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28 Jan. 2015 What Happened to December Durable Goods Orders? (Publication Centre)

We are pretty confident that the reported 3.4% drop in durable goods orders in December, which so spooked the markets yesterday, didn't actually happen.

26 Feb. 2015 Downside Risks for January CPI and Durable Orders? (Publication Centre)

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.

26 May. 2016 Favorable Post-Easter Seasonals Signal Upside Risk for April Orders (Publication Centre)

Another day, another couple of April reports likely to reverse March "weakness", triggered by the early Easter. We look for robust core durable goods and pending home sales reports, with the odds favoring consensus-beating numbers. In both cases, though, the noise-to-signal ratio is quite high, and we can't be certain the Easter seasonal unwind will be the dominant force in the April data.

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

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

20 Feb. 2015 Data Surprises Don't Tell Us Much About the Economy (Publication Centre)

At the headline level, much of the recent U.S. macro dataflow has been disappointing. January retail sales, industrial production, housing starts, and both ISM surveys--manufacturing and non-manufacturing-- undershot consensus, following a sharp and unexpected drop in December durable goods orders.

22 August 2017 Is the Worst Over for State and Local Government Spending? (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

7 December. 2016 Durable Goods Orders Plunged Last Month, but the Core is Stabilizing (Publication Centre)

Unless Boeing received a huge aircraft order on November 30, we can now be pretty sure that most of October's 4.6% leap in headline durable goods orders reversed last month. Through November 29, Boeing booked orders for 34 aircraft, compared to 85 in October. Moreover, the bulk of the orders were for relatively low value 737s, whereas the October numbers were boosted by a surge in orders for 787s, whose list price is about three times higher.

27 Jan. 2015 Falling Oil Sector Capex a Wild Card for Durable Goods Orders (Publication Centre)

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%.

LA TIMES - Durable goods orders unexpectedly tumble sharply in February (Media Centre)

Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson on Durable Goods Orders, February

28 April 2017 The Economy Appears to have Stalled in Q1, but Q2 Will be Better (Publication Centre)

Whatever number the BEA publishes this morning for first quarter GDP growth -- we expect zero -- you probably should add about one percentage point to correct for the persistent seasonal adjustment problem which has plagued the data for many years. Reported first quarter growth has been weaker than the average for the preceding three quarters in 21 of the 31 years since 1985 -- and in eight of the past 10 years.

26 Mar. 2015 How Far Will Capital Goods Orders Fall as the Oil Sector Shrinks? (Publication Centre)

The rollover in core capital goods orders in recent months has been startling. In the three months to February, compared to the previous three months, orders for non-defense capital goods fell at a 7.6% annualized rate.

27 Feb. 2015 Temporary Factors Distorting Inflation and Orders Data (Publication Centre)

The solid 0.2% increase in January's core CPI, coupled with the small upward revision to December, ought to offer a degree of comfort to anyone worried about European-style deflation pressures in the U.S.

26 May 2017 First Quarter Growth Set to be Revised up, but Data are Very Flawed (Publication Centre)

We didn't believe the first estimate of Q1 GDP growth, 0.7%, and we won't believe today's second estimate, either. The data are riddled with distortions, most notably the long-standing problem of residual seasonality, which depressed the number by about one percentage point.

26 May. 2015 Is Core Inflation Really Rising, or are the Recent Gains Just Noise? (Publication Centre)

After four straight above-trend increases in the core CPI, you could be forgiven for thinking that something is afoot. It's still too soon, though to rush to judgment. The data show three previous streaks of 0.2%-or-bigger over four-month periods since the crash of 2008, and none of them were sustained.

27 April 2017 The Path to Implementing Huge Tax Cuts Looks Insurmountably Steep (Publication Centre)

The tax plan released by the administration yesterday was so thoroughly leaked that it contained no real surprises. The border adjustment tax is dead -- not that we thought it would have passed the Senate in any event -- and the centerpiece is a proposed cut in the corporate income tax rate to 15% from 35%.

28 Jan. 2016 FOMC is Focussed on the Labor Market - Global Events Matter Less (Publication Centre)

The FOMC flagged recent market developments as a source of risk to the U.S. economy yesterday, unsurprisingly, but didn't go overboard: "The Committee is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and is assessing their implications for the labor market and inflation, and for the balance of risks to the outlook."

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

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

5 May 2017 Brazil's Industrial Output Dropped in March, but the Trend is Rising (Publication Centre)

Wednesday's Brazilian industrial production data were worse than we expected but the details were less alarming than the headline. Output slipped 1.8% month-to-month in March, the biggest fall since August 2015, setting a low starting point for Q2.

