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18 August. 2015 Can the Fed Hike if the Empire State Survey is Right? (Publication Centre)

Just how weak would the manufacturing sector have to be in order to persuade the Fed to hold fire this fall, assuming the labor market numbers continue to improve steadily? The question is germane in the wake of the startlingly terrible August Empire State manufacturing survey, which suggested that conditions for manufacturers in New York are deteriorating at the fastest rate since June 2009.

US Datanote: Empire State Survey, December (Publication Centre)

In one line: Still soft, but expect a bounce next month from the Phase One trade deal.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Retail Sales, October and Empire State Survey, November (Publication Centre)

In one line: Core sales growth is slowing after unsustainable strength.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Empire State Survey, September (Publication Centre)

In one line: Much stronger than the ISM, but the gap is not necessarily about to close.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Empire State Survey, May (Publication Centre)

In one line: More evidence that the manufacturing downshift is stabilizing.

US Datanote: Empire State Survey, June 2020 (Publication Centre)

In one line: Much better, but this is the early stage of the recovery.

US Datanote: U.S. Producer Prices, December and Empire State Survey, January (Publication Centre)

In one line: No overall PPI threat, but airline fares jump will lift the core PCE deflator.

US Datanote: U.S. Empire State Survey, March (Publication Centre)

In one line: Manufacturing is back in recession.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Empire State Survey, July (Publication Centre)

In one line: A welcome partial rebound, but a real recovery is unlikely before the fall.

US Datanote: Empire State Survey, July 2020 (Publication Centre)

In one line: Recovery continues, but further significant near-term gains are unlikely.

U.S. Datanote: Empire State Survey, June (Publication Centre)

In one line: Awful but likely just a temporary response to the Mexico tariff fiasco.

15 September. 2016 Will September's Regional Surveys Follow the ISM's Drop? (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

17 October 2017 Manufacturing Sector set for Modest Post-Hurricane Rebound? (Publication Centre)

The first October survey evidence from the industrial economy, in the form of the Empire State report, is remarkably strong.

16 Dec. 2014 - Industrial rebound continues, despite the plunging Empire State (Publication Centre)

You'd have to be very brave to take the weakness of yesterday's Empire State survey more seriously than the strong official industrial report published 45 minutes later. The hard data showed industrial production up 1.3% month-to-month, and only two tenths of that gain was explained by the cold weather, which drove up utility energy output.

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

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

2 Dec 2019 Business Sentiment Likely has Hit Bottom, but Hard Data Still Softening (Publication Centre)

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.

19 Dec 2019 The Philly Fed Likely is Still Outperforming, Treat with Caution (Publication Centre)

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.

19 January 2017 Core Inflation Pressure Building Slowly, Headline to Jump Further (Publication Centre)

The solid numbers for December mean that core inflation remains on track to breach 2?-?% this year, though probably not until the summer. Over the next few months, base effects will help to hold the core rate close to the December pace.

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

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

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

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

2 July 2019 Auto Sales are Solid: Fundamentals are Keeping Sales Over 17M (Publication Centre)

We keep hearing that the auto market is struggling, but that idea is not supported by the recent sales numbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

18 September 2018 Chainstore Sales Growth has Jumped Thank the Tax Cuts (Publication Centre)

The first estimate of retail sales growth in August was weaker than implied by the Redbook chainstore sales survey, but our first chart shows that the difference between the numbers was well within the usual margin of error.

21 June 2019 Dealing with the "Delay Suits Both" Theories of China Trade (Publication Centre)

We've had pushback from readers over our take on the likelihood of a trade deal with China in the near future.

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

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

20 Dec 2019 Expect a Benign November Core PCE, but Change is Coming in Q1 (Publication Centre)

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.

2 Mar 2020 Covid-19 Cases Accelerating Outside the Four Major Outbreaks (Publication Centre)

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.

18 Dec 2019 Boeing's Production Cut will Depress GDP Slightly, IP Hit Much Harder (Publication Centre)

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.

17 Sept 2019 August IP Likely Rebounded, but the Trend is Deteriorating (Publication Centre)

Manufacturing is in recession, with few signs yet that a floor is near, still less a recovery.

