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342 matches for " labour market":
Signs of a slowdown in the labour market data are conspicuously absent.
November's labour market data were the last before the MPC's February meeting, when it will conduct its annual assessment of the supply side of the economy.
In theory, the headline labour market data in France should be a source of comfort and support for the new government.
Japan's labour market is already tight, but last week's data suggest it is set to tighten further.
Data to be released this Friday should show that Japan's labour market remains tight, though the unemployment rate likely ticked back up in February, to 2.6%, after the erratic drop to 2.4% in January.
Today's labour market report likely will show that employment continued to grow briskly over the summer, but that wage gains still are lagging well behind inflation.
Over the next 18 months we expect to see interest rates break out further on the upside. Initially, we expect developed market growth to be resilient to that.
In Brazil, last week's formal payroll employment report for March was decent, with employment increasing by 56K, well above the consensus expectation for a 48K gain.
The stand-out news yesterday was the increase in the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate to 4.4% in December, from 4.3% in September.
Japan's headline jobless rate edged up to 2.8% in December, from 2.7% in November, but the increase was negligible, with the rate moving to 2.76% from 2.74%.
Japan's domestic demand has underperformed in the last three quarters, while exports were strong last year but weakened--due to temporary factors--in Q1.
Japan's jobless rate inched up to 2.5% in January, from 2.4% in December.
Chile's unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.1% in July-to-September, from 7.3% in June-to-August, but it was up from 6.7% in September last year.
The Brazilian labour market is slowly healing following the severe recession of 2015-16. The latest employment data, released last week, showed that the economy added 35K net jobs in August, compared to a 34K loss in August 2016.
According to Brazil's mid-August inflation reading, which is a preview of the IPCA index, overall inflation pressures are easing. But some price stickiness remains, due to inertia and temporary shocks, despite the severity of the recession and the rapid deterioration of the labour market in recent months.
The Tankan survey--published on Monday--points to still buoyant sentiment, a further tightening of the labour market, and building inflation pressures.
The labour market in Germany tightened further at the end of last year. The headline unemployment rate--unemployment claims as a share of the labour force--fell to 5.5% in December, from 5.6% in November, driven by a 29K plunge in claims.
The rate that labour market slack is being absorbed has slowed, potentially giving the MPC breathing space to postpone the first rate rise beyond next month.
Yesterday's labour market figures revealed that employment growth has picked up this year, despite the shadow cast over the medium-term economic outlook by Brexit. The 122K, or 0.4%, quarter-on-quarter rise in employment in Q1 was the biggest since Q2 2016.
The most striking aspect of yesterday's labour market report was the pick-up in the headline three month average year-over-year growth rate of average weekly wages, to a 14-month high of 2.8% in November, from 2.6% in October. Although still low by pre-recession standards, wage growth now is close to the rate that might worry the MPC.
Yesterday's labour market data brought further signs that wage growth is recovering from its early 2017 dip.
Friday's inflation and labour market data in the Eurozone were dovish.
Yesterday's October labour market data in Mexico showed that the adjusted unemployment rate rose a bit to 3.4%, from 3.3% in September.
Data last Friday showed Japan's labour market trends deteriorating.
Slack in the labour market no longer is being absorbed and wage growth still is struggling for momentum, placing little pressure on the MPC to rush the next rate rise.
Brazil's February industrial production numbers, labour market data, and sentiment indicators are gradually providing clarity on the underlying pace of activity growth, pointing to some red flags.
December's labour market report, released today, won't be a game-changer for the near-term outlook for interest rates; January data will be released before the MPC meets in March, and February data will be available at its key meeting in May.
French consumer sentiment dipped slightly in June, but we see no major hit from ongoing labour market disputes. The headline index slipped to 97 in June, from 98 in May; this is a decent reading given the fourpoint jump last month. The headline was constrained by a big fall in consumers' "major purchasing intentions," but this partly was mean-reversion following a surge last month.
While financial markets remain obsessed with the Brexit saga, January's labour market data provided more evidence yesterday that the economy is coping well with the heightened uncertainty.
Today's labour market figures will provide the first "hard data" showing how the economy has fared since the referendum. The headline employment and unemployment numbers will refer to the three months ending June, but data for July will be published on the number of people claiming unemployment benefit and the level of job vacancies.
Today's labour market figures likely will bring further signs that firms are recruiting more cautiously and limiting pay awards, due to still-elevated economic uncertainty.
Today's employment report in the euro area should extend the run of positive labour market data. We think employment rose 1.4% year-over-year in Q1, accelerating marginally from a 1.2% increase in Q4.
September's labour market report suggests that wage growth won't continue to rise for much longer.
Brazil's consumer recession seems never-ending. Retail sales fell 0.8% month-to-month in October, pushing the headline year-over-year rate down to -8.2% in October, from -5.7% in September. Recent financial market volatility, credit restrictions and the ongoing deterioration of the labour market continue to hurt consumers.
April's labour market data show that slack in the job market is no longer declining, while wage growth still isn't recovering. As a result, we no longer think that the MPC will raise Bank Rate in August and now expect the Committee to stand pat until the first half of 2019.
Korea's labour market took an overdue breather in March after an extremely volatile start to the year.
May's labour market figures, released on Wednesday, likely will have something for both the doves and the hawks on the MPC , who have been wrangling over whether to reverse last year's rate cut.
Yesterday's labour market data showed that growth in households' income has slowed significantly in recent months. Firms are both hiring cautiously and restraining wage increases, due to heightened uncertainty about the economic outlook and rising raw material and non-wage labour costs. Consumers' spending, therefore, will support GDP growth to a far smaller extent this year than last.
ebruary's labour market data failed to make a resounding case for the MPC to raise interest rates in May, prompting markets to reduce the probability attached to a hike next month to 85%, from nearly 90% before the data were released.
The stand-out development in yesterday's labour market report was the drop in the he adline, three-month average, unemployment rate to just 4.0% in June--its lowest rate since February 1975--from 4.2% in May.
Today's labour market figures look set to show that wage growth has continued to slow, fuelling speculation that interest rates are going nowhere soon. But a close examination of why wage growth has weakened suggests investors will be surprised by a robust rebound later this year.
This week's Fed meeting eased many LatAm investors' minds, fuelling rallies in most of the region's currencies. We think the U.S. labour market is going through a genuine soft patch but will regain momentum over the coming months, prompting policymakers to hike rates in September.
