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17 Mar. 2016 FOMC Rate Forecasts Rely on Wildly Implausible Inflation Hopes (Publication Centre)

The FOMC delivered no great surprises in the statement yesterday, but the new forecasts of both interest rates and inflation were, in our view, startlingly low. The stage is now set for an eventful few months as the tightening labor market and rising inflation force markets and policymakers to ramp up their expectations for interest rates.

20 Nov. 2015 Will the OBR's New Forecasts Make the Chancellor Cut Deeper? (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor must feel a sense of foreboding before his pre-Autumn Statement meetings with the Office for Budget Responsibility. Even minor revisions to the independent body's economic forecasts could shred into tatters his plans for a budget surplus by the end of the parliament, given the lack of wiggle room in the July Budget borrowing projections. The OBR won't present the Chancellor with disastrous news ahead of next Wednesday's Autumn Statement, but the already slim margin for error he has in meeting his surplus goal likely will be reduced.

15 Mar. Will gilts treat higher borrowing forecasts nonchalantly again? (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor has prepared the public and the markets for a ratcheting-up of the already severe austerity plans in the Budget on Wednesday. George Osborne warned on Sunday that he would announce "...additional savings, equivalent to 50p in every £100 the government spends by the end of the decade", raising an extra £4B a year.

30 May 2017 Why Don't Markets Take the Fed's Interest Rate Forecasts Seriously? (Publication Centre)

Markets expect the Fed will fail to follow through on its current intention to raise rates twice more this year and three times next year. Part of this skepticism reflects recent experience.

15 June. 2016 Fed on Hold, and Unlikely Clearly to Signal a July Hike (Publication Centre)

We expect the Fed to leave rates on hold today, but the FOMC's new forecasts likely will continue to show policymakers expect two hikes this year, unchanged from the March projections. We remain of the view that September is the more likely date for the next hike, because we think sluggish June payrolls will prevent action in July.

15 June 2017 Yellen to Markets: Core Inflation is Noisy, the Labor Market is the Key (Publication Centre)

The Fed's action, statement, and forecasts, and Chair Yellen's press conference, made it very clear the Fed is torn between the dovish signals from the recent core inflation data, and the much more hawkish message coming from the rapid decline in the unemployment rate.

15 July. 2015 Q2 GDP Tracking Models are Too Pessimistic, Focus on Net Trade (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's industrial production report was grim reading, with volatility in Greece and the Netherlands, as well as revisions, throwing off our own, and the market's, forecasts. Output fell 0.4% month-to-month in May, well below the consensus and our expectation for a 0.2% rise, pushing the year-over-year rate higher to 1.6%, from a revised 0.9% in April.

16 May. 2016 What Went Wrong With the Rising Yield Story? (Publication Centre)

Back in September, after the Fed decided to hold fire in the wake of market turmoil, we expected rates to rise in December and again in March. We forecast 10-year yields would rise to 2.75% by the end of March. in the event, the Fed hiked only once, and 10-year yields ended the first quarter at just 1.77%. So, what went wrong with our forecasts?

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

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

22 November 2017 "Spreadsheet Phil" Unlikely to Alter Austerity Formula (Publication Centre)

Public sector borrowing still is on course to greatly undershoot the March Budget forecasts this year, despite October's poor figures.

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

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

13 December 2017 Will the Fed Forecast Sub-4% Unemployment Next Year? (Publication Centre)

Today's rate hike will be accompanied by a new round of Fed forecasts, which will have to reflect the faster growth and lower unemployment than expected back in September.

8 May 2018 Don't Expect the MPC to Signal an Imminent Rate Hike Clearly this Week (Publication Centre)

With little reason to doubt that interest rates will remain at 0.50% on Thursday, focus has turned to what signal the MPC will give about future policy, via its economic forecasts and commentary.

01 Feb. 2016 Inflation Report Likely to Nudge Markets to Expect an Earlier Hike (Publication Centre)

With financial markets still turbulent and the Governor stating only two weeks ago that economic conditions do not yet justify a rate hike, the Inflation Report on Thursday will not signal imminent action. Nonetheless, higher medium-term forecasts for inflation are likely to imply that the Committee still envisions raising interest rates this year.

