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23 June. 2015 Oil Firms' Equipment Capex Can't Fall Forever - is it Close to Bottom? (Publication Centre)

We are intrigued by the idea that the rollover in oil firms' capital spending on equipment might already be over, even as spending on new well-drilling--captured by the still-falling weekly operating rigs data--continues to decline. The evidence to suggest equipment spending has fallen far enough is straightforward.

13 February 2017 Can French Investment Maintain Momentum in 2017? (Publication Centre)

French manufacturing cooled at the end of 2016. Industrial production slipped 0.9% month-to-month in December, partially reversing an upwardly revised 2.4% jump in November. The main hits came from declines in oil refining and manufacturing of cars and other transport equipment.

30 Nov. 2015 Capex to Rebound--Modestly--as the Oil Hit Is Overtaken (Publication Centre)

Capex data by industry are available only on an annual basis, with a very long lag, so we can't directly observe the impact the collapse in the oil sector has had on total equipment spending. But we can make the simple observation that orders for non-defense capital goods were rising strongly and quite steadily-- allowing for the considerable noise in the data--from mid-2013 through mid-2014, before crashing by 9% between their September peak and the February low. It cannot be a coincidence that this followed a 55% plunge in oil prices.

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.

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.

25 November. 2016 German GDP Growth Will Rebound in Q4 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's economic data in Germany confirmed that the economy slowed in Q3, but also added to the evidence that growth will rebound in Q4. The second estimate for Q3 showed that real GDP rose 0.2% quarter-on-quarter, slowing from a 0.4% gain in Q2.

26 August. 2016 EZ Economic Bulls Checked by IFO and INSEE Business Surveys (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's IFO survey in Germany was a nasty downside surprise for markets. The business climate index slipped to 106.2 in August, from 108.3 in July, well below the consensus forecast for a modest rise. In addition, the expectations index slid ominously to 100.1, from a revised 102.1 in July.

25 Sept. 2015 Yellen Defends Orthodoxy: Policy Lags Mean Rates to Rise this Year (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen set out a robust and detailed defense of the orthodox approach to monetary policy in her speech in Amherst, MA, yesterday afternoon. Her core argument could have come straight from the textbook: As the labor market tightens, cost pressures will build. Monetary policy operates with a "substantial" lag, so waiting too long is dangerous; the "...prudent strategy is to begin tightening in a timely fashion and at a gradual pace".

25 June 2018 Imports Still Falling as the Hurricane Surge Continues to Unwind? (Publication Centre)

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.

22 June 2018 Survey Data Suggest that French Manufacturing will Rebound in Q2 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's barrage of French business sentiment data suggest that confidence in the industrial sector was a little stronger than expected in Q2.

2 June 2017 PMIs Signal a Strong Q2 for the EZ Manufacturing Sector (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's final May manufacturing PMIs confirmed that the EZ industrial sector is in fine form. The PMI for the euro area was unchanged at a cyclical high of 57.0 in May, in line with the initial estimate.

19 July 2017 Credit Conditions in the Eurozone Continue to Support the Recovery (Publication Centre)

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.

20 March 2018 Up or down for the EZ current account surplus in 2018? (Publication Centre)

The euro area's trade advantage with the rest of the world slipped at the start of the year.

22 January 2018 The Government Shutdown is Theater, but Could Become a Threat (Publication Centre)

As we reach our Sunday afternoon deadline, no deal has been reached to re-open the federal government.

26 January 2018 Q4 Growth Likely Near 3%, but Real Uncertainties in Trade, Inventories (Publication Centre)

need to add docMea culpa: We failed to spot the press release from the Commerce Department announcing the delay of the release of the advance December trade and inventory data, due to the government shutdown.

22 May 2018 The Quiet and Good life in Spain (Publication Centre)

The Spanish economy has been living a quiet life recently, amid markets' focus on political risks in Italy and manufacturing slowdowns in Germany and France.

29 May 2018 Capex Starts the Second Quarter Strongly, Further Gains Ahead? (Publication Centre)

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.

7 December. 2016 Steady as She Goes for the EZ Economy, Despite Political Turmoil (Publication Centre)

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.

7 February 2017 Don't Be Fooled by Jump in German Factory Orders (Publication Centre)

German manufacturing is in good shape, but probably is not as strong as implied by yesterday's surge in new orders. Factory orders jumped 5.2% month-to-month in December, rebounding strongly after a downwardly revised 3.6% fall in November. December's jump was the biggest monthly increase in two years, but it was flattered by a leap in bulk investment goods orders, mainly in the domestic market and other EZ economies.