Consumer sentiment in Mexico continues to improve, consistent with tailwinds from the relatively strong labour market and the president's rising approval ratings.
Yesterday's labour market data delivered a further blow to hopes that consumers' spending will retain enough momentum for the MPC to press ahead and raise interest rates this year. The most striking development is the decline in year-over-year growth in average weekly wages to just 1.9% in December, from 2.9% in November.
This week's labour market, inflation and retail sales data--the last before the MPC meets on May 10--will have a major bearing on the Committee's decision.
The French labour market improved much more than we expected in Q4. The headline unemployment rate plunged to 8.9%, from a downwardly-revised 9.6% in Q3.
Yesterday's labour market data significantly bolster the consensus view on the MPC that interest rates do not need to rise this year to counter the imminent burst of inflation. Granted, the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in January--its lowest rate since August 1975--from 4.8% in December, defying the consensus forecast for no-change.
Consensus expectations for August's labour market data, released today, look well grounded.
German labour market data continue to break records on a monthly basis. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.2% in A pril, with jobless claims falling 16,000, following a revised 2,000 fall in March. March employment rose 1.2% year-over-year, down slightly from 1.3% in February, but the total number of people in jobs rose to a new high of 43.4 million.
The Monetary Policy Committee continues to assert that it can leave interest rates at rock-bottom levels, even though the unemployment rate has returned to its pre-recession level, because it understates the extent of slack in the labour market. If that hypothesis were correct, however, the relationship between the unemployment rate and wage growth would have weakened. But this clearly has not happened, as our first chart shows.
Today's figures likely will bring the first real signs that the Brexit vote has had an adverse impact on the labour market. The employment balances of the key private-sector surveys weakened sharply in July, and recovered only partially in August. In addition, the three-month average level of job vacancies fell by 7K between April and July.
It's easy to claim from yesterday's labour market data that the economy is weathering the uncertainty caused by the E.U. referendum. Employment rose by 172K, or 0.5%, between Q1 and Q2, and the claimant count fell by 7K month-to-month in July. These numbers, however, flatter to deceive.
Improving fundamentals have supported private spending in Mexico during the current cycle.
Developments over the last month have heightened our concern about the near-term outlook for households' spending.
Since the Party Congress last month, China has made a number of bold moves in multiple policy fields, with a regularity that almost implies the authorities are working through a list.
Japan's flash Nikkei manufacturing PMI report for November was abysmal, putting the chances of a recovery this quarter into serious doubt.
The past year has been difficult for Asian economies, with trade wars, natural disasters, and misguided policies, to name a few, putting a dampener on growth.
The slowdown in GDP growth in Q1 reflects more than just Brexit risk. The intensifying fiscal squeeze, the uncompetitiveness of U.K. exports, and the lack of spare labour suggest that the U.K.'s recovery now is stuck in a lower gear.
Korean real GDP growth rebounded to 1.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, from 0.6% in Q2. The main driver was exports, with government consumption also popping, and private consumption was a little faster than we were expecting.
President Temer seems to be advancing on his reform agenda.
The mortgage market still is defying gravity. U.K. Finance initially reported yesterday that house purchase mortgage approvals by the main high street banks collapsed to 35.3K in February, from 39.6K in January.
Economic data in the Eurozone are sending an increasingly upbeat message on the economy. Yesterday saw a barrage of numbers, but the most startling of them was the continued acceleration in the money supply.
This week's Mexican retail sales report for February offered more support to our view that domestic conditions improved at the end of Q1.
Brazilian financial assets lately appear to be responding only to developments in the presidential election race and external jitters.
Mexico's policymakers are battling two opposing forces. First, inflation pressures are rising, on the back of the one-time increase in petrol prices and the lagged effect of the MXN's sell-off in Q4. These factors are pushing short-term inflation expectations higher, even though the MXN has remained relatively stable since President Trump took office and has risen by about 6% against the USD year-to-date.
Japanese services price inflation edged down in May as the twin upside drivers of commodity price inflation and yen weakness began to lose steam. We expect wage costs to begin edging up in the second half but this will provide only a partial counterbalance.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany and Spain suggest that inflation in the Eurozone as a whole dipped slightly in February.
Mexico's private spending stumbled at the start of the second quarter.
Mr. Abe yesterday called a snap general election, to be held on October 22nd; more on this in tomorrow's Monitor. For now, note that the election comes at a reasonably good stage of the economic cycle, hot on the heels of very rapid GDP growth in Q2, while the PMIs indicate that the economy remained healthy in Q3.
Retail sales in Mexico plunged at the end of Q4, but we think households' spending will continue to contribute to GDP growth in the first quarter.
Brazil's external accounts were a bright spot last year, again.
Mexico's risk profile and financial metrics have improved in recent days, following news of a preliminary bilateral trade deal with the U.S. on Monday.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone firmed last month. Broad money--M3--rose 5.0% year-overyear in August, after a tepid 4.5% rise in July.
Banxico yesterday left its policy rate unchanged at 3%, the highest level in a decade.
A long period of extremely accommodative U.S. monetary policy generated sizable capital inflows and asset price appreciation in EM countries.
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.
Friday's consumer sentiment data in the two main Eurozone economies were mixed.
Our hopes that tax cuts and lower energy inflation would lift French household consumption in Q4 were badly dented by yesterday's consumer sentiment report.
Gilt yields have tumbled, with the 10-year sliding to just 1.0%, from 1.2% a week ago.
Last week the Chinese authorities issued a series of new measures to help with bank recapitalisation, and, we think, to supplement interbank liquidity.
China's government overshot its deficit target last year, and probably will overshoot it by at least as much this year
Yesterday's January EZ money supply data offered support for investors betting on a further dovish shift by the ECB at next month's meeting.
Industrial profits growth is closely watched by the Chinese authorities, even more so now that deleveraging is a prime policy aim.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone rebounded slightly last month, reversing some of the weakness at the start of the year.
Bond yields in the Eurozone took another leg lower yesterday.
Data released last week confirm that the Argentinian economy ended 2017 strongly.
It is becomingly increasingly clear that the trade war with China is hurting manufacturers in both countries.
Data released yesterday confirmed that the Mexican economy ended Q4 poorly; policymakers will take note.
Germans head to the polls on Sunday to elect representatives for the national parliament. The media has tried to keep investors on alert for a surprise, but polls indicate clearly that Angela Merkel will continue as Chancellor.