05 Feb. 2016 Inflation Report Indicates Rate Hike Not as Distant as Markets Think (Publication Centre)

The "Super Thursday" releases from the Monetary Policy Committee--MPC--indicate that financial market turbulence and the approaching E.U. referendum have kiboshed the chances of an interest rate rise in the first half of this year. Nonetheless, the MPC's forecasts clearly imply that it expects to raise rates much sooner than markets currently anticipate, and the Governor signalled that a rate cut isn't under active consideration.

3 August 2018 The MPC's Hawkish Forecasts Remain Overshadowed by Brexit (Publication Centre)

The MPC made a concerted effort yesterday with its forecasts to signal that it is committed to raising Bank Rate at a faster rate than markets currently expect.

26 April 2018 March Trade and Durable Orders Data to Boost Q1 GDP Forecasts? (Publication Centre)

The key data today, covering March durable goods orders and international trade in goods, should both beat consensus forecasts.

BLOOMBERG - Mexico GDP Growth Beats Forecasts as Services Provide Boost (Media Centre)

Andres Abadia on Mexico GDP Growth

20 November 2017 The Chancellor Will Stick to Plans for an Intensifying Fiscal Squeeze (Publication Centre)

Chancellor Hammond likely will broadly stick to the current plans for the fiscal consolidation to intensify next year when he delivers his second Budget on Thursday.

18 September 2018 Don't Underestimate the Importance of China's Rolling Ball of Money (Publication Centre)

China's residential property market surprised again in August, with prices popping by 1.5% month- on-month, faster than the 1.2% rise in July, and the biggest increase since the 2016 boomlet.

18 September 2017 How it Could all go Wrong for U.S. Markets, and Quickly (Publication Centre)

For the record, we think the Fed should raise rates in December, given the long lags in monetary policy and the clear strength in the economy, especially the labor market, evident in the pre-hurricane data.

19 Jan. 2016 Market Chaos in January Does Not Drive Fed Actions All Year (Publication Centre)

To paraphrase recent correspondence: "How can you possibly believe, given the terrible run of economic data and the turmoil in the markets, that the Fed will raise rates in March/June/at all this year?" Well, to state the obvious, if markets are in anything like their current state at the time of the eight Fed meetings this year, they won't hike. That sort of sustained downward pressure and volatility would itself prevent action at the next couple of meetings, as did the turmoil last summer when the Fed met in September. And if markets were to remain in disarray for an extended period we'd expect significant feedback into the real economy, reducing--perhaps even removing--the need for further tightening.

19 October 2018 Mortgage Lenders were Spooked by Higher Rates even Before Stocks Fell (Publication Centre)

Rising mortgage rates appear to have triggered the start, perhaps, of a tightening in lending standards, even before Treasury yields spiked this month and stock prices fell.

2 December 2016 Copom is Still Cautious but Hints at Larger Cuts, BRL Permitting (Publication Centre)

Copom's meeting was the focal point this week in Brazil. The committee eased by 25bp for the second straight meeting, leaving the Selic rate at 13.75%, and it opened the door for larger cuts in Q1. Rates sat at 14.25% for 15 months before the first cut, in October. In this week's post-meeting statement, policymakers identified weak economic activity data, the disinflation process--actual and expectations--and progress on the fiscal front as the forces that prompted the rate cut.

2 March 2018 Q1 Growth is Set to Disappoint, Again, the Big Picture is Unchanged (Publication Centre)

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.

19 October 2018 The Bank of Korea Continues to Circle in a Holding Pattern (Publication Centre)

The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea yesterday left its benchmark base rate unchanged, at 1.50%.

2 December. 2016 Friendly Seasonals Set to Push Payrolls Back Above 200K? (Publication Centre)

Our payroll model, which incorporates survey data as well as the error term from our ADP forecast, points to a hefty 225K increase in November employment. We have tweaked the forecast to the upside because of the tendency in recent years for the fourth quarter numbers to be stronger than the prior trend, as our first chart shows.

17 August 2018 Noisy Headlines Don't Change the Core Story Growth Still Solid (Publication Centre)

Your correspondent is headed to the beach for the next couple of weeks, with publication resuming on Tuesday, September 4.

12 July 2017 Andean Policymakers Will Meet Market Expectations Tomorrow (Publication Centre)

Markets are looking for the BCCh to remain on hold and the BCRP to ease on Thursday; we think they will be right. In Chile, the BCCh will hold rates because inflation pressures are absent and economic activity is stabilizing following temporary hits in Q1 and early Q2.

