survey, reported yesterday.
Whichever way you choose to slice the numbers, consumers' spending is growing much more slowly than is implied by an array of confidence surveys.
Data yesterday suggest Eurozone consumers' spending rebounded towards the end of Q4. Retail sales rose 0.3% month-to-month in December, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 1.4%, from a revised 1.6% in November. A +0.3 percentage point net revision to the month-to-month data added to the optimism, but was not enough to prevent a slowdown over the quarter as a whole.
Yesterday's consumer sentiment data provided further evidence of a strengthening French economy, amid signs of cracks in the otherwise solid German economy.
Consumer sentiment in the euro area has slipped this year, though the headline indices remain robust overall.
We're inclined to place little weight on July's E.C. Economic Sentiment Survey, which showed that consumers' confidence has picked up to its highest level since October 2016; see our first chart.
It's tempting to conclude from the recent decline in consumers' confidence that growth in real spending will continue to weaken over the coming quarters, from the already modest 1.8% year-over-year rate in Q3.
The big story in global macro over the past 18 months or so has been the gigantic transfer of income from oil producers to oil consumers. The final verdict on the net impact of this shift--worth nearly $2T at an annualized rate--is not yet clear, because the boost to consumption takes longer than the hit to oil firms ' capex, which began to collapse just a few months after prices began to fall sharply. But our first chart, which shows oil production by country as a share of oil consumption, plotted against the change in real year-over-year GDP growth between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015, tells a clear story.
We think today's consumer sentiment survey in France will show that the headline index was unchanged at 94 in May. The survey's forward looking components have weakened modestly in recent months, due to declines in households' outlook for their financial situation and standard of living in the coming 12 months.
Yesterday's consumer sentiment data in the two major euro area economies were mixed, but they still support our view that a rebound in EZ consumption growth is underway.
Mexican consumers started the third quarter strongly, supporting our relatively upbeat view for the economy in the near term. Private consumption represents about 70% of Mexico's GDP, one of the consumption shares in the EM world, so the strength of spending is hugely important.
Dire warnings that the plunge in s tock prices would depress consumers' confidence and spending have not come to pass. It's too soon to draw a definitive conclusion--the S&P hit its low as recently as the 11th--but peoples' end-February brokerage statements are on track to look less horrific than the end-January numbers, provided the market doesn't swoon again over the next few days.
Markets cheered soaring business surveys in the Eurozone earlier this week, and recent consumer sentiment data also have been cause for celebration. The advance GfK consumer confidence index in Germany rose to a record high of 10.4 in June, from 10.2 in May.
The Eurozone has come under the spotlight for its growing external surplus, but domestic households have been doing the heavy lifting for GDP growth in this business cycle. During the last four quarters, consumers' spending has boosted year-over-year GDP growth by an average of 1.0 percentage points, in contrast to a 0.4pp drag from net exports.
A downbeat French INSEE consumer sentiment report yesterday continued the run of poor survey data this week. The headline index fell to 95 in February from 97 in January, indicating downside risk f or Q1 consumers' spending. But we remain optimistic that private consumption will rebound solidly, following a 0.4% quarter-on-quarter fall in Q4.
Improving consumer fundamentals continue to underpin growth in private spending in Mexico, according to retail sales and inflation reports published this week. March retail sales were much stronger than expected, jumping 3.0% month-to-month, after averaging gains of 0.8% in the preceding three months. And sales for the three months through February were revised up marginally.
Recent consumer confidence numbers have been strong enough that we don't need to see any further increase. The expectations components of both the Michigan and Conference Board surveys are consistent with real spending growth of 21⁄2-to- 3%, which is about the best we can expect when real income growth, after tax, is trending at about 21⁄2%.
People don't like to see the value of their portfolios decline, and it is just a matter of time before the benchmark measures of consumer sentiment drop in response to the 7% fall in the S&P since mid-August. Sometimes, movements in stock prices don't affect the sentiment numbers immediately, especially if the market moves gradually. But the drop in the market in August was rapid and dramatic, and gripped the national media.
The slowdown in retail sales in the first quarter and the recent pick-up in the number of retailers seeking protection from creditors begs the question: are consumers retrenching, or just spending their money elsewhere?
We still don't have the complete picture of what happened to EZ consumers' spending in Q1, but the initial details suggest that growth acceleretated slightly at the start of the year.
Yesterday's sole economic report in the EZ showed that consumer sentiment in Germany improved mid-way through the fourth quarter.
Economic news in the Eurozone, and virtually everywhere else, has been mostly downbeat in the past few months, but French consumers are doing great.
The national accounts for the fourth quarter showed that the economy relied on households slashing their saving rate to a record low in order to spend more. Now, growth in consumer spending will have to fall back in line with real incomes, which will increasingly be impaired by rising inflation.
Survey data in the Eurozone were mixed yesterday. In Germany, the advance GfK consumer sentiment index slipped to 10.0 in October, from 10.2 in September, marginally below consensus forecasts. The details, reported for September, also were soft.
The next few months, perhaps the whole of the first quarter, are likely to see a clear split in the U.S. economic data, with numbers from the consumer side of the economy looking much better than the industrial numbers.
Consumer sentiment data yesterday from the major economies were mixed, signalling that support to Eurozone GDP growth from surging German household consumption is waning. The key "business outlook" index--which correlates best with spending--plunged to a 30-month low in October, while the advance GfK sentiment index dipped to 9.4 in November from 9.6 in October. We see little signs in retail sales data of slowing momentum, and also think consumers' spending rebounded in Q3. But our first chart shows that the fall in the GfK index implies clear downside risks in coming quarters.
While we were out, the data showed that consumers' confidence has risen very sharply since the election, hitting 15-year highs, but actual spending has been less impressive and housing market activity appears poised for a marked slowdown.
Chile's economy is showing the first reliable signs of improvement, at last. December retail sales rose 1.9% year-over-year, up from 0.4% in November, indicating that household expenditure is starting to revive, in line with a pick-up in consumer confidence and the improving labor market.
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%.
A pair of closely-watched reports today will confirm that business and consumer confidence is tanking in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
Yesterday's consumer confidence report in Germany was soft, in contrast to surging business sentiment data earlier in the week.
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.
Leading indicators for consumers' spending in France are sending conflicting signals. Survey data suggest that households are in a spendthrift mood. Data yesterday showed that the headline consumer sentiment index was unchanged in March at 100, the cycle high.
We were happy to see upside surprises from both sides of the domestic economy yesterday, but we doubt that the August readings from both the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey and the Richmond Fed business survey can hold.
While businesses--and farmers--fret over the damage already wrought by the trade war with China and the further pain to come, consumers are remarkably happy.
Household sentiment in France continues to improve, consistent with tailwinds from low energy prices and accommodative monetary policy. INSEE's measure of consumer confidence rose to 94 in April, up from 93 in March, the highest since November 2010.
On the face of it, the timing of the drop in the E.C.'s measure of consumers' confidence, to its lowest level since July 2016 in April, is peculiar.
We have questioned the reliability of the recent consumer confidence numbers, and are very skeptical of their signal that spending is set to accelerate rapidly, but we see no real sign yet of any significant reversal of the post-election spike.
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.
History is repeating itself in France. When the Republican Nicolas Sarkozy defeated the Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal in April 2007, consumer sentiment briefly soared to a six-year high, before plunging to an all-time low a year later.
All the evidence indicates that growth in Mexican consumers' spending is slowing, despite the better- than-expected November retail sales numbers, released yesterday.
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 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.
We have revised up our second quarter consumption forecast to a startling 4.0% in the wake of yesterday's strong June retail sales numbers, which were accompanied by upward revisions to prior data.
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.
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.
October's retail sales figures, published last Thursday, extended the month-long run of near consistent downside data surprises.
When Fed Chair Powell said last week that the "surprise" weakness in the official retail sales numbers is "inconsistent with a significant amount of other data", we're guessing that he had in mind a couple of reports which will be updated today.
The preliminary estimate of GDP showed that the economy finished 2016 on a strong note. Output increased by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, the same rate as in the previous two quarters. The year-over-year growth rate of GDP in 2016 as a whole--2.0%--was low by pre-crisis standards, but it likely puts the U.K. at the top of the G7 growth leaderboard. We cannot tell how well the economy would have performed had the U.K. not voted to leave the EU in June, but clearly the threat of Brexit has not loomed large over the economy.
If we had known back in June 2014 that oil prices would drop to about $30, the collapse in capital spending in the oil sector would not have been a surprise. Spending on well-drilling, which accounts for about three quarters of oil capex, has dropped in line with the fall in prices, after a short lag, as our first chart shows. We think spending on equipment has tracked the fall in oil prices, too.
The sharp decline in Mexico's leading indicators highlights the dramatic scale of the economic and financial hit from the coronavirus. High frequency data and the PMIs are the first numbers to capture the lockdown, and they signal that the services activity-- the bulk of Mexico's GDP--dropped sharply.
Expectations that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its meeting on January 30 received a further shot in the arm at the end of last week, when December's retail sales figures were released.
Today's brings the June retail sales and industrial production reports, after which we'll update our second quarter GDP forecast.
March auto sales were much weaker than expected, falling by 5.5% month-to-month to a 25-month low, 16.5M. The average for the previous six months was 17.8M. The sudden drop in March likely was driven in large part by the huge snowstorm which tracked across the Northeast in the middle week of the month, so we think a decent rebound in April is a good bet.
Oil prices remain sticky, poised to hover close to a four-year high for the rest of the year.
A rebound in quarter-on-quarter growth in households' spending in Q2, following the slowdown to just 0.2% in Q1, looks less likely following April's money data.
The entire 10.5% increase in personal income in April, reported on Friday, was due to the direct stimulus payments made to households under the CARES Act.
Yesterday's national accounts showed that the downturn in the economy on the eve of the Covid-19 outbreak was sharper than first estimated.
Friday's economic data added to the evidence of a Q1 rebound in EZ consumption growth.
The pitiful 0.7% expansion of the economy in the fourth quarter is not, in our view, a sign of things to come. It is also not, by any means, a definitive verdict on what happened in the fourth quarter; the data are subject to indefinite revision. As they stand, the numbers are impossible to square with the 2.0% annualized increase in payroll employment over the quarter, so our base case has to be that these data will be revised upwards.
Last week's consumption releases were the first data from the real economy in the second quarter. In Germany, retail sales jumped 1.7% month-to-month in April, equivalent to a 1.0% rise year-over-year, an impressive start to the quarter. But our first chart shows that this still points to a moderate slowdown in Q2, consistent with mean-reversion following rapid gains in Q4 and Q1.
Taken at face value, September's money supply data suggest that the economy is ebullient, quickly recovering from the shock referendum result. Year-over-year growth in notes and coins in circulation has accelerated to its highest rate since June 2002.
Japanese PPI inflation continues to be driven mainly by imported metals and energy price inflation. Metals, energy, power and water utilities, and related items, account for nearly 30% of the PPI.
Households have been a rock of stability over the last two years, increasing their real spending at a steady rate of 1.8% year-over-year, while the rest of the economy collectively has ground to a halt.
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 collapse in oil prices was the immediate trigger for the 7.6% plunge in the S&P 500 yesterday, but the underlying reason is the Covid-19 epidemic.
Consumption has been a serious weak spot in Brazil over the past year. After reaching record growth rates in 2010, it has gradually slowed to its lowest pace in more than ten years.
Yesterday's data in the French economy provided the final confirmation that growth remained sluggish in Q2, and showed that households had a slow start to the third quarter.
In one line: Trade wars have consequences.
In one line: Mexico tariff fears hit sentiment and raised inflation expectations; expect a reversal.
In one line: Crisis? What crisis?
In one line: Rising domestically-generated inflation limits the MPC's options.
In one line: Holding up, but for how much longer?
In one line: Both better than expected, but downside risk is not over.
In one line: Not yet an accelerating trend, but labor cost and tariff pressures are visible.
In one line: Looks bad, but the trend is not--yet--running at 0.3% per month.
In one line: Expectations are softening as the trade war continues, but housing is the bright spot.
In one line: Grim all round.
In one line: Ignore the downward impact of lower energy prices; DGI is rising.
In one line: Rising "underlying" services inflation points to the MPC retaining its tightening bias.
In one line: Upwards and onwards.
In one line: Ignore; the collection period was pre-Covid-19 lockdown.
In one line: Solid.
In one line: Held up by soaring inflation expectations.
In one line: Still overall robust.
In one line: Sentiment remains resilient, but that won't last.
In one line: No case for cutting Bank Rate based on the outlook for inflation.
In one line: The wage-price link is firmly intact; the MPC's hands are tied.
In one line: The inflation outlook still does not warrant lower interest rates.
In one line: Downside surprise due to unsustainably low core goods inflation.
In one line: Tariffs, labor costs, and tight rental home supply pushing up core inflation, plus some noise.
In one line: Expect a rebound in the October core; too late to prevent a Fed easing this month.
In one line: Housing still strong, but confidence data point to slowing spending growth.
In one line: Still very solid overall, but auto buying plans weak.
In one line: Still solid, but vulnerable to the drop in stock price and virus fears.
In one line: The first clear virus hit in the macro data.
In one line: Calamitous, but the core won't keep falling at this pace.
In one line: The last Covid-driven monthly drop in the core?
In one line: Could have been a great deal worse.
In one line: Bottoming-out.
In one line: Thank the S&P.
In one line: Core inflation is stable for now, but will rise in H1.
In one line: Sentiment is solid, but job openings are softening.
In one line: Lifted by the stock market.
In one line: A big leap towards zero by the summer.
In one line: The trend is softening; blame the trade war.
In one line: Sentiment still very elevated; inflation expectations dip.
In one line: Confidence high and stable; inflation expectations steady.
In one line: Driven lower by the volatile airline fares and hotels components; expect a rebound in Q1.
In one line: Marginal decline a prelude to a big drop ahead.
In one line: Could have been worse. Will be worse
In one line: Low inflation entirely due to non-core components.
In one line: Still on track for a near-zero rate in Q3.
In one line: Rising services inflation strengthens the case against a rate cut.
In one line: Upside risk to EZ core inflation today?
In one line: Lukewarm ... but still consistent with decent growth in spending.
In one line: Deflation in Japan is looming, due to the collapse in oil prices
In one line: The lagged oil drag is now receding
OPEC's decision at the weekend to turn the oil market into a free-for-all means that the rebound in headline inflation over the next few months will be less dramatic than we had been expecting. Falling retail gas prices look set to subtract 0.2% from the headline index in both November and December, and by a further 0.1% in January. These declines are much smaller than in the same three months a year ago, so the headline rate will still rise sharply, to about 1.3% by January from 0.2% in October, but it won't approach 2% until the end of next year or early 2017,
The jump in oil prices over the past two trading days eventually will lift retail gasoline prices by about 35 cents per gallon, or 131⁄2%.
In one line: Further evidence of a rebound, but slowly does it.
In one line: The rebound continues, but will the NRW lockdown reverse this trend?
In one line: The first glimmer of light in the official data; more is coming.
In one line: Soft, but not a major shift in the key story.
In one line: Robust.
In one line: Great headlines, but households' longer-term outlook remains depressed.
The PMI survey points to a slight loss of momentum in Eurozone growth towards the end of Q3. The composite index fell to 53.6 in September from 54.3 in August, trivially lower than the initial estimate of 53.9. This is not enough to move the needle on the survey's signal for Q3 GDP growth, though; our first chart shows it pointing to stable growth of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter.
Japan's Nikkei services PMI dropped to 51.0 in September from 51.6 in August, continuing the downtrend since June. For Q3 as a whole, the headline averaged 51.5, down from 52.8 in Q2; that's a clear loss of momentum.
May's E.C. Economic Sentiment survey was a blow to hopes that the six-month stay of execution on Brexit would facilitate a recovery in confidence.
Media reports suggest that the underlying trends in retailing--rising online sales, declining store sales and mall visits--continued unabated over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Prime Minister's resignation and the stillborn launch of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill last week has forced us to revise our Brexit base case, from a soft E.U. departure on October 31 to continued paralysis.
Data and events have gone against the idea of further BoK policy normalisation since the November hike.
We fear that private spending in the EZ slowed in Q1, despite rocketing survey data. This fits our view that household consumption will slow in 2017 after sustained above-trend growth in the beginning of this business cycle.
The end of Korea's first Covid-19 wave, coupled with the government's economic support measures, has been a boon for the retail industry.
Yesterday's economic reports in the Eurozone will rekindle the debate on hard versus soft data. The final composite PMI rose to 56.7 in September, from 55.7 in August, in line with the first estimate.
Friday's economic data in Germany suggest that households had a slow start to the year.
The slowdown in quarter-on-quarter growth in households' real spending to 0.4% in Q1--just half 2016's average rate--was driven entirely by a 0.1% fall in purchases of goods. Households' spending on services, by contrast, continued to grow briskly. Indeed, the 0.8% quarter-on-quarter rise in households' real spending on services exceeded 2016's average 0.5% rate.
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.
In one line: Disappointingly unchanged.
In one line: Ouch; not the best send-off for the Christmas holiday.
In one line: No virus here.
In one line: No letup for Germany.
In one line: Terrible, but more-or-less as expected.
In one line: Robust spending in France through Q3; the German labour market is rolling over.
In one line: Terrible.
In one line: Decent headline, even better details.
In one line: Encouraging, but the details were mixed.
In one line: Positive details, but Q2 as a whole will be grim.
In one line: Soft, but still consistent with solid growth in consumption.
In one line: The downtrend resumes, but take the headline with a pinch of salt.
In one line: Lockdowns hurt the economy, substantially!
In one line: Only a modest Q3 rebound for consumption in France?
In one line: French households are doing great.
In one line: Great headline, great details.
In one line: Still rising...
In one line: Still improving.
In one line: Solid, but the coronavirus is a threat for the rest of Q1.
No change; overall robust.
In one line: The trend in goods spending is now rising; energy inflation rose further, but the core rate dipped.
In one line: Another soft headline at the start of Q4.
In one line: Like watching paint dry.
In one line: Biggest m/m increase since mid-2017; no kidding! No coronavirus here.
Developments over the last month have heightened our concern about the near-term outlook for households' spending.
In one line: Details indicate that downside pressure is much less than headlines suggest.
December's consumer prices report looks set to show that CPI inflation was stable at 1.5%--in line with the consensus--though the risks are skewed to the downside.
China last week banned unlicensed micro-lending and put a ceiling on borrowing costs for the sector, in an effort to curtail the spiralling of consumer credit.
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.
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.
German manufacturing data continues to offer a sobering counterbalance to strong services and consumers' spending data. New orders plunged 1.7% month-to-month in September, well below the consensus, pushing the year-over-year rate down to a 1.0% fall from a revised 1.7% increase in August. These data are very volatile, and revisions probably will lift the final number slightly next month, but the evidence points to clear risks of a further decline in the underlying trend of production.
Factory orders in Germany probably jumped in September, following a string of losses in the beginning of Q3. We think new orders rose 1.0% month-to-month, pushing the year-over-year rate slightly lower, to 1.8% from 2.0% in August. A rebound in non- Eurozone export orders likely will be the key driver of the monthly gain, following a 14.8% cumulative plunge in the previous two months. The rise will be concentrated in capital and consumer goods, and should be enough to offset a fall in export orders within the euro area. Our forecast is consistent with new orders falling 2.0% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, partly reversing the 3.0% surge in the second quarter, and raising downside risks for production in Q4.
Consumers' spending in the euro area weakened at the end of Q4, but we think households will continue to boost GDP growth in the first quarter. Data on Friday showed that retail sales fell 0.3% month-to-month in December, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 1.1%, from a revised 2.8% in November.
Next week is so crammed full of data releases that we need to preview November's consumer price data early, in the eye of the storm of the general election.
Chile's economic outlook is still positive, but clouds have been gradually gathering since mid-year, due mostly to the slowdown in China, low copper prices and falling consumer and business confidence.
Mexico's survey data have improved significantly over the last few months, reaching levels last since before Donald Trump won the U.S. election in November. This suggest that the economy is in much better shape than feared earlier this year. Consumer confidence, for instance, has continued its recovery.
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 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 hard data in Germany took a turn for the worse at the start of Q4. The outlook for consumers' spending was dented by the October plunge in retail sales--see here-- and on Friday, the misery spilled over into manufacturing.
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.
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.
April's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, likely will show that CPI inflation plunged and is heading quickly to a near-zero rate by the summer.
February's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, likely will show that CPI inflation fell to 2.8%--one tenth below the MPC's forecast--from 3.0% in January.
Yesterday's EZ consumers' spending data were mixed. Retail sales in the euro area fell by 0.3% month-to-month in May, extending the slide from a revised 0.1% dip in April.
This week has seen a huge wave of data releases for both January and February, but the calendar today is empty save for the final Michigan consumer sentiment numbers; the preliminary index rose to a very strong 99.9 from 95.7, and we expect no significant change in the final reading.
October's money data show that households and firms have regained the appetite for borrowing that they lost immediately after the referendum. But the recent rise in swap rates and the deterioration in consumers' confidence likely will cut short the revival in consumer lending, while persistent Brexit uncertainty likely will continue to subdue firms' investment intentions.
French consumer confidence and consumption have been among the main bright spots in the euro area economy so far this year.
Yesterday marked President AMLO's first 100 days in office, with skyrocketing approval ratings and improving consumer confidence.
The rate of growth of third quarter consumers' spending was revised up by 0.3 percentage point to 3.3% in the national accounts released yesterday.
February's money and credit figures supported recent labour market and retail sales data suggesting that consumers are increasingly financially strained. Households' broad money holdings increased by just 0.2% month-to-month in February, half the average pace of the previous six months.
May's consumer prices report contained few surprises. The fall in the headline rate of CPI inflation to 2.0%, from April's Easter-boosted 2.1%, matched the consensus, our forecast and the MPC's.
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate by June fell to 34%, from 38%, after the release of January's consumer price figures, though investors still see around an 80% chance of a cut by the end of this year.
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.
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.
Data yesterday showed that consumers in the euro area increased their spending in February, following recent weakness. Retail sales rose 0.7% month-to-month in February, reversing the cumulative 0.4% decline since November. The year-over-year rate was pushed higher to 1.8% from an upwardly revised 1.5% in January.
We have been telling an upbeat story about the EZ economy in recent Monitors, emphasizing solid services and consumers' spending data.
The relative strength of the investor and consumer confidence reports for March, released this week, signal a better outlook for the Mexican economy.
We expect July's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, to reveal that CPI inflation dropped to 1.8% in July, from 2.0% in June.
While we were out, most of the core domestic economic data were quite strong, with the exception of the soft July home sales numbers and the Michigan consumer sentiment survey.
The Japanese government's plan to smooth out the consumption cliff-edge generated by October's sales tax hike is either going too well, or consumers now are facing fundamental headwinds.
A cluster of surveys suggest that the manufacturing sector finished 2016 with a flourish, after a dismal performance for most of the year. But momentum will drain away from the sector's recovery in 2017, as higher oil prices make low value-added work unprofitable again and resurgent inflation causes domestic consumer demand to crumble.
Economic activity data in Chile have been soft and uneven this year, due mainly to the hit from low commodity prices and uncertainty surrounding the reform agenda, which has badly damaged consumer and investor sentiment. The latest Imacec index, a proxy for GDP, increased just 1.7% year-over-year in October, down from the 2.7% gain in September, and below the 2.2% average seen during Q3 as a whole.
Core inflation--a long lagging indicator in the euro area-- will rise next year, in response to surging consumers' spending. Our first chart shows that services inflation likely will be a key theme in this story. Even allowing for a structural drag on inflation due to high unemployment outside Germany, cyclical risks to services inflation are tilted firmly to the upside.
The case for the MPC to hold back from implementing more stimulus was bolstered by September's consumer prices figures.
Sharp increases in retail sales over the last two months suggest that consumers are not overly concerned by the risk that the U.K. could leave the E.U. next week. Sales volumes rose 0.9% month-on-month in May, and April's surge was revised larger, to 1.9% from 1.3%.
Today's huge wall of data will add significantly to our understanding of third quarter economic growth, with new information on consumers' spending, industrial activity, inflation and business sentiment. In light of the unexpected drop in the ISM surveys in August, we are very keen to see the Empire State and Philly Fed surveys for September.
We expect September's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation held steady at 1.7%, below the 1.8% consensus.
We expect August's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to reveal that CPI inflation dropped to 1.8% in August, from 2.1% in July, thereby undershooting the consensus, 1.9%.
Yesterday's advance consumer sentiment index in the Eurozone confirmed the upside risks for consumers' spending in Q4. The headline index rose to a 17- year high of +0.1 in November, from -1.0 in October.
Don't worry about the weakness of the recent retail sales numbers. The three straight 0.1% month-to- month declines tell us nothing about the underlying state of the consumer.
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.
Brazil's consumer resilience in Q3 continued to November, but retail sales undershot market expectations, suggesting that the sector is not yet accelerating and that downside risks remain.
Today's official retail sales figures look set to show that consumers tightened their purse strings at the start of this year, following last year's spending spree. We think that retail sales volumes rose by just 1.0% month-to-month in January; that would be a poor result after December's 1.9% plunge. Surveys of retailers have been weak across the board. The reported sales balance of the CBI's Distributive Trade Survey collapsed to -8 in January, from +35 in December. The balance is notoriously volatile, but the 43-point drop is the largest since the survey began in 1983.
Brazil's consumer sluggishness in Q3 and early Q4 eased in November.
Brazil's retail sales plunged in August, falling 0.9% month-to-month--the seventh consecutive contraction -- and with a net revision of -0.6%. The broad retail index, which includes vehicles and construction materials, dropped 2.0% month-to-month, the biggest fall this year, due mainly to a 5.2% collapse in auto sales, reversing July's unexpected increase. In annual terms, headline sales fell by an eye-popping 6.9% in August, after the downwardly-revised 3.9% drop in July. In short, the sales data show that consumers are suffering. They will struggle for some time yet.
Today brings yet another broad array of data, with new information on housing construction, industrial production, consumer sentiment, and job openings.
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its meeting on January 30 jumped to 63%, from 44%, following the release of December's consumer prices report.
January's retail sales figures look set to show that growth in consumers' spending remains stuck in low gear.
ate last week, China and the U.S. reached an agreement, averting the planned U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese consumer goods that were slated to be imposed on December 15.
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.
Consumer confidence surveys have risen since the elections to levels consistent with very rapid growth in real spending.
Economists are evenly split on December's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, with half expecting CPI inflation to fall to 2.1%, from 2.3% in November, and the other half expecting a 2.2% print.
Data this week confirmed that private spending in Colombia stumbled in June. Retail sales fell 0.7% year-over-year, from an already poor -0.4% in May. The underlying trend is negative, following two consecutive declines, for the first time since late 2009. Domestic demand remains subdued as consumers are scaling back spending due to weaker real incomes, lower confidence and tighter credit and labor market conditions.
The Colombian economy has been able to grow this year despite the plunge in oil prices since the middle of 2014. Gains in consumers' spending and investment have offset part of the hit from falling exports. But private spending growth, nonetheless, slowed considerably during the first few months of the year, as shown in our char t below, in part due to rising prices for imported goods after the depreciation of the COP, as well as broad-based concerns over the state of the economy.
Brazil's consumer recession seems never-ending. Retail sales fell 0.8% month-to-month in October, pushing the headline year-over-year rate down to -8.2% in October, from -5.7% in September. Recent financial market volatility, credit restrictions and the ongoing deterioration of the labour market continue to hurt consumers.
China's manufacturing PMI was poised for major disappointment... the trade war impact is clear. Don't be fooled by the relative stability of China's non-manufacturing PMI. Japan's March unemployment uptick was early; April was payback. Japan's CPI inflation has peaked. Japan's industrial production ticks up after extreme weakness; don't hold your breath for the recovery. Japan's consumers in poor shape, but maybe it's not that bad. The upswing in Korean industrial production likely to take a breather this month. The BoK holds firm, despite rising calls for a rate cut.
November's consumer prices figures, released tomorrow, look set to show that the U.K.'s spell of negative inflation has ended. CPI inflation is set to pick-up decisively over the coming months, even if oil prices continue to drift down. In fact, fuel prices likely will contribute to the pick-up in inflation from October's -0.1% rate. November's 1.5% fall in prices at the pump was smaller than the 2.3% drop in the same month last year, so the year-over-year rate will rise. Fuel's contribution to CPI inflation therefore will pick up, albeit very marginally, to -0.47pp from -0.50pp in October.
Yesterday's headline economic data in Germany were decent enough. Industrial output edged higher by 0.3% month-to-month in May, lifted primarily by rising production of capital and consumer goods.