18 August. 2016 What are the Chances of 4%-plus Growth in the Third Quarter? (Publication Centre)

The latest model-based third quarter GDP forecast from the Atlanta Fed is 3.6%, well above the 2.5% consensus forecast reported by Bloomberg. We are profoundly skeptical of so-called "tracking models" of GDP growth, because they are based mostly on forecasts and assumptions until very close to the actual GDP release.

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

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

17 Mar 2020 Q2 GDP Set to Plunge by About 10%, Stocks have Further to Fall (Publication Centre)

We were not hugely surprised to see stocks tank again yesterday.

17 July 2017 September Rate Hike Odds Have Fallen, but it's not Over Yet (Publication Centre)

After four straight sub-consensus core CPI readings, we think the odds now favor reversion to the prior trend, 0.2%, over the next few months.

17 June 2019 Peak Trade War Might Already be Past, but Strong Nerves Needed (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

18 January 2018 Housing Starts Likely Dipped Last Month, but the Trend is Rising (Publication Centre)

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.

18 May 2017 Political Uncertainty is set to Plague Markets for Many Months (Publication Centre)

The turmoil in Washington has begun to hit markets. We don't know how this will end, but we do know that it isn't going away quickly.

18 May 2018 Second Quarter Growth Started Strongly, but a Long Way to go (Publication Centre)

The half-way point of the quarter is not, alas, the half-way point of the data flow for the quarter.

18 June 2020 Scope for Disappointment in Jobless Claims, if State Data are Reliable (Publication Centre)

We're braced for disappointing jobless claims numbers today.

18 June 2019 Chainstore Sales Growth is Set to Slow Sharply Don't Worry (Publication Centre)

The chainstore sales numbers have been hard to read over the past year.

18 January 2019 Manufacturing Output Likely Jumped in December Don't be Deceived (Publication Centre)

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.

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.

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

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

23 Mar 2020 The Growth of European Covid-19 Cases Slowed Sharply Yesterday (Publication Centre)

The rate of growth of new coronavirus infections across Europe slowed yesterday, in some cases quite markedly. We can quibble about the reliability of the data in individual countries, given variations in testing regimes, but the picture is strikingly uniform.

29 Apr. 2016 Weak Q1 Growth Won't Persist - Better Data Coming, Soon (Publication Centre)

The astonishing 86% annualized plunge in capital spending in mining structures--mostly oil wells--alone subtracted 0.6 percentage points from headline GDP growth in the first quarter. The collapse was bigger than we expected, based on the falling rig count, but the key point is that it will not be repeated in the second quarter.

29 July 2020 No Big Changes from the Fed Today, but Enhanced Guidance is Coming (Publication Centre)

We argued in the Monitor on Friday--see here--that the Fed likely will increase the pace of its Treasury purchases, in order to ensure that the wave of supply needed to finance the next Covid relief bill does not drive up yields.

28 July 2020 Congressional Face-Off Could Delay the Next Relief Bill Until September (Publication Centre)

House Democrats and Senate Republicans are so far apart on both the structure and the size of the next Coronavirus relief package that it's hard to see a bill passing Congress in less than a couple weeks or so, and it could easily take longer.

28 Jan 2020 Plummeting Boeing Orders Mean Downside Risk for Durable Goods (Publication Centre)

Core durable goods orders in recent months have been much less terrible than implied by both the ISM and Markit manufacturing surveys.

26 Feb 2020 The Fed's "Too Soon to Tell" Line Won't Hold if Markets Keep Falling (Publication Centre)

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.

26 Nov 2019 The Export Collapse Signalled by the Late Summer ISM has been Averted (Publication Centre)

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.

29 May 2019 Will Consumers Save Less this Year, in Order to Spend More (Publication Centre)

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.

3 December 2018 Tariff Deferment Shows Both Sides Want a Deal, but it Will Take Time (Publication Centre)

The agreement between Presidents Trump and Xi at the G20 is a deferment of disaster rather than a fundamental rebuilding of the trading relationship between the U.S. and China.

31 January 2017 Will Faster Wage Growth Finally Trigger An Acceleration in the ECI? (Publication Centre)

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.