7 September. 2016 Capex Rebounding in Q3, Except in the Housing Component (Publication Centre)

If you had asked us in the spring where the action would be in capital spending over the summer, we would have said that the housing component was the best bet. Right now, though, the opposite seems more likely, with housing likely to be the weakest component of capex.

8 February 2018 Is the Acceleration in German Manufacturing Output Over? (Publication Centre)

Industrial production in Germany stumbled at the end of Q4. Data yesterday showed that output fell 0.6 month-to-month in December, though this drop has to be seen in light of the downwardly-revised 3.1% jump in November.

7 April 2017 Brace for Disappointing Industrial Production Data Today (Publication Centre)

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.

4 September 2017 Manufacturing Will Continue to Lift EZ GDP Growth in Q3 (Publication Centre)

Eurozone manufacturing boosted GDP growth in the first half of the year, and survey data suggest that momentum will be maintained in Q3.

29 May 2018 A Peek into the Abyss of an Italian Parallel Currency and Euro Exit (Publication Centre)

We have to hand it to Italy's politicians. In an economy with a current account surplus of 3% of GDP, a nearly balanced net foreign asset position and with the majority of government debt held by domestic investors, the leading parties have managed to prompt markets to flatten the yield curve via a jump in shortterm interest rates.

18 July 2017 Colombia's Economic Prospects Remain Poor, but they will Improve (Publication Centre)

May's activity data underline the weakness of Colombia's economic growth. Domestic demand still is under pressure due to the lagged effect of the deterioration in the terms of trade and other temporary shocks in 2016, and the VAT increase in January this year.

31 January 2018 2017 was a Record-Breaking Year for the Eurozone Economy (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's advance Eurozone Q4 GDP report conformed to expectations. Headline GDP increased 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, slowing trivially from an upwardly-revised 0.7% rise in Q3, and nudging the year-over-year rate down marginally to 2.7%.

27 February 2017 How Quickly Will Core Capital Goods Orders Rebound? (Publication Centre)

Orders for non-defense capital goods, excluding aircraft, have risen in six of the past seven months. In the fourth quarter, orders rose at a 4.7% annualized rate, in contrast to the 5.3% year-over-year plunge in the first half of the year.

15 March 2018 Old-Guard Industry gets a Q1 Reprieve, but it's Temporary (Publication Centre)

Industrial production bounced back in February. These data point to a reprieve for old-guard dirty industry, after stringent anti-pollution curbs were put in place in Q4.

12 Jan. 2016 Why are Payroll Gains So Strong Relative to GDP Growth? (Publication Centre)

The combination of astounding fourth quarter payroll numbers and weak GDP growth has prompted a good deal of bemused head-scratching among investors and the commentariat. The contrast is startling, with Q4 private payrolls averaging 276K, a 2.4% annualized rate of increase, while the initial estimate for growth seems likely close to 1%. Even on a year-over-year basis, stepping back from the quarterly noise, Q4 growth is likely to be only 2% or so.

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

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

18 April 2018 Colombia's Softer Activity Data is Temporary, Expect an Acceleration (Publication Centre)

The February activity report in Colombia showed a modest pick-up in manufacturing activity and strength in the retail sales numbers.

11 May 2018 Mexico's Economy on the Mend, but Politics is Now the Biggest Risk (Publication Centre)

This week's data confirmed Mexico's strong economic performance over the first few months of this year.

11 January 2018 Chinese Manufacturing Goods Inflation Slows with Commodities (Publication Centre)

Chinese PPI inflation fell to 4.9% in December, from 5.8% in November. The decline was expected, but underneath the slowdown in commodity price inflation, the rate of increase of manufacturing goods prices is slowing sharply too.

11 January 2018 Will France Reap the Rewards of Supply-Side Reforms in 2018? (Publication Centre)

Momentum in French manufacturing eased slightly in November, but the setback was modest. Industrial production dipped 0.5% month-to-month, only partially reversing the revised 1.7% jump in October.

13 January 2017 The Eurozone Economy Remains Oblivious to Political Risks (Publication Centre)

The euro area economy continues to defy rising political uncertainty. Data yesterday showed that industrial production, ex-construction, in the Eurozone jumped 1.5% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 3.2% from a revised 0.8% in October. Output rose in all the major economies, but the headline was flattered by a 16.3% month-to-month leap in Ireland. This was due to a production jump in Ireland's "modern sector" which includes the country's large multinational technology sector.