Japan's all-industry activity index fell 0.5% month-on- month in September after a 0.2% rise in August. Construction activity continued to plummet, with the subindex dropping 2.3%, after a 2.2% fall in August.
We fear that private spending in the EZ slowed in Q1, despite rocketing survey data. This fits our view that household consumption will slow in 2017 after sustained above-trend growth in the beginning of this business cycle.
Friday's economic data suggest that the downtrend in German PPI inflation is reversing.
The beginning of the electoral campaign last week in Brazil bodes uncertain results and a very close competition for the presidential elections on October 7.
The FOMC won't raise rates today, but we expect that the announcement of the start of balance sheet reduction will not be interrupted by Harvey and Irma.
Yesterday's report on October private spending in Mexico was downbeat, suggesting that consumption started the fourth quarter on a weak footing.
Politics are once again encroaching on the economic story in the Eurozone. At the ECB, this week has so far been a tumultuous one.
Speculators who have sold sterling over the last six months have been frustrated. Investors have been overwhelmingly net short sterling, but the pound has hovered between $1.20 and $1.25, as our first chart shows. Undeterred, investors increased their net short positions last week to 107K contracts-- the most since records began in 1992--from 81K a week earlier.
Brazil's inflation rate remained well under control over the first half of February.
Dr. Yellen's Testimony yesterday was largely a cut-and-paste job from the FOMC statement last week and her remarks at the press conference. The Fed's core views have not changed since last week, unsurprisingly, and policymakers still expect to raise rates gradually as inflation returns to the target, but will be guided by the incoming data.
So much has changed in China over the last six months that we are taking the opportunity in this Monitor to step back and gain an overview of where the economy is going in the long term.
Sentiment in the French business sector ended this year on a high. The headline manufacturing index fell slightly to 112 in December, from an upwardly-revised 113 in November, but the aggregate sentiment gauge edged higher to a new cycle high of 112.
Even the most bullish estate agent in Britain would struggle to put a positive spin on the latest housing market news. The latest levels of the official, Nationwide, and Halifax measures of house prices all are below their peaks.
February's consumer price figures, released yesterday, put more pressure on the MPC to stick to its plans for an "ongoing" tightening of monetary policy, despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit chaos.
Last week, the Atlanta Fed updated its median hourly earnings series with new October data, showing wage growth accelerating to an eight-year high of 3.9%. That's a full percentage point higher than the increase in this measure of wages in the year to October 2015, and it follows a spring and summer during which wage growth appeared to be topping-out at just under 3½%.
It's hard to have much conviction in any forecast for September retail sales, as the relationship between the official data and the surveys has weakened considerably.
Chile's central bank cut the country's main interest rate by 25bp to 3.25% last Thursday. The easing was expected, as the board adopted a dovish bias last month, after keeping a neutral stance for most of 2016. Last week's move, coupled with the tone of the communiqué, suggests that further easing is coming, as growth continues to disappoint and inflation pressures are easing.
Broad-based inflation pressures in Brazil remain tame despite the sharp BRL depreciation this year, totalling about 7% in the last three months alone.
Japan's CPI inflation jumped to 1.3% in August, from 0.9% in July.
Korea's preliminary GDP report for Q3 will be released tomorrow.
The ECB will not make any major changes to policy today.
March's public sector borrowing figures brought more signs that the economy has lost considerable momentum this year. Borrowing, on the PSNB excluding public sector banks measure, came in at £5.1B in March, up slightly from £4.3B in March 2016.
Unlike other central banks, the MPC has stuck to its message that "an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period" likely will be required to keep inflation close to the 2% target, provided a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
Nothing is done until it's done, and, in the case of Sino-U.S. trade talks, even if a deal is reached, the new normal is that tensions will be bubbling in the background.
Economic activity in Mexico during the past few months has been resilient, as external and domestic threats, particularly domestic political risks, appear to have diminished.
The second estimate of Q4 GDP, published on Thursday, probably will show that the economy slowed more abruptly last year than previously thought and that it has become very dependent on consumers for momentum.
We expect the Mexican economy to continue growing close to 2% year-over-year in 2019, driven mainly by consumption, but constrained by weak investment, due to prolonged uncertainty related to trade.
Mr. Draghi's speech to the European Banking Congress on Friday--see here--was a timely reminder to markets that the ECB is in no hurry to make any changes to its policy setting.
High inflation and interest rates, coupled with increasing uncertainty, both economic and political, put Mexican consumption under strain last year.
Sterling soared yesterday following news that Britain and the EU have agreed the terms of the transition period from March 2019, which will ensure that goods, services, capital and people continue to move freely, until December 2020.
Economic data released in recent weeks underscore that Brazil emerged from recession in Q1, but the recovery is fragile and further rate cuts are badly needed. The political crisis has damaged the reform agenda, and political uncertainty lingers.
Eurozone investors will be drawing a sigh of relief after yesterday's PMI data. The alarming plunge in February and March made way for stabilisation, with the composite PMI in the euro area unchanged at 55.2 in April.
Japan will host the Olympics in 2020 and the preparatory surge in construction investment makes 2017-to-2018 the peak spending period.
Japanese data continue to come in strongly for the second quarter. The manufacturing PMI points to continued sturdy growth, despite the headline index dipping to 52.0 in June from 53.1 in May. The average for Q2 overall was 52.6, almost unchanged from Q1's 52.8, signalling that manufacturing output growth has maintained its recent rate of growth.
Mexico's financial markets and risk metrics plunged early this week, following the AMLO government's decision to cancel the construction of the new airport in Mexico City, after a public consultation held in the previous four days.
Brazil heads to the polls on Sunday, followed by an expected run-off on October 28.
The latest PMIs indicate that the economy remained listless in Q3, undermining the case for a rate rise before the end of this year. The business activity index of the Markit/CIPS services survey rose trivially to 53.6 in September, from 53.2 in August.
The outlook for Argentina is gradually improving, after a long and painful recession.
Consumers' spending in the Eurozone slowed in the second half of 2017, providing a favourable base for growth in H1 2018.
China's PMIs point to softening activity in Q3. The Caixin services PMI fell to 52.8 in July, from 53.9 in June.
The Caixin services PMI leapt to an eyebrow- raising 53.8 in November, from 50.8 in October.
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.
China's National People's Congress is set to convene its annual meeting next week.
Data released last week confirmed the strength of the economic recovery in Chile, and we expect further good news in the next three-to-six months.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone edged higher last month, reversing weakness at the start of the year.
