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

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

26 September. 2016 When Will Manufacturing Shake off the Summertime Blues (Publication Centre)

We're still no nearer to a definitive answer to the question of what went wrong in the manufacturing sector over the summer, when we expected to see things improving on the back of the rebound in activity in the mining sector, rising export orders and an end to the domestic inventory correction. Instead, the August surveys dropped, and September reports so far are, if anything, a bit worse.

28 June 2018 Second Quarter Growth is on Track to be a Blockbuster (Publication Centre)

The decline in headline durable goods orders in May, reported yesterday, doesn't matter.

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

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

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.

3 April 2017 Expect Strength in Both the ISM and Construction Data Today (Publication Centre)

We'd be very surprised to see a material weakening in today's March ISM manufacturing survey. The regional reports released in recent weeks point to another reading in the high 50s, with a further advance from February's 57.7 a real possibility.

26 September 2016 PMIs Point to Slower EZ GDP Growth, but Details are Confusing (Publication Centre)

Friday's PMI data in the Eurozone added to the evidence that GDP growth is slowing, after a cyclical peak last year. The composite PMI in the euro area slipped to a 21-month low of 52.6 in September, from 52.9 in August.

26 June 2019 Durable Goods Orders Under Pressure, but no Meltdown (Publication Centre)

I need to ask your indulgence today, because the release of the durable goods and advance international trade reports coincides with my elder daughter's college graduation ceremony.

24 January 2018 Existing Home Sales Likely Dropped in December, but the Trend is Rising (Publication Centre)

In November, existing home sales substantially overshot the pace implied by the pending home sales index.

24 April 2018 Surveys are Stronger than Hard Data, but with no Common Cause (Publication Centre)

The levelling-off in the industrial surveys in recent months is reflected in the consumer sentiment numbers. Anything can happen in any given month, but we'd now be surprised to see sustained further gains in any of the regular monthly surveys.

25 May 2017 Balance Sheet Run-off set to Start in the Fall, but Slowly (Publication Centre)

The FOMC minutes confirmed that most FOMC members were not swayed by the weak-looking first quarter GDP numbers or the soft March core CPI. Both are considered likely to prove "transitory", and the underlying economic outlook is little changed from March.

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

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

3 January 2018 The Manufacturing Upswing Continues no Sign of Weakening (Publication Centre)

The Manufacturing Upswing Continues; no Sign of Weakening

26 November 2018 Tariffs are Hurting the U.S. and China Escalation Would be Excruciating (Publication Centre)

It is becomingly increasingly clear that the trade war with China is hurting manufacturers in both countries.

3 Sept 2019 If China Doesn't Budge as Tariffs Rise, Mr. Trump will Blink, Eventually (Publication Centre)

After a week--yes, a whole week!--with no significant new developments in the trade war with China--it's worth stepping back and asking a couple of fundamental questions, which might give us some clues as to what will happen over the months ahead.

7 March 2018 Brazil's Industrial Sector Remains Solid, Despite Slipping in January (Publication Centre)

Brazil's industrial sector was off to a soft-looking start in Q1, but the fall in January output was chiefly payback for an especially strong end to 2017.

7 August 2018 Why are the JOLTS Job Openings Numbers so Strong (Publication Centre)

According to the official data presented in the JOLTS report, the number of job openings across the U.S. rose gently from 2011-to 13, rocketed in 2014, trended upwards much more slowly from 2015-to-17, and then, finally, unexpectedly jumped to record highs in the spring of this year.

8 January 2019 Bifurcation Intensifying Services Outperforming as Industry Suffers (Publication Centre)

If you need more evidence that the U.S. economy is bifurcating, look at the spread between the ISM non- manufacturing and manufacturing indexes, which has risen to 3.5 points, the widest gap since September 2016.

8 June 2018 Q2 Growth is Looking Very Strong, but Inventories Set to Disappoint? (Publication Centre)

The latest iteration of the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model of second quarter GDP growth shows the economy expanding at a 4.5% annualized rate.

