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3 October 2017 Robust Overseas Demand Isn't Persuading Manufacturers to Invest (Publication Centre)

U.K. manufacturers are benefiting from rapid growth in the Eurozone, but increasingly they are being held back by weak domestic demand.

7 September 2017 Scrappage Schemes Will Only Postpone the Slump in Car Sales (Publication Centre)

Car manufacturers have been at the sharp end o f the slowdown in consumers' spending this year. In response, several brands have launched generous scrappage schemes, giving buyers a big discount when they trade in their old vehicle.

7 November 2017 Car Sales are Falling Rapidly, with no End in Sight (Publication Centre)

The downturn in car sales is showing no sign of abating. Data released yesterday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that private registrations fell 10.1% year-over-year in October, much worse than the 6.6% average drop in the previous 12 months.

01 Mar. 2016 Worst is Over for Manufacturers, but no Real Rebound Yet (Publication Centre)

The worst is over for manufacturers, we think. The three major forces depressing activity in the sector last year--namely, the strong dollar, the slowdown in China, and the collapse in capital spending in the oil sector--will be much less powerful this year.

GUARDIAN - UK manufacturers suffer further drop in orders, CBI survey shows (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. economist Samuel Tombs comments on U.K. manufacturing

22 August 2017 Economic Activity is Turning Up in LatAm, but no Boom Coming (Publication Centre)

LatAm's economies are gradually rebounding, boosted by easier monetary policy in most countries, falling inflation, and a relatively calm external backdrop.

2 November. 2016 Brazil Industrial Output Remains Sluggish, but Q4 will be Better (Publication Centre)

Brazil's September industrial production report, released yesterday, confirmed the message from survey data that the sector stabilized towards the end of summer. Output rose 0.5 month-to-month, and August output was revised up by 0.3 percentage points.

27 March 2017 Stronger Global Growth set to Boost U.S. Export Performance (Publication Centre)

It has been difficult to be an optimist about U.S. international trade performance in recent years. The year-over-year growth rate of real exports of goods and services hasn't breached 2% in a single quarter for two years.

28 Oct. 2015 Budget Deal Means Fiscal Policy Will Ease Slightly Next Year (Publication Centre)

The two-year budget deal agreed between the administration and the Republican leadership in Congress will avert a federal debt default and appears to constitute a modest near-term easing of fiscal policy. The debt ceiling will not be raised, but the law imposing the limit will be suspended through March 2017, leaving the Treasury free to borrow as much as necessary to cover the deficit. As a result, the presidential election next year will not be fought against a backdrop of fiscal crisis.

28 Oct. 2015 Q3 Slowdown Marks the Start of a Sustained Softening (Publication Centre)

Markets responded to yesterday's disappointing GDP figures by pushing back expectations for the first rise in official interest rates even further into 2017. The first rate hike is now expected--by the overnight index swap market--in April 2017, two months later than anticipated before the GDP release. The figures certainly look weak--particularly when you scratch below the surface--and we expect growth to slow further over the coming quarters. But we don't agree they imply an even longer period of inaction on the Monetary Policy Committee.

18 July. 2016 Core Inflation is Grinding Slowly Higher, but Bigger Risks Ahead (Publication Centre)

Trouble is brewing in the core inflation data, despite the benign-looking 0.17% increase in the June report, released Friday. If you annualize that rate indefinitely, core inflation will reach a steady state of 2.1%, so the Fed never needs to raise rates. Alas this only makes sense if you think that single monthly CPI numbers tell the whole truth, and that the fundamental forces acting on inflation are stable. Neither of these propositions is remotely true.

18 July 2017 Will Foreign Trade be a Drag on Second Quarter GDP Growth? (Publication Centre)

Markets usually ignore the monthly import price data, presumably because they are far removed, especially at the headline level, from the consumer price numbers the Fed targets.

