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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.
The media and markets are waking up to the idea that the housing market has peaked in the face of higher mortgage rates and slightly--so far--tighter lending standards.
July's retail sales figures--the first official data for Q3--provided a reassuring signal that consumers can be counted on to drive the economy as the Brexit deadline nears.
The two biggest economies in the region have taken divergent paths in recent months, with the economic recovery strengthening in Brazil, but slowing sharply in Mexico.
Core durable goods orders in recent months have been much less terrible than implied by both the ISM and Markit manufacturing surveys.
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.
The ink has hardly dried on economists' and the ECB's inflation projections for 2020, but we suspect that some forecasters are already considering ripping up the script.
The apparently imminent imposition of 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% on aluminum does not per se constitute a serious macroeconomic shock.
The President's threat to impose tariffs on imported Chinese consumer goods on September 1 might yet come to nothing.
Net foreign trade was a drag on GDP growth in the second quarter, subtracting 0.7 percentage points from the headline number.
Wednesday's better-than-expected, but still grim, November retail sales report in Brazil does not change the miserable underlying trend. Sales volumes rose 1.5% month-to-month, much better than expected, and the biggest increase in a year. But the year-over-year rate fell to -7.8% from -5.7% in October. The details underscored our view that the month-to-month jump in sales was due mostly to temporary factors.
The core CPI rose only 0.1% in May, marking the fourth straight soft reading.
Consumers' spending in Brazil weakened at the end of Q4, but we think households will support GDP growth in the first quarter.
The Brazilian central bank cut its benchmark Selic interest rate by 50bp to 4.50% on Wednesday night.
As we reach our Sunday afternoon deadline, Hurricane Irma is pounding Florida's west coast with an intensity not seen since Andrew, in 1992.
February's COPOM meeting minutes again signalled that Brazil's central bank will stick with its cautious approach to monetary policy.
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%.
Hard data for Brazil and Mexico, released last week, support the case for further interest rate cuts.
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.
To answer the question: Yes, growth could hit 5% in the second quarter.
President Trump blinked again yesterday, delaying tariffs on some $150B-worth of Chinese consumer goods until December 15.
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