Corporate bonds will not be included in the ECB's monthly QE purchases until the end of Q2, but markets are already preparing. The sale of non-financial corporate debt jumped to €49.4B in March, from about €25B in February, within touching distance of the record set in Q1 last year.
China's Caixin manufacturing PMI edged down to 50.6 in August, from July's 50.8. This clashed with the increase in the official PMI, though the moves in both indexes were modest.
The relative strength of the investor and consumer confidence reports for March, released this week, signal a better outlook for the Mexican economy.
The violent protests in France claimed their first victims over the weekend, providing sombre evidence of the severity of the situation for the government.
The Caixin services PMI jumped sharply to 53.9 in December from 51.9 in November. All the PMIs picked up significantly, but we find this hard to believe and suspect seasonality is to blame, though the adjustment is tricky.
The Caixin services PMI ticked down to 53.6 in January, from 53.9 in December.
Consumers' spending in the euro area weakened at the end of Q4, but we think households will continue to boost GDP growth in the first quarter. Data on Friday showed that retail sales fell 0.3% month-to-month in December, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 1.1%, from a revised 2.8% in November.
Mexico's latest hard data suggest things might not be as bad as we feared. Retail sales and manufacturing output were relatively strong at the end of last year, the Q4 preliminary GDP report was mostly upbeat, and the labor market was firing on all cylinders.
Japan's average monthly labour earnings growth tumbled to 0.9% year-over-year in August, from 1.6% in July. This is not a disaster.
The recent slowdown in labour cash earnings growth in Japan halted in September.
The Mexican economy maintained its relatively strong momentum in Q2. The first estimate of Q2 GDP, released last week, confirmed that growth was resilient during the first half of this year, despite the confidence hit caused by domestic and external headwinds.
Last week's news that output per hour jumped by 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in Q3--the biggest rise since Q2 2011--has fanned hopes that the underlying trend finally is improving.
Brazil's industrial sector is still struggling, despite recent signs of better economic and financial conditions.
Mr. Macron's victory in France answers two questions for markets, at least in the short run. Firstly, France will stay in the Eurozone, and Mr. Macron will not call a referendum on EU membership. Mr. Macron has come to power with a mandate to strengthen economic integration and co-operation between Eurozone economies.
It is still premature to make fundamental changes to our core views for the global or LatAm economy, following President Trump's plan to slap hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, potentially escalating into a global trade war.
Fears of a Chinese hard landing have roiled financial and commodity markets this past year and have constrained the economic recovery of major raw material exporters in LatAm.
Japanese labour cash earnings data threw analysts another curveball in July, falling 0.3% year-over-year. At the same time, June earnings are now said to have risen by 0.4%, compared with a fall of 0.4% in the initial print.
If 2017 really is the year of "reflation", somebody forgot to tell the gilt market. Among the G7 group, 10-year yields have fallen only in the U.K. during the last three months, as our first chart shows.
Yesterday's final May PMI data in the Eurozone confirmed the strength of the cyclical upturn. The composite PMI was unchanged at 56.8, in line with the initial estimate.
Yesterday's Brazilian industrial production data continue to tell a story of a slow business cycle upturn. Output rose 0.2% month-to-month in November, after a downwardly revised 1.2% plunge in October. The year-over-year rate, though, jumped to -1.1%, from -7.3% in October. The underlying trend is now on the mend, following weakness in Q3 and early Q4. Output rose in November three of the four major categories and in 13 of the 24 sectors.
Chile's IMACEC economic activity index rose 2.4% year-over-year in January, down from 2.6% in December, and 3.3% on average in Q4, thanks mostly to weak mining production.
Recent market turmoil and concerns on the outlook for global growth have re-awakened talk of stimulus. For the BoJ, this inevitably raises the question of what could possibly be done, given that policy already appears to be on the excessively loose side of loose.
Chile's economic outlook is still positive, but clouds have been gradually gathering since mid-year, due mostly to the slowdown in China, low copper prices and falling consumer and business confidence.
Following the publication of Korea's preliminary Q4 GDP report last month--see here--we said the consensus-beating print would be susceptible to downgrades, unless the economy had a miraculous end to 2018
Japan's real GDP seems unlikely to have risen in Q3, and could even have edge down quarter-on- quarter, after the 0.7% leap in Q2.
Today brings the first glimpse of the post-hurricane employment picture, in the form of the September ADP report.
Mexico's trade balance shrank slightly last year, to USD11B, from USD13B in 2016. The main driver was a big swing in the non- energy balance, to a record USD8.0B surplus, following a USD0.4B deficit in 2016.
Markets' expectations for official interest rates have shifted up over the last fortnight, and the consensus view now is that the MPC will hike rates before the end of this year. As our first chart shows, the implied probability of interest rates breaching 0.25% in December 2017 now slightly exceeds 50%.
Money supply data in the euro area are sending an increasingly upbeat signal on the economy. The increase in narrow money growth is the key variable here, now pointing to a noticeable acceleration in GDP growth later this year. Allowing for the usual lags between upturns in M1 and the economy, we should start to see this in the second and third quarter.
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.
Japanese retail sales were unchanged in October month-on-month, after a 0.8% rise in September.
We have witnessed a dramatic shift in just a few weeks in perceptions of Mexico as an investment destination.
Yesterday's November inflation reports from Germany and Spain suggest that today's data for the Eurozone as a whole will undershoot the consensus.
Friday's advance GDP data provided the first solid evidence of a Q1 slowdown in the euro area economy.
The BoJ kept policy unchanged last week, but made a significant change to its communication, dropping its previous explicit statement on the timing for hitting the inflation target.
Data released last week confirm that Brazil's recovery has continued over the second half of the year, supported by steady household consumption and rebounding capex.
Many investors are betting that the MPC will announce a bold package of easing measures on Thursday. For a start, overnight index swap markets are pricing-in a 98% probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate to 0.25%, and a 30% chance that interest rates will fall to, or below, zero by the end of the year.
We look for a 210K increase in July payrolls. That would be consistent with the message from an array of private sector surveys, as well as the recent trend.
We expect China's quarterly real GDP growth in the second quarter to edge down from Q1, but only because Q1 growth was unsustainable. The official data shows real GDP growth at 1.3% quarter-onquarter in Q1.
Last week's EU summit was an exercise in political pragmatism rather than the bold step forward on reforms that investors had been hoping for.