31 Mar 2020 Business and Consumer Confidence are Cratering, Further Falls Ahead (Publication Centre)

A pair of closely-watched reports today will confirm that business and consumer confidence is tanking in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

30 June 2020 Case Growth Might be Starting to Slow in Arizona, Others Later (Publication Centre)

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.

30 June 2017 Core PCE Inflation set to Fall Again, but it won't Sway the Fed (Publication Centre)

We have argued recently that the year-over-year rates of core CPI and core PCE inflation could cross over the next year, with core PCE rising more quickly for the first time since 2010.

3 Feb 2020 Some Hopeful Signs are Emerging in the Coronavirus Data (Publication Centre)

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.

3 July 2017 Three Jobs Reports in Nine Weeks set to Shift Market Rate Expectations (Publication Centre)

The next nine weeks bring three jobs reports, which will determine whether the Fed hikes again in September, as we expect, and will also help shape market expectations for December and beyond.

25 Nov 2019 Deferring the December 15 Tariffs is not Alone Enough to Lift Growth (Publication Centre)

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.

25 June 2019 New Home Sales Set for a Steady Summer, but New Highs in the Fall (Publication Centre)

We are fundamentally quite bullish on the housing market, given the 100bp drop in mortgage rates over the past six months and the continued strength of the labor market, but today's May new home sales report likely will be unexciting.

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

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

23 July 2019 Shock News Politicians Choose not to Cut Spending in Election Year (Publication Centre)

As we reach our deadline--4pm eastern time--media reports indicate that a debt ceiling agreement is close.

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

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

22 Nov 2019 Don't Worry About the Uptick in Jobless Claims, Unless it Persists (Publication Centre)

Back-to-back elevated weekly jobless claims numbers prove nothing, but they have grabbed our attention.

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

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

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

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

23 June 2020 The Housing Rebound is Intact, Ignore May's Drop in Existing Home Sales (Publication Centre)

Hot on the heels of yesterday's grim-looking-- temporarily--existing home sales numbers for May, we see upside risk for today's new sales data.

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

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

24 July 2019 Why are Cash Buyers Abandoning the Existing Homes Market (Publication Centre)

The sluggishness of existing home sales in recent months, as exemplified by yesterday's report of a small dip in June, is due entirely to a sharp drop in the number of cash buyers.

25 Feb 2020 The Fed will Blink if Markets have Many More Days Like Yesterday (Publication Centre)

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.

24 Feb 2020 Virus-Induced Nerves will Persist until Non-China Cases Decline (Publication Centre)

While we were out last week, market nervousness over the Covid-19 outbreak intensified, though most key indicators of the spread of the infection continued to improve.

23 October 2018 Business Surveys have Flattened Richmond Fed due to Correct (Publication Centre)

All the regional PMIs and Fed business surveys are volatile in the short-term, so observations for single months need to be viewed with due skepticism.

23 May 2018 New Home Sales Appear to have Peaked - Downside Risk for April? (Publication Centre)

The monthly new home sales numbers are so volatile that just about anything can happen in any given month.

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

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

21 October. 2016 Government Spending Higher Next Year? (Publication Centre)

It has become pretty clear over the past couple of weeks that Hillary Clinton will be the next president, so it's now worth thinking about how fiscal policy will evolve over the next couple of years.

16 November 2018 The Boost to Retail Sales from Tax Cuts is Fading, as Holidays Approach (Publication Centre)

The headline retail sales numbers for October looked good, but the details were less comforting.

15 January 2019 The Trade War is not the Only Factor Hurting Stocks, but it's the Biggest (Publication Centre)

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.

15 July 2019 Early Resolution to the Debt Ceiling would Raise Growth Forecasts (Publication Centre)

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's five-line letter to House Speaker Pelosi on last Friday--copied to other Congressional leaders--which said that "there is a scenario in which we run out of cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes", introduces a new element of uncertainty to the debt ceiling story.

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

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

15 Jan 2020 The Rise in Continuing Jobless Claims is No Cause for Concern (Publication Centre)

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.