12 March 2018 As Good as it Gets, Provided Participation Keeps Rising (Publication Centre)

It's hard to find anything to dislike in the February employment report.

11 May 2018 Markets Now Underestimate the MPC's Tightening Bias (Publication Centre)

The MPC emphasised yesterday that its faith that interest rates need to rise further has not been shaken by recent downside data surprises.

11 Mar. 2016 Don't Hold Your Breath for a Budget Surplus (Publication Centre)

Chancellor George Osborne has invested considerable personal capital in attaining a budget surplus by the end of this parliament, and he has passed a 'law' to ensure he and his successors achieve this goal. But the current fiscal plans, which will be reviewed in the Budget on March 16, make a series of optimistic assumptions on future tax revenues and spending savings.

1 July. 2016 The MPC Likely Will Dash Expectations of Substantial Easing (Publication Centre)

Mark Carney's assertion that "...some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer" is a clear signal that an interest rate cut is in the pipeline. But easing likely will be modest, due to the much higher outlook for inflation following sterling's precipitous decline.

12 March 2018 Weak Production Data Signal Soft January in Germany and France (Publication Centre)

Friday's industrial production headlines in the Eurozone were weak, but the details tell a more nuanced story.

13 Nov. 2015 Retail Sales Data are Misleading When Goods Prices Fall (Publication Centre)

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.

21 July 2017 Don't Bet the Farm on a Major QE Decision in September (Publication Centre)

The ECB pressed the repeat button yesterday. The central bank maintained its refinancing rate at 0.00%, and also kept the deposit and marginal lending facility rate at -0.4% and 0.25 respectively. The pace of QE was held at €60B per month, scheduled to run until the end of December, "or beyond, if necessary."

16 June 2017 What Do the Internal MPC Members Need to See to Raise Rates? (Publication Centre)

Sterling received a shot in the arm yesterday following the release of the minutes of the MPC's meeting, which revealed that three members voted to raise interest rates to 0.50%, from 0.25% currently. Markets and economists--including ourselves--had expected another 7-1 split, but Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders switched sides and joined Kristin Forbes in seeking higher rates.

14 March 2017 The ECB can Raise its Deposit Rate Before QE Ends (Publication Centre)

Markets are becoming more sensitive to rumours about changes in ECB policy. The euro and yields jumped on Friday after a Bloomberg report that the central bank has discussed raising rates before QE ends.

14 June 2017 Fed to Stick to One More 2017 Hike After Today, and Three More in 2018 (Publication Centre)

The Fed will hike by 25 basis points today, but what really matters is what they say about the future, both in the language of the statement and in the dotplot for this year and next.

17 Mar. Fiscal Squeeze Still Set to Intensify, Despite the Economic Slowdown (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor chose in his Budget to increase the total size of the forthcoming fiscal consolidation, to ensure that the Office for Budget Responsibility continues to forecast that a budget surplus will be obtained in 2019/20.

21 August 2017 Growth Momentum and Slow Hikes Means no Recession Until 2019 (Publication Centre)

We have had something of a rethink about the likely timing of the coming cyclical downturn. Previously, we thought the economy would start to slow markedly in the middle of next year, with a mild recession--two quarters of modest declines in GDP-- beginning in the fourth quarter.

6 Mar. 2015 A more upbeat Mr. Draghi, but QE is not challenged by better economic data (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi was in a slightly more bullish mood yesterday, noting that the significant easing of financial conditions in recent months and improving sentiment show that monetary policy "has worked". Economic risks are tilted to the downside, according to the president, but they have also "diminished".

5 May 2017 Payrolls Should Rebound to More than 200K, Wage Gains up too? (Publication Centre)

If the underlying trend in payroll growth is about 200K, then a weather-depressed 98K reading needs to be followed by a rebound of about 300K in order fully to reverse the hit. But the consensus for today's April number is only 190K, and our forecast is 225K.

4 December 2017 Hefty Tax Cuts at Full Employment Make no Sense, but they're Coming (Publication Centre)

It's not our job to pontificate on the merits, or otherwise, of the tax cut bill from a political perspective.

31 July 2017 The Inflation Report Likely Won't Boost 2017 Rate Hike Odds (Publication Centre)

The pullback in CPI inflation in June and continued slow GDP growth in Q2 mean that the MPC almost certainly will keep Bank Rate at 0.25% on Thursday.