China's official PMIs were little changed in August, with the manufacturing gauge up trivially to 51.3, from 51.2 in July and the non-manufacturing gauge up to 54.2, from 54.0.
Korean industrial production surprised to the upside in August, according to data released yesterday.
The headlines from Catalonia are as confusing as ever, but we are sticking to our view--see here--that regional elections are the only reasonable outcome of the chaos.
Inflation pressures remain under control in most LatAm economies, allowing central banks to keep interest rates on hold, despite the challenging external environment.
Brazil's December industrial production and labour reports, released late last week, confirmed that the recovery was struggling at the end of last year.
Following the much-anticipated meeting between Presidents Xi and Trump over the weekend, the U.S. will now leave existing tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods at 10%, rather than increasing the rate to 25% in January, as previously slated.
Japan's services PMI edged down to 52.0 in March, from 52.3 in February, taking the Q1 average to 52.0, minimally up from Q4's 51.9.
BanRep accelerated the pace of easing last Friday, cutting Colombia's key interest rate by a bold 50 basis points, to 5.75%. Economic activity has been under severe pressure in recent months. The economy expanded by only 1.1% year-over-year in Q1, following an already weak 1.6% in Q4.
Consumption remains an important source of economic growth in LatAm.
The MPC surprised markets and ourselves yesterday by the extent to which it abandoned its previous stance and is now emphasising inflation over growth risks.
The Eurozone enjoyed a strong start to 2017. Yesterday's advance data showed that real GDP rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, a similar pace to Q4, which was revised up by 0.1 percentage points. The year-over-year rate dipped to 1.7%, from an upwardly revised 1.8% in Q4.
We continue to see signs of a strengthening upturn in Eurozone construction. Output in construction rose 0.3% month-to-month in April, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 3.2%, from an upwardly revised 3.8% in March.
Defaults by Chinese companies have been on the rise lately. Most recently, China Energy, an oil and gas producer with $1.8B of offshore notes outstanding, missed a bond payment earlier this week. We've highlighted the likelihood of a rise in defaults this year, for three main reasons.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany suggest that inflation fell slightly in August.
Today's advance CPI data will show that EZ inflation pressures rose further at the end of Q3. The headline number likely will exceed the consensus. We think inflation rose to 0.5% year-over-year in September from 0.2% in August, slightly higher than the 0.4% consensus.
The upward trend in German inflation stalled temporarily in August, with an unchanged 0.4% year-over-year reading in August. A dip in core inflation likely offset a continued increase in energy price inflation. The detailed final report next month will give the full story, but state data suggest that the core rate was depressed by a dip in price increases of household appliances, restaurant services, as well as "other goods and services."
Today will be an incredibly busy day for EZ investors with no fewer than eight major economic reports. Overall, we think the data will tell a story of a stable business cycle upturn and rising inflation. Markets will focus on advance Q4 GDP data in France and in the euro area as a whole. Our mo dels, and survey data, indicate that the EZ economy strengthened at the end of 2016, and we expect the headline data to beat the consensus.
Many investors probably glossed over yesterday's barrage of data in the Eurozone, for fear of being caught out by another swoon in Italian bond yields. Don't worry, we are here to help.
Downside risks to our growth forecast for Brazil and Mexico for this year have diminished this week. In Brazil, concerns over the potential impact of the meat scandal on the economy have diminished. Some key global customers, including Hong Kong, have in recent days eased restrictions on imports from Brazil, and other counties have ended their bans.
The economic data in the Eurozone were mixed while we were away.
Markets currently see a 50/50 chance that the MPC will raise Bank Rate in August and will be looking for a strong signal on Thursday that the next meeting is "in play".
Our forecast for a 0.3% increase in the September core PPI, slightly above the underlying trend, is even more tentative than usual.
Friday's industrial production headlines in the Eurozone were weak, but the details tell a more nuanced story.
Data released yesterday support our view that the Brazilian retail sector has gathered strength in recent months, following a weak Q2, when activity was hit by the truckers' strike.
Revisions to Japan's real GDP growth, on Monday, left Q2 blisteringly hot.
Mexico's February industrial production report was weaker than markets expected. Output expanded by 0.7% year-over-year, below the consensus, 1.2%, and slowing from 0.9% in January.
The key piece of evidence supporting our view that housing market activity has peaked for this cycle is the softening trend--until recently--in applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase.
One critical point emerged from last week's otherwise uneventful BoJ meeting: Governor Kuroda said that the BoJ might "adjust" rates before hitting the 2% inflation target.
Mark Carney emphasised in his Mansion House speech last month that he wants wage growth to "begin to firm" from recent "anaemic" rates before voting to raise interest rates.
Mexico's economy is not accelerating, but it is holding up very well in difficult circumstances, with rising domestic political risk and stifling interest rates.
The seasonally adjusted trade surplus in Germany slipped to €19.6B in July, from €21.2B in June, its lowest since April, and we are confident that it has peaked for this cycle.
Mexico's central bank continues to diverge from its regional peers, tightening monetary policy further.
The Mexican industrial sector is struggling. December industrial output fell 0.4% month-to-month, the third consecutive drop, driven mainly by a similar decline in mining/oil output.
Economic data in the German economy have been record-breaking in the past 12 months, and yesterday's preliminary full-year GDP report for 2017 was no exception.
Japan's GDP growth came roaring back in Q2, thanks to a strong rebound in private consumption, and an acceleration in business capex.
Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, has set out the first points of his austerity plan, two weeks after his overwhelming victory at the polls.
Construction accounted for the entire 1.1% quarter-to- quarter expansion of the Korean economy in Q1, but the sector is now set to slow.
Many economists describe the EZ as the sick man of the global economy, thanks to its incomplete monetary union, low productivity growth and a rapidly ageing population.
CPI inflation increased to 2.9% in May, from 2.7% in April, exceeding the no-change expectation of both the consensus and the MPC, as well as our own 2.8% forecast.
We remain confident--see here--that today's Q3 GDP report in Germany will be a shocker, but this already is priced-in by markets.
Japan's PPI inflation was unchanged, at 3.0%, in August.
Yesterday's final CPI report in Germany confirmed the initial estimate that inflation was unchanged at 0.4% year-over-year in August. Deflation in energy prices eased further, but the headline was pegged back by a small fall in the core rate to 1.2% year-over- year, from 1.3% in July.
German inflation pressures were unchanged last month. The CPI index rose 0.8% year-over-year, matching the increase in October, and in line with the consensus and initial estimate. Energy deflation intensified marginally, as a result of lower prices for household utilities.