15 August 2018 Soft July Headline Retail Sales Numbers will Hide a Solid Core (Publication Centre)

The first wave of domestic third quarter data crashes ashore this morning.

15 August. 2016 Don't Fret Over the July Retail Sales and PPI Data (Publication Centre)

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%.

15 July 2020 Slowing Rent Increases Emerge as a Key Drag on the Core CPI (Publication Centre)

We aren't much bothered by the one-tenth overshoot in the June core CPI, reported yesterday.

15 July. 2016 Autos Will Depress Headline June Spending, Core Picture is Fine (Publication Centre)

When the dust settles after today's wave of data, we expect to have learned that core retail sales continued to rise in June, core inflation nudged back up to its cycle high, and manufacturing output rebounded after an auto-led drop in May. None of these reports will be enough to push the Fed into early action, but they will add to the picture of a reasonably solid domestic economy ahead of the U.K. Brexit referendum.

15 May 2018 Autos Likely Constrained April Retail Sales, Core Trend is Gently Upwards (Publication Centre)

The story of U.S. retail sales since last summer is mostly a story about the impact of the hurricanes, Harvey in particular.

17 January 2018 Severe Weather Likely Depressed Homebuilders' Sentiment (Publication Centre)

At the end of last year, U.S. homebuilders were more optimistic than at any time in the previous 18 years, according to the monthly NAHB survey.

15 March 2019 Manufacturing Output Likely Rose in February, but the Outlook is Grim (Publication Centre)

Manufacturing is not in recession, yet, despite the reams of gloomy analysis of the sector, including our own.

15 March 2018 Retail Sales have Corrected from the Post-Hurricane Surge (Publication Centre)

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.

15 June 2020 The Southern Second Wave will be the Exception, not the Rule (Publication Centre)

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.

15 Mar. 2016 Downside Risk for Retail Sales, but Real Consumption is What Counts (Publication Centre)

This week's wave of data starts today, but most of the attention will fall on just one report, February retail sales. We expect weak-looking numbers, thanks to the plunge in gas prices, which likely will subtract some 0.6% from the non-auto sales number.

15 Aug 2019 Today's Data Wave Will be Split Strong Consumers, Weak Industry (Publication Centre)

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.

15 Apr 2020 Brace for Grim March Retail Sales and IP Reports, with Worse to Come (Publication Centre)

Today brings a wave of data which will help analysts narrow their estimates for first quarter GDP growth, and will offer some clues, albeit limited, about the early part of the second quarter.

1 May 2018 ISM Manufacturing has Peaked, but don't Expect a Sudden Rollover (Publication Centre)

We're expecting the April ISM report today to bring yet more evidence that the manufacturing cycle is peaking, though we remain of the view that the next cyclical downturn is still some way off.

1 May 2019 What Will Chair Powell say About Strong Q1 Growth and Low Inflation (Publication Centre)

The FOMC meeting today will be a non-event from a policy perspective but we are very curious to see what both the written statement and the Chair will have to say about the unexpected strength of the economy in the first quarter.

1 May 2017 Ignore the Weak Q1 GDP Numbers -- they Cannot be Trusted (Publication Centre)

If you apply a seasonal adjustment to a seasonally adjusted series, it shouldn't change. When you apply a seasonal adjustment to the U.S. GDP numbers, they do change. First quarter growth, reported Friday at just 0.7%, goes up to 1.7%, on our estimate.

1 March 2018 Don't Extrapolate Januarys Core PCE Deflator (Publication Centre)

All eyes today will be on the core PCE deflator for January, following the unexpectedly large 0.3% increase in the core CPI.

03 October. 2016 ISM Unlikely to Rebound Much, but Manufacturing is Not Shrinking (Publication Centre)

Today's September ISM manufacturing survey is one of the most keenly-awaited for some time. Was the unexpected plunge in August a one-time fluke--perhaps due to sampling error, or a temporary reaction to the Gulf Coast floods, or Brexit--or was it evidence of a more sustained downshift, possibly triggered by political uncertainty?

1 July 2019 Trade Talks Back on, this Time, Expect a Deal, Both Sides Need One (Publication Centre)

The outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 summit was as good as we expected.