6 March 2018 Andean Economies are Improving, but Protectionist Threats Are a Risk (Publication Centre)

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.

7 September 2017 The ECB will Set up Markets Today for a QE Decision in Q4 (Publication Centre)

Today's ECB meeting will follow the same script as in July. No-one expects the central bank to make any formal changes to its policy settings. The ECB will keep its main refinancing and deposit rates at zero and -0.4%, respectively.

9 February 2018 The MPC's Guidance is Too Fuzzy to Make a May Hike the Base Case (Publication Centre)

The MPC signalled yesterday that it is actively considering a May rate hike, stating that rates likely will "...need to be tightened somewhat earlier and by a somewhat greater degree over the forecast period than anticipated at the time of the November Report".

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

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

8 September 2017 The ECB is worried about a strong euro (Publication Centre)

The ECB made no changes to its policy stance yesterday. The central bank left its refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and maintained the pace of QE at €60B per month. The program will run until December "or beyond, if necessary."

8 May 2017 Inflation Report Likely to Reaffirm Slim Chances of a 2017 Rate Hike (Publication Centre)

This week's MPC meeting and Inflation Report likely will support the dominant view in markets that the chances of a 2017 rate hike are remote, even though inflation will rise further above the 2% target over the coming months. Overnight index swap markets currently are pricing-in only a 20% chance of an increase in Bank Rate this year.

3 November 2017 The MPC Signals no Rush to Hike Rates Again (Publication Centre)

Markets were surprised yesterday by the absence of hawkish comments or guidance accompanying the MPC's decision to raise interest rates to 0.50%, from 0.25%.

4 August 2017 Little from the MPC to Support Markets' Steep Near-Term Rate Path (Publication Centre)

Markets still see a near-40% chance of the MPC raising Bank Rate by the end of this year--the same as at the start of this week--despite the notable absence of comments from the Committee yesterday aimed at preparing the ground for a near term hike.

3 March 2017 Banxico is Facing a Tough Dilemma, but the Copom is Sitting Pretty (Publication Centre)

Banxico's Quarterly Inflation Report--QIR--for Q4 2016, published this week, confirmed that the monetary authority is concerned about the slowing pace of economic activity and rising inflation pressures. Banxico noted that signs of a recovery have emerged in external demand, but it also pointed out that the Trump administration might impose policies which would hit FDI flows into Mexico.

26 September 2017 Dudley Follows the Yellen Line, December Hike Increasingly Likely (Publication Centre)

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.

25 January 2018 Rising Oil Prices Will Reduce Q4 Real Inventories, but by How Much? (Publication Centre)

Today's advance inventory and international trade data for December could change our Q4 GDP forecast significantly.

24 October. 2016 Tax Receipt Shortfall Casts Doubt on Economy's Resilience (Publication Centre)

Progress in reducing the budget deficit has ground to a virtual halt, despite the ongoing fiscal consolidation. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks--PSNB ex.--was £10.6B in September, exceeding the £9.3B borrowed in the same month last year.

23 April 2018 Behind the Base-Case Forecast, Risks Abound, in Both Directions (Publication Centre)

For now, we're happy with our base-case forecast that growth will be nearer 3% than 2% this year, and that most of the rise in core inflation this year will come as a result of unfavorable base effects, rather than a serious increase in the month-to-month trend.

27 March 2017 Eurozone PMI Data are Sizzling, but can they be Trusted? (Publication Centre)

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.

26 Nov. 2015 The Chancellor Leaves the Fiscal Shackles Firmly in Place (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor used the Autumn Statement to shift the composition of the fiscal consolidation slightly away from spending cuts and towards tax hikes. But in overall macroeconomic terms, he changed little. The fiscal stance is still set to be extremely tight in 2016 and 2017, ensuring that the economic recovery will lose more momentum.

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

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

29 November 2017 Eurozone GDP Growth Will Slow Soon, Will Markets Care? (Publication Centre)

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.

3 June. 2016 A Perfect ECB Balancing Act, But it Will Become More Difficult Soon (Publication Centre)

The ECB stood pat yesterday, keeping its key refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at zero and -0.4%, respectively. The marginal lending facility rate was also left at 0.25%, and the monthly pace of QE was maintained at €80B, with a preliminary end-date in the first quarter of 2017. Purchases of corporate bonds will begin June 8, and the first new TLTRO auction will take place June 22.