7 December 2017 Onwards and Upwards for New Orders in German Manufacturing (Publication Centre)

Demand for German manufacturing goods remained firm at the start of Q4. Data yesterday showed that factory orders increased 0.5% month-to-month in October, helped by gains in both export and domestic activity.

17 May 2017 Is Housing Activity set to Reach New Cycle Highs this Summer? (Publication Centre)

Last week, the MBA's measure of the volume of applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase rose 1.7%.

18 Dec. 2015 Should We be Worried by the Rise in the Saving Rate? (Publication Centre)

We have argued consistently since oil prices first began to fall that U.S. consumers would spend most of their windfall, so real spending would accelerate even as nominal retail sales growth was dragged down by the drop in the price of gas and other imported goods. At the same time, we argued that capital spending in the oil business would collapse, and that exports would struggle in the face of the stronger dollar.

18 Dec. 2015 Sterling Still a Major Constraint on Growth, Despite Its Recent Decline (Publication Centre)

The growing perception that the U.K. MPC will lag further behind the U.S. Fed in this tightening cycle than previously has pushed sterling down to $1.49, a long way below its post-recession peak of $1.72 in mid-2014. But this has done little to enhance the overall competitiveness of U.K. exports, and net trade still looks likely to exert a major drag on real GDP growth in 2016.

29 August 2017 Hurricane Harvey will Depress September Output and Payrolls (Publication Centre)

The terrible scenes from Texas will play out in the economic data over the next few weeks.

29 August 2017 Is it Time to Turn Positive on the Outlook for Net Foreign Trade? (Publication Centre)

Britain still has nothing to show for sterling's depreciation, even though nearly two years have passed since markets started to price-in Brexit risk, driving the currency lower.

4 January 2017 Brazil's PMI Lost Momentum in Q4, but Should Stabilize Soon (Publication Centre)

Brazil's manufacturing PMI edged down to a six-month low of 45.2 in December, from 46.2 in November. This marks a disappointing end to Q4, following a steady upward trend during the first half of the year, as shown in our first chart. December's new work index fell to 45.2 from 47.7 in November, driving a slowdown in production, purchases of materials, and employment. The new export orders index also deteriorated sharply in December, falling close to its lowest level since mid-2009.

4 July 2017 Mr Abe Trounced in Tokyo Elections just as Recovery Gains Traction (Publication Centre)

The Tankan survey powered ahead in Q2, pulling away from Q1 and mostly beating consensus. This confirms our impression of the strength of the recovery ,just as Prime Minister Abe's Liberal Democratic Party is trounced at the polls in Tokyo. The drubbing is understandable as the main benefits of Abenomics have gone to the business sector, at the expense of the household sector.

4 May. 2016 Eurozone Manufacturing Firms' Selling Prices Continue to Fall (Publication Centre)

Eurozone manufacturing selling prices remain under pressure from deflationary headwinds. The PPI index, ex-construction, in the euro area fell 4.2% year-over-year in March, matching February's drop. Weakness in oil prices continues to drive the headline.

5 April 2017 The Brazilian Economy is Improving: Expect a Modest Q1 GDP Recovery (Publication Centre)

Brazilian February industrial production data, released yesterday, were relatively positive. Output rose 0.1% month-to-month, pushing the yearover- year rate down to -0.8% from 1.4% in January. Statistical quirks were behind February's year-over-year fall, though.

31 August 2017 Does the Corporate Borrowing Surge Signal a Capex Recovery? (Publication Centre)

The summer usually is a quiet time for business, but seemingly not for CFOs this year. Yesterday's money and credit figures from the Bank of England showed that borrowing by private non-financial corporations has rocketed. Net finance raised by PNFC's from all sources increased by £8.9B in July, compared to an average increase of just £2.5B in the previous 12 months.

30 March 2017 Money Data Highlight the Weak Start to 2017 (Publication Centre)

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.