Mr. Trump's partial U-turn on September tariffs shows some semblance of an understanding of reality...that's a good thing. China's industrial production crushes June hopes of a swift recovery. Chinese consumers struggle. Chinese FAI: the infrastructure industry growth slowdown is especially worrying. Japan's strong core machine orders rebound in June probably faded in recent weeks. Korea's jobless rate will soon creep back up after remaining steady in July.
January's consumer price report, released today, likely will show that CPI inflation jumped to 1.9%--its highest rate since June 2014--from 1.6% in December. Inflation will continue to take big upward steps over the coming months, as retailers pass on to consumers large increase in import prices and energy companies increase tariffs.
September's consumer price figures helped to curb expectations that the MPC might raise Bank Rate again before the March Brexit deadline.
July's consumer price figures, due tomorrow, likely will bring early evidence that sterling's Brexit-driven depreciation already is pushing up inflation. We think that CPI inflation picked up to 0.6% in July from 0.5% in June, exceeding the consensus forecast for an unchanged reading. Experience of past depreciations suggests that July's figures likely won't be the last time the consensus is surprised by the speed of the rise in inflation.
Consumers' spending in Brazil slowed at the start of Q4, but we don't see this as the start of a downtrend.
We have argued consistently since oil prices first began to fall that U.S. consumers would spend most of their windfall, so real spending would accelerate even as nominal retail sales growth was dragged down by the drop in the price of gas and other imported goods. At the same time, we argued that capital spending in the oil business would collapse, and that exports would struggle in the face of the stronger dollar.
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.
Yesterday's EZ data showed that French households came out swinging as the economy reopened. Consumers' spending, ex-services, jumped by 36.6% month-to-month in May, driving the year-over-year rate up to -8.3%, from -32.7% in April.
May's consumer prices figures bolster the case for the MPC to sit tight and wait until next year to raise interest rates, when the economy should have more momentum.
We expect May's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation fell to 2.0% in May, from 2.1% in April.
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.
Consumers' spending in the Eurozone stalled at the start of Q4. Retail sales slid 1.1% month-to-month in October, pushing the year-over-year rate down to a four-year low of 0.4%, from an upwardly-revised 4.0% jump in September.
The latest evidence of firming economic momentum comes from France, where industrial production rose 0.4% month-to-month in January, equivalent to a 0.6% increase year-over-year. Combined with strong consumer spending data in January, this points to a solid first quarter for the French economy.
The U.S. consumer is back on track, almost. We have argued in recent months that the sharp slowdown in the rate of growth of consumption is mostly a story about a transition from last year's surge, when spending was boosted by the tax cuts and, later, by falling gas prices, to a sustainable pace roughly in line with real after-tax income growth.
German retail and consumer sentiment data for March have been mixed this week, but broadly support our call that growth in consumption should pick up soon.
It's just not possible to forecast the reaction of businesses and consumers to the coronavirus outbreak.
The squeeze on real wages has just ended and GfK's consumer confidence index hit a 11-month high in March.
Consumers' spending in Mexico was relatively resilient at the end of Q1, but we think it will slow in the second quarter. Data released this week showed that retail sales rose a strong-looking 6.1% year-over-year in March, well above market expectations, and up from 3.6% in February.
Analysts' forecasts for January's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, are unusually dispersed.
October's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, likely will show that CPI inflation has continued to drift further below the 2% target
August's retail sales figures create a misleading impression that consumers can be relied upon to pull the economy through the next six months of heightened Brexit uncertainty unscathed.
Sterling's depreciation, which began over two years ago, has inflicted pain on consumers but fostered a negligible improvement in net trade.
It's unrealistic to have a repeat of the second quarter's 4.2% leap in consumers' spending as your base case for the third quarter. It's not impossible, though, given the potential for the saving rate to continue to decline, and the apparently favorable base effect from the second quarter.
The sluggishness of consumers' spending and business investment in the first quarter means that hopes of a headline GDP print close to 2% rely in part on the noisier components of the economy, namely, inventories and foreign trade.
The expectations components of both the Michigan and Conference Board measures of consumers' confidence have risen sharply since gasoline prices rolled over.
The second estimate of Q1 GDP confirmed that the recovery has lost momentum and revealed that growth would have ground to a halt without consumers. GDP growth likely will slow further in Q2, as Brexit risk undermines business investment.
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.
Looking beyond the potential hit from the lockdown in North Rhine-Westphalia, German consumer sentiment is improving steadily.
The response of U.K. producers and consumers to lower oil prices could not have been more different to those on the other side of the Atlantic. Counter-intuitively, U.K. oil production has grown strongly over the last year, while investment hasn't collapsed to the same extent as in the U.S., yet. Meanwhile, U.K. households have thrown caution to the wind and already have spent the windfall from the previous drop in oil prices, unlike their more prudent--so far--U.S. counterparts. With the costs still to come but most of the benefits already enjoyed, lower oil prices will be neutral for 2016 U.K. GDP growth, at best.
The economic recovery would have lost more momentum last year had consumers not delved so deeply into their pockets. Real household spending increased by 0.7% and 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 and Q4 respectively, in contrast to investment and exports, which fell in both quarters.
The underlying U.S. consumer story, hidden behind a good deal of recent noise, is that the rate of growth of spending is reverting to the trend in place before last year's tax cuts temporarily boosted people's cashflow.
Consumer confidence in the Eurozone rose marginally at the start of Q4, though it is still down since the start of the year.
Strong fundamentals have supported private consumption in Mexico recently, but we now expect a slowdown. Spending will not collapse, though, because consumer credit growth, formal employment, real wage income and remittances will continue to underpin consumption for the next three-to-six months.
Advance Eurozone consumer sentiment fell disappointingly to -7.1 in July, from -5.6 in June, but it is consistent with a solid trend in retail sales growth. Household consumption in the zone has surged in the last four quarters, and a modest loss of momentum in Q3 and Q4 is a reasonable bet. But we see little risk of a sharp slowdown in the shor t run, and the trend in spending growth should stabilize at an annualised 1.5% this year.
The levelling-off in the industrial surveys in recent months is reflected in the consumer sentiment numbers. Anything can happen in any given month, but we'd now be surprised to see sustained further gains in any of the regular monthly surveys.
Eurozone consumer confidence remained at its low for the year at the start of Q3.
Colombia was likely the fastest growing economy in LatAm in 2015, but it is set to slow this year as monetary and fiscal policy are tightened, and commodity prices remain under pressure during the first half of the year, at least. Economic activity was surprisingly resilient during 2015, especially during the second half, despite the COP's sell-off, high inflation, and subdued consumer confidence.
The rational thing to do when the price of a consumer good you are considering buying is thought likely to rise sharply in the near future is to buy it now, provided that the opportunity cost of the purchase--the interest income foregone on the cash, or the interest charged if you finance the purchase with credit--is less than the expected increase in the price.
After three days of jaw-dropping actions from President Trump, the position seems to be this: The U.S. will apply 15% tariffs on imported Chinese consumer goods, rather than the previously promised 10%, effective in two stages on September 1 and December 15.
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.
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.
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.
...The data were all over the map, with existing home sales plunging while consumer confidence rose; Chicago-area manufacturing activity plunged but national durable goods were flat; real consumption rose at a decent clip but pending home sales dipped again. Markets, by contrast, are little changed from the week before the holidays. What to make of it all?
Yesterday's national surveys in the EZ confirmed the downbeat message from the PMIs and consumer sentiment data earlier this week.
At first glance, the U.K. consumer price data show a perplexing absence of domestically generated 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.
Yesterday's French INSEE consumer confidence data provided a fascinating glimpse into the reality for households during these strange times. The headline index fell by "just" eight points in April, to 95 from 103 in March, comfortably beating the consensus for a crash to 80.
May's consumer price figures, released on Wednesday, likely will show that CPI inflation held steady at 2.4%--matching the consensus and the MPC's forecast--though the risks lie to the upside.
Household spending has been the sole source of growth in the economy so far this year, amid worsening investment and net trade. Today's official retail sales figures, however, look set to show that consumers suffered the Brexit blues in June.
April's consensus-beating retail sales figures fostered an impression that the recovery in consumer spending is in fine fettle, even though the rest of the economy is suffering from Brexit blues. Retailers have stimulated demand, however, by slashing prices at an unsustainable rate. With import prices and labour costs now rising, retailers are set to increase prices, sapping the momentum in sales volumes.
This week's economic reports have provided clear, and uplifting, evidence that EZ consumers came out swinging as lockdowns were lifted.
The outlook for French consumers' spending improved this month, at the margin. The headline consumer sentiment index was unchanged at 98 in November, but most forward-looking indicators rose. Consumers' spending in was flat in Q2 and Q3, following a 1.1% jump in the first quarter.
February's consumer price report, released tomorrow, likely will show that CPI inflation has breached the MPC's 2% target for the first time since November 2013. Indeed, we think the headline rate jumped to 2.2%, from 1.8% in January, exceeding the 2.1% rate expected by the MPC and the consensus.
Our forecast that CPI inflation will shoot up to about 3% in the second half of 2017, from 0.6% last month, assumes that pass-through from the exchange rate to consumer goods prices will be as swift and complete as in the past. Our first chart shows that this relationship has held firm recently, with core goods prices falling at the rate implied by sterling's appreciation in 2014 and 2015.
The risk posed by consumer borrowing was once again the focus of the Financial Policy Committee's discussion last week.
We expect May's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that the headline rate of CPI inflation fell to a four-year low of 0.4% in May, from 0.8% in April.
French consumer sentiment dipped slightly in June, but we see no major hit from ongoing labour market disputes. The headline index slipped to 97 in June, from 98 in May; this is a decent reading given the fourpoint jump last month. The headline was constrained by a big fall in consumers' "major purchasing intentions," but this partly was mean-reversion following a surge last month.
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.
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.
Friday's consumer sentiment data in the two main Eurozone economies were mixed.
August's consumer price figures caught everyone by surprise. CPI inflation increased to 2.7%, from 2.4% in July, greatly exceeding the consensus and the MPC's forecast, 2.4%.
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen comments on Eurozone Consumer Confidence
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing U.K. Consumer Confidence
Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on June Consumer Confidence data
British households are back to their old ways and are piling on debt again. With borrowing costs still falling, consumer confidence high and banks willing to lend, indebtedness will only increase unless the Bank of England acts.
April's consumer price figures, released on Tuesday, look set to reveal that CPI inflation jumped to 2.7%--its highest rate since September 2013--from 2.3% in March. Inflation likely will be driven up entirely by a jump in the cor e rate to 2.3%, from 1.8% in March.
Speculation has grown that the Bank of England will announce measures today to calm the recent strong growth in consumer credit, when it publishes its bi-annual Financial Stability Report.
Retail sales fell sharply in September, highlighting that consumers still are spending only cautiously amid high economic uncertainty and falling real wages.
Today's retail sales figures for August likely will rebut the widespread view that spendthrift consumers will prevent a sharp economic slowdown. We look for a 1% month-to-month decline in retail sales volumes in August, well below the -0.4% consensus forecast.
April's retail sales figures, released today, likely will show only a partial reversal of the sharp 1.3% month-to-month fall in sales volumes in March. This would reinforce the impression that the recovery in consumer spending has been becalmed by slower job growth, the intensification of the fiscal squeeze and heightened uncertainty about the economic and political outlook.
The retail sales data, released yesterday, underline the struggle that Japanese consumers are facing against rising inflation.
Sharp falls in energy prices have been a boon for consumers, freeing up considerable funds for discretionary purchases. Domestic energy and motor fuel absorbed just 4.7% of consumers' spending in Q2, the lowest proportion for 12 years and well below the 6.7% recorded three years ago.
In one line: A solid start to Q2 for French consumers.
Retail sales data later today will provide further support for the upbeat consumer story in the Eurozone. We expect a third monthly gain in a row, taking retail sales to a 0.8% expansion quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the fastest since the end of 2006. We are seeing clear signs of improvement in the Eurozone economy, and the data are forcing us to recognise upside risks to our Q4 GDP forecast of 0.3-to-0.4%
Yesterday's labour market data showed that growth in households' income has slowed significantly in recent months. Firms are both hiring cautiously and restraining wage increases, due to heightened uncertainty about the economic outlook and rising raw material and non-wage labour costs. Consumers' spending, therefore, will support GDP growth to a far smaller extent this year than last.
All the evidence indicates that growth in Eurozone consumers' spending is slowing. We think data today will show that the advance GfK consumer sentiment index in Germany was unchanged at 9.5 in April, but the headline index does not correlate well with spending. The "business expectations" index is better, and while it likely will increase slightly, our first chart shows that it continues to signal a slowdown in consumers' spending growth.
The second estimate of Eurozone GDP confirmed that the economy grew 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in the final three months of last year, up slightly from 0.2% in the third quarter. Gross fixed capital formation and household consumption both rose 0.4%, but the improving trend in euro area GDP growth is almost exclusively driven by consumer spending.
Yesterday's retail sales data in Brazil surprised to the downside. Consumers are still being squeezed by high interest rates and a deteriorating labour market. Retail sales declined 0.6% month-to-month in August, leaving the year-over-year rate little changed at -5.5%.
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.
Data yesterday showed that EZ consumers' spending was off to a bad start in the third quarter.
Ian Shepherdson, Chief Economist at Pantheon MacroEconomics, on U.S. Consumer spending
Mexican consumers' spending improved toward the end of Q2. Retail sales jumped by 1.0% month-to-month in June, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 9.4%, from an already solid 8.6% in May. Still, private spending lost some momentum in the second quarter as a whole, rising by 2.5% quarter-on-quarter, after a 3.8% jump in Q1. A modest slowdown in consumers' spending had to come eventually, following surging growth rates in the initial phases of the recovery.
Advance April consumer survey data will likely confirm that households remain the standout driver of the cyclical recovery in the euro area. We think the headline EC consumer sentiment index rose to -1.0 in April from -3.7 in March.
On the face of it, the surge in retail sales volumes in September suggests that the U.K. consumer is in fine fettle and can prevent the economic recovery from losing momentum as exporters struggle and government spending retrenches. But the underlying picture is less encouraging and consumers won't be able to sustain the recent robust growth in real spending when inflation revives next year.
Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson on Consumer Confidence figures for April
Mexico's economic outlook has dimmed recently, a point driven home by sentiment data released last week. Still, we think GDP growth will slow only marginally in Q4, to about 11⁄2% year-over-year. Consumers' spending likely will remain strong in the near term, thanks mainly to rising remittances from the U.S., driven by fear of policy changes under the Trump administration.
July's consumer price figures--published on August 15th, while we are on vacation--look set to show that June's drop in CPI inflation was just a blip. We think that CPI inflation ticked up to 2.7% in July, from 2.6% in June, on track to slightly exceed 3% toward the end of this year.
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on French Consumer Spending.
In one line: Used car prices a drag yet again, but they'll stop falling soon.
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. Consumer Sentiment
What do the protests mean for Chile's economy?
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Price Increases
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Retail Sales
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Consumer Spending
The dovish members of Banxico's board garnered further support on Friday for prolonging the current easing monetary cycle over coming meetings.
Forecasting the health insurance component of the CPI is a mug's game, so you'll look in vain for hard projections in this note.
Economic data in the Eurozone are sending an increasingly upbeat message on the economy. Yesterday saw a barrage of numbers, but the most startling of them was the continued acceleration in the money supply.
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 EZ economy's liquidity gears were well-oiled coming into the crisis.
Economic activity in Mexico during the past few months has been relatively resilient, as external and domestic threats appear to have diminished.
Eurozone investors continue to look to the ECB as the main reason to justify a constructive stance on the equity market. Last week, the central bank all but promised additional easing in March, but the soothing words by Mr. Draghi have, so far, given only a limited lift to equities. Easy monetary policy has partly been offset by external risks, in the form of fears over slow growth in China, and the risk of low oil prices sparking a wave of corporate defaults. But uncertainty over earnings is another story we frequently hear from disappointed equity investors. We continue to think that QE and ZIRP offer powerful support for equity valuations in the Eurozone, but weak earnings are a key missing link in the story.
The fall in the cost of new secured credit has played a key role in reinvigorating the economy over the last couple of years. Mortgage interest payments were 3.7% lower in Q3 than in the same quarter a year previously, even though the stock of secured debt was 2% larger. As a result, the percentage of household disposable incomes taken up by mortgage interest payments fell to 4.8% in the third quarter of 2015--the lowest proportion since records began in 1987--from 5.2% a year before.
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%.
Yesterday's State Council meeting significantly expanded support to the economy, through a number of channels.
The flat trend in core capital goods orders continued through May, according to yesterday's durable goods orders report. We are not surprised.
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%.
Mexico's private spending stumbled at the start of the second quarter.
In yesterday's Monitor, we laid out the prime causes of China's weekend announcement, cutting the reserve requirement ratio.
Friday's PMI data were a mixed bag.
Politics in Brazil has been busy in recent days, with local media reporting several items of interest.
New York Fed president Dudley toed the Yellen line yesterday, arguing that the effects of "...a number of temporary, idiosyncratic factors" will fade, so "...inflation will rise and stabilize around the FOMC's 2 percent objective over the medium term.
Short-term interest rates in the Eurozone continue to imply that the ECB will lower rates further this year. Two-year yields have been stuck in a very tight range around -0.5% since March, indicating that investors expect the central bank again to reduce its deposit rate from its current level of -0.4%. This is not our base case, though, and we think that investors focused on deflation and a dovish ECB will be caught out by higher inflation.
Inflation in Mexico surprised to the upside in April, but the underlying picture has improved rapidly over recent months.
Data released in recent days are confirming the story of a struggling economy and falling inflation pressures in Mexico, strengthening our base case of interest rate cuts over the second half of the year.
Mexico's final estimate of third quarter GDP, released yesterday, confirmed that the economy is still struggling in the face of domestic and external headwinds.
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.
The November IFO report suggests that the headline indices are on track for a tepid recovery in Q4 as a whole, but the central message is still one of downside risks to growth
Everyone needs to take a deep breath: This is not 1930, and Smoot-Hawley all over again.
The MPC held back last week from decisively signalling that interest rates would rise when it meets next, in May.
News websites are emblazoned with the headline that retail sales are falling at their fastest rate since the 2008-to-09 recession.
Mexican policymakers yesterday voted unanimously to cut the policy rate by 50bp to 5.00%, the lowest level since late 2016.
Mexico's inflation is heading down. Wednesday's advance CPI report showed that inflation pressures are finally fading, following temporary shocks in recent months, and the end of the "gasolinazo" effect.
The speculation is over: 3.283 million people filed a new claim for unemployment benefits last week, nearly double the 1.7M consensus forecast, which looked much too low.
New BoE Governor Andrew Bailey will be reaching for his letter-writing pen soon, to explain to the Chancellor why CPI inflation is more than one percentage point below the 2% target.
The impasse between Greece and its creditors has roiled Eurozone bond markets, but the ECB is likely ready to restore calm, if necessary. We think a further widening of short-term interest rate spreads would especially worry the central bank, as it would represent a challenge to forward guidance. For now, spreads remain well below the average since the birth of the Eurozone, even after the latest increase.
We remain negative about the medium-term growth prospects of the Mexican economy.
Mexico's economic picture remains positive, although the outlook for 2019 is growing cloudy as the economy likely will lose momentum if AMLO's populist approach continues next year.
Mexican GDP was unchanged quarter-on-quarter in Q2, according to the final report, a tenth worse than the preliminary reading.
India's GDP report for the second quarter, due on Friday, is likely to show a decent rebound in growth from the first quarter.
The slide in global long-term bond yields, and flattening curves, have spooked markets this year, sparking fears among investors of an impending global economic recession.
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.
It's pretty clear now that the President is not a reliable guide to what's actually happening in the China trade war, or what will happen in the future.
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.
The biggest single problem for the stock market is the president.
This week's Mexican retail sales report for February offered more support to our view that domestic conditions improved at the end of Q1.
Major central banks in Asia, particularly those operating in export-oriented economies, have recently been pinning their future policy moves on the prospects of a specific industry, namely semiconductors.
The past year has been difficult for Asian economies, with trade wars, natural disasters, and misguided policies, to name a few, putting a dampener on growth.
It is becomingly increasingly clear that the trade war with China is hurting manufacturers in both countries.
The pick-up in GDP growth in Q3 means that we now expect a majority of MPC members to vote to raise interest rates next week.
As expected, the ECB made no changes to its policy stance today. The refi and deposit rates were left at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and the pace of purchases under QE was maintained at €30B per month.
Yesterday's ECB meeting was comfortably uneventful for markets.
It's always dangerous when risk assets rally strongly into an ECB meeting, but we doubt that investors have much to fear from today's session in Frankfurt. We think the central bank will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively.
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.
Reports yesterday indicated that a deal has finally been struck between the European Commission and the Italian government to start dealing with bad loans in the banking system. The initial details suggest the government will be allowed to guarantee senior tranches on non-performing loans, supposedly making them easier to sell to private investors. In order to avoid burdening government finances as part of the sales--not allowed under the new banking union rules--the idea is to price the guarantees based on the credit risk of similar loans.
As we go to press, it appears that politicians in Italy have agreed on a 2019 budget deficit of 2.4% of GDP.
Momentum in EZ money supply slipped marginally in September. Headline M3 growth slowed to 5.0%, from 5.1%, mainly due to a slowdown in narrow money. Overnight deposit growth slowed to 9.4%, from 9.9% in August, offsetting a slight rise in growth of currency in circulation.
The persistence of no-deal Brexit risk has taken a toll on confidence across the economy over the last month.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone firmed last month. Broad money--M3--rose 5.0% year-overyear in August, after a tepid 4.5% rise in July.
Yesterday's money supply data in the Eurozone were solid across the board. Growth in headline M3 rose to 5.1% year-over-year in August, up from a 4.9% increase in July. A rebound in narrow money growth was the key driver of the gain, with seasonally- and calendar-adjusted M1 rising 8.9% year-over-year, up from July's 8.4%.
Japan's unemployment rate merely edged up to 2.5% in March, from February's 2.4% rate. It probably will end the year around one percentage point higher, though, with the pain extending through the second half.
The definition of "yesbutism": Noun, meaning the practice of dismissing or seeking to diminish the importance of data on the grounds that the next iteration will tell the opposite story.
Net foreign trade was a drag on GDP growth in the second quarter, subtracting 0.7 percentage points from the headline number.
Yesterday's money supply data in the Eurozone were solid across the board.
The EZ economic survey data for April were disappointing in our absence.
Inflation in Mexico remains relatively sticky, limiting Banxico's capacity to adopt a more dovish approach, despite the subpar economic recovery.
Mr. Draghi used his introductory statement at the ECON--EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee-- hearing last week to assure investors that the central bank is vigilant to downside risks. The president noted the governing council "would not hesitate to act" if it deems growth and inflation to be undershooting expectations. Market volatility has increased the ECB's worries, but economic data continue to tell a story of a firm business cycle upturn.
Former Treasury Secretary and thwarted would-be Fed Chair Larry Summers has been arguing for some time that the Fed should not raise rates "...until it sees the whites of inflation's eyes". As part of his campaign to persuade actual Fed Chair Yellen of the error of her intended ways, he argued at the World Economic Forum in September that the strong dollar has played no role in depressing inflation. Never one to miss an opportunity to diss the competition, he wrote that Stanley Fischer's view that the dollar has indeed restrained inflation is "substantially weakened" by the hard evidence. Dr. Summers' view is that inflation is being held down by other, longer-lasting factors, principally the slack in the lab or market, rather than the "transitory" influences favored by the Fed.
Unconventional indicators of economic activity suggest that the recovery from the Covid-19 shock is gathering momentum.
We will be paying special attention today to the EC sentiment survey for Italy, where the headline index has climbed steadily so far this year. It was unchanged at an eight-year high of 106.1 in April, and even if it fell slightly in May--we expect a dip to 105.0--it still points to an upturn in economic growth.
The early damage in India from Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown likely was significant enough to hammer the GDP report for the first quarter, due tomorrow.
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.
Fourth quarter GDP growth is likely to be revised down today.
China's abysmal industrial profits data for October underscore why the chances of less- timid monetary easing are rising rapidly.
The deadline for registering to vote in the general election passed on Tuesday, with a record 660K people registering on the final day.
The two-year budget deal agreed between the administration and the Republican leadership in Congress will avert a federal debt default and appears to constitute a modest near-term easing of fiscal policy. The debt ceiling will not be raised, but the law imposing the limit will be suspended through March 2017, leaving the Treasury free to borrow as much as necessary to cover the deficit. As a result, the presidential election next year will not be fought against a backdrop of fiscal crisis.
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.
MPs will be asked today to approve the PM's motion, proposed in accordance with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act--FTPA--to hold a general election on December 12.
Survey data in Germany showed few signs of picking up from their depressed level at the start of Q4.
Mr. Draghi snubbed investors looking for hints on policy and the euro in his Jackson Hole address--see here--on Friday.
In recent Monitors--see here and here--we have made a case for decent growth in the EZ's largest economies in the second half of the year, though we remain confident that full-year growth will be a good deal slower, about 2.0%, than the 2.5% in 2017.
Korea's business survey index rose for a second straight month in March, to 75 from 73 in February, on our adjustment.
Banxico yesterday left its policy rate unchanged at 3%, the highest level in a decade.
Negotiations between Greece and its creditors collapsed over the weekend, greatly increasing the risk of a Grexit. The decision by Syriza to call a referendum on the bailout proposal next weekend, initially advocating rejection, forced the Eurogroup to abandon negotiations and focus on "damage control." Hope of a final retreat from the brink rests with the Greek parliament deciding not to hold the referendum, and accepting the proposal presented on Friday.
Data released on Friday in Mexico strengthened the case for further interest rate cuts in Q3. The monthly IGAE economic indicator for April, a proxy for GDP, plunged 19.9% year-over-year, a record drop since the series started in 1993, and down from -2.3% in March.
Friday's money supply data in the euro area show that liquidity support for the economy remained firm mid-way through Q2. Headline M3 rose by 8.9% year-over-year in May, accelerating from a revised 8.2% increase in April, and extending its ascent from around 5% before the Covid-19 shock.
Data yesterday revealed that headline inflation in Germany was unchanged in March at 1.5%, thanks mainly to higher energy inflation, which offset a dip in food inflation.
The newly-revised data on capital goods orders, released on Friday, support our view that sustained strength in business capex remains a good bet for this year.
Retail sales values in Japan plunged by 14.4% month-on-month in October, reversing September's 7.2% spike twice over.
Data released this week have confirmed that the Mexican economy is struggling and that the near-term outlook remains extremely challenging.
We learned yesterday that the patchy but widespread reopening of the economy is triggering the first wavelet of rehiring.
Headline money supply growth in the Eurozone accelerated further at the start of Q2.
Surveys released yesterday failed to support the MPC's view that the economy has bounced back in Q2.
Money supply dynamics in the Eurozone were broadly stable last month. M3 rose 5.0% year-over-year in May, accelerating slightly from a 4.9% increase in April, in line with the trend since the middle of 2015.
Last week's QE announcement has made Eurozone inflation prints less important for investors, but the market will still be watching for signs of a turning point in benchmark bond yields. The data are unlikely to challenge bond holders in the short run, however, as the Eurozone probably slipped deeper into deflation in January.
Another month, another bleak Brazilian labor market report. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased marginally to 8.3% in December, up from 8.2% in November, much worse than the 5.1% recorded in December 2014.
The real Boris Johnson will have to stand up this year.
Our ECB-story since Ms. Lagarde took the helm as president has been that the central bank will do as little as possible through 2020, at least in terms of shifting its major policy tools.
The Fed will do nothing to the funds rate or its balance sheet expansion program today.
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.
Brazil's external accounts were a relatively bright spot last year, once again.
Households' saving decisions will play a key role in determining whether the economy slips into recession over the next year. Indeed, all of the last three recessions coincided with sharp rises in the household saving rate, as our first chart shows. Will households save more in response to greater economic uncertainty?
Volatility in commodities and emerging markets has intensified since the beginning of July, with the stock market drama in China taking centre stage. The bubble in Chinese equities inflated without much ado elsewhere, and can probably deflate in isolation too. But the accelerating economic slowdown in EM is becoming an issue for policy makers in the Eurozone.
The advance international trade data for December were due for publication today, but the report probably won't appear.
In the last few weeks markets have been treated to the news that euro area industrial production crashed towards the end of Q4, warning that GDP growth failed to rebound at the end of 2018 from an already weak Q3.