29 June 2017 The EZ Economy is in Great Shape, but Probably not Getting Better (Publication Centre)

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.

3 June. 2015 April trade data could be wild - They matter for Q2 GDP forecasts (Publication Centre)

We were a bit surprised to see our forecast for the April trade deficit is in line with the consensus, $44B, down from $51.4B in March, because the uncertainty is so great. The March deficit was boosted by a huge surge in non-oil imports following the resolution of the West Coast port dispute, while exports rose only slightly. As far as we can tell, ports unloaded ships waiting in harbours and at the docks, lifting the import numbers before reloading those ships.

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

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

4 June. 2015 Inflation forecasts up, but Doves remain in charge at the ECB (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi struck a dovish tone yesterday, despite the new ECB staff projections upgrading the inflation forecast this year to an average of 0.3%, up from the zero predicted in March. The president reiterated that the central bank's expectation of a gradual improvement in inflation and real GDP growth is conditional on the full implementation of QE.

5 Mar. 2015 Stronger Fed Growth Forecasts Mean Even Lower Unemployment (Publication Centre)

In the wake of last week's downward revision to fourth quarter GDP growth, productivity will be revised down too. We expect the initial estimate, -1.8%, to be revised down to -2.4%, a startling reversal after robust gains in the second and third quarters.

9 May. Inflation Report Forecasts Likely to Be Overshadowed by Brexit Risks (Publication Centre)

This week's Inflation Report--now released alongside the MPC's decision and minutes of its meeting in a deluge of releases now known as "Super Thursday"--is likely to be a damp squib.

2 November 2017 No Immediate Change to Rate Forecasts if Powell Nominated  (Publication Centre)

After a slew of media reports in recent days, we have to expect that the president will today announce that Fed governor Jerome Powell is his pick to replace Janet Yellen as Chair.

18 Mar. 2015 "Patient" to go, thanks to better growth, Labor market forecasts (Publication Centre)

We expect the Fed to drop "patient" from its post-meeting statement today, paving the way for a rate hike in June, data permitting. And the data will permit, in our view, despite what seems to have been a long run of disappointing numbers, and the likelihood that inflation will fall further below the Fed's 2% informal target in the near-term.

10 Feb. 2016 No Relief for German Q4 GDP Forecasts in Yesterday's Data (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's German manufacturing and trade data did little to allay our fears over downside risks to this week's Q4 GDP data. At -1.2% month-to-month in December, industrial production was much weaker than the consensus forecast of a 0.5% increase. Exports also surprised to the downside, falling 1.6% month-to-month. Our GDP model, updated with these data, shows GDP growth fell 0.2%-to-0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, reversing the 0.3% increase in Q3.

10 March 2017 Don't Take the Public Borrowing Forecasts at Face Value (Publication Centre)

Investors in the gilt market would be wise not to take the new official projections for borrowing and debt issuance at face value. The forecast for the Government's gross financing requirement between 2017/18 and 2021/22 was lowered to £625B in the Budget, from £646B in the Autumn Statement.

15 December 2017 The ECB's forecasts are wishful thinking (Publication Centre)

The ECB did its utmost not to say or do anything remotely novel today. The central bank kept its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.00% and -0.40%, respectively, and reiterated its plan for QE next year.

16 Mar. Beware the Contradiction at the Heart of the Fiscal Forecasts (Publication Centre)

The new fiscal projections in the Budget today likely will be based on implausible economic projections, which assume that wage growth will accelerate soon, lifting inflation, but that interest rates won't rise for three more years. You can coherently forecast one or the other, but not both.

21 Jan. 2016 Could the Chancellor Still Reduce Borrowing This Year as Planned? (Publication Centre)

By any yardstick, progress in reducing public sector borrowing so far this fiscal year has been poor. While the borrowing trend should improve in the final four months of this year--including December's figures, published Friday--the Chancellor has only a slim chance of meeting the forecasts set out in the Autumn Statement.

20 Oct. 2015 Could the Terminal Funds Rate be Much Higher Than Markets Think? (Publication Centre)

In the September forecasts, the median forecast of FOMC members for the long-term fed funds rate was 3.5%. Their long-term inflation forecast is 2%-- it has to be 2%, otherwise they would be forecasting permanent failure to meet their policy objectives -- implying a real rate of 1.5%. This is well below the long-run average; from 1960 through 2005, the real funds rate--the nominal rate less the rate of increase of the PCE deflator--averaged 2.4%.