9 December. 2016 The Oil Hit Spread Widely Across the Economy - Now, it's Over (Publication Centre)

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.

31 October. 2016 Q3 Growth Likely Wasn't 2.9%, Headwinds in Q4 (Publication Centre)

We are struggling to make sense of the third quarter GDP numbers. The reality is that the massive surge in soybean exports--which we estimate contributed 0.9 percentage points, gross, to GDP growth--mostly came from falling inventory, because the soybean harvest mostly takes place in Q4.

25 Mar. 2015 China's slowdown a threat to U.S. Industry even when ISM revives (Publication Centre)

We have argued over the past couple of years that if you want to know what's likely to happen to U.S. manufacturing over the next few months, you should look at China's PMI, rather than the domestic ISM survey, which is beset by huge seasonal adjustment problems.

29 Jan. 2016 Will Inventories and Government Hold Q4 GDP Close to Zero? (Publication Centre)

We expect to learn today that the economy barely grew at all in the fourth quarter. At least, that's what we think the first estimate of growth, due today, will show. This number will then be revised twice over the next couple of months, then again when revisions for the past three years are released in July. Thereafter, the numbers are subject to further annual revisions indefinitely.

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

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

18 July 2017 Will Foreign Trade be a Drag on Second Quarter GDP Growth? (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

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

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

11 Nov. 2015 Mexico Relying on the Fed - Chile Looking for China's Recovery (Publication Centre)

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.

10 March 2017 Evidence of a Brazilian Business Cycle Recovery this Year is Building (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

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

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

22 Apr. 2015 Do rising Inventories pose a threat to growth? (Publication Centre)

A classic indicator of impending recession is the emergence of excessive levels of inventory across the economy. The pace of businesses inventory accumulation typically lags sales growth, so when activity slows, usually in response to higher interest rates, firms are left with unsold goods.

26 Apr. 2016 Aircraft Will Lift March Durables, but Early Easter Will Depress Core (Publication Centre)

The good news in today's March durable goods report is that a rebound in orders for Boeing aircraft means February's 3.0% drop in headline orders won't be repeated. The company reported orders for 69 aircraft in March, compared to just one in February.

25 Feb. 2016 Huge Upside Risk for Durable Orders as Aircraft Sales Rebound (Publication Centre)

Today's headline durable goods orders number for January is likely to blast through the consensus forecast, +2.7%. We expect a 6.5% jump, comfortably reversing December's 5.0% drop.

22 November. 2016 Soybean Exports Still High, but Falling Sharply (Publication Centre)

Surging soybean exports contributed 0.9 percentage points, gross, to third quarter GDP growth, though the BEA said that this was "mostly" offset by falling inventories of wholesale non-durable goods.

27 Oct. 2015 Capital Goods Orders are Stabilizing, at Least - Oil Hit Fading (Publication Centre)

The durable goods numbers were among the first short-term indicators to warn clearly of the hit to manufacturing from the rollover in oil sector capex, which began last fall. The trend in core capital goods orders was rising strongly before oil firms began to cut back, with the year-over-year rate peaking at 11.9% in September. Leading capex indicators in the small business sector remained quite robust, but just nine months later, core capex orders were down 6.4% year-over-year, following annualized declines of more than 14% in both the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of this year.

28 September. 2016 Expect Weak Headline Durable Orders (Publication Centre)

A third outright decline in the past four months seems a decent bet for today's August durable goods orders, thanks to the malign influence of the downward trend in orders for civilian aircraft. The global airline cycle is maturing, and orders for both Boeing and Airbus aircraft have been slowing for some time.

30 Oct. 2015 Deflation is Yesterday's Story - Get Ready for Higher Inflation (Publication Centre)

Advance data from Germany and Spain indicate that Eurozone inflation rebounded in October. We think inflation rose to 0.2% year-over-year from -0.2%, and German data suggest the main boost will come from both core and food inflation. Inflation in Germany rose to 0.3% year-over-year from 0.0% in September, lifted by an increase in inflation of leisure and entertainment, hotels and durable goods. Food inflation also rose to 1.6% from 1.1% in September, due to surging prices for fresh fruit and vegetables.

04 Jan. 2016 While We Were Out... (Publication Centre)

...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?

27 October. 2016 Core Capex Orders Set for Third Straight Gain as Oil Hit Fades? (Publication Centre)

The headline durable goods orders number for October, due today, likely will be depressed by falling aircraft orders, both civilian and military. Boeing reported orders for 55 civilian aircraft in September, compared to only three in August, but a hefty adverse swing in the seasonal factor will translate that into a small seasonally adjusted decline.

WALL STREET JOURNAL - U.S. Durable-Goods Orders Post Biggest Jump in a Year (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. Durable Goods Orders

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