12 April 2017 Mexico's Industrial Sector Resilient in Q1, Despite External Threats (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's industrial production report in Mexico added weight to the idea that the sector improved marginally in the first quarter, despite many external threats. Industrial output rose 0.1% month-to-month in February, following a similar gain in January. The calendar-adjusted year-over-year rate rose to -0.1%, after a modest 0.3% contraction in January.

17 March 2017 February's Manufacturing Data Flattered by Warm Weather? (Publication Centre)

The latest survey evidence strongly supports our view that momentum is building in the industrial economy, but the official production data continue to lag. Yesterday's March Philly Fed survey was remarkably strong, with the correction in the headline sentiment index -- inevitable, after February's 33-year high -- masking increases in all the subindexes.

13 March 2018 Taking the Pulse on EZ Investment Can the Upturn be Sustained? (Publication Centre)

Last week's detailed GDP data in the Eurozone confirmed that the economy is benefiting from an investment cycle for the first time since before the financial crisis.

15 February 2017 The EZ Economy is Resilient, but Fell Short of Expectations in Q4 (Publication Centre)

The Eurozone economy was resilient at the end of last year, but yesterday's reports indicated that growth was less buoyant than markets expected. Real GDP in the euro area rose 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the same pace as in Q3, but slightly less than the initial estimate 0.5%.

15 January 2018 Mexico's Industrial Sector Remains Unresponsive, but Q1 Will be Better (Publication Centre)

Upbeat survey data, a competitive MXN, and the strong U.S. manufacturing sector indicate that Mexican industry should be rebounding.

13 October 2017 Brazilian Consumption is Picking Up, Despite August's Poor Data (Publication Centre)

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.

13 October 2017 Eurozone GDP Growth Likely Slowed in Q3, but Only Sligh tly (Publication Centre)

The manufacturing sector likely was the primary driver of Q3 GDP growth in the Eurozone. Data yesterday showed that industrial production rose 1.4% month-to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 3.8%, from a revised 3.6% in July.

15 Apr. 2015 Plunging utility output and oil well-drilling to depress March IP (Publication Centre)

The combination of weather effects and the meltdown in the oil sector make it very hard to spot the underlying trend in manufacturing activity. The sudden collapse in oil-related capital spending likely is holding down production of equipment, but the data don't provide sufficient detail to identify the hit with any precision.

12 Oct. 2015 French Manufacturing Output Likely Fell in Q3 - Q4 will b e Better (Publication Centre)

French industrial production data offered a bit of relief last week following a string of woeful German data, and news of monthly falls in Italian and Spanish manufacturing output. Industrial production jumped 1.6% month-to-month in August, but the headline was flattered by a 0.3% downward revision of the July data. The monthly jump pushed the year-over-year rate higher to 1.6%, from a revised 0.9% fall in July. All sectors performed strongly in August, but the key story was a hefty increase in transport equipment manufacturing, due to a 11.9% surge in vehicle production.

11 Nov. 2015 Strong Finish to Q3 for French Manufacturing to Boost GDP? (Publication Centre)

French industrial production data surprised to the upside yesterday. Output rose 0.1% month-to-month in September, a solid gain following an upwardly-revised 1.7% rise in August, and also higher than the consensus, forecast for a 0.4% fall. The details, however, were less upbeat than the headline. Transport equipment fell, as expected, following production being pushed forward ahead of the Summer holidays. But this story was overshadowed by a 22.5% month-to-month jump in oil refining-- included in manufacturing--as refineries resumed full production following maintenance over the summer.

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

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

11 May. 2016 Outside the Oil Sector, the NFIB Survey Points to Decent Capex (Publication Centre)

We're pretty sure our forecast of a levelling-off in capital spending in the oil sector will prove correct. Unless you think the U.S. oil business is going to disappear, capex has fallen so far already that it must now be approaching the incompressible minimum required for replacement parts and equipment needed to keep production going.

25 Jan. 2016 Oil Capex Crash Nearly Over - What Happens Next to Consumers? (Publication Centre)

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.

23 September 2016 French Manufacturing Confidence Rebounds Solidly in September (Publication Centre)

French manufacturers recovered their optimism towards the end of Q3. The headline INSEE manufacturing sentiment index rose to 103 in September, from 101 in August, and the composite business confidence gauge also increased. A rebound in transport equipment firms' own production expectations was the key driver of the recovery.

Question of the Week, WC 11th June (Media Centre)

Question of the Week

Consistently Right

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