2 May 2018 Fed to Acknowledge Higher In ation, but no Policy Shi Signal is Likely (Publication Centre)

The Fed will do nothing and say little that's new after its meeting today. The data on economic activity have been mixed since the March meeting, when rates were hiked and the economic forecasts were upgraded, largely as a result of the fiscal stimulus.

2 February 2017 March is Alive as the FOMC's Tone Becomes More Direct (Publication Centre)

The FOMC statement did enough to keep alive the idea that rates could rise in March, but the ball is now mostly in Congress' court. If a clear plan for substantial fiscal easing has emerged by the time of the meeting on March 15, policymakers can incorporate its potential impact on growth, unemployment and inflation into their forecasts, then a rate hike will be much more likely.

18 Feb. 2016 Has the Chancellor's Room for Manoeuvre Disappeared? (Publication Centre)

The stubbornly slow rate of decline of public borrowing casts doubt on whether the Chancellor will run a budget surplus before the end of this parliament, as his fiscal rule stipulates. But downward revisions to debt interest forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility are likely to absolve him again from intensifying the impending fiscal squeeze in the Budget on March 16.

21 July. 2016 Upside Risk for July Existing Home Sales - Price Gains Should Rebound (Publication Centre)

A very light week for U.S. data concludes today with four economic reports, which likely will be mixed, relative to the consensus forecasts. The recent run of clear upside surprises and robust-looking headline numbers is likely over, for the most part.

22 June. Fiscal and Monetary Policy Won't Come to the Rescue After a Brexit (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor warned last week that he would hold an Emergency Budget shortly after a vote to leave the E.U. to address a £30B black hole in the public finances. The £30B--some 1.6% of GDP-- is the mid-point of the Institute for Fiscal Studies' estimates of the impact of Brexit on public borrowing in 2019/20, which were based on the GDP forecasts of a range of reports.

12 Feb. 2016 More Downside Retail Sales Risk, Thanks to Gas, Cheaper Imports (Publication Centre)

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%.

23 February 2017 Fiscal Easing Could Boost Growth Substantially, but not for Long (Publication Centre)

The White House budget proposals, which Roll Call says will be released in limited form on March 14, will include forecasts of sustained real GDP growth in a 3-to-3.5% range, according to an array of recent press reports.

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.

22 June. 2015 Why is the Fed so Cautious About the Trajectory of Unemployment? (Publication Centre)

The closer we look at the Fed's new forecasts, the stranger they seem. The FOMC cut its GDP estimate for this year and now expects the economy to grow by 1.9%--the mid-point of its forecast range--in the year to the fourth quarter. Growth is then expected to pick up to 2.6% next year, before slowing a bit to 2.3% in 2017. Unemployment, however, is expected to fall much less quickly than in the recent past.

21 March 2018 Powell to Play the Continuity Card Again (Publication Centre)

We previewed the FOMC meeting in detail yesterday -- see here -- but to recap briefly, we expect a 25bp rate hike, with no significant changes in the statement, and a repeat of the median forecasts of three rate hikes this year.

1 March 2017 The Chancellor will Bank Most of the £20B Borrowing Windfall (Publication Centre)

At next Wednesday's Budget, the Chancellor will have the rare pleasure of announcing lower-than- anticipated near-term borrowing forecasts. But hopes that he will prevent the fiscal tightening from intensifying when the new financial year begins in April look set to be dashed, just as they were at the Autumn Statement in November.

11 May. Will March Industrial Production Break the Run of Bad News? (Publication Centre)

The popular belief that economists rarely agree about anything is reinforced by the extremely wide dispersion of forecasts for March industrial production. The forecasts range from the wildly optimistic prediction of a 1.9% month-to-month rise, to a downright miserable 0.3% decline. We think production rose by about 0.5% month-to-month, and this likely will be interpreted as a decent result, following the recent run of bad news.

15 December 2016 Congress, Growth and Inflation Will Determine What the Fed Does Next (Publication Centre)

The Fed's unanimous vote for a 25bp rate hike was overshadowed by the bump up in the dotplot for next year, with three hikes now expected, rather than the two anticipated in the September forecast. Chair Yellen argued the uptick in the rate forecasts was "tiny", but acknowledged that some participants moved their forecasts partly on the basis that fiscal policy is likely to be eased by the new Congress.