12 February 2018 The Next Round of Data Likely Will Dampen Inflation Fears, For a Time (Publication Centre)

It's hard to know what will stop the correction in the stock market, but we're pretty sure that robust economic data--growth, prices and/or wages--over the next few weeks would make things worse.

12 May 2020 Downside Risk to April CPI from Rent, Apparel, Airline Fares, Lodging, Autos (Publication Centre)

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.

14 Jan 2020 Core CPI Inflation is Contained, but Risks Abound for December (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

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

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

13 Jan 2020 Labor Market Strength Means no Need for the Fed to Ease this Year (Publication Centre)

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.

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

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

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

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

15 May 2019 Q2 Consumption on Course for 3%, Despite Auto Drag on April Retailing (Publication Centre)

The gap between the official measure of the rate of growth of core retail sales and the Redbook chainstore sales numbers remains bafflingly huge, but we have no specific reason to expect it to narrow substantially with the release of the April report today.

16 May 2018 Downside Risks to April Housing Construction, IP Looks Strong (Publication Centre)

We see downside risk to the housing starts numbers for April, due today. Our core view on housing market activity, both sales and construction activity, is that the next few months, through the summer, will be broadly flat-to-down.

16 November 2017 Core CPI Mean-Reverts, but Base Effects Mean Sub-2% Until March (Publication Centre)

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.

16 May 2017 Manufacturing is Recovering, Despite the Hard and Soft Data Gap (Publication Centre)

The over-hyped mystery of the gap between the hard and soft data in the industrial economy has largely resolved itself in recent months.

16 March 2017 The Fed Won't be Able to Dodge the Fiscal Policy Question in June (Publication Centre)

It might seem odd to describe a meeting at which the Fed raised rates for only the third time since 2006 as a holding operation, but that just about sums up yesterday's actions. The 25bp rate hike was fully anticipated; the forecasts for growth, inflation and interest rates were barely changed from December; and the Fed still expects a total of three hikes this year.

15 November. 2016 Autos and Higher Gas Prices Will Flatter October Retail Sales Data (Publication Centre)

The combination of unexpectedly strong auto sales and rising gas prices should generate strong-looking headline retail sales numbers for October. We have no idea what to expect for November, with two-thirds of the month coming after the election, but the final pre- election sales report will look good.

16 Mar. 2016 Can Yellen Reconcile Lower Dots, Rates on Hold and Rising Inflation? (Publication Centre)

The further improvement in labor market conditions and the jump in core inflation means that the economic data have given the Fed all the excuse it needs to raise rates today. But the chance of a hike is very small, not least because the fed funds future puts the odds of an action today at just 4%, and the Fed has proved itself very reluctant to surprise investors-- at least, in a bad way--in the past.

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

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

16 October 2017 Don't Rule Out a Hurricane-Induced Jump in the Core CPI (Publication Centre)

The September core CPI was held down by prescription drug prices, which fell by 0.6%, and vehicle prices, which fell by 0.4%.

17 Jan 2020 Manufacturing is Stagnating, but a Modest H1 Upturn is a Fair Bet (Publication Centre)

The trend in manufacturing output probably is about flat, with no real prospect of any serious improvement in the near term.

17 January 2017 December Data Understates Core Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the December core retail sales numbers were something of a damp squib. The headline numbers were lifted by an incentive-driven jump in auto sales and the rise in gas prices, but our measure of core sales--stripping out autos, gas and food--was dead flat. One soft month doesn't prove anything, and core sales rose at a 3.9% annualized rate in the fourth quarter as a whole.

17 Feb. 2015 Falling Goods Prices Do Not Signal Broader U.S. Deflation Risk (Publication Centre)

Last week's import price data, showing prices excluding fuels and food fell in January for the fourth month, support our view that the goods component of the CPI is set to drop sharply this year.

17 Dec 2019 Behind the Rebound in November IP, the Underlying Trend is Flat (Publication Centre)

The November industrial production numbers will be dominated by the rebound in auto production following the end of the GM strike.