While we were away, the advance Q2 GDP report in the Eurozone confirmed our expectations of a strong first half of the year for the economy. Real GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, the same pace as in Q1, lifting the year-over-year rate to a cyclical high of 2.1%.
Yesterday's economic data in Brazil suggest that retailers suffered in the second quarter, hit by the effect of the truckers' strike, but private consumption remains somewhat resilient.
Over the last decade, the MPC has underestimated the extent and duration of departures of CPI inflation from the 2% target. Inflation exceeded the MPC's expectations in the early 2010s, as policymakers underestimated the impact of sterling's prior depreciation and overestimated the role that slack would play in stifling price pressures. Inflation also undershot the MPC's forecast between 2014 and 2016, when sterling's appreciation reduced import prices.
The second presidency of Chile's conservative Sebastián Piñera, a billionaire turned politician, began on Sunday, March 11, in favourable economic circumstances.
Brazilian inflation has been well under control in the past few months, still laying the ground for rates to remain on hold for the foreseeable future.
Japanese PPI inflation continues to be driven mainly by imported metals and energy price inflation. Metals, energy, power and water utilities, and related items, account for nearly 30% of the PPI.
China's trade surplus has been trending down in the last two years.
Recent economic indicators in Mexico have been relatively positive.
Money supply data in the euro area disappointed yesterday. Growth in M3 fell to 4.6% year-over-year in April, from 5.0% in March, due to an accelerated fall in the pace of narrow money growth. M1 rose 9.7% year-over-year, down from 10.1% in March. It was hit by lower growth in both overnight deposits and currency in circulation.
Data released on Wednesday confirmed that the Brazilian economy was relatively resilient in Q1. Leading indicators suggest that it will do well in Q2 and Q3, but downside risks are rising.
Strong fundamentals have supported private consumption in Mexico recently, but we now expect a slowdown. Spending will not collapse, though, because consumer credit growth, formal employment, real wage income and remittances will continue to underpin consumption for the next three-to-six months.
Brazil's GDP growth slowed to just 0.1% quarter- on-quarter in Q4, from a downwardly-revised 0.5% in Q3.
Yesterday's first estimate of Q1 GDP in Mexico confirmed that growth was resilient at the start of the year, despite the lingering hit to confidence from domestic and external threats.
The latest official data show that net migration to the U.K. hasn't fallen much, despite all the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote.
Yesterday's advance EZ CPI report bolstered the ECB doves' case for only marginal adjustments to the language on forward guidance at next week's meeting. Inflation in the euro area fell to 1.4% in May, from 1.9% in April, constrained by almost all the key components.
Wednesday's first estimate of full-year 2018 GDP in Mexico indicates that growth lost momentum in Q4.
Yesterday's first estimate of Q2 GDP in Mexico confirmed that the economy lost momentum in recent months.
Friday's economic data added to the evidence of a Q1 rebound in EZ consumption growth.
Yesterday was a good day for headline EZ economic data. GDP growth accelerated, inflation rose and unemployment fell further. Advance Q4 data showed that real GDP in the Eurozone rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, marginally faster than the upwardly revised 0.4% in Q3. Full-year growth in 2016 slowed slightly to 1.7% from 2.0% in 2015.
Headline inflation in the Eurozone eased at the start of the year, but leading indicators suggest that the dip will be short-lived.
Yesterday's advance Q4 GDP data in the Eurozone confirmed that growth slowed significantly in the second half of 2018.
Yesterday's aggregate economic data for the euro area showed that inflation rose slightly in August. The headline rate rose to a four-month high of 1.5% in August from 1.3% in July. The rate was lifted mainly by energy inflation, rising to 4.6% from 2.2% in July, but we think the rebound will be short-lived.
Fed Chair Yellen today needs to strike a balance between addressing investors' concerns over the state of the stock market and the risks posed by slower growth in Asia, and the tightening domestic labor market.
China's trade surplus appears modestly to be rebuilding, edging up to $34.0B in November, on our adjustment, from $33.3B in October. The recent trough was $24.B, in March.
The 16-page document--see here--detailing the agreement allowing the EU and the U.K. to move forward in the Brexit negotiations is predictably tedious.
Brazil's consumer recession finally eased in November. Retail sales jumped 2.0% month-to- month, following an upwardly-revised 0.3% drop in October, and the year-over-year rate rose to -3.5% from -8.1%. November's astonishing performance probably reflects seasonal adjustment problems related to Black Friday discounting. Sales have climbed in the last four Novembers, suggesting that consumers' pre-Christmas spending patterns have shifted permanently.
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.
Core PPI inflation has risen relentlessly, though not rapidly, over the past two-and-a-half years.
China's PPI inflation rose again in June, to 4.7%, from 4.1% in May.
Inflation pressures in Brazil are now well- contained, with the headline rate falling to a decade low in July. We think inflation is now close to bottoming out, but the current benign rate strengthens our base case forecast for a 100bp rate cut at the next policy meeting, in September.
Normal service appears to have resumed in August, with payrolls rising by 201K, very close to the 196K average over the previous year.
Japan's regular wage growth continued to edge up in November, maintaining the rising trend. The headline is volatile, with growth in labour cash earnings rising to 0.9% year-over-year in November, up from a downwardly revised 0.2% in October.
Survey data have been signalling a stronger German economy in the last few months, and hard data are beginning to confirm this story. Data yesterday showed that industrial production rose 0.4% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 2.2%, from an upwardly-revised 1.6% in October. The headline was boosted mainly by a 1.5% month-to-month jump in construction and a 0.9% rise in intermediate goods production.
Japan's wage growth surprised us with a jump to 2.0% year-over-year in December, up from 1.5% in November.
We have been rigorous in using the word nascent whenever referring to Japan's wage-price spiral.
The Mexican economy's brightest spot continues to be private consumption.
The MPC chose not to rock the boat yesterday, deferring any reappraisal of the economic outlook until its next meeting in early February.
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.
A November interest rate rise is far from the done deal that markets still anticipate, even though CPI inflation rose to 3.0% in September from 2.9% in August.
Yesterday's final CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that headline inflation was unchanged at 1.5% in September.
The Eurozone has a productivity problem. Between 1997 and 2007, labour productivity rose an average 1.2% year-over-year, but this rate has slowed to a crawl--a mere 0.5%--since the crisis. These data tell an important story about the peaks in EZ GDP growth over the business cycle. Before the financial crisis in 2008, cyclical peaks in Eurozone GDP growth were as high as 3%-to-4% year-over-year.