Bond yields in the Eurozone took another leg lower yesterday.
Data to be released this Friday should show that Japan's labour market remains tight, though the unemployment rate likely ticked back up in February, to 2.6%, after the erratic drop to 2.4% in January.
Money supply data are sending an increasingly contrarian, and bullish, signal for the euro area economy.
Figures yesterday from U.K. Finance--the new trade body that has subsumed the British Bankers' Association--showed that the mortgage market recovered over the summer.
Economic sentiment in the Eurozone's largest economy stayed solid at the start of the fourth quarter, despite subdued manufacturing and poor investor sentiment. The headline IFO business climate index fell slightly to 108.2 in October from 108.5 in September, due to a fall in the current assessment index. The expectations index rose, though, to 103.8 from 103.5 last month pointing to a resilient outlook for businesses and solid GDP growth in coming quarters.
Last week's detailed Q3 GDP data in Germany verified that GDP fell 0.2% quarter-on-quarter, down from a 0.5% rise in Q2, a number which all but confirms the key story for the economy over the year as a whole.
The last time oil prices fell sharply, from mid-2014, when WTI peaked at $107, through early 2016, when the price reached just $26, the U.S. economy slowed dramatically.
Today is a busy day in the Eurozone economic calendar, but we suspect that markets mainly will focus on the details of Italy's 2019 budget.
Brazil's external accounts have recovered dramatically this year, and we expect a further improvement--albeit at a much slower pace--in the fourth quarter. The steep depreciation of the BRL last year, and the improving terms of trade due to the gradual recovery in commodity prices, drove the decline in the current account deficit in the first half.
Brazil's recovery has been steady in recent months, and Q1 likely will mark the end of the recession. The gradual recovery of the industrial and agricultural sectors has been the highlight, thanks to improving external demand, the lagged effect of the more competitive BRL, and the more stable political situation, which has boosted sentiment.
Monetary dynamics in the Eurozone were virtually unchanged last month. M3 growth rose trivially to 5.0% year-over-year in March from a revised 4.9% in February. It was lifted by stronger growth in medium-term deposits and issuance of short-term debt.
The Fed meeting today is unlikely to bring any significant policy shifts, mostly because the Fed has done everything we thought would be necessary once it became clear how badly the economy would be hit by Covid-19.
This week's data will offer the first clear hard evidence of the Covid-19 shock to the EZ economy. Thursday's calendar is the main event, with advance Q1 GDP data, March EZ unemployment numbers, and the April CPI report.
Improving fundamentals have supported private spending in Mexico during the current cycle.
Since the Party Congress last month, China has made a number of bold moves in multiple policy fields, with a regularity that almost implies the authorities are working through a list.
Guo Shuqing, head of the newly formed China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, has been named as Party Secretary for the PBoC.
The COPOM meeting minutes, released yesterday, brought a balanced message aimed at curbing market pricing of further rate cuts, in our view.
Recent upbeat economic reports have mitigated the downside risks we had been flagging to our growth forecast for Mexico for the current quarter.
The balance of risks to activity in Mexico this year is still tilted to the downside, even though recent data have been mixed. Key indicators show that the manufacturing sector is gathering strength on the back of lagged effect of the MXN's sell-off last year, and the improving U.S. economy.
Friday's advance Eurozone PMI reports capped a fine quarter for the survey. The composite PMI jumped to a 80-month high of 56.7 in March, from 56.1 in February, rising to a cyclical high over Q1 as a whole.
This week's detailed Q1 GDP data confirmed that the German economy is in dire straits, alongside its euro area peers, but there's a silver lining.
Japan's all-industry activity index dropped by 3.8% month-on-month in March, worse than the 0.7% slip in February.
The BRL remains under severe stress, despite renewed signals of a sustained economic recovery and strengthening expectations that the end of the monetary easing cycle is near.
Political uncertainty is starting to dampen housing market activity again.
Mexico's external accounts remain solid, despite adverse global conditions over the past year. The current account decreased to USD9.5B, or 3.2% of GDP, in the first quarter, just down from 3.3% a year earlier. Shortfalls of USD10.3B in the income account and USD4.7B in goods and services--mostly the latter--were again the key driver of the overall deficit.
Data released yesterday in Brazil support our base case that the IPCA inflation rate will remain relatively stable over the coming months, hovering around 2%.
Yesterday's ECB meeting painted a picture of a central bank in wait-and-see mode. The main refinancing and deposit rates were kept at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and the marginal lending facility rate also was unchanged at 0.25%.
Yesterday's detailed GDP data in Germany confirmed that the economy shrank slightly in the second quarter, by 0.1% quarter-on-quarter, following the 0.4% increase in Q1.
The headline in yesterday's EZ money supply report gave the illusion that monetary conditions are stable, but the details tell a different story. M3 growth accelerated marginally to 5.0% year-over-year in June, from 4.9%, but momentum in narrow money fell further. M1 growth slowed to 8.5% year-over-year, from 9.0% in May due to a fall in overnight deposits and currency in circulation.
The April international trade numbers were startlingly, and surprisingly, horrible. The deficit in trade in goods leaped by $6.2B -- the biggest one-month jump in two years -- to $67.1B, though the headline damage was limited by a sharp narrowing in the oil deficit, thanks to lower prices, and a rebound in the aircraft surplus.
Judging by the survey data, German business sentiment remained depressed at the start of the year.
Last week the Chinese authorities issued a series of new measures to help with bank recapitalisation, and, we think, to supplement interbank liquidity.
Mexican economic data was surprisingly benign last week.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone rebounded slightly last month, reversing some of the weakness at the start of the year.
The downshift in core PCE inflation this year has unnerved the Fed, along with the intensification of the trade war and slower global growth.
Wage growth will be crucial in determining how quickly the MPC raises interest rates this year. So far, it hasn't recovered meaningfully.
Momentum in the euro area's money supply slowed last month. M3 growth dipped to 4.7% year-over-year in February, from a downwardly-revised 4.8% in January. The headline was mainly constrained by the broad money components. The stock of repurchase agreements slumped 24.3% year-over-year and growth in money market fund shares also slowed sharply.
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.
Japan's May retail sales rebound was underwhelming at a mere 0.3% month-on-month, after a 0.1% fall in April.
Mexico's central bank, Banxico, will hold its first monetary policy meeting of this year tomorrow. It will break with tradition, holding the meeting on Thursday at 1:00 p.m, local time, instead of the previous 9:00 a.m slot.
Core durable goods orders in recent months have been much less terrible than implied by both the ISM and Markit manufacturing surveys.
Headline M3 money supply growth in the Eurozone was steady as a rock at around 5% year-over-year between 2014 and the end of 2017.
Yesterday's money supply report provided further relief for investors doubtful over the cyclical recovery following the market turmoil. Broad money growth, M3, accelerated to 5.3% year-over-year in July, up from 4.9% in June, and within touching distance of a new post-crisis high. Narrow money continued to surge too, rising 12.1% year-over-year, up from 11.1% in June, sending a bullish message on the Eurozone economy.
The Mexican economy shrank by 0.2% quarter- on-quarter in Q2, according to the final GDP report, a tenth worse than the preliminary reading.
Friday's detailed GDP data in Germany confirm that the euro area's largest economy performed strongly in the second quarter.
The Fed will soon have to step in to try to put a firebreak in the stock market.
Retail sales in Mexico fell in Q4, but we think households' spending will continue to contribute to GDP growth in the first quarter, at the margin.
Yesterday's IFO data reversed the good vibes sent by last week's upbeat German PMIs.
Housebuilders were one of the biggest winners from the post-election relief rally in U.K. equity prices.
Retail sales in Mexico plunged at the end of Q4, but we think households' spending will continue to contribute to GDP growth in the first quarter.
The E.C.'s Economic Sentiment Indicator for the U.K., released yesterday, painted an upbeat picture of the economy's recent performance. The ESI picked up to 109.4 in February from 107.1 in January; its average level since 1990 is 100. February's reading was the highest since December 2015, and it slightly exceeded the E.U.'s average of 108.9.
This week's economic data for the Mexican economy have been encouraging, especially for Banxico, which left its main interest rate unchanged yesterday at 3.0%. Inflation remained on target for the second consecutive month in the first half of February, and the closely-watched IGAE economic activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--continued to grow at a relatively solid pace, despite the big hit from lower oil prices.
Yesterday was a watershed moment for investors.
Yesterday's ZEW investor sentiment in Germany shows showed no signs that uncertainty over the U.K. referendum is taking its toll on EZ investors. The expectations index surged to 19.2 in June, from 6.4 in May, the biggest month-to-month jump since January last year, when investors were eagerly expecting the ECB's QE announcement.
Yesterday's barrage of French business sentiment data suggest that confidence in the industrial sector was a little stronger than expected in Q2.
Brazil's central bank looked through the recent dip in the BRL and left interest rates at 6.50% at Wednesday's Copom meeting, in line with the consensus.
The downshift in the rate of growth of retail sales, which has caused a degree of consternation among investors, likely has further to run. The Redbook chain store sales survey clearly warned at the turn of the year that a slowdown was coming, but forecasters didn't want hear the warning: Five of the seven non-auto retail sales numbers released this year have undershot consensus.
So much has changed in China over the last six months that we are taking the opportunity in this Monitor to step back and gain an overview of where the economy is going in the long term.
Unlike other central banks, the MPC has stuck to its message that "an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period" likely will be required to keep inflation close to the 2% target, provided a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
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.
April's retail sales figures, due Thursday, likely will show that spending recovered from snow-induced weakness in March.
We have been pleasantly surprised by the recent Redbook chainstore sales numbers.
With Fed officials now in pre-FOMC meeting blackout mode, this week will not bring a repeat of Friday's confusion, when the New York Fed felt obligated to issue a clarification following president William's speech on monetary policy close to the zero bound.
Chile's central bank kept rates unchanged last Thursday at 2.50% with a dovish bias, following an unexpected 50bp rate cut at the June meeting.
Yesterday's data presented Eurozone investors with an unfamiliar sight; a big downside surprise in the survey data.
Colombia's central bank, BanRep, increased the monetary policy rate by 25bp to 6.25% on Friday, as expected, and also announced budget cuts and a new FX strategy to try to protect the COP. These measures are similar to those taken by Banxico on Wednesday. The press release, and the tone of the conference after the decision, suggest that more hikes are coming.
Mexican retail sales jumped 1.0% month-to-month in October, the biggest gain since February, following a poor performance in Q3.
The political drama in Greece will continue to attract attention this week despite the advent of the holiday season. Prime Minister Samaras will try again tomorrow to secure a majority for his candidate for president, requiring a super majority of 200 votes. If it fails, the last attempt will be on December 29th, where the hurdle for the Prime Minister drops to 180 votes.
High interest rates and inflation, coupled with increasing uncertainty, put Mexican consumption under strain last year.
The weather-driven surge in December housing starts, reported last week, is unlikely to be replicated in today's existing home sales numbers for the same month.
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 consensus forecast of a mere 0.3% month-to-month decline in retail sales volumes in December, following the 1.7% surge in November, looks far too timid. We anticipate a much bigger decline, about 1%, bringing volumes back in line with their underlying trend. We can't rule out a bigger fall.
Investor sentiment data still indicate that EZ PMIs are set for a significant rebound at start of the year.
The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc in Brazil.
We're placing less weight than usual on conventional business surveys at the moment, as they are ill-suited to charting the economy's turnaround from the Covid-19 slump.
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.
The performance of Italy's economy in the first half of 2017 proves that the strengthening euro area recovery is a tide lifting all the r egion's boats.
Inflation pressures in Brazil and Mexico are well under control, with the August mid-month readings falling more than expected, strengthening the case for the BCB and Banxico to cut interest rates in the near term.
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.
The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators appears to signal that the U.S. economy is plunging headlong into recession.
Barring a meteor strike, the ECB will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged today, at 0.00% and -0.5% respectively.
The Eurozone's current account surplus extended its decline in May, falling to a nine-month low of €22.4B, from €29.6B in April.
High inflation and interest rates, coupled with increasing uncertainty, both economic and political, put Mexican consumption under strain last year.
Today's data likely will show that EZ households' sentiment remained close to a record high at the start of the year.
Japan's headline CPI inflation is set to edge down in coming months, thanks to non-core prices.
Friday's economic data suggest that the downtrend in German PPI inflation is reversing.
Yesterday's barrage of survey data in France suggests that business sentiment in the industrial sector remained soft mid-way through Q4, but the numbers are more uncertain than usual this month.
Most LatAm currencies have been under pressure recently, with the Brazilian real and the Chilean peso breaking all-time lows versus the USD in recent weeks.
Back-to-back elevated weekly jobless claims numbers prove nothing, but they have grabbed our attention.
After the strong Philly Fed survey was released last week, we argued that the regional economy likely was outperforming because of its relatively low dependence on exports, making it less vulnerable to the trade war.
The slowdown in the EZ economy is well publicised.
The preliminary April PMIs due today will provide the first economic sentiment data for Q2, and likely will point to a continuation of the cyclical recovery. We think the composite PMI was unchanged at 54.0 in April, driven by a small gain in manufacturing offset by a slight decline in services.
Yesterday's economic data provided the first glimpse of the crash in EZ sentiment at the start of Q2, ahead of today's more substantial barrage of numbers, including French INSEE data, GfK confidence numbers in Germany and the advance PMIs.
The trend rate of increase in private payrolls in the months before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was about 240K per month.
It would be easy to characterize the Fed as quite split at the July meeting.
Brazil's recession stretched into the start of the third quarter, but its intensity has eased. The IBC-Br economic activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--fell 0.1% month-to-month seasonally adjusted in July, following a 0.4% gain in June. The unadjusted year-over-year rate fell to -5.2%, from an upwardly revised -2.9%.
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.
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.
The BoJ kept all policy measures unchanged at its meeting yesterday.
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.
This weekend's first round of the French presidential election is too close to call. Our first chart indicates that a runoff between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron remains the best bet. But the statistical uncertainty inherent in the predictions, and the proximity of the two remaining candidates--the centre-right Mr. Fillon and far-left Mr. Melenchon-- mean that this is now effectively a four-horse race.
The markets' favorite story of the moment, aside from the Fed, seems to be the idea that overstretched corporate finances are an accident waiting to happen. When the crunch comes, the unavoidable hit to the stock market and the corporate bond market will have dire consequences, limiting the Fed's scope to raise rates, regardless of what might be happening in the labor market. We don't buy this. At least, we don't buy the second part of the narrative; we have no problem with the idea the finances of the corporate sector are shaky.
Yesterday's report on October private spending in Mexico was downbeat, suggesting that consumption started the fourth quarter on a weak footing.
We see no compelling reason to expect a significant revision to the third quarter GDP numbers today, so our base case is that the second estimate, 3.3%, will still stand.
Manufacturing confidence in France remained resilient in the fourth quarter. The INSEE sentiment index rose to 103 in December from 102 in November, lifted by a jump in firms' own production expectations, and a small increase in the new orders-to-inventory ratio. We think production will increase in Q4, lifted by energy output, but the recent jump in the year-over-year rate is unlikely to be sustained, even if we factor in the marginal increase in new orders this month.
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.
It's hard to have much conviction in any forecast for September retail sales, as the relationship between the official data and the surveys has weakened considerably.
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.
Yesterday's headline economic data in the euro area were solid across the board, though the details were mixed.
Prospects for further rate cuts in Brazil, due to the sluggishness of the economic recovery and low inflation, have played against the BRL in recent weeks.
We hope never to see another labour market report as bad as yesterday's, though the omens aren't good.
CPI inflation in India jumped to 4.6% in October, from 4.0% in September, marking a 16-month high and blasting through the RBI's target.
Leading indicators are giving conflicting signals regarding the outlook for core goods CPI inflation.
Recent economic indicators in Brazil have undershot consensus in recent weeks, but the economy nonetheless continues to recover.
The current account surplus in the Eurozone is well on its way to stabilising above 3% of GDP this year. The seasonally adjusted surplus rose to €29.4B in September from a revised €18.7B in August, lifted by a higher trade surplus, thanks to rebounding German exports. The services balance was unchanged at €4.5B in September, while the primary income balance edged higher to €4.8B from €4.0B. The improving external balance has been driven mostly by a surging trade surplus with the U.S. and the U.K., as our first chart shows.
This week economic data highlighted the severity of Brazil's economic recession and the huge challenges it will face next year to return to growth. The recession further deepened in the third quarter with the economic activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--surprising, once again, to the downside in September. The index fell 0.5% month-to-month, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 6.2%, the steepest fall on record. The series is very volatile on a monthly basis, but the underlying trend remains grim.
We expect the flash reading of Markit's composite PMI, released today, to print at 52.4 in February, below the consensus, 52.8, and January's final reading, 53.3, albeit still in line with last month's flash.
Today's advance EZ PMIs will be watched more closely than usual.
If the only manufacturing survey you track is the Philadelphia Fed report, you could be forgiven for thinking that the sector is booming.
The year so far in EZ equities has been just as odd as in the global market as a whole.
Yesterday's final CPI report for April confirmed that the Eurozone is edging towards deflation.
Oil prices have risen by about $20 per barrel since last fall.
The Eurozone's external surplus recovered a bit of ground mid-way through the third quarter.
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.
German producer price inflation rebounded last month. The headline PPI index rose 2.6% year-over-year in August, up from a 2.3% increase in July, driven almost exclusively by a jump in energy inflation.
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.
Financial markets in the Eurozone will be pushed around by global events today. The Bank of Japan kicks off the party in the early hours CET, and the spectrum of investors' expectations is wide.
Mexico's central bank last week left its policy rate at 7.0%, the highest level since early 2009.
Fed Chair Yellen made it clear in last week's press conference that she is not convinced the increase in core inflation will persist: "I want to warn that there may be some transitory factors that are influencing [the rise in core inflation]... I see some of that is having to do with unusually high inflation readings in categories that tend to be quite volatile without very much significance for inflation over time.
Just as we turned more positive on the labor market, following three straight months of payroll gains outstripping the message from an array of surveys, the Labor Department's JOLTS report shows that the number of job openings plunged in November.
Data released on Friday confirmed that Colombian activity lost momentum in Q4, following an impressive performance in late Q2 and Q3. Retail sales rose 4.4% in November, down from 7.4% in October and 8.3% in Q3.
Argentina's latest hard data suggest that activity is softening, but we don't see the start of a renewed downtrend.
Data released on Friday confirmed that Colombian activity remained strong in Q4.
On the face of it, June's retail sales figures suggest that households have splurged in Q2, re-energising GDP growth after its slowdown in Q1. Sales volumes rose by 0.6% month-to-month in June, completing a 1.5% quarter-on-quarter jump in Q2.
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've had pushback from readers over our take on the likelihood of a trade deal with China in the near future.
Political uncertainty has surged since the ECB last met, but the central bank likely will refrain from action today. We think the ECB will keep its refi and deposit rates unchanged at 0.05% and -0.4%, respectively, and leave the monthly pace of QE unchanged at €80B.
As we reach our deadline--4pm eastern time--media reports indicate that a debt ceiling agreement is close.
Recent data in Colombia have confirmed that virus containment measures caused much bigger declines in activity in early Q2 than initially expected.
The commentariat was very excited Friday by the inversion of the curve, with three-year yields dipping to 2.24% while three-month bills yield 2.45%.
The Colombian economy--the star of the previous economic cycle in LatAm--is now slowing significantly, due mostly to strong external headwinds. Exports plunged by 40% year-over-year in January, down from -29% in December, with all of the main categories contracting in the worst performance since 1980.
If Japan's flash PMIs for March are a sign of things to come, then the government really should get moving on fiscal stimulus.
LatAm governments and central banks have been busy implementing additional measures to contain the spread of the virus, and acting rapidly to ease the effect on the economy.
The headline in yesterday's detailed Q1 German GDP data was old news, confirming that growth in the euro area's largest economy slowed at the start of the year.
The weaker is the economy over the next few months, the more likely it is that Mr. Trump blinks and removes some--perhaps even all--the tariffs on Chinese imports.
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.
Japan's CPI inflation was stable at 0.2% in October, despite the sales tax hike, thanks to a combination of offsetting measures from the government and a deepening of energy deflation.
Inflation in the biggest economies in the region remains close to cyclical lows, allowing central banks to ease even further over the next few months.
The chaos in Greece was identified as the main culprit for yesterday's soft IFO report. The headline business climate index fell to 107.4 in July, down from 108.1 in May, driven by declines in respondents' views on the current economy and their expectations for the future. We expected a dip in the he adline IFO, but we were surprised by the fall in the manufacturing sub-index, given the firmer PMI earlier this week.
Britain's Covid-19 data have continued to improve, despite the partial reopening of the economy.
The June durable goods, trade and inventory reports today, could make a material difference to forecasts for the first estimate of second quarter GDP growth, due tomorrow.
The minutes of the Banxico's monetary policy meeting on February 7, when the board unanimously voted to keep the reference rate on hold at 8.25%, were consistent with the post-meeting statement.
The bad economic news in Brazil is unstoppable. The mid-month CPI index rose 1.3% month-to-month in February, as education, housing, and transport prices increased. School tuition fees jumped 6% month-to-month in February, reflecting their annual adjustment, and transport costs rose by 2% due to an increase in regulated gasoline prices.
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 latest data from container ports around the country are consistent with our view that imports are still correcting after the surge late last year, triggered by the hurricanes.
Data released yesterday in Mexico strengthened the case for interest rate cuts this year.
The headline May durable goods orders numbers today probably will look very strong, with the odds favoring a much bigger increase than the 10.1% consensus; we'll come back to that.
Some normality has returned in India, more than three weeks from the end of the nationwide lockdown and the start of "Unlock 1.0" on June 1.
The IFO continues to tell a story of a German economy on the ropes.
The PMIs in the Eurozone are still warning that the economy is in much worse shape than implied by remarkably stable GDP growth so far this year.
The Chancellor hinted in the Autumn Statement that the fiscal consolidation might not be as severe as it appears on paper because he has built in some "fiscal headroom". By that, Mr. Hammond means that he could borrow more and still adhere to his new, self-imposed rules.
Data released yesterday confirmed that Mexico's economy ended Q4 poorly, confounding the most hawkish Banxico Board members.
The German economy finished last year on the back foot.
News that the Covid-19 virus has spread to more countries frayed investors' nerves further yesterday, with the FTSE 100 eventually residing 5.3% below its Friday close.
The IFO did its part to alleviate the stock market gloom yesterday, with the business climate index rising slightly to 108.3 in August from 108.0 in July. The August reading doesn't reflect the panic in equities, though, and we need to wait until next month to gauge the real hit to business sentiment. The increase in the headline index was driven by businesses assessment of current output, with the key expectations index falling trivially to 102.2 from a revised 102.3 in July. This survey currently points to a stable trend in real GDP growth of about 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, consistent with our expectation of full year growth of about 1.5%.
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.
Yesterday's money supply data gave some respite after last month's disappointing slowdown. Broad money growth--M3--rose to 5.0% year-over-year, from 4.7% in December, but the details were less encouraging. The rebound was solely due slower declines in medium-term deposits, short-term debt issuance, and repurchase agreements.
Sometime very soon, likely in the second quarter of this year, the stock of net housing wealth will exceed the $13.1T peak recorded before the crash, in the fourth quarter of 2005. At the post-crash low, in the first quarter of 2009, net housing equity had fallen by 53%, to just $6.2T. The recovery began in earnest in 2012, and over the past year net housing wealth has been rising at a steady pace just north of 10%. With housing demand rising, credit conditions easing and inventory still very tight, we have to expect home prices to keep rising at a rapid pace.
Mexico's inflation is finally falling, giving policymakers room for manoeuvre.
The preliminary estimate of a 0.5% quarter-on-quarter rise in GDP in the fourth quarter of 2015 was left unrevised, but that was the only nugge t of good news from yesterday's second GDP release. The expenditure breakdown hardly could have looked more troubling.
We're expecting to learn today that the economy expanded at a 2.6% annualized rate in the first quarter, rather better than we expected at the turn of the year--our initial assumption was 1-to-2%--and above the consensus, 2.3%.
Rising inflation is pressuring some LatAm central banks to take a cautious stance at a time when growth is subpar, particularly in the two biggest economies of the region.
If you're looking for points of light in the economy over the next few months, the housing market is a good place to start.
The gaps in the third quarter GDP data are still quite large, with no numbers yet for September international trade or the public sector, but we're now thinking that growth likely was less than 11⁄2%.
The ECB made no changes to policy yesterday, leaving its key refinancing and deposit rates unchanged, at 0.00% and -0.5%, and confirmed that it will restart QE in November at €20B per month.
Inflation in Brazil and Mexico is ending Q3 under control, allowing the central banks to keep easing monetary policy.
The two main national surveys--IFO and INSEE-- both beat consensus forecasts yesterday, supporting our story of that economic sentiment is holding up relatively well in the face increasing investor anxiety. In Germany, the main IFO business climate index rose marginally to 108.5 from a revised 108.4 in August, boosted by an increase in the expectations index to a six-month high of 103.3, up from 102.0 in August. The IFO expectations index points to real GDP growth rising 0.5%-to-0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q3.
French manufacturing confidence soared at the start of Q2. The headline INSEE index jumped to a six-year high of 108 in April, from an upwardly revised 105 in March. The headline was flattered by a big increase in the "past activity" index, but the survey's leading indicators also improved.French manufacturing confidence soared at the start of Q2. The headline INSEE index jumped to a six-year high of 108 in April, from an upwardly revised 105 in March. The headline was flattered by a big increase in the "past activity" index, but the survey's leading indicators also improved.
In recent months we have argued that housing market activity has peaked for this cycle, with rising mortgage rates depressing the flow of mortgage applications.
Argentina's economy continues to recover steadily.
Brazil's inflation rate remained well under control over the first half of February.
The emergence last month of a new E.U. Withdrawal Agreement that has a strong chance of being ratified by MPs appears to have given a small boost to business confidence.
If the plunge in the stock market last week, and especially Friday, was a entirely a reaction to the slowdown in China and its perceived impact on other emerging economies, then it was an over-reaction. Exports to China account for just 0.7% of U.S. GDP; exports to all emerging markets account for 2.1%. So, even a 25% plunge in exports to these economies-- comparable to the meltdown seen as global trade collapsed after the financial crisis--would subtract only 0.5% from U.S. growth over a full year, gross.
We expect today's second estimate of Q2 GDP to confirm that the U.K. has been the slowest growing G7 economy this year.
Colombia's recently-released data signal that the economy started the year quite strongly, following a relatively poor end to Q4.
Sterling jumped last week to its highest level against the dollar since last October in response to news that a general election will be held on June 8. Markets are betting that the Conservative Government will sharply increase its majority, enabling Theresa May to ignore Eurosceptic backbenchers when she strikes a deal with the EU.
Yesterday's IFO survey sent a clear signal that the German economy's engine is stuttering. The business climate index fell to a 14-month low of 105.7 in February from 107.3 in January, and the expectations index slumped to 98.8 from 102.3. The weakness was driven by weaker sentiment in manufacturing, which plunged at its fastest rate since November 2008.
If, like us, you have been cheered by the upturn in mortgage applications since November, you don't need to worry about the apparent drop in activity in the past couple of weeks. The numbers don't look great: The MBA's index capturing the number of applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase has dropped from a peak of 237.7 in the third week of January--ignoring September's spike, which was triggered by a regulatory change--to 213.3 last week.
The ECB conformed to expectations today, at least on a headline level.
You could be forgiven for being alarmed at the 1.5% decline in the stock of outstanding bank commercial and industrial lending in the fourth quarter, the first dip since the second quarter of 2017.
We can't yet know how bad the spread of the coronavirus from the Chinese city of Wuhan will be.
We think of recessions usually as processes; namely, the unwinding of private sector financial imbalances.
Argentina's economy is on the verge of a renewed recession; available data for August and the effect of the recent financial crisis, driven by the result of the primaries, suggest that output will come under severe strain.
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.
The Monetary Policy Committee chose to keep its options open in the minutes of this week's meeting, rather than signal as clearly as it did last year that interest rates will rise very soon.
Yesterday's barrage of economic data in the Eurozone added to the evidence that economic momentum is slowing.
Margins for German manufacturing firms remained depressed at the start of the second quarter. The headline PPI rose 0.1% month-to-month in April, pushing the year-over-year rate down marginally to -3.1% from a revised -3.0% in March. Falling energy prices are the key driver of the overall decline in the PPI.
Yesterday's barrage of survey data in France, tentatively suggest that business sentiment is stabilising following a string of declines since the start of the year.