9 July 2018 No Tariff Hit in the Payroll Numbers Yet, but Some Surveys are Wobbling (Publication Centre)

The recent softening in the ISM employment indexes failed to make itself felt in the June payroll numbers, which sailed on serenely even as tariff-induced chaos intensified at the industry and company level.

6 December 2018 No Real Signs of the Slowdown Story in the Labor Market Data (Publication Centre)

Behind all the talk of slowdowns and Fed pauses, we see no sign that the labor market is loosening beyond a very modest uptick in jobless claims, and even that looks suspicious.

5 March 2019 Simultaneous ISM Declines are Disconcerting, but won't Persist (Publication Centre)

The simultaneous weakening of the ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys in recent months is one of the more disconcerting shifts in the recent macro data.

30 Sept 2019 Follow the Numbers for Clues to Mr. Trump's Impeachment Fate (Publication Centre)

We have no way of knowing what will be the final outcome of the impeachment inquiry now underway in the House of Representatives, but we are pretty sure that the first key stage will end with a vote to send the President for trial in the Senate.

24 April 2017 Take None of Last Week's Data at Face Value -- Distortions Abound (Publication Centre)

The gap between the hard and soft data from the industrial economy appeared to widen still further last week. But we are disinclined to take the data--the official industrial production report for March, and the first survey evidence for April--at face value.

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.

4 Oct 2019 Don't be Fooled by Good September Payrolls the Trend is Slowing Sharply (Publication Centre)

We look for a 150K increase in September payrolls, rather better than the August 130K headline number, which was flattered by a 28K increase in federal government jobs, likely due to hiring for the 2020 Census.

5 July 2017 ISM Signals Continued Industrial Recovery, but not a Boom (Publication Centre)

The June ISM manufacturing index signalled clearly that the industrial recovery continues, with the headline number rising to its highest level since August 2014, propelled by rising orders and production. But the industrial economy is not booming and the upturn likely will lose a bit of momentum in the second half as the rebound in oil sector capex slows.

3 July 2018 Tariffs and Truck Shortages are Creating Industrial Bottlenecks (Publication Centre)

The startling jump in supplier delivery times in the June ISM manufacturing survey, to a 14-year high, was due--according to the ISM press release--to disruptions to steel and aluminum supplies, transportation problems and "supplier labor issues".

20 January 2017 Are Layoffs Really Falling Again, Signalling Stronger Payroll Gains? (Publication Centre)

After three straight lower-than-expected jobless claims numbers, we have to consider, at least, the idea that maybe the trend is falling again. This would be a remarkable development, given that claims already are at their lowest level ever, when adjusted for population growth, and at their lowest absolute level since the early 1970s.

15 February 2018 One Outsized Core CPI Gain does not Make a Trend, it Looks Like Noise (Publication Centre)

The January core CPI numbers are consistent with our view that the U.S. faces bigger upside inflation risks than markets and the Fed believe.

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 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.

22 Apr. 2016 Jobs Data Suggest--But Don't Guarantee Faster Q2 Growth (Publication Centre)

Looking back at the numbers over the past few weeks, it is pretty clear that the gap between the strong payroll reports and the activity data widened to a chasm in the first quarter. We now expect GDP growth of about zero--the latest Atlanta Fed estimate is +0.3% and the New York Fed's new model points to 0.8%--but payrolls rose at an annualized 1.9% rate.

14 May 2018 Could Foreign Trade Propel Second Quarter GDP Growth to 5%? (Publication Centre)

To answer the question: Yes, growth could hit 5% in the second quarter.

11 January 2017 Slowdown in C&I Loan Growth Worrisome? (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the slowdown in bank loan growth to commercial and industrial companies over the past two years looks alarming. In the year to November, the stock of loans outstanding rose by 8.0%, the smallest gain since January 2014. A further decline in the year-over-year rate, taking it below the rate of growth of nominal GDP--we expect 4.7% in the first quarter--for the first time in six years, is now a fair bet. The three- and six-month annualized growth rates of C&I lending in November were just 6.2% and 4.7% respectively, and still falling.