Yesterday's final CPI report confirmed that inflation in the euro area increased slightly last month. The headline rate rose to 1.5%, from 1.4% in October, lifted by a 1.7 percentage point increase in energy inflation to 4.9%.
The EZ Q4 GDP data narrowly avoided a downward revision in yesterday's second estimate.
Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively soft footing.
October's colossal 1.9% month-to-month jump in retail sales volumes greatly exceeded the 0.5% consensus and even our own top-of-the- range 1.0% forecast.
Brazil's monetary authority adopted a neutral tone and kept its main rate on hold at 6.5% at its monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, surprising investors.
Colombia's December activity reports confirmed that quite strong retail sales last year were less accompanied by local production, which became only a minor driver of the economic recovery, as shown in our first chart.
New home price growth in China has held up longer than we expected.
We became more confident last week in our call that GDP growth will hold up better than widely feared in the first half of 2019, following signs that consumers have maintained their happy-go-lucky mentality, despite the ongoing political crisis.
Data released over the weekend confirm that the Peruvian economy enjoyed a strong second quarter. The economic activity index rose 6.4% year-over-year in May, well above market expectations, and up from 3.2% in Q1.
The long-awaited decisive upturn in wage growth still hasn't emerged. Year-over-year growth in average weekly wages, excluding bonuses, held steady at 2.6% in May.
China's official GDP data, published on Monday, showed year-over-year growth edging down to 6.7% in Q2, from 6.8% in Q1.
Argentina's Recovery Continues, but the Rebound is Facing Setbacks
Banxico left its benchmark interest rate on hold at 7.0% at last Thursday's policy meeting.
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.
Friday's inflation data in the Eurozone added a dovish twist to the story ahead of the key ECB meeting later this month.
China's September PMIs, most of which were released over the weekend, mark out a clear downtrend in activity since late last year.
Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively soft footing. The IBC-Br index, a monthly proxy for GDP, fell 0.3% month-to-month, though the year-over-year rate rose to -1.8%, from -2.2% in November.
Brazil's GDP growth slowed to just 0.1% quarter- on-quarter in Q4, from an upwardly-revised 0.2% in Q3. This pushed the year-over-year rate up to 2.1%, from 1.4%, but this was weaker than market expectations.
The French presidential election campaign remains chaotic. Republican candidate François Fillon had to defend himself again yesterday as investigations into his potential misuse of public funds deepened. Mr. Fillon and his wife have now been summoned to court to explain themselves. Markets expected Mr. Fillon to resign as the Republican front-runner. Instead, he used his unscheduled media address to defiantly declare that he is staying in the race.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea yesterday left its benchmark base rate unchanged, at 1.50%.
Chile's Q4 GDP report, released yesterday, confirmed that the economy accelerated at the end of last year, supported by rising capex and solid consumption.
Mr. Trump laid out plans yesterday to impose a new 10% tariff on a further $200B-worth of imports from China, to be levied from next week.
China's official PMIs paint a picture of robust momentum going into 2018 but we find this difficult to reconcile with the other data.
Mexico's election results are not available as we go to press, but we're expecting a comfortable win for the left-wing populist candidate, AMLO.
Our forecast that CPI inflation will return to the 2% target by the end of 2018 sets us apart from the MPC and consensus, which expect a more modest decline, to 2.4%.
NAFTA-related news has been mixed over the last few weeks.
The Chinese activity data published yesterday were a mixed bag, with headline retail sales and production weakening, while FAI growth was stable. We compile our own indices for all three, to crosscheck the official versions.
The German economy fired on all cylinders at the beginning of the year. Advance data on Friday showed that real GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, accelerating from a 0.4% increase in Q4.
Politics remain centre-stage in Brazil, despite positive news on the economic front. President Michel Temer's government continues to advance pension reform, despite the tight calendar and concerns about his political capital. But volatility is on the rise.
Yesterday's second estimate of GDP confirmed that Eurozone growth slowed significantly in Q3.
Friday's economic data confirmed that inflation in Germany rebounded last month, and leading indicators suggest that it is headed higher in coming months.
Today's retail sales figures for August likely will rebut the widespread view that spendthrift consumers will prevent a sharp economic slowdown. We look for a 1% month-to-month decline in retail sales volumes in August, well below the -0.4% consensus forecast.
Inflation data in Germany remain up in the air following recent revisions and restatements of the underlying indices.
The headlines of China's main activity gauges paint a dreary picture of the start of the year, implying a slowdown.
China's industrial production grew at an annualised 7.2% rate by volume in Q1, according to our estimates, up from an average 5.9% rate in the six quar ters through mid-2016.
The incidence of the phrase "since the early nineties" has increased sharply in our Japan reports this year.
Today's MPC meeting and minutes are the first opportunity for Committee members to speak out in over a month, now that election "purdah" rules have lifted.
Brazil's retail sales improved at the start of the second quarter, increasing 0.5% month-to-month in April, partially reversing the 0.9% contraction in March. But the details were less upbeat than the headline.
The slowdown in households' income growth since the referendum has not pushed up mortgage default rates, so far. Employment grew by just 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 and 0.1% in Q4, well below the 0.5% average rate seen in the three years before the referendum.
Brazil's consumer sluggishness in Q3 and early Q4 eased in November.
Industrial data released this week showed that the Mexican economy stumbled during the second quarter. Private consumption, however, continues to rise, albeit at a more modest pace than in recent months. The ANTAD same store sales survey rose 5.3% year-over-year in June, up from 2.8% in May, but this is misleading.
Evidence of slowing growth in Brazil consumers' spending continues to mount.
The consensus for a modest 0.5% month-to- month rise in retail sales volumes in October looks too timid; we expect today's data to show a 1% increase.
The February activity report in Colombia showed a modest pick-up in manufacturing activity and strength in the retail sales numbers.
Today's economic data will add to the evidence that construction in the Eurozone slowed in the first quarter.
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.
Colombian activity data released this week were relatively strong, but mostly driven by the primary sectors; consumption remains sluggish compared to previous standards.
The MPC almost certainly will keep interest rates on hold today and likely won't give a strong steer on the outlook for policy in the minutes of its meeting, which are released at mid-day. On the whole, surveys of economic activity have been weak, indicating that GDP growth has slowed sharply in the second quarter.