In the absence of any significant data releases today, we want to take a closer look at the outlook for wage growth, and the implications of an acceleration in hourly earnings for inflation.
The 17-point leap in the Richmond Fed index for October, reported yesterday, was startlingly large.
The prospect of fiscal stimulus in the euro area-- ostensibly to "help" the ECB reach its inflation target-- remains a hot topic for investors and economists.
The headline in yesterday's ECB Q2 bank lending survey seemed almost tailor-made for the central bank to deliver a dovish message to markets this week.
Brazil's inflation data continue to disappoint, but they are showing some signs of improvement, at the margin. The mid-month CPI, the IPCA-15 index, jumped to 9.3% year-over-year in July, up from 8.8% in June, soaring well above the upper bound of the inflation target and reaching the highest level since December 2003, as shown in our first chart.
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.
Today's ECB meeting will mainly be a victory lap for Mr. Draghi--it is the president's last meeting before Ms. Lagarde takes over--rather than the scene of any major new policy decisions.
Yesterday's detailed GDP report in Germany showed net exports propelled GDP growth to a cyclical high last quarter.
Yesterday's second estimate of Q3 GDP confirmed that the U.K. economy has underperformed this year.
The FTSE 100 has dropped by 7% since the end of September--leaving it on course for its worst month since May 2012--and now is 12% below its May peak.
Broad-based inflation pressures in Brazil remain tame despite the sharp BRL depreciation this year, totalling about 7% in the last three months alone.
If you want to know what's going to happen to the real economy over, say, the next year, don't look to the stock market for reliable clues. The relationship between swings in stock prices over single quarters and GDP growth over the following year is nonexistent, as our next chart shows.
Today brings new housing market data, in the form of the weekly applications numbers from the MBA. The weekly data are seasonally adjusted but are still very volatile, especially in the spring.
A shutdown of the federal government, which could happen as early as this weekend, is a political event rather than a macroeconomic shock. But if it happens--if Congress cannot agree on even a shortterm stop-gap spending measure in order to keep the lights on after the 28th--it would demonstrate yet again that the splits in the House mean that the prospects of a substantial near-term loosening of fiscal policy are now very slim.
Yesterday's PMI reports repeated the message of a firm cyclical Eurozone recovery, despite investors' angst over deflation and the underwhelming Q3 GDP data earlier this month. The composite index in the zone rose to a 54-month high of 54.4 in November from 53.9 in October, lifted by strong output and solid new business growth. Our first chart shows the rise in the PMI points to slight upside risks in Q4 to the four quarter trend in real GDP growth of 0.4% per quarter.
Mexico's retail sector is finally improving, following a grim second half last year.
Mexico's private spending stumbled at the start of the second quarter. Retail sales fell 0.3% month-to-month in April after three consecutive increases, hit by an unexpected 1.6% drop in both supermarket and apparel sales, and a surprising 1.2% fall in food sales. In year-over-year terms, total sales rose 4.6% in April, down from 5.6% in March.
Both business surveys and unconventional activity indicators suggest that the recovery from the Covid-19 shock has sped up in June, after a shaky start in May.
The apparent softness of business capex is worrying the Fed.
Mexico's CPI rose just 0.1% in the first half of March, due to higher core prices. The increase was broadbased within this component, with goods prices increasing by 0.2% and core services 0.4%. Core services prices were driven by temporary factors, including vacation packages and higher airfare tickets. Non-core prices, meanwhile, fell 0.5%, due mainly to falling fresh food prices.
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.
Yesterday's barrage of survey data were a mixed bag. The composite EZ PMI edged higher in May to 51.6, from 51.5 in April, but the details were less upbeat, and also slightly confusing.
Yesterday's data in the Eurozone did little to calm investors' nerves amid rising political uncertainty in Italy and tremors in emerging markets.
Robust demand in the ECB's final TLTRO auction was the main story in EZ financial markets yesterday. Euro area banks--474 in total-- took up €233.5B in the March TLTRO, well above the consensus forecast €110B. To us, this strong demand is a sign that EZ banks are taking advantage of the TLTROs' incredibly generous conditions.
Yesterday's IFO report reinforced the message from the PMIs that the Eurozone economy stumbled slightly at the beginning of the first quarter. The headline business climate index fell to an 11-month low of 107.3 in January, from a revised 108.6 in December, hit mainly by a drop in the expectations component. Intensified market volatility and worries over further weakness in the Chinese economy likely were the main drivers. Last week's dovish message from Mr. Draghi, however, came after the survey's cut-off date, leaving us cautiously optimistic for a rebound next month.
Further political wrangling yesterday distracted from data showing that the risk of no -deal Brexit is placing increasing strain on the economy.
The contrast between November's very modest 67K ADP private payroll number and the surprising 254K official reading was startling, even when the 46K boost to the latter from returning GM strikers is stripped out.
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.
Colombia was the fastest growing LatAm economy in 2019, due mostly to strong domestic demand, offsetting a sharp fall in key exports.
Fed Chair Powell yesterday said about as little as he could without appearing to ignore the turmoil in markets since the President announced his intention to apply tariffs to imports from Mexico: "We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the U.S. economic outlook and, as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective."
Japanese firms hand out a significant portion of labour compensation through bonuses, with the largest lump awarded in December.
Wednesday's industrial production report in Brazil was terrible, despite overshooting market expectations.
German manufacturing data are all over the place at the moment. Earlier this week, data showed that new orders jumped toward the end of 2016, but yesterday's industrial production report was a shocker. Output plunged 3.0% month-to-month in December, pushing the year-over-year rate down to -0.7% from a revised +2.3% in November.
Our judgement that April was the low point for economic activity was challenged yesterday by the publication of results of the fifth wave of the Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey, conducted by the ONS between May 4 and 17.
China's official non-manufacturing PMI rose further in May, hitting a four-month high of 53.6.
If you were looking just at investor sentiment in the Eurozone, you would conclude that the economy is in recession.
The Conservatives' opinion poll lead continued to decline over the last week, suggesting that a landslide victory on Thursday no longer is likely. Indeed, the Tories' average lead over Labour in the 10 most recent opinion polls has fallen to just 6%, down from a peak of nearly 20% a month ago.
Headline Eurozone PMI data have declined steadily since the beginning of the year, but the June numbers stopped the rot.
LatAm financial markets have performed solidly in the first sessions of the year, with most regional currencies trading more strongly against the USD.
The June employment report pretty much killed the idea that the Fed will cut rates by 50bp on July 31.
The German economy's engine room continues to stutter.
The housing market perhaps is where the adverse impact of Brexit uncertainty can be seen most clearly.
The ink has hardly dried on economists' and the ECB's inflation projections for 2020, but we suspect that some forecasters are already considering ripping up the script.
Friday's final EZ inflation report of 2017 sent a dovish signal to bond markets.
The economic recovery disappointed in Chile during most of the first half of the year, despite relatively healthy fundamentals, including low interest rates, low inflation and stable financial metrics.
The comforting 183K increase in February private payrolls reported by ADP yesterday likely overstates tomorrow's official number.
It will take a while for the economic data in the euro area fully to reflect the Covid-19 shock, but the incoming numbers paint an increasingly clear picture of an improving economy going into the outbreak.
The recent less-bad growth and inflation data in Brazil are encouraging news and are setting the stage for easing in October. The minutes of the Copom's August 31 monetary policy meeting, released yesterday, were less hawkish than in previous months, indicating that policymakers are gauging the possibility of cutting rates.
A plunge in imports saved the EZ economy from a contraction in second quarter GDP. Yesterday's final data showed that real GDP growth rose 0.3% quarter- on-quarter, slowing from a 0.5% jump in Q1. A 0.4 percentage points boost from net exports was the key driving force.
Net trade has been a major drag on the economy's growth rate in recent quarters, and February's trade figures, released today, are likely to signal another dismal performance in the first quarter.
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.
The recent March economic activity reports for Chile have been terrible, showing the first signs of the Covid-19 shock, and worse is to come.
Economic conditions are deteriorating rapidly in Chile, despite the relatively decent Imacec reading for Q3.
The surge in the broad money supply in March, as the U.K.'s lockdown began, suggests that businesses are in relatively good shape to survive a multi-month period of greatly depressed demand.
Korea's manufacturing PMI fell for a fourth straight month in April, dropping to 41.6, which is the lowest reading since January 2009.
The Mexican economy maintained its relatively strong momentum in Q2. The first estimate of Q2 GDP, released last week, confirmed that growth was resilient during the first half of this year, despite the confidence hit caused by domestic and external headwinds.
The release yesterday of the weekly Redbook chainstore sales report for the week ended Saturday August 4 means that we now have a complete picture of July sales.
The apparently imminent imposition of 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% on aluminum does not per se constitute a serious macroeconomic shock.
Speculation mounted yesterday that the MPC will follow the U.S. Fed and cut interest rates before its next meeting on March 26.
We expect to see a 180K increase in November payrolls
Yesterday's detailed Q3 GDP data in the Eurozone confirmed that the economy has gone from strength to strength this year.
While we were out, Brazil's economic and political position continued to improve. The recession eased in the second quarter and into July. Industrial production, for example, increased in June for the fourth consecutive month, rising by 1.1% month-to-month.
The economic slowdown in China is old news for Eurozone investors.
The simultaneous weakening of the ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys in recent months is one of the more disconcerting shifts in the recent macro data.
The run-up to the release of the official retail sales figures has become so congested with other indicators, following alterations by the ONS to its publication schedule, that we now have to preview the data earlier than usual.
The opening gambits in the post-Brexit trade negotiations were played earlier this week, in speeches from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Our composite index of employment indicators, based on survey data and the official JOLTS report, looks ahead about three months.
The coronavirus outbreak has pushed inflation lower in the Andean economies as the shock drives them into the deepest recession on record.
A third wave of Covid-19 outbreaks is now underway. The first, in China, is now under control, and the rate of increase of cases in South Korea has dropped sharply. The other second wave countries, Italy and Iran, are still struggling.
The Fed's 50bp rate cut last week, aiming to shield the U.S. economy against Covid-19, has opened the door for some central banks in LatAm to emulate the move.
Colombia's disinflation since mid-2016 has been driven by easing pressures on food prices, weak demand, and the better performance of the COP. But higher regulated prices at the start of the second quarter have triggered a pause in the downward trend.
April's GDP report probably will be the worst any of us will see in our lifetime.
The Mexican inflation rate soared at the start of 2017, but this is yesterday's story; the headline will stabilize soon and will decline slowly towards the year-end. May data yesterday showed that inflation rose to 6.2%, from 5.8% in April. Prices fell 0.1% month-to-month unadjusted in May, driven mainly by lower non-core prices, which dropped by 1.3%, as a result of lower seasonal electricity tariffs.
The reported drop in mortgage applications over the holidays is now reversing, not that it ever mattered.
Brazil's industrial sector is still struggling, despite recent signs of better economic and financial conditions.
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.
Yesterday's economic reports showed that the German economy firmed at the end of Q1, but this doesn't change the story for a poor quarter overall.
Britain's housing market appears to be going from bad to worse.
Fed Chair Powell did not specify how many bills the Fed will buy in order boost bank reserves sufficiently to remove the strain in funding markets, but we'd expect to see something of the order of $500B.
The violent protests in France claimed their first victims over the weekend, providing sombre evidence of the severity of the situation for the government.
German manufacturing rebounded somewhat mid-way through Q3.
Chile's inflation outlook remains benign, allowing policymakers to cut interest rates if the economic recovery falters.
The verdict is not yet definitive, but prudence dictates we must now assume victory for Donald Trump. The immediate implication of President Trump is global risk-off, with stocks everywhere falling hard, government bonds rallying, alongside gold and the Swiss franc. The dollar is the outlier; usually the beneficiary when fear is the story in global markets, it has fallen overnight because the risk is a U.S. story.
The recent surge in the oil price has added to the headwinds set to batter the economy over the next year. The price of Brent crude has jumped by $10 since September to $64, its highest level since June 2015.
A flawed theory still is circulating that the economy might outperform over the next two quarters because firms will stockpile goods due to the risk of a no-deal Brexit.
Convention dictates that we lead with yesterday's Fed meeting, but it's hard to argue that it really deserves top billing.
The German manufacturing sector appears to have settled into an equilibrium of sustained misery.
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.
Brazil's December industrial production report, released yesterday, confirmed that the recovery was stuttering at the end of last year.
Brazil's March industrial production report, released on Thursday last week, was weaker than we and the markets were expecting, while the recent deterioration in sentiment surveys highlights the downside risks to the rather fragile economic recovery.
Demand in German manufacturing rebounded slightly at the end of Q1, though the overall picture for the sector remains grim.
Early results suggest that Mr. Macron has comfortably beat Marine Le Pen to become French president, defying a leak of emails and other documents from his En Marche campaign over the weekend. The final results won't be published until Monday morning, but the initial estimate indicates that Mr. Macron will edge Ms. Le Pen by 65.1% to 34.9%.
So far, the MPC has been more timid with unconventional stimulus than other central banks. At the end of May, central bank reserves equalled 29.7% of four-quarter rolling GDP in the U.K., compared to 32.7% in the U.S. and 46.7% in the Eurozone.
Odds-on, the consensus forecast for May's GDP report, released on Wednesday, will miss the mark.
Friday's manufacturing data in Germany weren't pretty, but fortunately, the report is old news. Factory orders crashed by 25.8% month-to-month in April, extending the slide from a revised 15.4% fall in March.
Economic conditions remain challenging in Mexico, despite a modest improvement in leading indicators. The usual surveys currently are not well-suited to capture the economy's upturn from the Covid-19 collapse.
Headline inflation in Brazil remained low in October, and even breached the lower bound of the BCB's target range.
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.
Data released on Friday showed that November inflation was in line with, or below, expectations in Brazil, Colombia and Chile.
A core element of our relatively upbeat macro view before the implementation of fiscal stimulus under the new administration is that the ending of the drag from falling capex in the oil sector will have quite wide, positive implications for growth. The recovery in direct oil sector spending is clear enough; it will just track the rising rig count, as usual.
Last week's data supported our view that monetary policy across LatAm will continue to diverge in the short term. Brazil will have to prolong its monetary tightening cycle, while economies such as Colombia and Chile will remain on hold despite the recent slowdowns in their economic cycle.
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.
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.
National accounts data released last week rewrote the recent history of households' saving.
Friday's factory orders report in Germany provided a bit of relief amid the gloom in manufacturing.
Friday's industrial production report in Germany capped a miserable week for economic data in the Eurozone's largest economy.
The simultaneous decline in both ISM indexes was a key factor driving markets to anticipate last week's Fed easing.
Fed Chair Yellen yesterday reinforced the impression that the bar to Fed action in December, in terms of the next couple of employment reports, is now quite low: "If we were to move, say in December, it would be based on an expectation, which I believe is justified, [our italics] that with an improving labor market and transitory factors fading, that inflation will move up to 2%." The economy is now "performing well... Domestic spending has been growing at a solid pace" making a December hike a "live possibility." New York Fed president Bill Dudley, speaking later, said he "fully" agrees with Dr. Yellen's position, but "let's see what the data show."
Chile's IMACEC economic activity index rose 3.9% year-over-year in January, up from 2.6% in December, and 2.9% on average in Q4, thanks to strong mining output growth and solid commercial, manufacturing and services activity.
LatAm assets have struggled in recent days as it has become clear that the Fed will hike next week. But we don't expect currencies to collapse, as domestic fundamentals are improving and the broader external outlook is relatively benign.
Our chief economist, Ian Shepherdson, set out our initial thoughts on the rising tensions between U.S. and Iran here.
Chancellor Sunak faces a tough first gig on Wednesday, when he delivers the long-awaited Budget.
Chile's near-term economic outlook is still negative, but clouds have been gradually dispersing since late Q4, due mostly to better news on the global trade front, China's improving economic prospects, and rising copper prices.
China's National People's Congress yesterday laid out its main goals for this year, on the first day of its annual meeting.
Chile's IMACEC economic activity index rose 2.4% year-over-year in January, down from 2.6% in December, and 3.3% on average in Q4, thanks mostly to weak mining production.
We raised our forecast for today's January payroll number after the ADP report, to 200K from 160K.
As things stand, we see little reason to revise down our forecasts for the U.K. economy in response to the tailspin in equity markets
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.
We think today's February payroll number will be reported at about 140K, undershooting the 175K consensus.
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 are sticking to our call for a weak first half in Japan, despite likely upgrades to Q1 GDP on Monday.
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.
At first glance, car sales appear to be staging a strong recovery, mirroring the better news on high street spending in Q2.
Yesterday's economic reports in the Eurozone were solid across the board.
Data released on Wednesday, along with the BCB's press release on Tuesday, supported our longstanding forecast of further rate cuts in Brazil in the very near term.
The rapid escalation of Covid-19 cases in Korea in recent weeks has broadened the likely damage to the economy this quarter.
In today's Monitor, we'll let the economy be, and focus instead on what are fast becoming the two defining political issues for the EU and its new Commission, namely migration and climate change.
The Brazilian central bank cut the benchmark Selic interest rate by 25bp, to 4.25%, on Wednesday night, as expected.
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.
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%.
The EZ retail sector slowed at the start of Q3, though only slightly.
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.
Brazil's industrial sector continues to suffer, despite September's report surprising marginally on the upside. Output contracted 1.3% month-to-month in September, after a 0.9% fall in August, pushing the year over-year rate down to -10.9% down from -8.8% in August. This is the biggest drop since April 2009. Output has fallen an eye-popping -7.4% year-to-date, and in the third quarter alone activity contracted by 3.2% quarter-on-quarter, in line with our vie w for a 1.2% contraction in real GDP for the third quarter.
The elevated September ISM non-manufacturing index reported yesterday--it dipped to 56.9 but remains very high by historical standards--again served to underscore the depth of the bifurcation in the economy. The services sector, boosted by the collapse in gasoline prices and the strong dollar, is massively outperforming the woebegone manufacturing sector.
Demand in German manufacturing slid at the start of Q3.
Chile's growth dynamics were robust in August, according to the latest data. Production rose and consumption remained strong during most of Q3. Indeed, industrial output increased 5.1% year-over- year, up from an already strong 3.1% increase in July, and contrasting sharply with the 2% fall in Q2.
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.
A trio of data releases yesterday provided no relief from the run of abysmal economic news.
Manufacturing orders in Germany recovered some ground in the middle of Q1, following the plunge at the beginning of the year. Factory orders rose 3.4% in February, pushing the year-over-year rate up to +4.6% from a revised 0.0% in January.
Efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak severely dented industrial activity in Brazil.
Today's April ADP employment report likely will understate the scale of the net payroll losses which will be reported Friday by the BLS.
Yesterday's final PMI data for February confirmed the story from the advance reports.
Mexico's economy is not accelerating, but it is holding up well in extremely difficult circumstances for EM. Growth is reasonably healthy, inflation is under control and the labor market is resilient. In short, Mexico is a success story, given the backdrop of plunging oil prices. The contrast with the disaster in Brazil is stark. Last week's survey and hard data continued to tell an upbeat story on Mexico's economy. The IMEF manufacturing index, Mexico's PMI, rose to 52.1 in November up from 51.6 in October, lifted mainly by gains in the employment and deliveries indexes.
Emerging evidence suggests that the economy has passed the period of peak Covid-19 pain.
Yesterday's minutes of the October 31 COPOM meeting, at which the Central Bank cut the Selic rate unanimously by 50bp at 5.00%, reaffirmed the committee's post-meeting communiqué, which signalled that rates will be cut by the "same magnitude" in December.
While we were out, Brazil's economic and political situation continued to improve, allowing the BCB to cut the Selic rate by 100bp to 9.25% at its July 26th meeting, matching expectations.
It would be a mistake to conclude from July's car registrations data that the market finally has turned a corner.
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 fall in the services PMI to 53.8 in May, from 55.8 in April, is a setback for hopes that the slowdown in GDP growth in Q1 will be fleeting. Both business activity and orders rose at their slowest rates since February.
October payrolls were stronger than we expected, rising 128K, despite a 46K hit from the GM strike.
Brazil's industrial sector is on the mend, but some of the key sub-sectors are struggling.
Brazil's benchmark inflation index, the IPCA, fell 0.1% month-to-month unadjusted in August, below market expectations.
Yesterday's detailed Q3 growth data in the Eurozone offered no surprises in terms of the headline.
Japanese labour cash earnings data threw analysts another curveball in July, falling 0.3% year-over-year. At the same time, June earnings are now said to have risen by 0.4%, compared with a fall of 0.4% in the initial print.
China's Caixin services PMI picked up further in November to 51.9 from October's 51.2, but the rebound is merely a correction to the overshoot in September, when the headline dropped sharply.
The ADP measure of private employment hugely overstated the official measure of payrolls in September, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, but then slightly understated the October number.
Data while we were away have intensified fears that the global, and by extension EZ, economy is slipping into recession.
The rise in the Markit/CIPS services PMI to a nine-month high of 51.4 in July, from 50.2 in June, isn't a game-changer, though it does provide some reassurance that the economy isn't on a downward spiral.
We've always said that China's first weapon, should the trade war escalate, is to do nothing and allow the RMB to depreciate.
The CPI inflation rate for non-energy industrial goods--core goods, for short--has tracked past movements in trade-weighted sterling closely over the last ten years, because virtually all goods in this sector are imported.
Yesterday's manufacturing data in German threw off a nasty surprise.
In recent months we've been thinking more deeply about the themes for the next economic cycle for China, and its impact on the world.
Labor demand, as measured by an array of business surveys, clearly slowed from the cycle peak, recorded late last year.
Colombia's Central Bank is about to face a short-term dilemma. The recent fall in inflation will be interrupted while economic growth, particularly private spending, will struggle to build momentum over the second half.
The final Eurozone PMIs indicate that the cyclical recovery continued in Q1, but downside risks are rising. The composite index rose marginally to 53.0 in March, from 53.1 in February, below the initial estimate 53.7. Over the quarter as a whole, though, the index fell to 53.2 from 54.1 in Q4, indicating that economic momentum moderated in the first quarter.
Friday's final PMI data for March were even more terrifying than the advance numbers. The composite index in the euro area collapsed to 29.7, from 51.6 in February, lower than the consensus 31.4. A downward revision was coming.
August's 14-year high in the ISM manufacturing index, reported yesterday, clearly is a noteworthy event from a numerology perspective, but we doubt it marks the start of a renewed upward trend.
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.
The Brazilian Senate concluded last week the first vote- of-two- on the pension reform.
It's hard to overstate the geopolitical importance of Friday's assassination of Qassim Soleimani, architect of Iran's external military activity for more than 20 years and perhaps the most powerful man in the country, after the Supreme Leader.
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.
Chile's Imacec index confirmed that economic growth ended the year on a soft note, due mainly to weakness in the mining sector.
Friday's early EZ CPI data for December were red hot. Headline HICP inflation in Germany jumped to 1.5%, from 1.3% in November, while the headline rate in France increased by 0.4pp, to 1.6%.
Yesterday's economic reports in the Eurozone were mostly positive.
It's probably happening a decade too late, but the EU is now moving in leaps and bounds to restructure the continent's weakest banks. Yesterday, the Monte dei Paschi saga reached an interim conclusion when the Commission agreed to allow the Italian government to take a 70% stake in the ailing lender.
November's monetary indicators provide an upbeat rebuttal to the swathe of downbeat business surveys. Year-over-year growth in the MPC's preferred measure of broad money--M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations--rose to a 19-month high of 4.0% in November, from 3.5% in October.
The economic calendar in Mexico was relatively quiet over Christmas, and broadly conformed to our expectations of poor economic activity in Q4.
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.
Real M1 growth is slowing, and financial conditions are beginning to tighten in the Eurozone, but shortleading indicators continue to signal firm momentum in the economy.
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.
Recently released data in Mexico are sending weak signals for the business outlook, and the Texcoco airport saga won't help.
Speculation that another general election is imminent is rarely out of the news. At present, betting markets see about a 35% chance of another election in 2019, broadly the same chance as one in 2022, when it is currently scheduled to be held.
Productivity likely rose by 1.7% last year, the best performance since 2010.
Yesterday's final PMI data in the Eurozone were better than we expected.
The jump in the Caixin services PMI in the past two months looks erratic, with holiday effects playing a role, though there could be more going on here.
The run of above-consensus news on the U.K. economy came to an abrupt end last week, as a series of survey indicators for January took a turn for the worse. After six months of breathing space, the economic consequences of the Brexit vote are increasingly being felt.
Mexico's latest hard data suggest things might not be as bad as we feared. Retail sales and manufacturing output were relatively strong at the end of last year, the Q4 preliminary GDP report was mostly upbeat, and the labor market was firing on all cylinders.
Friday's German new orders data were sizzling. Factory orders jumped 3.6% month-to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year rate up to a nine-month high of 7.8%, from an upwardly-revised 5.4% in July.
Brazil's key data flow started Q4 on a soft note, but we still believe that the economic recovery will gather strength over the next three-to-six months.
While we were enjoying a rare sunny bank holiday in the U.K., data showed that Eurozone money supply growth slowed at the start of Q3. Broad money growth--M3--fell to a 10-month low of 4.5% year-over- year in July, from 5.0% in August.
Recently data from Argentina continue to signal a firming cyclical recovery. According to INDEC's EMAE economic activity index, a monthly proxy for GDP, the economy grew 4.0% year-over-year in June, up from an already-solid 3.4% in May.
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.
The recent spate of manufacturing business survey indices from Korea show that sentiment is deteriorating in the wake of its trade spat with Japan and the re-intensification of U.S.-China tensions.
Money supply data in the euro point to a cyclical peak in GDP growth this year. Headline M3 growth fell to 4.8% year-over-year in July, from 5.0% in June, chiefly due to a slowdown in narrow money. M1 growth declined to 8.4%, from 8.7%, as a result of weaker momentum in overnight deposits and currency in circulation.
Over the sleepy August holidays, a view has gained traction in the media that the U.K. economy is showing little damage from the Brexit vote. Optimists argue that the size and composition of the 0.6% quarter-on-quarter rise in Q2 GDP, the 1.4% month-to-month jump in retail sales volumes in July, and the slight dip in the unemployment claimant count demonstrate that the recovery is in good shape.
Chancellor Javid told the Financial Times earlier this month that he wants to lift the rate of GDP growth to between 2.7% and 2.8%, the average rate in the 50 years following the Second World War.
Yesterday's FOMC , announcing a unanimous vote for no change in the funds rate, is almost identical to December's.
Yesterday's economic reports in the euro area were mixed.
Yesterday's economic news in the French economy was solid.
It's pretty easy to spin a story that the recent core PCE numbers represent a sharp and alarming turn south.
The Fed's statement yesterday was unsurprising, acknowledging a "sharp" decline in economic activity and a significant tightening of financial conditions, which has "impaired the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses."
Yesterday's final EZ manufacturing PMIs for August provided little in the way of relief for the beleaguered industrial sector.
After a week--yes, a whole week!--with no significant new developments in the trade war with China--it's worth stepping back and asking a couple of fundamental questions, which might give us some clues as to what will happen over the months ahead.
Britain now looks set to flirt with deflation in the summer.
Friday's advance GDP data provided the first solid evidence of a Q1 slowdown in the euro area economy.
News that the U.K.'s departure from the E.U. has been delayed by six months, unless MPs ratify the existing deal sooner, appears to have done little to revive confidence among businesses.
Yesterday's economic numbers in the Eurozone were mixed, but we are inclined to see them through rose-tinted glasses.
Last week's preliminary estimate of Q1 GDP has extinguished any lingering chance that the MPC might raise interest rates at its next meeting on May 10.
The business cycle upturn in the Eurozone likely will remain resilient in the first half of 2017. Friday's money supply data showed that headline M3 growth increased to 5.0% in December, from 4.9% in November.
Markets' expectations for official interest rates have shifted up over the last fortnight, and the consensus view now is that the MPC will hike rates before the end of this year. As our first chart shows, the implied probability of interest rates breaching 0.25% in December 2017 now slightly exceeds 50%.
Today's data likely will show that inflation in the Eurozone rebounded in November.
Bullish money supply data last week added to the evidence that the Eurozone's business cycle is strengthening. Broad money growth--M3--rose to 5.3% year-over-year in October from 4.9% in September. Most of the increase came from a surge in short-term debt issuance, rising 8.4% year-over-year, following an inexplicable 1.4% fall in September.
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.
Japanese retail sales were unchanged in October month-on-month, after a 0.8% rise in September.
Yesterday's November inflation reports from Germany and Spain suggest that today's data for the Eurozone as a whole will undershoot the consensus.