1 December. 2016 ISM Set to Show that Manufacturing is Recovering, Albeit Slowly (Publication Centre)

We have lost count of the number of times the drop in the ISM manufacturing survey, in the wake of the plunge in oil prices, was a harbinger o f recession across the whole economy. It wasn't, because the havoc wreaked in the industrial economy by the collapse in capital spending in the oil sector was contained.

1 July. 2016 Manufacturing Activity Has Levelled-Off - Better News Ahead (Publication Centre)

The manufacturing sector is much more exposed to external forces--the dollar, and global growth--than the rest of the economy. But much of the slowdown in the sector over the past year-and-a-half, we think, can be traced back to the impact of plunging oil prices on capital spending in the sector.

10 April 2019 Core Inflation is Steady Expect Mean Reversion in the March Core (Publication Centre)

Core CPI inflation has been 2.1-to-2.2% year-over- year for the past seven months, a remarkably stable run which likely will persist for a few more months.

10 July 2018 Businesses' Capex Plans Set to Surge, Following Stronger Earnings (Publication Centre)

For some time now, we have puzzled over the softness of small firms' capital spending intentions, as measured by the monthly NFIB survey.

16 March 2018 Housing Starts and Manufacturing Likely Shone in February (Publication Centre)

Today brings yet another broad array of data, with new information on housing construction, industrial production, consumer sentiment, and job openings.

16 July 2019 No End in Sight Yet to the Industrial Consumer Bifurcation (Publication Centre)

Today's brings the June retail sales and industrial production reports, after which we'll update our second quarter GDP forecast.

18 July 2018 Powell Says Everything's on Track Gradual Hike to Continue, "for now" (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell delivered no great surprises in his semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony yesterday, but he did hint, at least, at the idea that interest rates might at some point have to rise more quickly than shown in the current dot plot: "... the FOMC believes that - for now - the best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal funds rate [our italics]."

16 May 2019 The Industrial Sector is Bottoming April's IP Data are Misleading (Publication Centre)

We are not worried about the reported drop in April manufacturing output, which probably will reverse in May.

18 October 2017 Housing Activity is Poised for a Hefty Q4 Rebound as Demand Rebounds (Publication Centre)

Today brings the September housing construction report, which likely will show that activity was depressed by the hurricanes.

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.

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.

18 June 2018 The U.S. Will Blink Before Imposing Tariffs on Chinese Consumer Goods (Publication Centre)

The imposition of 25% tariffs on $50B-worth of imports from China, announced Friday, had been clearly flagged in media reports over the previous couple of weeks.

17 November 2017 Manufacturing Output Rebounds, but no Boom Coming (Publication Centre)

The spectacular 1.3% rebound in manufacturing output last month -- the biggest jump in seven years, apart from an Easter-distorted April gain -- does not change our core view that activity in the sector is no longer accelerating.

17 July 2018 Powell Set to Re-affirm the "Gradual" Approach to Rates, for Now (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell's semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony today will likely re-affirm that policymakers still think "gradual" rate hikes are appropriate and that the risks to the economy remain "roughly balanced".

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.

17 May 2018 Labor Market Indicators are Contradictory, Which to Trust? (Publication Centre)

Some of the recent labor market data appear contradictory. For example, the official JOLTS measure of the number of job openings has spiked to an all-time high, and the number of openings is now greater than the number of unemployed people, for the first time since the data series begins, in 2001.

24 October 2017 Which to Believe, the Markit PMI or the ISM Survey? (Publication Centre)

A startlingly wide gap has emerged over the past nine months between the ISM manufacturing index and Markit's manufacturing PMI.

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

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

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

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

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.

8 September. 2016 Claims, JOLTS, and Sales Don't Support the Grim ISM Message (Publication Centre)

We argued yesterday that the steep declines in the ISM surveys in August, both manufacturing and services, likely were one-time events, triggered by a combination of weather events, seasonal adjustment issues and sampling error. These declines don't chime with most other data.

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