17 August. 2015 Should We Worry About Two Straight Outsized Core PPI Gains? (Publication Centre)

The back-to-back 0.3% increases in the core PPI in June and July represent the biggest two-month gain since mid-2013, so we now have to be on the alert for the August report, which will be released September 11, a week before the FOMC meeting. A third straight outsized gain--the trend before June's jump was only about 0.05% per month, and the year-over-year rate is still only 0.6%--would suggest something real is stirring in the numbers, rather than just noise.

16 Mar 2020 The House Bill is Nothing Like Enough, Much More is Coming (Publication Centre)

The House passage of a stimulus bill last Friday, seeking to ameliorate some of the damage done by the coronavirus outbreak, will not be nearly enough.

16 Mar. 2015 The Fed won't wait for the Whites of Inflation's eyes (Publication Centre)

We don't often picks fights with Nobel prize winners and former Treasury secretaries. But right now we think that Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, leading lights of the view that the Fed should not begin to raise rates "until you see the whites of inflation's eyes", are dead wrong.

16 August 2018 Domestic Demand Strength from Q2 Spilled Over into Early Q3 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's wave of data suggested that a good part of the strength in final demand in the second quarter was sustained into the first month of this quarter, and perhaps the second too.

16 June 2020 Sales, Production Up in May, but a Very Long Way to Go (Publication Centre)

The two marquee economic reports today, covering May retail sales and industrial production, will capture the initial rebound after the economy hit bottom sometime in mid-April.

16 Aug 2019 Consumption Started Q3 Strongly Industry Still in the Doldrums (Publication Centre)

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.

16 Apr 2020 Jobless Claims Look Set to Fall Sharply, but Remain Insanely High (Publication Centre)

For all the excitement generated by yesterday's raft of appalling economic reports, the weekly jobless claims numbers still offer the best, and almost real-time, guide to the big picture.

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

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

15 Sept. 2015 August Retail Sales "Soft" Again? But the Real Story is Different (Publication Centre)

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.

16 December 2016 Core Inflation has Levelled-Off, but Only Temporarily, Headline to Soar (Publication Centre)

A casual glance at our first chart, which shows the headline and core inflation rates, might lead you to think that our fears for next year are overdone. Core inflation rose rapidly from a low of 1.6% in January 2015 to 2.3% in February this year, but since then it has bounced around a range from 2.1% to 2.3%.

16 Dec 2019 The Trade Deal Should Lift Business Sentiment, but Modestly (Publication Centre)

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.

16 June 2017 Housing Construction Should Rebound (Publication Centre)

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.

16 January 2019 If December's Retail Sales Report Could Speak, it Would be Excited (Publication Centre)

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.

16 July 2018 No Hard Evidence that Tariffs are Hurting Business Investment... Yet (Publication Centre)

We can see no hard evidence, yet, that the expanding trade war with China and other U.S. trading partners is hitting business investment.

16 Jan 2020 No Repeat of the December 2018 Plunge in Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

Ahead of the release of the retail sales report for December 2018, markets expected to see unchanged non-auto sales.

16 February 2018 Healthcare Costs Drove up January's Core PPI (Publication Centre)

Having panicked at the January hourly earnings numbers, markets now seem to have decided that higher inflation might not be such a bad thing after all, and stocks rallied after both Wednesday's core CPI overshoot and yesterday's repeat performance in the PPI.

16 September. 2016 Something Bad Happened to Industry in August, Will it Last? (Publication Centre)

We have not been expecting the Fed to raise rates next week, and yesterday's data made a hike even less likely. The September Philly Fed and Empire State surveys were alarmingly weak everywhere except the headline level, and the official August production data were grim.

21 Apr. 2016 Further Evidence that the Manufacturing Rollover is History? (Publication Centre)

The recent sharp, if not startling, upturn in the regional manufacturing surveys should continue today with the release of the Philadelphia Fed report. The survey is constructed in the same way as the more volatile Empire State, which has rocketed in the past few months, and the headline indexes follow similar trends, as our first chart shows.

U.S. Datanote: Richmond Fed Survey, July (Publication Centre)

In one line: Philly Fed soars; Empire State steady; Richmond Fed tanks; which to believe?

15 Jan. 2016 Downside Risk for December Retail Sales and Industrial Output (Publication Centre)

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.

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