The news in Brazil on inflation and politics has been relatively positive in recent weeks, allowing policymakers to keep cutting interest rates to boost the stuttering recovery.
Yesterday's advance inflation data in Germany fell short of forecasts--ours and the consensus--for a further increase. Inflation was unchanged at 0.8% year-over-year in November, but we think this pause will be temporary.
Neither the strength in October consumption nor the softness of core PCE inflation, reported yesterday, are sustainable.
The trade war with China is not big enough or bad enough alone to push the U.S. economy into recession.
Hard data released in Argentina over recent weeks showed that the economy was resilient in Q1 and early Q2.
Some closely-watched composite leading indicators for the U.K. economy, and for many others, are flashing red.
Today's barrage of data kicks off a couple of busy days in the Eurozone economic calendar.
The 0.18% increase in the core PCE deflator in December was at the lower end of the range implied by the core CPI. It left the year-over-year rate at just 1.5%.
Argentina's Recession Has Ended, Supporting Mr. Macri's Odds
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 Conservatives' opinion poll rating has fallen dramatically over the last 10 days or so, pushing sterling down and forcing investors to confront the possibility that Theresa May might not increase her majority much from the current paltry 17 MPs.
It's possible that first hints of better news ahead in the Covid surge in the South and West are beginning to emerge in the data.
Data released last week confirm that Argentina's economy remains a mess.
Producer price inflation in the euro area almost surely peaked over the summer.
Auto industry watchers at WardsAuto and JD Power are in agreement that today's September sales numbers will be little changed from a year ago, at around 17.5M.
December's money and credit data support the MPC's decision last week to hold back from providing the economy with more stimulus.
The official PMIs suggest that the January survey data have escaped the worst of the hit from the virus.
Chile's stronger-than-expected industrial production report for December, and less-ugly-than- feared retail sales numbers, confirmed that the hit from the Q4 social unrest on economic activity is disappearing.
The number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, but we're expecting to see signs that the number of new cases is peaking within the next two to three weeks.
Friday's advance Q4 growth numbers in the EZ were a bit of a dumpster fire.
The substantial gap between the key manufacturing surveys for the U.S. and China, relative to their long-term relationship, likely narrowed a bit in December.
The data in LatAm were all over the map while we were out.
CPI inflation looks set to remain below the 2% target this year, driven by sterling's recent appreciation and lower energy prices.
Friday's inflation and labour market data in the Eurozone were dovish.
President Trump tweeted yesterday that he wants to re-introduce tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Brazil and Argentina, after accusing these economies of intentionally devaluing their currencies, hurting the competitiveness of U.S. farmers.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone quickened last month, by 0.3 percentage points to 3.9% year- over-year, but the details were less upbeat.
The stock market loved Fed Chair Powell's remarks on the economy yesterday, specifically, his comment that rates are now "just below" neutral.
It doesn'tt matter if third quarter GDP growth is revised up a couple of tenths in today's third estimate of the data, in line with the consensus forecast.
Yesterday's EZ money supply data confirmed that liquidity conditions in the private sector improved in Q3, despite the dip in the headline.
Brazil's February industrial production numbers, labour market data, and sentiment indicators are gradually providing clarity on the underlying pace of activity growth, pointing to some red flags.
The Redbook chainstore sales survey today is likely to give the superficial impression that the peak holiday shopping season got off to a robust start last week.
Why should Japan, the U.S., the Euro Area, the U.K. and Japan all have the same inflation target?
We see only a small risk today of the MPC raising interest rates or sending a strong signal that a hike is imminent, for the reasons we set out in our preview of the meeting. The MPC, however, also must decide today whether to wind up the Term Funding Scheme-- TFS--launched a year ago as part of its post-Brexit stimulus measures.
The first economic report of 2020 confirmed the main story in the euro area last year; namely a recession in manufacturing.
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.
The Bank of England issued a statement yesterday that it is "working closely with HM Treasury and the FCA--as well as our international partners--to ensure all necessary steps are taken to protect financial and monetary stability".
Yesterday's final manufacturing PMIs confirmed that all remained calm in the EZ industrial sector through February.
It has been a nasty start to the year for LatAm as markets have been hit by renewed volatility in China, triggered by the coronavirus.
Something of a debate appears to be underway in markets over the "correct" way to look at the coronavirus data.
Manufacturers in the Eurozone are still suffering, but yesterday's final PMI data for April offered a few bright spots.
The sharp and unexpected improvement in the Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey in October released on Monday raised hopes that the recession in the industrial sector might be over. A cool look at the evidence, however, suggests that this probably is just wishful thinking.
Last week's advance EZ GDP data for the first quarter suggest the economy shrugged off the volatility in financial markets. Eurostat's first estimate indicates that real GDP in the euro area rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, up from 0.3% in Q4, and above the consensus, 0.4%.
Policymakers in Colombia last Friday took aim at inflation by hiking interest rates by 50 basis points to 7.0%. The consensus expectation was for a 25bp increase. BanRep's bold move, which came on the heels of six consecutive 25bp increases since November, took Colombia's main interest rate to its highest level since March 2009.
Korea's economy is shaping up largely in line with our expectations for the second quarter, with private consumption recovering, but exports and investment tanking.
Chile's near-term economic outlook is still negative after a sharp resurgence of coronavirus cases.
German retail sales always have to be taken with a pinch of salt, given their monthly volatility and often substantial revisions, but the preliminary Q2 data don't look pretty.
Today brings an array of economic data, including the jobless claims report, brought forward because July 4 falls on Thursday.
Friday's euro area inflation reported capped a difficult week for EZ bondholders, although most of the damage was done beforehand by the advance German data.
Gilts continued to rally last week, with 10-year yields dropping to their lowest since October 2016, and the gap between two-year and 10-year yields narrowing to the smallest margin since September 2008.
Last week's May CPI data in the major EZ economies all but confirmed the story for this week's advance estimate for the euro area as a whole.
April's money and credit figures show that relatively few firms suffered from a lack of liquidity at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.
We're expecting ADP today to report a 10M drop in private payrolls in May, but investors should be braced for surprises, in either direction, because ADP's methodology is not clear.
The chance of a self-inflicted, unnecessary weakening in the economy this year, and perhaps even a recession, has increased markedly in the wake of the president's announcement on Friday that tariffs will be applied to all imports from Mexico, from June 10.
Britain looks set for a general election during the week commencing December 9, now that all main parties are pushing for a pre-Christmas poll.
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.
January's money supply figures continued the nerve-jangling flow of data on the economy's momentum.
Investors focussed last week on Chair Powell's semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony, but he said nothing much new.
Colombia's GDP growth hit a relatively solid 2.8% year-over-year in Q4, up from 2.7% in Q3, helped by improving domestic fundamentals, which offset the drag from weaker terms of trade.
Markets were left somewhat disappointed yesterday by the G7 statement that central banks and finance ministers stand ready "to use all appropriate policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable growth and safeguard against downside risks."
Last week's final barrage of data showed that EZ headline inflation rose slightly last month, by 0.1 percentage points to 1.5%, driven mainly by increases in the unprocessed food energy components.
In Friday's Monitor--see here--we argued that the official labour market data were less than accurate at the moment, and we'd make the same point about the CPI. The April report showed that EZ headline inflation fell to 0.4% year-over-year, from 0.7% in March, while the core rate dipped by 0.1pp, to 1.0%.
Thursday and Friday were busy days for LatAm economy watchers. In Brazil, the data underscored our view that the economy is on the mend, but the recent upturn remains shaky, and external risks are still high.
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.
Eurozone manufacturing selling prices remain under pressure from deflationary headwinds. The PPI index, ex-construction, in the euro area fell 4.2% year-over-year in March, matching February's drop. Weakness in oil prices continues to drive the headline.
We are revising down our forecasts for quarteron-quarter GDP growth in Q1 and Q2 to 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, from 0.4% in both quarters previously, to account for the likely impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
We aren't in the business of trying to divine the explanation for every twist and turn in the stock market at the best of times, and these are not the best of times.
The economic calendar in Mexico was relatively quiet over Christmas, and broadly conformed to our expectations of resilient economic activity in Q4.
The days of +2% inflation in the Eurozone are long gone. Data on Friday showed that the headline rate slipped to 1.4% year-over-year in January, from 1.6% in December, thanks to a 2.9 percentage point plunge in energy inflation to 2.6%.
Brazil's December industrial production and labour reports, released late last week, confirmed that the recovery was struggling at the end of last year.
The 15% fall in the FTSE 100 since its May 2018 peak undoubtedly is an unwelcome development for the economy, but past experience suggests we shouldn't rush to revise down our forecasts for GDP growth.
Yesterday's PMI data confirmed that the EZ manufacturing sector is in rude health. The manufacturing PMI in the euro area rose to a cyclical high of 57.4 in June, from 57.0 in May, slightly above the first estimate. New orders and output growth are robust, pushing work backlogs higher and helping to sustain employment growth.
The key story in Brazil this year remains one of gradual recovery, but downside risks have increased sharply, due mainly to challenging external conditions.
Data yesterday showed that Momentum in the EZ retail sector stumbled through middle of Q2.
Consumption remains an important source of economic growth in LatAm.
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.
A general election this year now looks inevitable, after the defection of Phillip Lee MP from the Tories to the Lib Dems, and the PM's threat to seek an election if MPs take control of the Order Paper on Tuesday evening.
April's RICS Residential Market survey confirmed that housing market activity collapsed to negligible levels during the lockdown, which prohibited property viewings, depleted the work forces of lenders and prompted many people to defer big financial decisions.
The run of soft core CPI numbers is over. The average 0.18% increase over the past two months probably is a good indication of the underlying trend -- the prints would have been close to this pace in both months had it not been for wild swings in the lodging component -- and the other one-time oddities of recent months' have faded.
The key data originally scheduled for today--ADP employment and the ISM non-manufacturing survey, and the revised Q3 productivity and unit labor costs-- have been pushed to Thursday because the federal government will be closed for the National Day of Mourning for president George H. W. Bush.
In one line: Slightly confusing manufacturing data; but overall picture is robust.
China's export data for April were a mixed bag, to say the least.
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 PBoC cut the Reserve Requirement Ratio late on Friday--as signalled at last Wednesday's State Council meeting--by 0.5 percentage points, to be implemented from September 16.
Friday's detailed Q2 growth data in the EZ broadly confirmed the advance numbers.
Peru's inflation continues to surprise to the downside, paving the way for an additional rate cut next week.
India's headline GDP print for the third quarter was damning, with growth slowing further, to 4.5% year- over-year, from 5.0% in Q2.
Activity data from Colombia over the past quarter have been strong. Real GDP expanded by a relatively robust 2.8% year-over-year in Q2, and is on track to post a 3.2% increase in Q3.
Households' decision to reduce their saving rate sharply was the main reason why economic growth exceeded forecasters' expectations in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
We have argued for some time that much of the early phase of the downturn in global manufacturing was due to the weakening of China's economic cycle, rather than the trade war.
China hit back against the Trump-administration tariffs yesterday, targeting Mr. Trump's electorate.
We remain optimistic on the scope for sterling to appreciate this year, reflecting our views that a deal for a soft Brexit will be reached soon and that the MPC will resume its tightening cycle later this year.
We were worried about downside risk to yesterday's ADP employment measure, but the 67K increase in November private payrolls was at the very bottom of our expected range.
The forecasts compiled by Bloomberg for today's June German factory orders data look too timid to us. The consensus is pencilling in a 0.5% month-to month rise, which would push the year-over-year rate down to -2.1%, from zero in May. But survey data point to an increase in year-over-year growth, which would require a large month-to-month rise due to base effects from last year.
The Conservatives are rallying in the opinion polls, as their uncompromising line on leaving the E.U. by October 31, come what may, resonates with Brexit party supporters.
The manufacturing indexes for January showed a small improvement for the biggest economies in LatAm: Brazil and Mexico. In Brazil, the PMI manufacturing index increased marginally to 50.7 in December from 50.2 in November, thanks to stronger output and new orders components, which rose together for the first time in ten months.
Colombia's central bank has found a relatively sweet spot.
Japan's headline jobless rate edged up to 2.8% in December, from 2.7% in November, but the increase was negligible, with the rate moving to 2.76% from 2.74%.
The 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.
It's a myth that the 10-ye ar decline in the unemployment rate has not driven up the pace of wage growth.
The Prime Minister achieved a rare victory yesterday, when the Commons passed the government-backed Brady amendment.
Yesterday's data dump in the EZ delivered something investors haven't seen for a while, namely, positive surprises.
We now have consumption data for two-thirds of the first quarter, making it is easy to see that a near-herculean spending effort is required to lift the quarter as a whole into anything like respectable territory. After February's 0.1% dip, real spending has to rise by at least 0.4% in March just to generate a 2.0% annualized gain for the quarter, and a 2.5% increase requires a 0.7% jump.
Yesterday's BoJ statement, outlook and press conference raised our conviction on two key aspects of the policy outlook.
The further depreciation of sterling yesterday, to its lowest level against the dollar and euro since March 2017 and September 2017, respectively, signified deepening pessimism among investors about the chances of a no-deal Brexit.
Yesterday's first estimate of full-year 2019 GDP in Mexico confirmed that growth was extremely poor, due to domestic and external shocks.
The MPC's decision yesterday was a "dovish hold", designed to keep market interest rates at current stimulative levels and to preserve the option of cutting Bank Rate swiftly and without surprise, if the economy fails to rebound in Q1.
This Budget will be remembered as the moment when the Government finally threw in the towel on plans to run sustainable public finances.
The headlines from Catalonia are as confusing as ever, but we are sticking to our view--see here--that regional elections are the only reasonable outcome of the chaos.
The key message of the minutes of the Copom meeting, released yesterday, is that policymakers remain worried about the inflation outlook and, in particular, about uncertainties surrounding fiscal tightening. But the Committee reinforced the signal that the Selic rate is likely to remain at the current level, 14.25%, for a "sufficiently prolonged period". The economy is in a severe recession and the rebalancing process has been longer and more painful than the Central Bank anticipated.
Inflation pressures remain under control in most LatAm economies, allowing central banks to keep interest rates on hold, despite the challenging external environment.
China's industrial profits data for August were a mixed bag.
The Bank of Korea's two main monthly economic surveys were very perky in January.
Data yesterday showed that German inflation roared higher at the start of the year, but the devil is in the detail.
Data released yesterday show that the Chilean economy had a weak start to the second half of the year.
Yesterday's advance data from Germany and Spain suggest that today's Eurozone inflation report will undershoot the consensus. In Germany, headline inflation slipped to 1.6% in March from 2.2% in February, and in Spain the headline rate plunged to 2.3% from 3.0%.
The national accounts look set to show that GDP growth in the fourth quarter was even stronger than previously estimated. Earlier this month, quarter-on-quarter growth in construction output in Q4 was revised up to 1.2%, from 0.2%. As a result, construction's contribution to GDP growth will rise by 0.07 percentage points.
The ADP employment report was on the money in October at the headline level--it undershot the official private payroll number by a trivial 6K--but the BLS's measure was hit by the absence of 46K striking GM workers from the data.
Yesterday's economic reports added to the evidence the euro area economy as a whole is showing signs of resilience in the face of still-terrible conditions in manufacturing.
The clear message from the fourth quarter's national accounts, released last week, is that the economic recovery rests on unsustainable foundations. The U.K. has returned to bad habits and is financing expenditure today by borrowing. As this undermines future spending, it is only a matter of time before the U.K.'s recovery loses steam.
Data released yesterday confirm that Brazil's recovery has continued over the second half of the year, supported by steady capex growth and rebounding household consumption.
Korea's final GDP report for the third quarter confirmed the economy's growth slowdown to 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, following the 1.0% bounce-back in Q2.
LatAm assets and currencies enjoyed a good start to the week, following the agreement between the U.S. and China to pause the trade war.
Following the much-anticipated meeting between Presidents Xi and Trump over the weekend, the U.S. will now leave existing tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods at 10%, rather than increasing the rate to 25% in January, as previously slated.
Japan's labour market is already tight, but last week's data suggest it is set to tighten further.
While we were out, the economic news in LatAm was mostly positive. The main upside surprise came from Mexico, with the IGAE activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--rising 2.9% year-over-year in August, up from 1.2% in July, and an average of 2.4% in Q2. A modest rebound was anticipated, but the headline was much better than we and the markets expected.
Today's October ADP measure of private payrolls likely will overshoot Friday's official number.
Europeans, who usually save more of their income than Americans, have spent all the windfall from falling gas prices. Americans have not. It is tempting, therefore, to argue that perhaps Americans have come to see the error of their low-saving ways, and are now seeking to emulate the behavior of high-saving Europeans. Undeniably, the plunge in gas prices has given Americans the opportunity to save more without making hard choices.
Many investors probably glossed over yesterday's barrage of data in the Eurozone, for fear of being caught out by another swoon in Italian bond yields. Don't worry, we are here to help.
Today's advance EZ CPI report likely will show that inflation pressures eased in May. We think inflation slipped to 1.5% year-over-year, from 1.9% in April, as the boost to the core rate from the late Easter faded.
The September consumption data were a bit better than median expectations, with real spending rebounding by 0.6%, led by an 15.1% leap in the new vehicle component.
Yesterday's data kicked off the release of Eurozone Q3 growth numbers with a robust Spanish headline. Real GDP in Spain rose 0.8% quarter-on-quarter, slowing slightly from 0.9% in Q2, and le aving the year-over-year rate unchanged at 3.1%.
The Japanese unemployment rate fell again in September, to 2.3% from 2.4%. In the same vein, the job-to-applicant ratio rose to 1.64, from 1.63.
Yesterday's barrage of economic data in the Eurozone offered a good snapshot of the grand narrative.
Growth in the broad money supply slowed further in September, providing more evidence that the economy is losing momentum.
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.
To avoid rocking the 2020 boat, the Phase One trade deal needed to be sufficiently vague, so that neither side, and particularly Mr. Trump, would have much cause to kick up a fuss around missed targets.
Mexico's industrial sector did relatively well in Q3, due mainly to the resilience of the manufacturing sector, and the rebound in construction and oil output, following a long period of sluggishness.
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 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.
CPI data today in France and Germany will confirm that current inflation rates remain very low in the euro area. Inflation in Germany likely rose to 0.3% year-over-year from 0.0% in September, in line with the consensus and initial estimate. State data indicate that the rise was driven by surging fresh food prices and slightly higher services inflation, principally due to a jump in the volatile recreation and culture sector. Looking ahead, food prices will drop back, but energy inflation will rise rapidly as last year's plunge drops out of the year-over-year comparison, while upward core pressure is now emerging too.
The Mexican economy gathered strength in Q3, due mainly to the strength of the services sector, and the rebound in manufacturing, following a long period of sluggishness, helped by the solid U.S. economy and improving domestic confidence.
The economic data were mixed while we were away. The final PMI data showed that the composite PMI in the euro area fell to 53.1 in October, from 54.1 in September, somewhat better than the initial estimate, 52.7.
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 Q1 GDP figures, released on Wednesday, likely will show that the quarter-on-quarter decline in economic activity eclipsed the biggest decline in the 2008-to-09 recession--2.1% in Q4 2008--even though the U.K. went into lockdown towards the very end of the quarter.
The reported rebound in January retail sales was welcome, but the overshoot to consensus was matched, more or less, by the unexpected downward revisions to the December numbers.
Chancellor Sunak's "temporary, timely and targeted" fiscal response to the Covid-19 outbreak, and the BoE's accompanying stimulus measures, won't prevent GDP from falling over the next couple of months.
Brazil's April CPI data this week showed that inflation pressures remain weak, supporting the BCB's focus on the downside risks to economic activity. Wednesday's report revealed that the benchmark IPCA inflation index rose 0.1% unadjusted month-to-month in April, marginally below market expectations.
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 Andean countries were quick to implement significant measures in response to the initial stage of the pandemic, adopting a broad range of economic and social policies to ease the effects.
Data released yesterday support our view that the Brazilian retail sector has gathered strength in recent months, following a weak Q2, when activity was hit by the truckers' strike.
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.
Japan's PPI inflation edged up further in November to 3.5%, from October's 3.4%. Energy was the main driver, with petroleum and coal contributing 0.8 percentage points to the year-over-year rate, up from a 0.7pp contribution in October.
The ECB and Ms. Lagarde played it safe yesterday.
Today's industrial production data will confirm that EZ manufacturing suffered a slow start to Q4. Advance country data signal a 0.2% month-to-month fall in October, slightly worse than the consensus, 0.0%.
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.
China's GDP report for the fourth quarter, due on Friday, is likely to show that economic growth has stabilised, on the surface.
We will be paying special attention to the sentiment surveys for Argentina over the coming weeks.
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.
The Brazilian central bank cut its benchmark Selic interest rate by 50bp to 4.50% on Wednesday night.
The headline March retail sales numbers probably will look horrible, thanks to the unexpected drop in auto sales reported by the manufacturers earlier this month. Their unit sales data don't always move exactly in line with the dollar value numbers in the retail sales report, as our first chart shows, but it's hard to imagine anything other than a clear decline today.
China's money and credit numbers were once again unspectacular in August. M2 growth edged up to 8.2% year-over-year, from 8.1% in July.
CPI inflation picked up to 0.5% in March, from 0.3% in February. The jump was entirely attributable to core inflation, which leapt to 1.5%--its highest rate since October 2014--from 1.2%. With core inflation on track to rise further over the next year, we continue to think that markets will be caught out by interest rate rises later this year.
Inflation pressures in France increased significantly at the start of the year.
While we were out, most of the action was on the political front, while the economic data mostly were unexciting.
Brazilian political risk remains high, due mainly to President Bolsonaro's gross mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis, but, as we have argued in previous Monitors, it is unlikely to deter policymakers from further near-term monetary easing.
In March, CPI rents--the weighted average of primary and owners' equivalents rents--rose by 0.35% month- to-month.
The August NFIB survey of activity and sentiment at small businesses was soft, but it could have been worse.
China's PPI deflation deepened in August, with prices dropping 0.8% year-over-year, after a 0.3% decline in July.
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.
We have been puzzled in recent months by the sudden and substantial divergence between the Redbook chainstore sales numbers and the official data.
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.
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.
Base effects were the key driver of yesterday's upbeat industrial production headline in Italy.
Business investment in Japan took a nasty hit in the third quarter.
Yesterday's French industrial production data were worse than we expected. Output slipped 1.1% month-to-month in September, pushing the year-over-year rate down to -1.1% from a revised +0.4% in August. Mean-reversion was a big driver of the poor headline, given the upwardly-revised 2.4% jump in August.
Mexico's inflation remains the envy of LatAm, having consistently outperformed the rest of the region this year. Headline inflation slowed marginally to 2.5% in October, a record low and below the middle of Banxico's target, 2-to-4%, for the sixth straight month. The annual core rate increased marginally to 2.5% in October from 2.4% in September, but it remains below the target and its underlying trend is inching up only at a very slow pace. We expect it to remain subdued, closing the year around 2.7% year-over-year. Next year it will gradually increase, but will stay below 3.5% during the first half of 2016, given the lack of demand pressures and the ample output gap.
Uncertainty about the U.S. economic and political outlook, following Donald Trump's presidential win, likely will cast a long shadow over EM in general and LatAm in particular. On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump argued for tearing up NAFTA and building a border wall.
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.
Recent inflation numbers across the biggest economies in LatAm have surprised to the downside, strengthening the case for further monetary easing.
Investors in euro-denominated corporate debt will be listening closely to Mr. Draghi this week for hints on how the ECB intends to balance QE between public and private debt next year.
The overshoot in the November core PPI does not change the key story, which is that PPI inflation, headline and core, is set to fall sharply through the first half of next year, at least.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday released a list of Chinese imports, with an annual value of $200B, on which it is threatening to impose a 10% tariff, after a two-month consultation period.
The Mexican industrial sector is struggling. December industrial output fell 0.4% month-to-month, the third consecutive drop, driven mainly by a similar decline in mining/oil output.
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.
Brazil's political situation is steadily improving, with the latest events proving a step in the right direction.
China's PPI inflation has been trending down since early 2017.
China's Q2 official GDP growth, to be released on Monday, likely slowed to 6.2% year-over-year, from 6.4% in Q1.
Apart from a slew of economic data--see here and here--two important things happened in Germany last week.
Mexico's central bank continues to diverge from its regional peers, tightening monetary policy further.
The outlook for the French economy is changing on a daily basis these days.
Mexico's economy is not accelerating, but it is holding up very well in difficult circumstances, with rising domestic political risk and stifling interest rates.
Yesterday's minutes of the February 4-to-5 COPOM meeting, at which Brazil's central bank, the BCB, cut the benchmark Selic rate by 25bp to 4.25%, reaffirmed the committee's post-meeting communiqué.
Chair Powell broke no new ground in his semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony yesterday, repeating the Fed's new core view that the current stance of policy is "appropriate".
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%.
Here's the bottom line: U.S. businesses appear to have over-reacted to the impact of the trade war in their responses to most surveys, pointing to a serious downturn in economic growth which has not materialized.
Thursday's CPI report in Mexico showed that inflation is edging lower. We are confident that it will continue to fall consistently during Q1, thanks chiefly to the subpar economic recovery, low inertia and the effect of the recent MXN rebound.
The fall in CPI inflation to just 1.5% in October-- its lowest rate since November 2016--from 1.7% in September, isn't a game-changer for the monetary policy outlook.
We take little comfort from the fact that the 2.0% quarter-on-quarter drop in Q1 GDP was a bit smaller than the consensus forecast, 2.5%, and the 3.0% fall pencilled-in by the MPC in its Monetary Policy Report.
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.
Soft September data in Germany and Italy suggest that today's industrial production report in the Eurozone will be poor. Our first chart shows that data from the major EZ economies point to a 0.8% month-to- month fall in September.
Hard data for Brazil and Mexico, released last week, support the case for further interest rate cuts.
We remain confident--see here--that today's Q3 GDP report in Germany will be a shocker, but this already is priced-in by markets.
Yesterday's data provided further evidence of the damage wrought on the EZ at the end of Q1.
Chile and Peru faced similar growth trends in 2018, namely, a solid first half, followed by a poor second half, particularly Q3.
Brazil's economic situation has improved this year, and we still expect the recovery to continue over the second half, despite recent political volatility and soft Q2 data.
Inflation in Brazil Ended 2019 Above the BCB's Target; 2020 will be Fine
CPI inflation increased to 2.9% in May, from 2.7% in April, exceeding the no-change expectation of both the consensus and the MPC, as well as our own 2.8% forecast.
Yesterday's EZ industrial production data for January confirmed the string of positive advance numbers from most of the individual economies.
Data released last week in Brazil reinforced our view of a modest, final, interest rate cut this week, despite the recent strength of the USD and volatility in global markets.
Sterling leapt to $1.27, from $1.22 last week, amid some positive signals from all sides engaged in Brexit talks.
This could have been a momentous week, but now it very likely will be just another week with another Fed meeting where rates are left on hold. Our call has very little to do with the underlying state of the economy, which we think can cope with higher rates, and needs them, given the tightness of the labor market. Instead, the story is all about the perceptions--misplaced, in our view--of both the Fed and the markets.
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.
No matter how you choose to slice-and-dice the recent retail sales numbers, the core data for the past couple of months have been disappointing. Our favorite measure--total sales less autos, gasoline, food and building materials--rose by just 0.1% month-to- month in May but then reversed this minimal gain in June.
The MPC chose not to rock the boat yesterday, deferring any reappraisal of the economic outlook until its next meeting in early February.
Eurozone GDP data last Friday suggest the cyclical recovery continued at the end of last year. Real GDP in euro area rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the same as in Q3, lifted by growth in all the major economies. This was in line with the consensus forecast, but noticeably higher than implied by monthly industrial production and retail sales data.
We can't remember the last time a single economic report was as surprising as the December retail sales numbers, released yesterday.
The EZ Q4 GDP data narrowly avoided a downward revision in yesterday's second estimate.
The unexpected rise in CPI inflation to 2.1% in July--well above the Bank of England's 1.8% forecast and the 1.9% consensus--from 2.0% in June undermines the case for expecting the MPC to cut Bank Rate, in the event that a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
Nobody has a monopoly on "the truth".
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.
Manufacturing in the Eurozone had a slow start to the third quarter. Industrial production rose only 0.1% month-to-month in July, though the year-over-year rate was pushed up to 3.2% from a revised 2.8% in June.
The U.K. Monitor will be on a short break soon for paternity leave, so we are taking this opportunity to preview next week's data releases.