9 February 2017 Is the Jump in Wholesale Inventories Sustainable? (Publication Centre)

Total real inventories rose at a $48.7B annualized rate in the fourth quarter, contributing 1.0 percentage points to headline GDP growth. Wholesale durable goods accounted for $34B of the aggregate increase, following startling 1.0% month-to-month nominal increases in both November and December. The November jump was lead by a 3.2% leap in the auto sector, but inventories rose sharply across a broad and diverse range of other durables, including lumber, professional equipment, electricals and miscellaneous.

15 November 2017 Chinese October Activity Data Were Mixed but Will Weaken Over Winter (Publication Centre)

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.

9 October 2017 Did German Manufacturing Pick up the Pace in Q3? (Publication Centre)

Friday's German new orders data were sizzling. Factory orders jumped 3.6% month-to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year rate up to a nine-month high of 7.8%, from an upwardly-revised 5.4% in July.

29 Feb. 2016 The Weaker Pound has not Transformed the Export Outlook (Publication Centre)

In theory, any hit to sentiment and business investment as the E.U. referendum nears could be offset by a better foreign trade performance, due to the Brexit-related depreciation of sterling. But not every cloud has a silver lining.

6 October 2017 The Q3 Recovery in Car Sales Will Prove to be a Dead Cat Bounce (Publication Centre)

Car sales were predictably weak in September, but they could have been a lot worse. Private registrations were down 8.8% year-over-year in the second most important month of the year.

12 December 2016 Japan's Depreciation Didn't Boost Growth, Why Would Britain's? (Publication Centre)

Japan is the only major advanced economy to have recently experienced an exchange rate depreciation as large as Britain's. Between July 2012 and May 2013, the yen f ell by 24%, matching sterling's depreciation since its peak in August 2015.

07 Jan. 2016 Will Inventories Accentuate the Slowdown? (Publication Centre)

The rate of inventory-building regularly is a major influence on GDP growth, but often is overlooked by analysts. Much slower inventory accumulation than in 2014 was the key source of downside surprise to the 2015 consensus GDP growth forecast, and we think inventories likely will be a sustained drag on GDP growth this year too.

05 Jan. 2016 Don't be Tricked by Fall in German Inflation - the Dip will be Temporary (Publication Centre)

Advance data suggest German inflation pressures eased towards the end of last year. Inflation fell to 0.3% year-over-year in December from 0.4% in November, likely due to a fall in food inflation--mean reversion in fruit and vegetables inflation--and a sharp fall in the annual price increase of clothing and shoes. State data indicate that deflation in household utilities persisted, but that inflation of fuel and transportation is slowly recovering. Assuming a stable oil price in coming months, base effects should push up energy price inflation in the first quarter, though it should then fall again slightly in the second quarter. Overall, though, we expect energy price inflation gradually to stabilise and recover this year.

13 July 2017 The Eurozone Economy Maintained Momentum in Q2 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's data showed that industrial production in the Eurozone accelerated at the end of spring. Output, ex-construction, jumped 1.3% month-to-month in May, much better than the downwardly-revised 0.3% rise in April; the rise pushed the year-over-year rate up to a six-year high of 4.0%.

07 October. 2016 Don't Mistake Volatility in Production and Trade for Underlying Strength (Publication Centre)

The consensus view that industrial production rose by a mere 0.1% month-to-month in August looks far too low; we expect today's report to reveal a jump of about 1%.

09 Mar. 2016 Production Still on a Downward Trend, Despite Likely January Rise (Publication Centre)

Figures released today look set to reveal that industrial production rose in January by the biggest percentage since August. But this will simply reflect a rebound in demand for heating energy after extreme weakness late last year. The oil and manufacturing sectors remain on course for an extremely challenging year.

11 September 2017 The German Trade Surplus is Falling, but Real Wages are Rising (Publication Centre)

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.