14 February 2018 Gas Prices Will Lift the January CPI: Core has Risks in Both Directions (Publication Centre)

We have no real argument with the consensus forecasts for the January CPI, with the headline likely to rise by 0.3%, with the core up 0.2%.

13 June 2017 May's Inflation Figures Likely Will Bring Another Upside Surprise (Publication Centre)

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.

11 Dec. 2015 Don't be Swayed by Soft Nominal Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

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.

15 June. 2015 Unwinding the Double Delusion - Brace for Rising Rate Expectations (Publication Centre)

Markets don't believe the Fed's interest rate forecasts. For the fourth quarter of this year, that's probably right; the FOMC's median projection back in March was 0.63%; that will likely be revised down this week. For the next two years, though, things are different.

17 Dec. 2014 - Time Runs Out for (Publication Centre)

We think the FOMC's announcement this afternoon will not include the phrase "considerable time", signaling that the first rate cut will come at or before the middle of next year. At the same time, the Fed's new forecasts likely will show the unemployment rate falling into the Fed's estimated Nairu range this year, rather than the spring of 2016, as implied by their September forecasts.

24 January 2017 EZ Economic Data Will Struggle to Live Up to Expectations in Q1 (Publication Centre)

Consensus forecasts expect further gains in this week's key EZ business surveys, but the data will struggle to live up to expectations. The headline EZ PMIs, the IFO in Germany, and French manufacturing sentiment have increased almost uninterruptedly since August, and we think the consensus is getting ahead of itself expecting further gains. Our first chart shows that macroeconomic surprise indices in the euro area have jumped to levels which usually have been followed by mean-reversion.

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.

1 March 2018 China PMIs Trend Down but the February Dip is an Overshoot (Publication Centre)

China's PMIs surprised the consensus forecasts to the downside for February. The manufacturing PMI dropped to 50.3 in February from 51.3 in January, while the non-manufacturing PMI fell to 54.4 from 55.3 in January.

18 August 2017 Higher Core Inflation in the Eurozone Should be a No Brainer (Publication Centre)

Inflation data are known to defy economists' forecasts, but it should in principle b e straightforward to predict the cyclical path of EZ core inflation. It is the longest lagging indicator in the economy, and leading indicators currently signal that core inflation pressures are rising.

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

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

5 July 2017 The ECB Needs a Weaker Euro in Q3 to Keep its Core CPI Forecast (Publication Centre)

Currency markets often make a mockery of consensus forecasts, and this year has been no exception. Monetary policy divergence between the U.S. and the Eurozone has widened this year; the spread between the Fed funds rate and the ECB's refi rate rose to a 10-year high after the Fed's last hike.

5 Dec. 2014 - Brace for Anything in Jobs Data (Publication Centre)

We often have quite strong views on the balance of risks in the monthly payroll numbers. November is not one of those months. We can generate plausible forecasts between about 50K and 370K, and that's much too wide for comfort. This is probably a payroll release to sit out.

25 January 2017 Will a Border Adjustment Tax Drive Up Inflation? (Publication Centre)

We've seen some alarming estimates of the potential impact on inflation of the House Republicans' plans for corporate tax reform, with some forecasts suggesting the CPI would be pushed up as much as 5%. We think the impact will be much smaller, more like 1-to-11⁄2% at most, and it could be much less, depending on what happens to the dollar. But the timing would be terrible, given the Fed's fears over the inflation risk posed by the tightness of the labor market.

4 Sept. 2015 The ECB is Spooked by Low Oil Price and Low Growth in EMs (Publication Centre)

The ECB left its key interest rates unchanged yesterday, and maintained the pace of QE at €60B a month, but increased the issue limit to 33% from 25%. The updated staff projections revealed a downward adjustment of the central bank's inflation and growth forecasts across all horizons up to 2017. These forecasts were accompanied by a very dovish introductory statement, noting disappointment with the pace of the cyclical recovery, and emphasizing renewed downside risks to the economy and the inflation outlook.

5 September 2017 How Much of a Headwind is a Stronger Euro for EZ Equities? (Publication Centre)

At the start of the year, consensus forecasts expected Eurozone equities to outperform their global peers this year, on the back of a strengthening cyclical recovery and an increase in earnings growth. Both of these conditions have been met, and yesterday's sentiment data suggest that EZ equity investors remain constructive.