The hard economic data in Brazil were relatively solid while we were off last week, supporting our view that the economy was experiencing a good spell at the start of the year just before the coronavirus hit.
Yesterday's data showed that growth in the EZ slowed in the second quarter.
Industrial production in India turned around sharply in November, rising by 1.8% year-over-year, following October's 4.0% plunge and beating the consensus forecast for a trivial 0.3% uptick.
Investors concluded too hastily yesterday that November's GDP report boosted the chances that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its upcoming meeting on January 30.
Chile's market volatility and high political risk continue, despite government efforts to ease the crisis.
Activity in the Eurozone industrial sector cooled at the end of the first quarter. Manufacturing production declined 0.8% month-to-month in March, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 0.2% from a revised 1.0% in February. Over Q1 as a whole, though, the story was positive.
The rate of deterioration in the labour market remains gradual enough for the MPC to hold back from cutting Bank Rate over the coming months.
The 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%.
Industrial production data yesterday confirmed downside risks to today's GDP data in the Eurozone. Output fell 0.3% month-to-month in September, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 1.7% from a revised 2.2% in August. Weakness in Germany was the main culprit, amid stronger data in the other major economies. A GDP estimate based on available data for industrial production and retail sales point to a quarterly growth rate of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, but we think growth was rather lower, just 0.2%, due to a drag from net trade.
The political situation in Spain remains an odd example of how complete gridlock can be a source of relative stability.
Monthly manufacturing and retail sales data point to upside risk to the consensus expectation of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 Eurozone real GDP growth. Advance country data indicate that industrial production was unchanged month-to-month in March, equivalent to a 0.9% increase quarter-on-quarter.
The record 0.4% drop in the core CPI in April would have looked even worse had it not been for favorable rounding; it was just 0.002% away from printing at -0.5%.
LatAm governments and policymakers are bracing for a more dramatic and longer virus-led downturn than initially expected.
Markets are still discounting Banxico rate increases in the near term, despite the fact that Mexico's inflation is under control. Unless the MXN goes significantly above 18.7 per USD in the near term, or activity accelerates, we see little scope for rate increases until after the Fed hikes. After May's soft U.S. payrolls, and in light of the economic and financial risk posed by the U.K. referendum, we think a hike this week is unlikely.
The measures to support the economy through the coronavirus crisis, unveiled by policymakers on Budget day, exceeded expectations.
The NY Fed's announcement yesterday restarts QE. The $60B of bill purchases previously planned for the period from March 13 through April 13 will now consist of $60B purchases "across a range of maturities to roughly match the maturity composition of Treasury securities outstanding".
External and domestic shocks in Mexico over the last two years, including the "gasolinazo", NAFTA renegotiation and the presidential election, have put the country's financial metrics under severe stress and pushed inflation to cyclical highs.
Banxico decided unanimously to hold its benchmark interest rate at 7.0% at last Thursday's policy meeting.
Macroeconomic data in the euro area were mixed in our absence.
The 0.242% increase in the January core CPI left the year-over-year rate at 2.3% for the third straight month.
It was no surprise that Banxico cut its policy rate by 25bp to 7.00% yesterday, following similar moves in August, September, November and December.
Legislative and presidential elections in Colombia will be held on March 11 and May 27, respectively, with a run-off presidential election on June 17 if no candidate secures more than half the votes.
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.
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.
CPI inflation held steady at 3.0% in January, above the consensus by one tenth and thus pushing up the market-implied probability of a May rate hike to 65%, from 62% earlier this week.
The consensus for a mere 0.3% month-to-month rise in retail sales volumes in November looks too timid; we anticipate a 0.7% gain.
The macro data reported in Brazil this week added weight to the view that the economy ended the second quarter in a severe recession. Brazil's retail sales fell 0.4% month-to-month in June, the fifth consecutive contraction. The broad retail index, which includes vehicles and construction materials, fell 0.8% month-to-month, with a sharp contraction in auto sales, down 2.8%.
Brazil's retail sales data undershot consensus in August, falling by 0.5% after four straight gains. But we think this merely a temporary softening, following the strong performance in recent months.
The worst phase of the squeeze on real wages is nearly over; CPI inflation looks set to peak at slightly above 3% in October, before falling back steadily to about 2% by the end of 2018.
Three separate stories will come together to generate today's September core CPI number. First, we wonder if the hurricanes will lift the core CPI.
Brazil's outlook is still improving at the margin, as positive economic signals mix with relatively encouraging political news.
The third straight 0.3% increase in the core CPI-- that hasn't happened since 1995--was ignored by the Treasury market yesterday, which appeared to be focusing its attention on the ECB.
The apparent thaw in the U.S.-China trade dispute is great news for LatAm, particularly for the Andean economies, which are highly dependent on commodity prices and the health of the world's two largest economies
Last week finished as it started, with more depressing economic numbers in the Eurozone, this time from manufacturing in the core economies.
China's official manufacturing PMI implies a modest gain in momentum in Q2, at 51.4, compared with 51.0 on average in Q1.
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.
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.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has decided to press ahead with the publication of new fiscal forecasts on November 7, despite the government's decision to postpone the Budget until after the next election.
The Brazilian Central Bank's policy board-- COPOM--voted unanimously on Wednesday to cut the Selic rate by 50bp to 5.00%, as expected.
We expect to see a 70K increase in October payrolls today.
House purchase mortgage approvals by the main street banks jumped to 40.1K in January, from 36.1K in December, fully reversing the 4K fall of the previous two months, according to trade body U.K. Finance.
Chile's April retail sales data, released on Monday, show that private consumption started the second quarter on a solid footing. Sales rose 3.0% month-to-month, pushing the year-over-rate up to 7.9% from 1.4% in March and an average of 4.0% in Q1. The headline was boosted by a favourable calendar effect, as April this year had two more trading days than April 2015.
Japan's main activity data for April were massively disappointing, presaging the sharper GDP contraction we expect in Q2, compared with Q1.
April's money and credit figures suggest that GDP growth has remained sluggish in Q2. Households' broad money holdings increased by just 0.3% month-to-month in April.
Today's tentative reopening of schools in England marks the biggest step forward for the economy since the lockdown was imposed on March 23.
Friday's economic data in the euro area provided the first piece of evidence of the slump in Q2 GDP, but added to the picture of a relatively resilient German economy.
Data released in recent days have started to reveal a story of horror and misery in the Brazilian economy.
The more headline hard data we see in the Eurozone, the more we are getting the impression that 2019 is the year of stabilisation, rather than a precursor to recession.
Industrial output in Chile struggled late in the third quarter, falling 1.3% month-to-month in September. The year-over-year rate, calendar and seasonally adjusted, rose 2.4% in September, down from a revised 5.3% in August.
MPC member Michael Saunders, who has voted to raise interest rates at the last two MPC meetings, argued in a speech yesterday that tighter monetary policy is required now partly because it affects the economy with a long lag.
Yesterday's aggregate economic data for the euro area showed that inflation rose slightly in August. The headline rate rose to a four-month high of 1.5% in August from 1.3% in July. The rate was lifted mainly by energy inflation, rising to 4.6% from 2.2% in July, but we think the rebound will be short-lived.
We expect Banxico to keep interest rates on hold at 7.50% at Thursday's meeting. But policymakers likely will adopt a slightly dovish tone, as inflation has fallen faster than they were expecting in their recent forecast.
Brazil's economic activity data have disappointed in recent months, firming expectations that the Q1 GDP report will show another relatively meagre expansion.
Our view that households will continue to spend more in the first half of this year, preventing the economy from slipping into a capex-led recession, was not seriously challenged yesterday by the BRC's Retail Sales Monitor.
Official Chinese real GDP growth likely slipped to 6.3% year-over-year in Q1, the lowest on record, from 6.4% in Q4, which matched the trough in the Great Financial Crisis.
Yesterday's EZ CPI report points to a dovish backdrop for next week's ECB meeting. Advance data show that inflation was unchanged at 0.2% year-overyear in August, lower than the consensus, 0.3%. The headline was held back by a dip in the core rate to 0.8%, from 0.9% in July; this offset a lower deflationary drag from energy prices.
The pressures on U.S. manufacturers are changing. For most of this year to date, the problem has been the collapse in capital spending in the oil business, which has depressed overall investment spending, manufacturing output and employment. Oil exploration is extremely capital-intensive, so the only way for companies in the sector to save themselves when the oil prices collapsed was to slash capex very quickly.
Economic survey data have been upbeat recently, but key Eurozone data releases yesterday suggest the ECB will be under pressure to increase monetary policy stimulus further this month. The advance inflation estimate showed that the euro area slipped back into deflation in September, as inflation fell to -0.1% year-over- year, from +0.1% in August. The fall was mainly due to a 8.9% collapse in energy prices, though, and we are very confident the relapse is temporary.
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.
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 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.
Collapsing oil prices continue to weigh on inflation pressures in Eurozone. Inflation was unchanged at a minimal 0.2% year-over-year in August, largely due to an accelerated fall in energy prices, which plunged 7.1%, down from a 5.6% drop in July. Base effects will offer support for year-over-year changes in energy prices starting in Q4, but our fir st chart show downside risks loom in the short run.
Eurozone inflation eased slightly to 0.2% year-over- year in June, down from 0.3% in May, according to the advance data but we continue to think that the trend has turned up. A 5.1% fall in energy prices, accelerating from a 4.8% in May, was partly to blame for the fall in June. But the key driver was the sharp drop in services inflation to 1.0% from 1.3% in May, likely due to volatility in package holiday prices.
Today brings a raft of data with the potential to move markets, but we're far from convinced that the two most closely-watched reports--ADP employment and the ISM manufacturing survey--will tell us much about the future.
The odds of the MPC cutting interest rates again in November took another knock yesterday after further signs that the manufacturing sector is getting back on its feet quickly.
Data released over the holidays suggest that money supply dynamics in the Eurozone remain solid, but also that growth is no longer accelerating. M3 growth slipped to 5.1% year-over-year in November from 5.3% in October, partly due to a sharp monthly fall in the stock of repurchase agreements. Momentum in narrow money, however, also dipped. M1 growth slowed to 11.2% year-over-year from 11.8% in October, mainly due to a modest fall in overnight deposit growth.
The first major data release of 2016 showed manufacturing activity slipping a bit further at the end of last year, but we doubt the underlying trend in the ISM manufacturing index will decline much more. Anything can happen in any given month, especially in data where the seasonal adjustments are so wayward, but the key new orders and production indexes both rose in January; almost all the decline in the headline index was due to a drop in the lagging employment index.
Advance data indicate that Q1 annualized GDP growth in the U.S. was a trivial 0.2%. And in the U.K., annualized growth is estimated to have slowed to 1.2%, from 2.4% in Q4.
German Q4 GDP data this week will give little comfort to investors searching for signs of a resilient economy in the face of increased market volatility. The consensus expects unchanged GDP growth of 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, consistent with solid and stable survey data. But downbeat industrial production and retail sales data point to notable downside risk.
EZ bond markets were stung earlier this week by a Bloomberg story suggesting that the ECB, in principle, has agreed on a QE exit strategy which involves "tapering" purchases by €10B per month. The story also specified, though, that the central bank has not discussed when tapering will begin.
The European financial sector was in the news again on Friday, propelled by further weakness in Deutsche Bank's share price. In our Monitor of September 27, we said that worries of a European "Lehman Moment" were overblown.
Investors are increasingly anxious that an intentional sharp devaluation of the renminbi, aiming to combat China's slowdown, might lead to prolonged deflation in the West, particularly in an economy as open as the U.K.
Data this week clearly hint at a cyclical trough in Eurozone inflation in the first quarter. The advance estimate for April shows year-over-year inflation rising slightly to zero, up from -0.1% in March.
The Eurozone is back in headline deflation, increasing the pressure on the ECB to deliver further easing when it meets next week. Inflation fell to -0.2% in February, from +0.3% in January, depressed by energy and food prices.
Economic theory tells us that government spending should be counter-cyclical, but recent experience in the Eurozone tells a slightly different story. The contribution to GDP growth from government spending rose during the boom from 2004 to 2007, and remained expansionary as the economy fell off the cliff in 2008. As the economy slowed again following the initial recovery, the sovereign debt crisis hit, driving a severe pro-cyclical fiscal hit to the economy.
Chile's weak indicators in January confirm that the economy is struggling. Mining output plunged 12.6% year-over-year, down from a modest 0.6% contraction during Q4, due mostly to falling copper production and an unfavourable base effect. This will reverse in February but we still look for a 5% drop.
Brazil's economic news this week remained bleak at the headline level, but some of the details were less terrible in than in recent months. Industrial production fell by a worse-than-expected 11.9% year-over-year in December, marginally up from the 12.4% drop in November.
Today's March ADP employment report likely will catch the leading edge of the wave of job losses triggered by the coronavirus.
Data released this week in LatAm are the last calm before the coronavirus storm.
We're expecting the FOMC to vote unanimously not raise rates today, but we do expect a modestly hawkish tilt in the statement. Specifically, we're expecting an acknowledgment of the upturn in business investment reported in the Q4 GDP data, and of the increase in market-based measures of inflation expectations, given that 10-year TIPS breakevens are now above 2% for the first time since September 2014.
The Bank of England's stress tests highlighted that banks have made further progress in strengthening their balance sheets over the last year. But while banks have retreated from taking risk onto their balance sheets, others have stepped in to fill the void.
December's money data brought clear signs that the economy's growth spurt in the second half of 2016 is about to come to an abrupt end. Growth in households' money holdings and borrowing slowed sharply in December, and the pick-up in corporate borrowing shortly after the MPC cut interest rates and announced corporate bond purchases, in August, has run out of steam already.
Yesterday was a good day for headline EZ economic data. GDP growth accelerated, inflation rose and unemployment fell further. Advance Q4 data showed that real GDP in the Eurozone rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, marginally faster than the upwardly revised 0.4% in Q3. Full-year growth in 2016 slowed slightly to 1.7% from 2.0% in 2015.
The outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 summit was as good as we expected.
Friday's inflation data in the Eurozone were a mixed bag.
President Moon was elected earlier this year on a promise to rebalance the economy toward domestic demand and reduce export dependency. It's not the first time politicians have received such a mandate.
Economy-wide confidence deteriorated in November, highlighting that Britain continues to struggle to shake off its malaise.
We agree wholeheartedly with the consensus view that the economy would enter a recession in the event of a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
Chile's economic sector survey, released on Monday, provides further evidence that the cyclical recovery in the economy continues, albeit at a moderate pace. On the demand side, the rebound is still in place, with retail sales jumping 2.0% month-to-month in February and the underlying trend firm.
Yesterday's first estimate of Q2 GDP in Mexico confirmed that the economy lost momentum in recent months.
Advance data indicate German inflation rose to 0.4% year-over-year in November, up from 0.3% in October, lifted by higher food and energy price inflation. The upward trend in food prices won't last, but base effects in energy prices will persist, boosting headline inflation significantly in coming months. The details show that services inflation was stable at 1.2% last month, despite state data indicating a fall in volatile leisure and entertainment inflation, while net rent inflation was also stable, at 1.1%.
Inflation in the euro area edged higher in November, but our prediction of a rebound in the core proved to be wrong. Headline inflation increased to 1.5% in November, from 1.4% in October.
The continued modest rate of increase in unit labor costs makes it hard to worry much about the near-term outlook for core inflation.
The early Q4 hard data in Germany recovered a bit of ground yesterday.
Inflation pressures in Brazil are now well- contained, with the headline rate falling to a decade low in July. We think inflation is now close to bottoming out, but the current benign rate strengthens our base case forecast for a 100bp rate cut at the next policy meeting, in September.
The ECB made no changes to its policy stance yesterday.
Recent activity data in Mexico have been soft and leading indicators still point to challenging near-term prospects, due mainly to relatively high domestic political risk, stifling interest rates and difficult external conditions.
We see clear upside risk to the inflation data due before the FOMC announcement, from three main sources.
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.
Mexico's latest forward-looking indicators are showing tentative signs of stabilisation in the wake of recent evidence that growth slowed quicker than markets have been expecting.
The economy has remained remarkably resilient in the face of intense political uncertainty.
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.
Friday was a busy day in the Eurozone economy. The third detailed GDP estimate confirmed that growth was unchanged at 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q2, pushing the year-over-year rate down by 0.4 percentage points to 2.1%, marginally below the first estimate,2.2%.
Data yesterday suggest that EZ investor sentiment is on track for a modest recovery in Q3.
The Mexican economy's brightest spot continues to be private consumption.
A reader sent us last week a series of five simple feedback loops, all of which ended with the Fed remaining "cautious". For example, in a scenario in which the dollar strengthens--perhaps because of stronger U.S. economic data--markets see an increased risk of a Chinese devaluation, which then pummels EM assets, making the Fed nervous about global growth risks to the domestic economy.
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%.
A reader pointed out Friday that the standard measurement of the impact of the weather on January payrolls--the number of people unable to work due to the weather, less the long-term average--likely overstated the boost from the extremely mild temperatures.
The resilience and adaptability that the Chilean economy has shown over previous cycles has been tested repeatedly over the last year. Uncertainty on the political front, falling metal prices, and growing concerns about growth in China have been the key factors behind expectations of slowing GDP growth.
Inflation appears no longer to be an issue for Mexican policymakers. The annual headline rate slowed to 3.0% year-over-year in February from 3.1% in January, in the middle of the central bank's target range, for the first time since May 2006.
We expect the Budget today to underwhelm investors who are eager to see a quick and powerful government response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Brazil's headline CPI has been well above the upper limit of the BCB's target zone since January 2015. We expect this situation will continue for some time, due to the lagged effect of last year's sharp increases in regulated prices, El Niño, the BRL's sell-off in 2015, and, especially, widespread price indexation.
The Easter effect depressed services inflation more than markets expected in April, but the main downside surprise was the tepid rebound in non-energy goods inflation.
This week's data confirmed Mexico's strong economic performance over the first few months of this year.
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.
This has been a very complicated week for LatAm policymakers, who are particularly uneasy about the performance of the FX market.
Yesterday's sole economic report in the Eurozone closed the book on the initial Covid-19 shock in French manufacturing.
German exports flatlined for most of 2018, driving the trade surplus down by 7.3% amid still-solid growth in imports.
Banxico's monetary policy meeting on Thursday was the first to be attended by the two new deputy governors, Jonathan Heath and Gerardo Esquivel, economists appointed by AMLO.
Industrial production and trade data on Friday ended last week on a downbeat note, amid otherwise solid economic reports. In Germany, industrial output fell 0.3% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 0.1% from a revised 0.4% in October. The details, however, were better than the headline. Production was hit by a 3.3% plunge in capital goods output, offsetting gains in all other key sectors, and net revisions added 0.3% to the October data.
Mexico's inflation rate ended 2018 in line with market expectations, strengthening the case for interest rates to remain on hold in the near term.
The economy looks to be in better shape following May's GDP report than widely feared.
The likely dip in the headline NFIB index of small business sentiment and activity today will tell us that business owners are unhappy and nervous about the potential impact of the latest China tariffs on their sales and profits.
Mexican economic growth was subdued during the first half of the year, and we expect it to remain weak over the coming months. The economy has been held back largely by external headwinds, especially low oil prices and disruptions to activity in the US, its main trading partner.
Our forecast of a solid 190K increase in headline December payrolls ignores our composite employment indicator, which usually leads by about three months and points to a print of just 50K or so.
Survey data have been signalling a resilient Brazilian economy in the last few months, despite the broader challenges facing LatAm and the global economy in 2019.
Yesterday's industrial production report in Germany was much better than implied by the poor new orders data--see here--released earlier this week.
Japan's wage growth surprised us with a jump to 2.0% year-over-year in December, up from 1.5% in November.
Friday's industrial production reports in the Eurozone were sizzling. In Germany, headline output rose 1.2% month-to-month in May--after a downwardly-revised 0.7% rise in April--which pushed the year-over-year rate up to a six-year high of 4.9%.
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.
Friday's industrial production data in the core EZ economies, for December, were startlingly poor. In Germany, industrial production plunged by 3.5% month-to-month, comfortably reversing the revised 1.2% rise in November.
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.
Recent inflation and activity data in Mexico were dovish.
The monthly survey of small businesses conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business is quite sensitive to short-term movements in the stock market, so we're expecting an increase in the November reading, due today.
The U.K. is one of the smallest winners among advanced economies from the precipitous decline in oil prices. British oil production still fulfils about 55% of the U.K.'s demand, even though it has declined by two-thirds since its 1999 peak. Oil consumption therefore exceeds production by a much smaller margin in the U.K. than in most other European countries. As a result, the boost to the U.K. economy from the $10 decline in oil prices over the last month isn't much to write home about.
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.
The reported 225K jump in payrolls in January was even bigger than we expected, but it is not sustainable. The extraordinarily warm weather last month most obviously boosted job gains in construction, where the 44K increase was the biggest in a year
Inflation in Mexico edged higher in the second half, but we expect both the headline and core rates to continue falling, allowing Banxico to keep interest rates on hold.
Friday's data provided the first bit of evidence that manufacturing in the Eurozone is headed for a slowdown in Q2, partly reversing the strength in Q1.
With just over six weeks to go, opinion polls continue to suggest that the E.U. referendum will be extremely close. Noisy interventions in the public debate from the Treasury, independent international bodies, President Obama, and from the Prime Minister again today have had no discernible positive impact on the support for "Bremain" relative to "Brexit"
Brazil's economy remains mired in a renewed slowdown, and low--albeit temporarily rising-- inflation, which is allowing the BCB to keep interest rates on hold, at historic lows.
Some commentators have asserted that the Monetary Policy Committee won't raise interest rates until all its members agree and investors have fully priced in an increase, arguing that an earlier move would create excessive market turmoil and muddy the Committee's message. But a look back to previous turning points in the interest rate cycle suggests that the Monetary Policy Committee--MPC--hasn't paid much heed to those considerations before.
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.
The hard data now point to a horrendous Q3 GDP print in Germany, which almost surely will constrain the advance EZ GDP print released on October 30.
We remain confident in the success of legislation designed to compel the PM to request a further extension of the U.K.'s E.U. membership on October 19, in the overwhelmingly likely scenario that an exit deal is not agreed at next week's E.U. Council meeting.
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.
The French manufacturing sector slowed more than we expected in Q1.
Most countries in LatAm are now fighting a complex global environment; a viral outbreak of biblical proportions and plunging oil prices, after last week's OPEC fiasco.
Yesterday's third and detailed EZ GDP data confirmed the economy hit the wall in Q1.
In this Monitor we'll let the data be, and try to make some sense of the recent market volatility from a Eurozone perspective, with an eye to the implications for the economy and policymakers' actions.
We're now starting to see clear signs in unofficial data that households are slashing their expenditure on discretionary services, in order to minimise their chances of catching the coronavirus.
Brazil's industrial sector had a relatively good start to the year. Data on Wednesday showed that production fell 0.1% month-to-month in January, less than markets expected, and the year-over-year rate rose to 1.4%, after a 0.1% drop in December.
China's trade surplus jumped to a six-month high of $46.8B in December, from $37.6B in November, on the back of a strong increase in exports.
Today's industrial production data in the Eurozone will extend the run of soft headlines at the start of the year.
Markets are reacting to Colombia's disappointing activity figures, released Friday, by pulling forward expectations for the country's first rate cut to December. The data certainly looked weak--especially upon close examination--and we expect growth to slow further. But we think that inflation is still too high to expect rate cuts this year.
NAFTA-related news has been mixed over the last few weeks.
Today's ZEW investor sentiment report in Germany will kick off a busy week for Eurozone economic survey data, which likely will be tainted by the U.K. referendum result. We think the headline ZEW expectations index fell to about five in July, from 19.2 in June, below the consensus forecast, 9.2. Our forecastis based on the experience from recent "unexpected" shocks to investors' sentiment.
We doubt there will ever be a fail-safe leading indicator of when a recession is about to hit, but asset prices can help us to assess the risks, at least.
Chancellor Sunak announced further emergency support measures for the economy on Tuesday and pledged to do more soon.
The first real glimpse of India's economic performance early this quarter is grim, adding weight to our below-consensus GDP forecast.
December's retail sales figures, released today, likely will show that the surge in spending in November was driven merely by people undertaking Christmas shopping earlier than in past years, due to Black Friday.
Slower growth in households' spending was the main reason why the economy lost momentum last year.
Colombia's GDP report, released last week, confirmed that it was the fastest growing economy in LatAm and everything suggests that it likely will lead the ranking again this year.
Yesterday's IFO data in Germany heaped more misery on the Eurozone economy.
India's industrial production data last week are the last set of key economic indicators for the fourth quarter, before next week's Q4 GDP report.
Yesterday's German ZEW investor sentiment survey provided the first clear evidence of the coronavirus in the EZ survey data.
The headline employment numbers masked an otherwise sub-par December labour market report.
Following our note yesterday about upside risks to wage growth and the question of how the Fed will respond, given their sensitivity to labor cost-push inflation risk in the past, we want to address a question raised by readers.
Political risk in Brazil has increased substantially, following reports that President Temer was taped in an alleged cover-up scheme involving the jailed former Speaker of the House. If the tapes are verified, calls for Mr. Temer to face impeachment will mount.
The plunge in oil prices in recent weeks is not a threat to the overall U.S. economic growth story in the near term--we have always expected growth to slow, but remain decent, once the boost from the tax cuts fades--but it will make a difference, at the margin.
Sterling took another pounding last week. Resignations from the Cabinet, protests by the DUP, and the public submission of letters by 21 MPs calling for a confidence vote in Mrs. May's leadership, imply that parliament won't ratify the current versions of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on the future relationship with the E.U. next month.
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.
Sunday 28th will bring closure to an extraordinary presidential election campaign in Brazil.
Colombian activity data released this last week were upbeat, better than we expected, showing a significant pickup in manufacturing output and improving retail sales. Retail sales rose 3.1% year- over-year, after a modest 1.0% increase in June.
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".
As the impeachment hearings gather momentum, we have been asked to provide a cut-out-and-keep guide to the possible outcomes.
Italy's economy is still bumping along the bottom, after emerging from recession in the middle of last year.
The uncertainty over the strength and speed of the economic rebound is still a concern for investors in terms of putting money to work.
Retail sales volumes jumped by 2.3% month-to-month in April, exceeding the 1.0% consensus and even our 2.0% forecast. It would be a big mistake to conclude, however, that households' spending will propel the economy forward this year like it did between 2013 and 2016.
The Chilean economy was emerging in early Q1 from the self-inflicted shock from the social unrest in October, but the upturn was interrupted in early- March by the restrictive measures introduced to contain Covid-19.
Japan's economy contracted by 0.9% quarter-on- quarter in Q1, following a downwardly-revised 1.9% plunge in the previous quarter.
Chile's Q3 GDP report, released yesterday, confirmed that the economy gathered speed in the third quarter, but this is now in the rearview mirror.
The consensus for retail sales volumes to rise by a mere 0.3% month-to-month in November, after falling by 0.4% in September and 0.5% in Oc tober, looks too downbeat.
The next couple of rounds of business surveys will capture firms' responses to the Phase One trade deal agreed last week, though the news came too late to make much, if any, difference to the December Philly Fed report, which will be released today.
The establishment of the Fed's commercial paper funding facility, announced yesterday, replicates the first wave of asset purchases undertaken after the crash of 2008.
Yesterday's final CPI data for May confirmed that the EZ economy is within touching distance of headline deflation.
Media reports allege that the Chancellor's Budget pared back the fiscal squeeze planned for the next couple of years. The Director of the Office for Budget Responsibility, Robert Chote, even compared the Chancellor to Saint Augustine, who supposedly said "make me pure, but not yet."
In recent client "meetings" we have been emphasizing the idea that a sustained recovery in the economy over the summer depends on the solidity of a three-legged stool.
Activity in Colombia cooled at the end of the first quarter, in the face of many domestic and external headwinds. Retail sales, for example, plunged 2.9% in March after a 4.6% leap in February. The headline likely was depressed by the early Easter, as March had one fewer trading day than February.
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.
Colombia has been one of LatAm's outperformers this year.
Friday's data in the Eurozone confirmed that inflation rose sharply last month. Headline inflation increased to 1.9%, from 1.2% in April, and core inflation also rose, by 0.4 percentage points to 1.1%.
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.
Hot on the heels of yesterday's news that the NAHB index of homebuilders' sentiment and activity dropped by two points this month -- albeit from December's 18-year high -- we expect to learn today that housing starts fell last month.
The monthly industrial production numbers are collected and released by the Fed, rather than the BEA, so today's December report will not be delayed by the government shutdown.