11 January 2017 Import Substitution Will Be Modest, Despite Sterling's Depreciation (Publication Centre)

A year has now elapsed since sterling began its precipitous descent, and the trade data still have not improved. Net trade subtracted 0.9 percentage points from year-over-year growth in GDP in Q3. And while the trade deficit of £2.0B in October was the smallest since May, this followed extraordinarily large deficits in the previous two months. In fact, the trade deficit has been on a slightly deteriorating trend over the last year, as our first chart shows, and we expect today's data to show that the deficit re-widened to about £3.5B in November.

10 January 2017 Production Likely Surged in November, but Trend Remains Weak (Publication Centre)

The consensus expectation that industrial production rose by 1.0% month-to-month in November is far too low; we expect Wednesday's data to show a jump of 2.0% or so. The rebound, however, should not be interpreted as another sign that the economy has been revitalised by the Brexit vote. Instead, we expect the rise chiefly to reflect volatility in oil production and heating energy supply.

12 Mar. 2015 Weak Euro to help manufacturers, but EM weakness is still a worry (Publication Centre)

Industrial production in the Eurozone was probably unchanged in January equivalent to a 0.2% fall year-over-year. This is slightly below the consensus for a 0.2% rise month-to-month, mainly due to the downside surprises in m/m data in Italy and Germany released previously.

19 Feb. 2016 Weak Manufacturing is a Serious Problem, for Manufacturers (Publication Centre)

Manufacturing does not consistently lead the rest of the economy. Neither does it consistently lag. On average, turning points in the rates of growth of manufacturing output and GDP are coincident, as our first chart clearly shows. But coincidence is not causality.

3 Mar. 2015 Weak Euro Boosts Orders for Manufacturers (Publication Centre)

Industrial companies in the Eurozone are still struggling with low growth, but the outlook is stabilising following the near-recession late last year. The Eurozone manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 51.0 in February, trivially lower than the initial estimate of 51.1.

2 December. 2016 Sterling's Depreciation Has Not Been a Boon for Manufacturers (Publication Centre)

The deterioration of the Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey in November should temper optimism about the potential benefits of sterling's depreciation. The PMI fell to 53.4 in November, from 54.2 in October.

4 April 2017 Sterling's Depreciation is a Mixed Blessing for Manufacturers (Publication Centre)

The latest Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey has dashed hopes that sterling's depreciation and the pickup in global trade will facilitate strong growth in U.K. production this year. The PMI dropped to 54.2 in March, from 54.6 in February.

14 Oct. 2015 Soaring Auto Sales Should Offset Yet Another Gas Price Hit (Publication Centre)

After last week's relatively light flow of data, today brings a wave of information on both the pace of economic growth and inflation. The markets' attention likely will fall first on the September retail sales numbers, which will be subject to at least three separate forces. First, the jump in auto sales reported by the manufacturers a couple of weeks ago ought to keep the headline sales numbers above water.

15 December 2016 EZ Manufacturing will Recover Quickly from its Poor Start to Q4 (Publication Centre)

Eurozone manufacturers had an underwhelming start to Q4. Data yesterday showed that production fell 0.1% month-to-month in October, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 0.6%, from a revised 1.3% in September. Output was constrained mostly by weakness in France and a big month-to-month fall in Ireland, which offset marginal gains in Germany and Spain.

13 Apr. 2016 Downside Risk as Autos Set to Pull Down March Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

The headline March retail sales numbers probably will look horrible, thanks to the unexpected drop in auto sales reported by the manufacturers earlier this month. Their unit sales data don't always move exactly in line with the dollar value numbers in the retail sales report, as our first chart shows, but it's hard to imagine anything other than a clear decline today.

1 Sept. 2015 Manufacturing Woes Changing as Oil Hit Eases but Dollar Gains Bite (Publication Centre)

The pressures on U.S. manufacturers are changing. For most of this year to date, the problem has been the collapse in capital spending in the oil business, which has depressed overall investment spending, manufacturing output and employment. Oil exploration is extremely capital-intensive, so the only way for companies in the sector to save themselves when the oil prices collapsed was to slash capex very quickly.