6 Apr. 2016 Productivity Slowdowns Have Happened Before, and Reversed (Publication Centre)

With only three weeks to go until the release of the initial official estimate of first quarter GDP, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow measure shows growth at just 0.4%. Our own estimate, which includes our subjective forecasts for the missing data--the Atlanta Fed's measure is entirely model-based--is a bit higher, at 1%, and both measures could easily be revised significantly.

8 Sept. 2015 The German Manufacturing Sector is Still Stuck in Neutral (Publication Centre)

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.

8 May 2017 Fed Hawks Will Focus More on Unemployment than Wage Gains (Publication Centre)

At their March meeting FOMC members' range of forecasts for the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of this year ranged from 4.4% to 4.7%, with a median of 4.5%. But Friday's report showed that the unemployment rate hit the bottom of the forecast range in April.

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

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

7 February 2018 The Economic Fallout from the Plunge in Equities will be Modest (Publication Centre)

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

30 November. 2016 EZ Inflation Data Will Disappoint Today, but it Will Rise Further (Publication Centre)

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.

5 August. 2016 German Manufacturing Orders Likely Jumped at the End of Q2 (Publication Centre)

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.

25 Sept. 2015 Economic Sentiment is Holding Up amid Investor Angst (Publication Centre)

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.

30 June. 2016 The Fed's Focus Will Return to the Wage Outlook, Unchanged by Brexit (Publication Centre)

We aren't materially changing our U.S. economic forecasts in the wake of the U.K.'s Brexit vote, though we have revised our financial forecasts. The net tightening of financial conditions in the U.S. since the referendum is just not big enough--indeed, it's nothing like big enough--to justify moving our economic forecasts.

25 January 2017 The Fiscal Plans Won't Be Softened, Despite December's Better Figures (Publication Centre)

December's public finance figures suggest that borrowing is on track to come in a bit below the forecasts set out in the Autumn Statement in November. But we caution against expecting the Chancellor to unveil a material reduction in the scale of the fiscal consolidation set to hit the economy in his Budget on 8th March.

28 November. 2016 The Housing Slowdown Next Year Will be Offset by Fiscal Easing (Publication Centre)

We have been asked how we can justify raising our growth forecasts but at the same time arguing that the housing market is set to weaken quite dramatically, thanks to the clear downshift in mortgage applications in recent months. Applications peaked back in June, so this is not just a story about the post-election rise in mortgage rates.

26 July. 2016 The German Economy Stalled in Q2, But Should Rebound in Q3 (Publication Centre)

The German statistical office will supply a confidential estimate to Eurostat for this week's advance euro area Q2 GDP data. Our analysis suggests this number will be grim, and weigh on the aggregate EZ estimate. Our GDP model, which includes data for retail sales, industrial production and net exports, forecasts that real GDP in Germany contracted 0.1% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, after a 0.7% jump in Q1.

29 September 2016 Consumers' Spending Growth in Germany is Slowing, Modestly (Publication Centre)

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.

3 February 2017 MPC Signals Newfound Supply Optimism, no Near-Term Rate Hike (Publication Centre)

The absence of hawkish undertones in the minutes of the MPC's meeting or in the Inflation Report forecasts took markets by surprise yesterday. The dominant view on the Committee remains that the economy will slow over the next couple of years, preventing wage growth from reaching a pace which would put inflation on trac k permanently to exceed the 2% target.

3 Sept. 2015 No Additional Easing, but ECB to Face Tough Questions on Inflation (Publication Centre)

Today's ECB meeting will be accompanied by an update of the staff projections, where the inflation outlook will be in the spotlight. The June forecasts predicted an average inflation rate of 0.3% year-over-year this year, currently requiring a rather steep increase in inflation towards 1.1% at the end of the year. We think this is achievable, but we doubt the ECB is willing to be as bold, and it is reasonable to assume this year's forecast will be revised down a notch.

GUARDIAN - Brexit uncertainty hits plans to cut budget deficit (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Public Finances

BBC - Eurozone economy to grow at faster rate, says central bank (Media Centre)

Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on the ECB

BUSINESS INSIDER - Consumer confidence spikes in June (Media Centre)

Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on June Consumer Confidence data

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Ian Shepherdson

Ian Shepherdson's mission is to present complex economic ideas in a clear, understandable and actionable manner to financial market professionals. He has worked in and around financial markets for more than 20 years, developing a strong sense for what is important to investors, traders, salespeople and risk managers.

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