No subject in the EZ economy is a source of more dispute than Germany's ballooning current account surplus. The Economist recently identified he German surplus as a problem for the world economy.
Momentum in the EZ auto sector rebounded at the end of the second quarter.
Some shoes never drop. But it would be unwise to assume that the steep plunge in manufacturing output apparently signalled by the ISM manufacturing index won't happen, just because the hard data recently have been better than the survey implied.
CPI inflation held steady at -0.1% in October, matching its lowest rate since March 1960. We had expected the rate to tick down to -0.2%, but the rebound in clothing inflation in October, following a period of discounting in September, was larger than we had anticipated. Looking ahead, we can be fairly confident that CPI inflation will pic k up sharply over the coming months.
Colombia's economy remained resilient in July, thanks to strong domestic demand and relatively good external conditions for the country's top exports.
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.
A big picture approach to the China trade war, from the perspective of Mr. Trump, is reasonably positive. The president very clearly wants to be re-elected, and he knows that his chances are better if the economy and the stock market are in good shape.
CPI inflation held steady at 1.5% in November, marking the fourth consecutive below-target print, though it was a tenth above both the MPC's forecast and the consensus.
The Eurozone economy all but stalled at the start of Q4.
The ongoing weakness in DM has been a feature of the global landscape over the last year.
Our colleagues have been telling some unpleasant stories recently.
Argentinians are heading to the polls on Sunday October 27 and will likely turn their backs on the current president, Mauricio Macri.
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.
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.
PM Johnson has conceded considerable ground over the terms of Brexit for Northern Ireland in order to get a deal over the line in time for MPs to vote on it on Saturday, before the Benn Act requires him to seek an extension.
Inflation pressures in LatAm are moderating, and governments have been taking steps to pursue fiscal consolidation. These factors, coupled with a relatively favourable external environment, are providing policymakers with the opportunity to start relaxing monetary policy.
Mr. Trump laid out plans yesterday to impose a new 10% tariff on a further $200B-worth of imports from China, to be levied from next week.
The duration and future scope of the current lockdown is the main uncertainty that U.K economic forecasters have to grapple with at present.
A few ECB governors has attempted to lean against dovish expectations in the past week.
Argentina's economic and financial situation has deteriorated significantly in recent weeks and the outlook is becoming increasingly bleak.
Chile's activity numbers at the beginning of Q3 were mediocre, suggesting that the economy remains sluggish. The industrial production index--comprising mining, manufacturing, and utility output--fell by 1.7% year-over-year in July, reversing a 1.6% expansion in June. A disappointing 4.5% year-over-year contraction in mining activity depressed the July headline index, following a 1.4% increase in June. The moderation in output growth was due to maintenance-related shutdowns at key processing plants, and disruptions from labor strikes, especially a three-week strike by contract workers at Codelco--the state-owned mining firm--which badly hit production.
Yesterday's surprising decline in the Eurozone unemployment rate adds further evidence to the story of a slowly healing economy. The rate of joblessness fell to 10.9% in July from 11.1% in June, the lowest since the beginning of 2012, mainly driven by a 0.5 percentage point fall in Italy, and improvement in Spain, where unemployment fell 0.2 pp to 22.2%.
The 1.2% month-to-month fall in retail sales volumes in March undoubtedly was due mostly to the bad weather.
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.
The industrial sector in the EZ slowed further at the end of Q3.
Friday's inflation data in the Eurozone added a dovish twist to the story ahead of the key ECB meeting later this month.
Eurozone inflation pressures snapped back in April. Friday's advance report showed that headline inflation rose to 1.9% year-over-year, from 1.5% in March, lifted by a jump in the cor e rate to 1.2% from 0.7% the month before.
January's money and credit data broadly support our view that the economy still lacks momentum.
The March money and credit figures provide more evidence that the economy's weak start to the year won't be just a blip.
Korean exports continued to fall year-over-year in April, but the story isn't as bleak as the headlines suggest.
Brazil's industrial production rose 0.8% month- to-month in August, well above our call, and the consensus, for a trivial increase.
Halfway through the third quarter, we have no objection to the idea that GDP growth likely will exceed 2% for the third straight quarter.
Under normal circumstances, the 0.23% increase in the core CPI, reported earlier this month, would be enough to ensure a 0.2% print in today's core PCE deflator.
Gasoline prices dropped sharply last month, but the 4½% seasonally adjusted fall we expect to see in the December CPI report today was rather smaller than the 9% collapse in December 2014, so the year-over-year rate of change of gas prices will rise, to -20% from -24% in November. This means headline inflation will rise too, though the extent of the increase also depends on what happens to the core rate.
Friday's detailed euro area CPI report for December confirmed that inflation pushed higher at the end of last year. Headline inflation increased to 1.3% year-over- year, from 1.0% in November, lifted primarily by higher energy inflation, rising by 3.4pp, to +0.2%. Inflation in food, alcohol and tobacco also rose, albeit marginally, to 2.1%, from 2.0% in November.
Today's official figures likely will show that retail sales weakened a touch in December. Indeed, we think that the consensus forecast for a 0.1% month-to-month decline in sales volumes is too timid; we look for a 0.5% drop. Retail sales surged by 1.8% month-to-month in October and then rose by 0.2% in November, so a correction is overdue. Clothing sales, in particular, likely fell sharply in December.
June's 0.5% month-to-month fall in retail sales volumes does little to change the picture of recent strength.
While financial markets remain obsessed with the Brexit saga, January's labour market data provided more evidence yesterday that the economy is coping well with the heightened uncertainty.
Brazil's recovery is consolidating, with recent data flow confirming that the economy had an encouraging start to the year.
Signs of a slowdown in the labour market data are conspicuously absent.
Peru's economic recovery gathered strength late last year.
The INSEE business sentiment data in France continue to tell a story of a robust economy.
Banxico cut its policy rate by 25bp to 7.25% yesterday, as was widely expected, following similar moves in August, September and November.
Inflation in the Andean economies ended 2019 well within central banks' objectives, despite many domestic and external challenges.
German survey data did something out of character yesterday; they fell. The IFO business climate index declined to 117.2 in December from a revised 117.6 in November.
Production in the EZ construction sector slumped at the end of Q4. Data yesterday showed that output slid by 3.1% month-to-month in December, comfortably reversing the 0.7% increase in November.
Brazil's GDP growth slowed to just 0.1% quarter- on-quarter in Q4, from an upwardly-revised 0.2% in Q3. This pushed the year-over-year rate up to 2.1%, from 1.4%, but this was weaker than market expectations.
January's money and credit data provided another warning sign that the economy has started 2017 on a weak footing. For a start, the three-month annualised growth rate of M4, excluding intermediate other financial corporations--the Bank's preferred measure of the broad money supply-- declined to 1.8% in January, from 3.1% in December.
While were out over the holidays, the single biggest surprise in the data was yet another drop in imports, reported in the advance trade numbers for November.
The 2010s were the first decade since reliable records begin--in the 1700s--in which a recession was completely avoided
The economic calendar in the euro area was relatively quiet over Christmas, and broadly conformed to our expectations.
The economy slowed less than we expected in 2017.
Markets now think the Fed is done.
The economy's fragility was underlined by the Q3 national accounts, released just before the Christmas break.
The Greek economy escaped recession in the second half of last year. Real GDP rose a cumulative 1.2% in Q2 and Q3, following a 0.6% fall in Q1. And industrial production and retail sales data suggest that the advance GDP report released later this month will show that the momentum was sustained in Q4. Headline survey data, however, indicate that downside risks to the economy remain.
LatAm assets and currencies had a bad November, due to global trade war concerns, the USD rebound and domestic factors.
On the face of it, British manufacturers are weathering the global slowdown well. The Markit/CIPS PMI jumped to 55.1 in March, from 52.1 in February, and now comfortably exceeds those for the Eurozone, U.S. and Japan.
Last week's unprecedented surge in initial jobless claims, to 3,283K from 282K, prompted a New York Times front page for the ages; if you haven't seen it, click here.
We were happy to see the small increase in the March ISM manufacturing index yesterday, following better news from China's PMIs, but none of these reports constitute definitive evidence that the manufacturing slowdown is over.
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.
With campaigning for the general election intensifying last week, it was unsurprising that October's money and credit release from the Bank of England received virtually no media or market attention.
The data in LatAm have been all over the map in recent weeks.
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.
Data on Friday showed that the downward trend in Brazil's unemployment continued into this year. The unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 11.2% in January, slightly below the consensus, and down from 12.0% in January last year.
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.
We'll cover Friday's barrage of EZ economic data later in this Monitor, but first things first. We regret to inform readers that the ECB is behind the curve. Last week, Ms. Lagarde downplayed the idea that the central bank will respond to the shock from the Covid-19 outbreak.
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.
Brazil's economic data last week were appalling. The IPCA-15 price index rose 1.3% month-to-month, the fastest pace in 12 years, pushing the annual rate to 7.4% in mid-February from 6.7% in mid-January,well above the 6.5% upper bound of the BCB's target range.
Advance inflation data in the Eurozone will likely surprise to the upside today. The consensus forecast expects inflation to rise slightly to -0.5% year-over-year in February from -0.6% in January, but we expect a much bigger jump, to -0.2% year-over-year.
Inflation pressures are slowly, but surely, rising in the Eurozone. Advance data indicate that inflation in Germany rose to 0.7% year-over-year in May, up from 0.5% in April. Reduced drag from the non-core components is the main driver, with energy prices rebounding, and food prices now rising steadily at 1.4% year-over-year.
The business cycle in the Eurozone tends to follow a fairly simply script, at least in broad terms.
We keep hearing that the auto market is struggling, but that idea is not supported by the recent sales numbers.
Perhaps the single strongest U.S. economic data series in recent months has been construction spending, which has risen by more than 1%, month-to-month, in four of the past five months.
May's money and credit data indicate, reassuringly, that the economy still is growing at a steady, albeit unspectacular, rate, despite the endless uncertainty created by Brexit.
One of the key positive signs in the Eurozone data since the virus hit has been the evidence that households' liquid money balances have been well supported by job retention schemes, extended unemployment insurance, and aggressive monetary stimulus.
The May auto sales numbers probably will be released just after our deadline at 4pm eastern time today, but all the signs are that a hefty rebound will be reported after April's plunge to just 8.6M, not much more than half the pre-Covid level.
At the end of last year, after October's Party Congress, the Chinese authorities came out with significant new directives and regulations on an almost weekly basis.
The run of weak retail sales figures continued yesterday, with the release of November's official data.
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.
Inflation pressure remained relatively high in Argentina last year, due mostly to the legacy of the Kirchner era. But we think inflation will ease this year, given the lagged effects of the recession and the fiscal consolidation.
The recent surge in equity prices is not a game- changer for the outlook for households' spending. Like last year, slowing growth in real disposable incomes and house prices will have a far greater impact on spending than rising paper wealth.
The most important retail sales report of the year, for December, won't be published today, unless some overnight miracle means that the government has re-opened.
Last week's hard data in Colombia were upbeat, confirming that economic growth accelerated in the first half. Retail sales rose 5.9% year-over-year in May, overshooting consensus.
Swap markets currently price-in RPI inflation falling to 3.0% this time next year, from 3.2% in November, before recovering to 3.8% at the start of 2020.
Ahead of the release of the retail sales report for December 2018, markets expected to see unchanged non-auto sales.
Judging by the solid advance data in the major economies, yesterday's EZ industrial production report should have hit desks with a bang, but it was a whimper in the end.
The "Phase One" China trade deal announced late last week is a step in the right direction, but a small one. With no official text available as we reach our deadline, we're relying on media reporting, but the outline of the agreement is clear.
Markets greatly cheered the Conservatives' landslide victory on Friday, but remained cautious on the potential for the MPC to return to the tightening cycle it started in 2017.
The new Argentinian president, Alberto Fernández, will have to make a quick start on the titanic task of cleaning up the economic and social mess left by his predecessor, Mauricio Macri.
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.
The BoJ is likely to be thankful next week for a relatively benign environment in which to conduct its monetary policy meeting.
We were surprised by the weakness of the April housing starts report; we expected a robust recovery after the March numbers were depressed by the severe snowstorms across a large swathe of the country. Instead, single-family permits rose only trivially and multi-family activity--which is always volatile--fell by 9% month-to-month.
China's post-lockdown recovery broadly has surprised this quarter, particularly in the industrial sector.
The acceleration in real consumption over the past year reflects the upturn in real after-tax income growth. This, in turn, is mostly a story of falling gasoline prices, which have depressed the PCE deflator. Gross nominal incomes before tax rose 4.2% year-over-year in the three months to September, exactly matching the pace in the three months to September 2014. But real income growth, after tax, accelerated to 3.3% from 2.5% over the same period, as our first chart shows.
Eurozone GDP data on Friday were better than we expected, but were still soft compared to upbeat market expectations. Real GDP rose 0.3% quarter-onquarter in the third quarter, down slightly from 0.4% in Q2, and lower than the consensus forecast for another 0.4% gain. These data are not a blank check for ECB doves, but they probably are enough to push through further easing in December. This looks odd given growth in the last four quarters of an annualised 1.6%--the strongest since 2011--and probably slightly above the long-run growth rate.
The average month-to-month increase in the core CPI in the past three months is a solid 0.20, much firmer than the 0.05% average over the previous five months, stretching back to the first of the run of downside surprises, in March.
Banxico hiked its policy rate by 25bp to a cyclical-high of 8.0% yesterday, in line with market expectations.
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.
The headline retail sales numbers for October looked good, but the details were less comforting.
Yesterday's data in the EZ provided a little more evidence on what happened in Q1.
Economic data released yesterday underscored that Brazil emerged from recession in the first quarter, but further rate cuts are needed. Indeed, the monthly economic activity index--the IBC-Br--fell 0.4% monthto- month in March, though this followed a strong 1.4% gain in February.
The coronavirus outbreak and its associated movements in asset prices have radically changed the outlook for CPI inflation, which ultimately the MPC is tasked with targeting.
Economic activity remains under severe strain in the Andes.
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.
Colombia's economy defied rising political uncertainty at the start of the year. Retail sales growth jumped to plus 6.2% year-over-year in January, up from -3.8% in December and -1.8% in Q4.
In order to support current market pricing, the MPC will have to be more specific about the timing of the next rate hike in the minutes of next Thursday's meeting.
Core CPI inflation plunged in the aftermath of the crash, reaching a low of 0.6% in October 2010. It then rebounded to a peak of 2.3% in the spring of 2012, before subsiding to a range from 1.6-to-1.9%, held down by slow wage gains and the strengthening dollar, until late last year. Faster increases in services prices and rents lifted core inflation to 2.3% in February, matching the 2012 high, but it has since been unchanged, net.
The account of BanRep's July meeting revealed a significant tug-of-war between the doves and hawks. The majority argued strongly that Colombia's central bank should hike the main interest rate again, by 25bp. Others judged that the benefits of further tightening did not outweigh the costs.
Private consumption remains resilient in Brazil and recent data suggest that growth will continue over the coming months.
China's industrial production grew at an annualised 7.2% rate by volume in Q1, according to our estimates, up from an average 5.9% rate in the six quar ters through mid-2016.
Mexico's industrial recession deepened in April, though some leading indicators suggest that the worst is over as the economy gradually reopens. But downside risks have increased dramatically in recent weeks, as the pandemic seems to be gathering renewed strength.
The economy will be a shadow of its former self over the remainder of this year, following the heavy pummelling from Covid-19.
Manufacturing is not in recession, yet, despite the reams of gloomy analysis of the sector, including our own.
The surge in Covid-19 case and hospitalizations-- and, in due course, deaths--in some southern states since they began to reopen probably is not a sign of what is likely to happen as the populous states in the Northeast and Midwest reopen too.
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.
In our Monitor of January 10, we argued that the market turmoil in Q4 was largely driven by the U.S.- China trade war, and that a resolution--which we expect by the spring, at the latest--would trigger a substantial easing of financial conditions.
The weekly jobless claims numbers are due Thursday, as usual, but in the wake of a flood of emails from readers, all asking a variant of the same question-- should we be worried about the rise in continuing jobless claims?--we want to address the issue now.
The EZ manufacturing data have shown signs of a rebound in the auto sector recently.
Members of the Monetary Policy Committee have signalled that January's flash Markit/CIPS composite PMI, released on Friday 24, will have a major bearing on their policy decision the following week.
The FTSE 100 fell further yesterday, briefly to levels not seen since November 2012, but its drop over recent months is not a convincing signal of impending economic disaster. The economic recovery is likely to slow further, but this will reflect the building fiscal squeeze and the sterling-related export hit much more than the wobble in market sentiment.
Data released yesterday showed that gross fixed investment in Mexico started Q4 on a decent note, increasing on the back of healthy purchases of imported machinery and equipment and construction spending.
Brazil's industrial sector keeps losing momentum, despite interest rates at record lows and improving confidence.
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.
The New York Times called the China trade agreement reached Friday "half a deal", but that's absurdly generous.
Data released yesterday from Brazil support our view that the economic recovery continues, but progress has been slow.
The industrial production trajectory in Mexico looked strong going into Q3, but Friday's report for August threatens to change that picture.
Today's wave of data will be mixed, but most of the headlines are likely to be on the soft side, so the reports are very unlikely to trigger a wave of last minute defections to the hawkish side of the FOMC. As always, though, the headlines don't necessarily capture the underlying story, and that's certainly been the case with the retail sales data this year. Plunging prices for gas and imported goods, especially audio-video items, have driven down the rate of growth of nominal retail sales, but real sales have performed much better.
The surge in July core retail sales was flattered by the impact of the Amazon Prime Event, which helped drive a 2.8% leap in sales at nonstore retailers.
The MPC surprised markets, and ourselves, yesterday with the escalation of its hawkish rhetoric in the minutes of its policy meeting.
CPI inflation held steady at 2.4% in October, undershooting the 2.5% consensus expectation and the MPC's forecast in this month's Inflation Report.
CPI inflation held steady at 3.0% in October, undershooting our forecast and the consensus by 0.1 percentage point and the MPC's forecast by 0.2pp.
October's 0.1% month-to-month fall in retail sales volumes was disappointing, following substantial improvements in the CBI, BRC and BDO survey measures.
Japan's GDP likely dropped by 1.1% quarter- on-quarter in the first quarter, even from the favourable Q4 base, when it fell by 1.8%.
The two biggest economies in the region have taken divergent paths in recent months, with the economic recovery strengthening in Brazil, but slowing sharply in Mexico.
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.
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.
Selling pressure in LatAm markets after Donald Trump's election victory eased when the dollar rally paused earlier this week. Yesterday, the yield on 10- year Mexican bonds slipped from its cycle high, and rates in other major LatAm economies also dipped slightly.
The trend in retail sales no longer looks quite so flat, following yesterday's May report. The level of sales volumes in April was revised up by 0.3%.
The GM strike will make itself felt in the September industrial production data, due today.
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.
Recent data in Argentina confirm the resilience of cyclical upturn.
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%.
From a macroeconomic perspective, the main shift in the ECB's policy stance last week was the change in forward guidance.
Colombia's July activity numbers, released on Friday, portrayed still-strong retail sales and a reviving manufacturing sector, with both indicators stronger than expected.
The consensus for a modest 0.5% month-to- month rise in retail sales volumes in October looks too timid; we expect today's data to show a 1% increase.
The spectacular 1.3% rebound in manufacturing output last month -- the biggest jump in seven years, apart from an Easter-distorted April gain -- does not change our core view that activity in the sector is no longer accelerating.
We were not hugely surprised to see stocks tank again yesterday.
Signs that the economy has been crippled by people's response to the Covid-19 outbreak continued to emerge yesterday.
Last week, the MBA's measure of the volume of applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase rose 1.7%.
Evidence in support of our view that the U.S. industrial slowdown is ending continues to mount, though nothing is yet definitive and the re-escalation of the trade war is a threat of uncertain magnitude to the incipient upturn.
The FTSE 100 has fallen by 4% over the last two weeks, exceeding the 1-to-3% declines in the main US, European and Japanese markets. The FTSE's latest drop builds on an underperformance which began in early 2014. The index has fallen by 10% since then--compared to rises of between 10% and 20% in the main overseas benchmarks--and has dropped by nearly 15% since its April 2015 peak. We doubt, however, that the collapse in U.K. equity prices signals impending economic misery. The economy is likely to struggle next year, but this will have little to do with the stock market's travails.
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.
Colombia's economic activity surprised to the upside in February, despite the challenging domestic environment. Private spending rose more than expected, but leading indicators suggest that household consumption will remain weak in Q2. Retail sales jumped 4.6% year-over-year in February, up from a 2.1% increase in January, and the fastest pace since August 2015.
Peru's central bank, BCRP, left rates unchanged last week, at 3.25%, a four-year low. Above-target inflation and currency volatility prevented the Board from cutting rates.
The idea that the ECB will use its forthcoming strategic policy review to include a measure of real estate prices in its inflation target has been consistently brought up by readers in recent meetings.
Fourth quarter construction activity in the Eurozone was much better than in Q3, despite a dip in December. Output fell 0.6% month-to-month in the final month of the year, pushing the year-over-year rate down to -0.4% from a revised 0.3% in November.
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.
Evidence of accelerating economic activity in Colombia continues to mount, in stark contrast with its regional peers and DM economies.
Today's labour market report looks set to be a mixed bag, with growth in employment remaining strong, but further signs that momentum in average weekly wages has faded.
Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively weak footing. The IBC-Br index, a monthly proxy for GDP, fell 0.3% month- to-month, pushing down the adjusted year-over- year rate to 0.3%, from a downwardly-revised 0.7% increase in November.
Banxico will meet tomorrow, and we expect Mexican policymakers to cut the main interest rate by 25bp, to 7.25%.
The February activity report in Colombia showed a modest pick-up in manufacturing activity and strength in the retail sales numbers.
Boeing's announcement that it will temporarily cut production of 737MAX aircraft to zero in January, from the current 42 per month pace, will depress first quarter economic growth, though not by much.
The labour market remains healthy enough to persuade the MPC to keep its powder dry over the coming months.
Data yesterday added further evidence of a slow recovery in Eurozone auto sales.
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.
Market-implied expectations of negative rates through 2021, and bund yields plunging below -0.1%, are an accident waiting to happen, but the main story is clear as rain.
The November industrial production numbers will be dominated by the rebound in auto production following the end of the GM strike.
The cyclical upturn in the euro area's economy is going from strength to strength. Yesterday's second Q2 GDP estimate confirmed growth at 0.6% quarter- on-quarter, marginally stronger than the 0.5% rise in the first quarter.
At first glance, the latest labour market data appear to be contradictory.
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.
The Eurozone economy finished last week with a horrendous set of economic data.
On the face of it, December's flash Markit/CIPS PMIs warrant the MPC cutting Bank Rate at its meeting on Thursday.
This week's labour market, inflation and retail sales data--the last before the MPC meets on May 10--will have a major bearing on the Committee's decision.
Consensus expectations for August's labour market data, released today, look well grounded.
Tariffs are a tax on imported goods, and higher taxes depress growth, other things equal.
Yesterday's final inflation data in France for September were misleadingly soft.
The Brexit-related slump in corporate confidence finally has taken its toll on hiring.
China's official real GDP growth is absurdly stable, but the risks in Q3 are tilted to the downside.
Economic activity in Mexico during the past few months has been improving gradually, as external and domestic threats appear to have diminished.
Friday' second Q4 GDP estimate revealed that the EZ economy barely grew at the end of 2019. The report confirmed that GDP rose by 0.1% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, slowing from a 0.3% rise in Q3, but the headline only narrowly avoided downward revision to zero, at just 0.058%
Incoming activity data from Colombia over the past quarter have been surprisingly strong, despite many domestic and external threats.
China's GDP data--to be published on Monday-- are likely to report that growth slowed to 1.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, from 1.6% in Q3. A 1.4% increase would match the series low of Q1 2016.
The fall in CPI inflation to 3.0% in December, from 3.1% in November, likely marks the first step in its journey back to the 2% target.
May's activity data underline the gradual recovery in Colombia's economic growth, following signs of weakness at the start of the year.
CPI inflation surprises look set to trigger larger- than-usual market reactions over the coming months, given that the MPC emphasised last month that it wants to see domestically-generated inflation rebound swiftly, after falling suddenly late last year, in order to justify keeping Bank Rate on hold.
The 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.
When economic historians look back at the bizarre trade war of 2018-to-19, we think they will see Tuesday June 4 as the turning point, after which the threats of fire and brimstone were taken much less seriously, and markets began to ponder life after tariffs.
Japan's PPI inflation likely has peaked, with commodities still in the driving seat. Manufactured goods price inflation will soon start to slow, following the downshift in China's numbers.
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.
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.
The consensus forecast for a 0.6% month-to month rise in retail sales volumes in December--data released today--is far too timid.
The trend in manufacturing output probably is about flat, with no real prospect of any serious improvement in the near term.
Over the past 30 years China's role in LatAm and the global economy has increased sharply. Its share of world trade has surged, and its exports have gained significant market share in LatAm.
Colombia's December activity reports confirmed that quite strong retail sales last year were less accompanied by local production, which became only a minor driver of the economic recovery, as shown in our first chart.
Data released yesterday in Brazil are consistent with our view that private consumption will continue to drive the recovery over the second half, offsetting the ongoing weakness in private investment.
For more than two years, the BoJ has fretted, in the outlook for economic activity and prices, that "there are items for which prices are not particularly responsive to the output gap."
Today brings an astonishing eight economic reports, so by the end of the wave of numbers we'll have a pretty good idea of how the economy performed in the first month of the third quarter.
Colombia's retail sector surprised to the upside once again in December, despite a number of domestic headwinds. Sales jumped 6.2% year- over-year, up from 4.9% in November, marking an impressive end to the quarter. The underlying trend improved significantly in Q4, as shown in our first chart. A double-digit rise in auto sales was the main driver, offsetting weakness in other key components.
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.
Yesterday's economic data in Brazil suggest that retailers suffered in the second quarter, hit by the effect of the truckers' strike, but private consumption remains somewhat resilient.
The latest GDP data confirm that the economy ended last year on a very weak note.
Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, and Christian Schulz, economics team director at Citigroup, discuss President Donald Trump's trade tariffs and their impact on the Chinese and U.S. economies.
Ellen Hazen, portfolio manager at F.L. Putnam Investment Management, and Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, join "Squawk Box" to discuss the markets and the economy as the Fed gets set to kick off its two-day meeting on rates.
Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist, discusses the economic impact of falling oil prices with Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal and Scarlet Fu
We wrote last month about how the Caixin services PMI appeared to be missing the deterioration in several key services subsectors.
Consumption remains a serious weak spot in Brazil's economic cycle. High inflation, rising interest rates, surging unemployment, plunging confidence, and the government's belt tightening, have trashed Brazilians' purchasing power. Retail sales surprised to the downside in April, falling 0.4% month-to-month, equivalent to a huge 3.5% contraction year-over-year, down from a revised 0.3% gain in March. The underlying trend is awful, as our first chart shows.
The adverse consequences of the Brexit vote will become painfully clear in 2017.....
The recent slowdown in labour cash earnings growth in Japan halted in September.
In one line: The recovery from the Q4 stock market hit continues apace.
In one line: Core inflation was stable--maybe nudging up a bit--before the virus. Expect it to slow over the next few months.
Taken at face value, the GDP data continue to suggest that the Brexit vote has had no adverse consequences for the economy. The official estimate of quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in Q4 was revised up yesterday to 0.7%, from 0.6%. The revision had been flagged earlier this month by stronger industrial production and construction output figures.
The news-flow in the Eurozone was almost unequivocally bad over the summer.
November's money and credit figures showed that households increasingly turned to unsecured debt last year in order to maintain rapid growth in consumption. Unsecured borrowing, excluding student loans, rose by £1.7B in November alone, the most since March 2005. This pushed up the year- over-year growth rate of unsecured borrowing to 10.8%--again, the highest rate since 2005--from 10.6% in October.
The latest E.C. survey shows the gap between firms' and households' confidence levels has remained substantial.
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 returned the ruling LDP coalition to power in an upper house election over the weekend.
Under normal circumstances, we would expect today's retail sales figures to reveal that volumes rebounded in February, following the 2.7% fall over the previous three months. But the continued weakness of spending surveys suggests that we should brace for another soft report.
The latest iteration of the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model puts second quarter GDP growth at 4.1%. Assuming a modest upward revision to growth in the first quarter -- the data will be released Friday -- that would mean average growth of 2.5% in the first half, in line with our forecast for the year as a whole, and rather better than the 1.6% growth recorded in 2016.