15 Sept. 2015 Subdued EZ Manufacturing is in Line with the Rest of the OECD (Publication Centre)

Industrial production data yesterday indicate manufacturers in the Eurozone enjoyed a decent start to Q3, thanks to strength in Germany, Italy and Spain, which offset weakness in France. Production ex-construction rose 0.6% month-to-month in July, boosted in part by a 3% jump in energy output. If production is unchanged in August and September, output will rise 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, but this estimate is uncertain, and we look for an increase of about 0.4%-to-0.5%.

11 June. 2015 Autos Will Lift May Retail Sales - Core a Mystery as Redbook Drops (Publication Centre)

We can be reasonably sure that the headline May retail sales number will look quite strong, thanks to the surge in auto sales reported by the manufacturers last week. Sales of cars and light trucks soared past industry analysts' expectations to a nine-year high, rising 7.5% from their April level.

26 August. 2015 U.S. ISM Will Follow China's PMI, But Not Yet - Services ISM Strong (Publication Centre)

The decline in China's unofficial PMI, which has dropped to a six-year low, signals increasing troubles ahead for U.S. manufacturers selling into China, and U.S. businesses operating in China. This does not mean, though, that the U.S. ISM will immediately fall as low as the Caixin/Markit China index appears to suggest in the next couple of months. Our first chart shows that in recent years the U.S. manufacturing ISM has tended hugely to outperform China's PMI from late spring to late fall, thanks to flawed seasonals.

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

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

16 Dec. 2015 Sizzling Growth in the Periphery Lifting EZ Car Registrations (Publication Centre)

Demand for new cars rebounded strongly last month, following the dip in October. Registrations in the EU27 rose 13.7% year-over-year in November, up from 2.9% in October, lifted mainly by buoyant growth in the periphery. New registrations surged 25.4% and 23.4% year-over-year in Spain and Italy respectively, while growth in the core was a more modest 10%. We also see few signs of the VW emissions scandal hitting the aggregate data. VW group sales have weakened, but were still up a respectable 4.1% year-over-year. This pushed the company's market share down marginally compared to last year. But sizzling growth rates for other manufacturers indicate that consumers are simply choosing different brands.

23 July. 2015 Slow, but Steady, Recovery in French Manufacturing This Year (Publication Centre)

The manufacturing industry in France is recovering slowly, but surely. The headline INSEE index rose to 102 in July from 101 in June, close to a post-crisis high, pointing to steady improvement for manufacturers. Our first chart shows the main leading components of the survey, indicating a modest, but positive, trend in output. The increase in sentiment in July was driven by firming new orders--especially in the export sector--pushing the new orders-to-inventory ratio to an 18-month high.

21 Oct. 2015 Colombia Resilient in the Face of External Headwinds (Publication Centre)

Colombia's industrial and retail sectors surprised to the upside in August, suggesting that the domestic economy has been resilient during most of the third quarter, despite the hit from an array of external headwinds. Industrial production increased by a solid 2.6% year-over-year in August, up from an upwardly revised 0.6% expansion in July, and above its recent trend. In the first half of the year, industrial activity fell on average by 1.1%, the worst performance since 2013, due mainly to the oil hit and ex tended works at Reficar, the country's second biggest oil refinery. But Colombia's manufacturers appear to have shrugged off part of the oil pain in recent months.

18 August. 2015 Can the Fed Hike if the Empire State Survey is Right? (Publication Centre)

Just how weak would the manufacturing sector have to be in order to persuade the Fed to hold fire this fall, assuming the labor market numbers continue to improve steadily? The question is germane in the wake of the startlingly terrible August Empire State manufacturing survey, which suggested that conditions for manufacturers in New York are deteriorating at the fastest rate since June 2009.

THE GUARDIAN - UK manufacturing expects hard winter ahead (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Manufacturing

REUTERS - UK manufacturing outlook darkens, retail sales slip (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs comments on U.K. Manufacturing

BBC - UK car sales fall 9.3% in July says motor trade body (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. New Car Registrations, July

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