Economic data released yesterday underscored that Brazil emerged from recession in the first quarter, but further rate cuts are needed. Indeed, the monthly economic activity index--the IBC-Br--fell 0.4% monthto- month in March, though this followed a strong 1.4% gain in February.
Colombia's economy defied rising political uncertainty at the start of the year. Retail sales growth jumped to plus 6.2% year-over-year in January, up from -3.8% in December and -1.8% in Q4.
Core CPI inflation is heading for 2½% by the end of this year, and perhaps sooner. The trend in the monthly numbers is now a solid 0.2%, and that's before the weaker dollar arrests the decline in goods prices. Goods account for only a quarter of the core CPI, and right now they are the only part of the index under downward pressure. If--when--that changes, core inflation could rise quite rapidly.
Banxico hiked its policy rate by 25bp to a cyclical-high of 8.0% yesterday, in line with market expectations.
German 10-year government bond yields jumped at the end of 2016, but have since been locked in a tight range around 0.4%, despite a steady inflow of strong economic data.
External conditions are becoming more demanding for LatAm economies, with global trade tensions intensifying in recent weeks.
Data over the weekend revealed a further slowdown in China's CPI inflation, to 1.5% in February, from 1.7% in January.
The resolution of tensions in Italy and aboveconsensus U.K. PMIs for May last week persuaded investors that the MPC likely will press on and raise interest rates soon.
Korea's unemployment rate tumbled to 3.7% in February, after the leap to 4.4% in January.
Japan's unemployment rate returned unexpectedly to its 26-year low of 2.3% in February, falling from 2.5% in January.
The jobless rate fell back to 2.8% in June after the surprise rise to 3.1% in May. This drop takes us back to where we were in April before voluntary unemployment jumped in May.
Economic data released on Friday underscored our view that bolder rate cuts in Brazil are looming. The BCB's latest BCB's inflation report, released on Thursday, showed that policymakers now see conditions in place to increase the pace of easing "moderately" .
Dr Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says that while US rates will rise by 0.25% on 14th December, the central bank needs to continue to move rates up or wages will spiral up out of control.
Japan's unemployment rate edged back up to 2.5% in February after the drop in January to 2.4%.
The Eurozone labour market is slowly healing following two severe recessions since 2008. Unemployment fell to a two-year low of 10.3% in January, and yesterday's quarterly labour force survey was upbeat. Fourth quarter employment rose 1.2% year-over-year, up from 1.1% in Q3, pushing total EZ employment to a new post-crisis high of 152 million.
Today's labour market figures likely will show that the Brexit vote has inflicted only minimal damage on job prospects so far. The unemployment rate likely held steady at 4.9% in the three months to September, and the risk of a renewed fall in unemployment appears to be bigger than for a rise.
Investors kicked expectations for the first rise in official interest rates even further into the future when last month's labour market data, revealing a sharp fall in wage growth, were released. But a closer look at the official figures reveals that labour cost pressures have remained robust, cautioning against making a snap reaction if even weaker wage data are released on Wednesday.
The stand-out news from August's labour market report was the pick-up in the headline three-month average rate of year-over-year growth in average weekly wages, excluding bonuses, to 3.1%--its highest rate since January 2009--from 2.9% in July.
Markets' judgement that the Monetary Policy Committee--which meets today--will wait until 2017 to raise interest rates overestimates the role that the drop in oil prices and slower GDP growth will play in its decision-making. The inflation risks emanating from the increasingly tight labour market still could motivate a tightening before the summer.
Yesterday's retail sales data in Brazil surprised to the downside. Consumers are still being squeezed by high interest rates and a deteriorating labour market. Retail sales declined 0.6% month-to-month in August, leaving the year-over-year rate little changed at -5.5%.
Yesterday's labour market data gave sterling a shot in the arm on t wo counts. First, the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate fell to just 4.5% in May, from 4.6% in April.
The Brazilian consumer will continue to suffer from high interest rates and a deteriorating labour market this year. But sentiment data imply that the fundamentals are stabilising, at least at the margin. The headline consumer sentiment gauge, published by the FGV, has improved significantly in the past five months, and we expect another modest increase later this month
February's money and credit figures supported recent labour market and retail sales data suggesting that consumers are increasingly financially strained. Households' broad money holdings increased by just 0.2% month-to-month in February, half the average pace of the previous six months.
The U.S. and Eurozone economies differ in many ways, but for economists, the biggest contrast is between the two regions' labour market data.
Today's labour market figures likely will cast doubt over the sustainability of strong growth in household spending. Growth in the three-month average level of employment likely weakened in August, from July's impressive 1.9% year-over-year rate.
Workers in the euro area remain scarred by the zone's repeated crises, but the strengthening cyclical recovery is slowly starting to spread to the labour market. The unemployment rate fell to a three-year low of 10.9% in July, and employment has edged higher after hitting a low in the middle of 2013. Germany's outperformance is a key story, with employment increasing uninterruptedly since 2009, and the unemployment rate declining to an all-time low of 6.4%. Among the other major economies, the unemployment rate in Spain and Italy remains higher than in France. But employment in Spain has outperformed in the cyclical recovery since 2013.
Today's labour market data look set to show that the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate held steady at just 5% in May, unchanged from April's reading.
Data this week look set to emphasise that heat is returning to the housing market, again. The Financial Policy Committee--FPC--still has additional tools it could deploy to cool housing demand. But the root cause of surging house prices remains very cheap debt. Alongside the inflation risk posed by the labour market, the case for the MPC to begin to raise interest rates to prevent a widespread debt problem is becoming compelling.
Bank Governor Mark Carney reiterated in a speech yesterday that he wants to see sustained momentum in GDP growth, domestic cost pressures firm and core inflation rise further towards 2%, before raising interest rates. We doubt he will have long to wait on the last two points, given the tightness of the labour market.
The labour market in the Eurozone continues slowly to improve. The unemployment rate fell to 10.7% in October from 10.8% in September, reaching its lowest level since 2013. The divergence in rates, however, between the major economies remains significant. Unemployment in France, Italy and Spain is still above 10%, but the advance German number continued their record-breaking form in November.
Today's labour market figures likely will show that wage growth is bouncing back from a soft patch in late 2015. As a result, the MPC won't be able to sit on its hands much longer, especially in light of the continued dire news on productivity.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the latest U.K. Labour Market Data
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Labour Market data for May
Ian Shepherdson on strong non-farm payroll numbers for February
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