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.
January's consumer price data, released tomorrow, look set to reveal a third consecutive rise in CPI inflation, dampening speculation that the U.K. is stuck in a deflationary funk. Indeed, we think CPI inflation picked up to 0.4%, from 0.2% in December, above the consensus, 0.3%.
Brazil's consumer spending data yesterday appeared downbeat. Retail sales fell 2.1% month-to-month in December, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 4.9%, from -3.8% in November. This is a poor looking headline, but volatility is normal in these data at this time of the year, and the underlying trend is improving.
Industrial production in Eurozone had a decent start to the fourth quarter. Output ex-construction rose 0.6% month-to-month in October, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 1.9% from a revised 1.3% in September. Production was lifted by gains in the major economies, and surging output in the Netherlands, Portugal and Lithuania. Across sectors, increases in production of capital and consumer goods were the main drivers, but energy output also helped, due to a cold spell lifting demand and production in France.
Retail sales data released yesterday for Brazil confirmed that weakness in private consumption remains a key challenge for the economy. Retail sales plunged 0.9% month-on-month in May, equivalent to a 4.5% fall year-over-year, the lowest rate since late 2003. On a quarterly basis, sales are headed for a 2% contraction in Q2, pointing to a -0.5% GDP contribution from consumer spending.
Let's be clear: The July retail sales numbers do not mean the consumer is rolling over, and the PPI numbers do not mean that disinflation pressure is intensifying. We argued in the Monitor last Friday, ahead of the sales data, that the 4.2% surge in second quarter consumption--likely to be revised up slightly--could not last, and the relative sluggishness of the July core retail sales numbers is part of the necessary correction. Headline sales were depressed by falling gasoline prices, which subtracted 0.2%.
Downbeat sectoral data and weakening consumer spending numbers indicate that the Mexican economy remains in bad shape.
December's consumer price figures, released on Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation fell more than most analysts expect.
After a very light week for economic data so far, everything changes today, with an array of reports on both activity and inflation. We expect headline weakness across the board, with downside risks to consensus for the December retail sales and industrial production numbers, and the January Empire State survey and Michigan consumer sentiment. The damage will b e done by a combination of falling oil prices, very warm weather, relative to seasonal norms, and the stock market.
July's consumer price figures, released on Wednesday, look set to show that CPI inflation rose to 2.5%, from 2.4% in June.
August's consumer price figures, released today, likely will show that households' spending power is being increasingly eroded by rising inflation. We think CPI inflation picked up to 0.8%, from 0.6% in July, exceeding the consensus, 0.7%, for the third consecutive month.
Households remain the key driver of the cyclical recovery in the Eurozone. We have seen, so far, little sign that investment will be able convincingly to take over the baton if momentum in consumers' spending slows. The average rate of growth of investment since 2013 has been 0.5%, about two-thirds of the pace seen in previous cyclical upturns. Weakness in construction--about 50% of total euro area investment--has been one of the key factors behind of the under performance.
We agree with the consensus and the MPC that October's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, will show that CPI inflation edged up to 2.5% in October, from 2.4% in September.
October's consumer price figures, released Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation increased to 3.1%, from 3.0% in September.
Whichever way you choose to slice the numbers, retail sales growth has slowed this year. Ex-gasoline, ex-autos, core, whatever, sales growth in year-over-year terms is notably weaker now than at the end of last year. It is equally, true, however, that after-tax incomes have risen at a robust pace--up 3.8% in the year to May, exactly the same pace as in the year to May 2014--so consumers in aggregate have plenty of cash to spend. So, what's holding people back at the mall? Why aren't they spending more?
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.
Investors anticipate a shift up in the MPC's hawkish rhetoric today. After August's consumer price figures showed CPI inflation rising to 2.9%--0.2 percentage points above the Committee's forecast--the market implied probabilities of a rate hike by the November and February meetings jumped to 35% and 60%, respectively, from 20% and 40%.
We expect today's consumer prices figures to show that CPI inflation picked up to 0.5% in May, from 0.3% in April, exceeding the 0.4% rate anticipated by both the consensus and the MPC, in last month's Inflation Report. We expect the increase to be driven by a jump in the core rate to 1.4%, from 1.2% in April.
We argued earlier this week that the data on the consumer economy are likely to be rather stronger than the industrial numbers.
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
We expect June's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation increased to 2.7%, from 2.4% in May, above the consensus, 2.6%, and the Bank of England's forecast, 2.5%.
Economists are divided evenly on whether Tuesday's consumer price figures will show that CPI inflation held steady at 2.9% or edged down to 2.8% in June.
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.
On the face of it, recent retail spending surveys have been puzzlingly weak in light of the pick-up in employment growth, still-robust real wage gains and renewed momentum in the housing market. We think those surveys are a genuine signal that retail sales growth is slowing, and expect today's official figures to surprise to the downside. But retail sales account for just one-third of household spending, and, in contrast to the early stages of the economic recovery, consumers now are prioritising spending on services rather than goods.
Upbeat survey data and relatively resilient consumer spending numbers indicate that the Mexican economy is in good shape, despite a marginal slowdown in most of Q2.
June's headline CPI, due this morning, will be boosted by the rebound in gasoline prices, but market focus will be on the core, in the wake of the startling, broad-based jump in the core PPI, reported Wednesday. Core PPI consumer goods prices jumped by 0.7% in June, with big incr eases in the pharmaceuticals, trucks and cigarette components, among others. The year-over-year rate of increase rose to 3.0%, up from 2.1% at the turn of the year and the biggest gain since August 2012. Then, the trend was downwards.
In the wake of the September retail sales report, we can be pretty sure that real consumers' spending rose at a 2¾% annualized rate in the third quarter, slowing from the unsustainable 4.3% jump. That would mean consumption contributed 1.9 percentage points to headline GDP growth.
Retail sales account for some 30% of GDP--more than all business investment and government spending combined--so the monthly numbers directly capture more of the economy than any other indicator. Translating the monthly sales numbers into real GDP growth is not straightforward, though, because the sales numbers are nominal. Sales have been hugely depressed over the past year by the plunging price of gasoline and, to a lesser extent, declines in prices of imported consumer goods.
We expect August's consumer price figures, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation declined to 2.4%, from 2.5% in July, matching the consensus and the Bank of England's forecast.
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.
The softness of the headline September retail sales numbers hid a decent 0.5% increase in the "control" measure, which is the best guide to consumers' spending on non-durable goods.
Yesterday's labour market data delivered a further blow to hopes that consumers' spending will retain enough momentum for the MPC to press ahead and raise interest rates this year. The most striking development is the decline in year-over-year growth in average weekly wages to just 1.9% in December, from 2.9% in November.
March's consumer prices figures, released on Wednesday, are even more important than usual, as they are the last to be published before the MPC's next meeting on May 10.
We expect today's consumer price figures to show that CPI inflation remained at 1.0% in October, after jumping in September from 0.6% in August.
December's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, likely will reveal that CPI inflation rose to 1.4%--its highest rate since August 2014--from 1.2% in November. Inflation will take even bigger upward steps over the coming months as the anniversary of sharp falls in commodity prices is reached and retailers pass on hefty increases in import prices to consumers.
We expect June's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation fell to 1.9%, from 2.0% in May.
September's consumer price figures likely will surprise to the downside, prompting markets to reassess their view that the MPC will almost certainly raise interest rates next month.
October's consumer price figures, to be released tomorrow, look set to show CPI inflation easing to -0.2%, from -0.1%, below the no-change consensus and the lowest rate since March 1960. No doubt this will spark more hyperbolic headlines about the U.K.'s descent into pernicious deflation; ignore them. October's print will almost certainly represent the nadir and we think it will take only a year for CPI inflation to return to the MPC's 2% target.
Consumers' spending has staged an impressive recovery in the Eurozone, and remains the key driver of accelerating GDP growth. Outside Germany, however, households have struggled, and are still faced with tight credit conditions.
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.
Brexit and fiscal headwinds have lessended...but consumers' spending will struggle in 2018
The upward revisions to real consumers' spending in the fourth quarter, coupled with the likelihood of a hefty rebound in spending on utility energy services, means first quarter spending ought to rise at a faster pace than the 2.2% fourth quarter gain. Spending on utilities was hugely depressed in November and December by the extended spell of much warmer-than-usual weather.
Germany's consumer price index fell 0.3% month-over-month in January. It's the first time the inflation rate went negative since September 2009. "Deflation has arrived," Pantheon Macroeconomics' Claus Vistesen said
Exports won't offset a Consumer Slowdown...Sterling decline has Constrained Policymakers
The collapse in business activity and consumer confidence since the referendum has sealed the deal on policy easing from the MPC on Thursday. The Committee has cut Bank Rate by 50 basis points when the composite PMI has been near July's level in the past, as our first chart shows.
The first look at real consumers' spending for the second quarter will be discouraging, at least at the headline level. We expect to see a 0.1% month-to-month decline in real consumers' spending in April, below the +0.1% consensus.
Today's trade figures likely will continue to show that the benefits from sterling's depreciation are being outweighed by the costs. Exports still are barely growing, but consumers are about to endure a substantial import price shock. The monthly trade deficit has been extremely volatile over the last year, generating a series of excessively upbeat or gloomy headlines. The truth is that the deficit has been on a slightly deteriorating trend, as our first chart shows. We think the trade deficit likely narrowed to £3.8B in December, from £4.2B in November, bringing it closer to its rolling 12-month average of £3.0B.
March's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, look set to show that inflation's ascent was kept in check by the later Easter this year compared to last. Nonetheless, CPI inflation will take big upward strides over the coming months, and it likely will exceed 3% by the summer.
Yesterday's wall of data told us a bit about where the economy likely is going, and a bit about how it started the first quarter. The January trade and inventory data were disappointing, but the February Chicago PMI and consumer confidence reports were positive.
Recovery To Be Protracted, Despite Policymakers' Efforts...Consumers Will Be Cautious Long After The Lockdown Ends
Rising Inflation has ended the consumer boom...Investment and Trade won't fill the void
A Consumer and Investment Slowdown Beckons......Tighter Macro Policy will worsen the downturn
Markets usually ignore the monthly import price data, presumably because they are far removed, especially at the headline level, from the consumer price numbers the Fed targets.
Don't be Deceived by the Consumer Slowdown...It's a One-Time Transition to Sustainability
Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on US Consumer Spending
A Consumer slowdown is under way...Policymakers will not provide more stimulus
Consumers are buckling under high inflation...but the MPC won't add to their woes by hiking rates
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on Consumer Price Index, June
A consumer and investment slowdown beckons...Tighter macro policy will worsen the downturn
Consumer price figures for March, released on Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation has taken another step up, probably to 0.4% from 0.3% in February. This should jettison lingering fears that the U.K. is mired in deflation and bolster the Monetary Policy Committee's conviction that inflation will hit the 2% target within the next two years.
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.
This week brings a wave of data on all aspects of the economy, bar housing. By the end o f the week, we'll have a better idea of the shape of consumers' spending, the industrial sector and the inflation picture, and estimates of third quarter GDP growth will start to mean something.
Sooner or later, the surge in consumers' spending power triggered by the drop in gas prices and the acceleration in payrolls will appear in the retail sales data.
Consumers' spending in the second quarter is still set to be less than great, thanks in part to unfavorable base effects from the first quarter, but a respectable showing of about 2¾% now seems likely. The core May retail sales numbers were a bit stronger than we expected, with gains in most sectors, and the upward revisions to April and March were substantial.
Retail sales have consistently disappointed markets this year, but investors' concerns are misplaced. The rate of growth of core sales has slowed because the strength of the dollar has pushed down the prices of an array of imported consumer goods, and people appear to have spent a substantial proportion of the saving on services.
Consumers' spending in Brazil weakened at the end of Q4, but we think households will support GDP growth in the first quarter.
The recession in Brazilian consumers' spending continues, but the severity of the pain is easing. Retail sales plunged 0.9% month-to-month in March, pushing the year-over-rate down to -5.7%, from a revised -4.2% in February. The March headline likely was depressed by the early Easter.
In her inaugural Monitor, our Chief Asia Economist Freya Beamish plots three scenarios for the Chinese economy. The best-case scenario is that China makes a smooth transition to consumer-led growth.
May's consumer price figures, released today, will provide the first clean inflation read for three months, following the distortions created by this year's late Easter. Consensus forecasts and the MPC have underestimated CPI inflation regularly since the middle of last year, when the impact of sterling's depreciation began to push into the data.
China faces three possible macro outcomes over the next few years. First, the economy could pull off an active transition to consumer-led growth. Second, it could gradually slide into Japan-style growth and inflation, with government debt spiralling up. Third, it could face a full blown debt crisis, where the authorities lose control and China drags the global economy down too
Yesterday's industrial production, construction output and trade data for November collectively suggest that the economy lost a little momentum in the fourth quarter. GDP growth likely slowed to 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, from 0.6% in Q3. Growth remains set to slow further this year, as inflation shoots up and constrains consumers.
Final data today will likely confirm that German inflation was unchanged at 0.2% year-over-year in August. The increased drag from falling energy prices was likely offset by higher food prices, mostly fresh vegetables. Core inflation was likely stable at 0.9% year-over-year, with a marginal rise in consumer services inflation offset by a fall in net rent. Rents could fall further this year due to the implementation of caps in major cities, but we s till only have little evidence on how individual states will implement the new legislation.
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.
Brazil's consumer recession finally eased in November. Retail sales jumped 2.0% month-to- month, following an upwardly-revised 0.3% drop in October, and the year-over-year rate rose to -3.5% from -8.1%. November's astonishing performance probably reflects seasonal adjustment problems related to Black Friday discounting. Sales have climbed in the last four Novembers, suggesting that consumers' pre-Christmas spending patterns have shifted permanently.
CPI inflation held steady at 2.3% in March, as we and the consensus had expected. Nonetheless, the consumer price figures boosted sterling and bond yields, as the details of the report made it clear that inflation is on a very steep upward path.
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.
January's consumer price figures, due on Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation held steady at December's 3.0% rate.
Today's Q4 GDP report in the Eurozone likely will show that growth slowed again at the end of last year. We think GDP growth dipped to 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, down from 0.3% in Q3, and risks to our forecast are firmly tilted to the downside. The initial release does not contain details, but we think a slowdown in consumers' spending and a drag from net exports were the main drivers of the softening.
Today's consumer prices figures likely will show that CPI inflation increased to 3.1% in November, from 3.0% in October.
Mexican manufacturing data continue to offer a counterweight to strong consumers' spending and services numbers. Output in the key manufacturing sector contracted by 0.2% month-to-month in September, due mainly to severe external headwinds. But the year-over-year rate was unchanged at 3.3%, with a flat underlying trend. Total industrial output, by contrast, rose 0.4% month-to-month in September, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 1.7%, from an upwardly-revised 1.1% gain in August.
Industrial production in Germany had a decent start to the third quarter. Output rose 0.7% month-to-month in July, less than we and the consensus expected, but the 0.5% upward revision to the June data brings the net headline almost in line with forecasts. Rebounds of 2.8% and 3.2% month-to-month in the capital goods and construction sectors respectively were the key drivers of the gain, following similar falls in June. A 3.2% fall in consumer goods production, however, was a notable drag.
The slew of EZ economic data on Friday supports our view that the economy ended 2016. The Commission's economic sentiment index jumped to 107.8 in December from a revised 106.6 in November. The headline strength was due to a big increase in "business climate indicator" and higher consumer sentiment. In individual countries, solid numbers for German construction and French services sentiment were the stand-out details.
The combination of upbeat survey data and solid consumer spending numbers indicate that the German economy is in good shape. But manufacturing data continue to disappoint; factory orders fell 0.9% month-to-month in February, equivalent to a 1.3% decline year-over-year.
Favourable inflation conditions in Mexico remain in place with June consumer prices increasing just 0.1% month-to-month, unadjusted, better than expected. A modest gain in core prices was largely offset by falling non-core prices, so year-over-year inflation edged down to 2.5% from 2.6% in May.
German GDP growth likely accelerated in the second quarter, following a disappointing 0.3% quarter-on-quarter expansion in Q1. Growth in the manufacturing sector remains modest, and the trend in consumers' spending remains solid. Industrial production was unchanged in May, pushing year-over-year growth to 2.1% from a revised 1.1% in April.
With plenty of evidence emerging that consumer spending and business investment are set to suffer from a collapse in confidence, attention is turning to whether other sectors of the economy are ready to step up and support growth. But the fruits from reduced fiscal contraction and stronger net trade will be small and will take a long time to emerge.
Colombia's August inflation rate exceeded BanRep's 2-to-4% target range yet again, rising to a six-year high of 4.7%, from 4.5% in July. The signs of stabilization over the previous couple of months proved to be temporary. Core inflation has jumped above the upper bound of the inflation target too, climbing to 4.2%--the highest rate since 2009--in August from 4.0% in July, suggesting that the pass-through from the depreciating currency into consumer prices is starting to hurt. Inflation in tradables jumped in August to 5.2% from 4.7%, underscoring the hit from the COP's drop.
In one line: Hit by slowdown in net trade and consumers' spending.
In one line: Covid-19 finally hits EZ consumer sentiment; worse is to come.
China's PMIs are not yet fully picking up the coronavirus; China's non-manufacturing PMI lifted by local government spending; not yet hit by the virus; Japan's job postings still suggest the unemployment rate is unsustainably low; Japan's national inflation has less far to fall than Tokyo's; The coronavirus will delay the return of Japanese retail sales to pre-tax hike levels; Investment goods drive Japan's IP rebound in December; no real support now for consumer goods production; December probably is as good as it will get for Korean industrial production, for now
In our recent Monitors, we stressed that some leading indicators in Brazil, particularly business and consumer confidence, are still pointing to a gradual economic recovery.
Yesterday's detailed EZ GDP report showed that real output rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, the same pace as in Q2. The year-over-over rate rose marginally to 1.7% from 1.6%, trivially higher than the first estimate, 1.6%. The details showed that consumers' spending and public consumption were the key drivers of growth in Q3, offsetting a slowdown in net trade.
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.
Yesterday's relatively good news--we discuss the implications of the August trade data below--will be followed by rather more mixed reports today. We hope to see a partial rebound, at least, in the September Chicago PMI, but we fully expect soft August consumer spending data.
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.
It probably would be wise to view the increase in the ISM manufacturing index in December with a degree of skepticism. The index is supposed to record only hard activity, but we can't help but wonder if some of the euphoria evident in surveys of consumers' sentiment has leaked into responses to the ISM. That said, the jump in the key new orders index-- which tends to lead the other components--looked to be overdue, relative to the strength of the import component of China's PMI.
The advance trade data for February make it very likely that today's full report will show the headline deficit rose by about $½B compared to March, thanks to rising net imports of both capital and consumer goods, which were only partly offset by improvements in the oil and auto accounts.
Manufacturing activity in Germany rebounded at the start of the fourth quarter, following a miserable Q3. New orders jumped 1.8% month-to-month in October, lifted by increases in consumer and capital goods orders, both domestic and export. But the year-over-year rate fell to -1.4%, from a revised -0.7% in September, due to unfavorable base effects, and the three-month trend remained below zero. Our first chart shows that non-Eurozone export orders are the key drag, with export orders to other euro area economies doing significantly better.
The improvement in the August services PMI has generated hyperbolic headlines suggesting the U.K. is on a tear despite the Brexit vote. Taken literally, however, the PMIs suggest that the revival in business activity in August only partially reversed July's decline. Meanwhile, the impact of sterling's sharp depreciation on the purchasing power of firms and consumers has only just begun to be felt.
Chile's economy remains under pressure, at least temporarily. After signs of recovery in Q1, activity deteriorated in Q2 and at the start of the third quarter. The sluggish global economy--especially China, Chile's main trading partner--is exacerbating the domestic slowdown, hit by low business and consumer confidence.
In one line: Hit by crash in net exports and slower growth in consumers' spending.
In one line: EZ GDP growth held up by consumers' and government spending.
In one line: Recovering consumer confidence should stabilise car sales in 2020.
In one line: The consumer is firmly back on track; Q1's softness was misleading.
In one line: A 4% quarter for consumers' spending does not make a compelling case for easier money.
In one line: The old cliché still applies - never write off the U.K. consumer.
In one line: Still consistent with a consumer recovery in Q1.
In one line: Only a marginal improvement; June will be the real test of consumer demand.
In one line: Is the invincible consumer wobbling? Too soon to be sure, but Q4 looking soft.
In one line: The hit from tariffs on consumer goods has gone, mostly.
In one line: Benefiting from a reallocation of services spending; the overall consumer picture remains bleak.
In one line: Consumers are showing little anxiety in the run-up to Brexit.
In one line: Downbeat consumer sentiment casts doubt over the Tories' majority hopes.
In one line: Inflation pressures easing sharply; consumers were struggling even before the virus.
In one line: A further rebound in investor sentiment, and a robust Q1 for the EZ consumer.
In one line: When consumers can't shop, sales don't do well.
In one line: Probably just one isolated soft month; consumers have the means to spend more.
In one line: Consumers remain unperturbed by Brexit risks.
In one line: Business and consumer confidence is diverging.
In one line: Still a big gap between business and consumer confidence.
In one line: Consumers are defiantly optimistic, despite the Brexit saga.
The CPIH--the controversial, modified version of the existing CPI that includes a measure of owner occupied housing, or OOH, costs--will become the headline measure of consumer price inflation when February's data are published on March 21.
The ECB's corporate bond purchase program began yesterday with purchases concentrated in utilities and telecoms, according to media sources. This is consistent with the structure of the market, and the fact that bond issues by firms in these sectors are the largest and most liquid. But debt issued by consumer staples firms likely also featured prominently.
While Brexit news will dominate the headlines again--see here for why the odds remain against Mrs. May winning the third "meaningful vote"--February's consumer prices report is the highlight in this week's congested economic data calendar.
The Portuguese economy has faltered recently. In the year to Q2, real GDP rose only 0.8%, down from a 1.5% increase in the preceding year. Slowing growth in investment has been the key driver, but consumers' spending has weakened too.
We expect today's consumer price figures to show that CPI inflation jumped to 0.9% in September, from 0.6% in August.
April's consumer price figures, due on Wednesday, are set to show that CPI inflation has fallen, primarily due to the earlier timing of Easter this year than last. We
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.
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%.
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.
Economic survey data this week will give the first clear evidence on whether recent market volatility has dented Eurozone confidence. The key business and consumer surveys dipped in January, and we now expect further declines, starting with today's PMI data. We think the composite index fell slightly to 53.0 in February from 53.6 in January.
If the economy is to enter recession, falling business investment probably will have to be the main driver. Growth in consumer spending likely will slow sharply over the next year as firms become more cautious about hiring new workers and inflation begins to exceed wage growth again.
This year has proved to be challenging for retailers in Mexico. The combination of fiscal reform, the economic slowdown over the first half of the year, and the collapse of consumer sentiment took a significant toll in the sector.
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.
We expect April's consumer price figures, due on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation leapt to 2.3%, from 1.9% in March, exceeding the MPC's 2.2% forecast in the latest Inflation Report.
August's money and credit figures show that households' incomes remain under pressure, indicating that the recent pick-up in growth in consumers' spending likely won't last.
Lending conditions in the EZ economy continued to improve in Q1, according to the ECB's bank lending survey. Business and consumer credit supply conditions eased, but mortgage lending became more difficult to come by as standards tightened sharply in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Demand for new loans also rose, but the increase was due entirely to gains in the mortgage and consumer credit components.
After soaring in the Spring, inflation has slipped back in the Summer. July's consumer prices report, released while we were away last week, showed that CPI inflation held steady at 2.6% in July, one -tenth below the consensus and three tenths below May's year-to-date peak.
If we're right with our forecast that real consumers' spending rose by just 0.1% month-to-month in February -- enough only to reverse January's decline -- then it would be reasonable to expect consumption across the first quarter as a whole to climb at a mere 1.2% annualized rate.
February's consumer price figures give the MPC reason to doubt the case for raising interest rates again as soon as May.
Yesterday's ECB bank lending survey suggests that credit conditions remain favourable for the EZ economy. Credit standards eased slightly for business and mortgage lending and were unchanged for consumer credit.
February's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, are likely to show that CPI inflation has picked up again, perhaps to 0.5%--the highest rate since December 2014--from 0.3% in January. This will give the Monetary Policy Committee more confidence in its judgement that CPI inflation will be back at the 2% target in two years' time.
Financial markets and economic survey data have been sending a downbeat message on the Eurozone economy so far this year. The composite PMI has declined to a 12-month low, consumer sentiment has weakened, and national business surveys have also been poor.
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.
February's retail sales figures highlighted that consumers' spending was flagging even before the Covid-19 outbreak.
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.
Last week's GDP figures illustrated that the economy is extremely vulnerable to a slowdown in households' spending. Our chart of the week, on page three, shows that consumers were alone in making a significant positive contribution to GDP growth last year.
Data today will likely show that consumer sentiment in the Eurozone remains firm. In Germany, we expect a slight dip in the advance headline GFK confidence index to 9.8 in June, from an all-time high of 10.1 in May.
In contrast to surveys of manufacturing activity and sentiment, the Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence rose sharply in August, hitting an 11-month high. People were more upbeat about both the current state of the economy and the outlook, with the improving job market key to their optimism. The proportion of respondent believing that jobs are "plentiful" rose to 26%, the highest level in nine years.
Brazil's economic outlook is gradually improving following a challenging Q2, which was hit by political risk, putting business and consumer confidence under pressure.
The second estimate of Q3 GDP last week confirmed that the Brexit vote didn't immediately drain momentum from the economic recovery. But it is extremely difficult to see how growth will remain robust next year, when high inflation will cripple consumers and the impact of the decline in investment intentions will be felt.
Taken at face value, the preliminary estimate of Q2 GDP suggests that the economic recovery weathered Brexit risk well. But growth received support from some unsustainable sources, and also probably was boosted by a calendar quirk. Meanwhile, with few firms or consumers expecting a vote for Brexit prior to the referendum, Q2's brisk growth tells us little about how well the economy will cope in the current climate of heightened uncertainty.
Two key reports today, on January consumer prices and durable goods orders, have the power to move markets substantially. We think both will undershoot market expectations, though we would be deeply reluctant to read too much into either report; both are distorted by temporary factors.
Real GDP in Germany grew 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, thanks mainly to a 0.4% contribution from private consumption, and a 0.2% boost from net trade. Household consumption grew 2.2% annualised in 2014, the best year for German consumers since 2006.
If we are right in our view that the lag between shifts in gasoline prices and the response from consumers is about six months--longer than markets seem to think--then the next few months should see spending surge.
Whether the economy enters recession will hinge more on corporate behaviour than on consumers. Household spending accounts for about two thirds of GDP, but it is a relatively stable component of demand. By contrast, business investment and inventories--which are often overlooked--are prone to wild swings.
November data for most of the major EZ business and consumer surveys arrive this week. We doubt the reports will change our view that EZ GDP growth likely will remain steady at about 1.6% year-over-year in Q4. But appearances matter, and risks are tilted to the downside in some of the main surveys, after jumps in October.
Yesterday's announcement that the administration plans to imposes tariffs worth about $60B per year -- thatìs 0.3% of GDP -- on an array of imports of consumer goods from China is a serious escalation.
The second estimate of Q4 GDP, published on Thursday, probably will show that the economy slowed more abruptly last year than previously thought and that it has become very dependent on consumers for momentum.
Financial market performance and economic survey data on the Brazilian economy have been better than many investors and commentators feared this year. The composite PMI has improved gradually since November last year, consumer sentiment has stabilized, and national business surveys have been less bleak.
The 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.
We look for February's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation declined to 1.7%, from 1.8% in January, in line with the consensus.
June's consumer price figures threw a last minute curve-ball at the MPC ahead of its key meeting on August 2.
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on the latest German consumer figures
Payroll growth rebounded to 223K in May, after two sub-200K readings, and we're expecting today's June ADP report to signal that labor demand remains strong.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Inflation
Why is the EZ current account surplus rising and net exports falling at the same time?
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. inflation
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the U.K. Economy in 2018
Senior International Economist Andres Abadia on mexico
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S.-China Trade Wars
Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson on US Personal Income, February
Andres Abadia on Chile GDP
Senior International Economist Andres Abadia comments on the latest Inflation data for Chile
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. GDP in Q3
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on UK Q3 GDP
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Eurozone GDP
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the U.K. CBI survey, November
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on ISM Non-Manufacturing
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the U.S. China-Trade War
Samuel Tombs discussing U.K. Inflation
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Automotive Industry
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing Q1 GDP Results
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