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17 October. 2016 Retail Sales are Noisy, but the Trend in Consumption Looks Solid (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the September retail sales report, we can be pretty sure that real consumers' spending rose at a 2¾% annualized rate in the third quarter, slowing from the unsustainable 4.3% jump. That would mean consumption contributed 1.9 percentage points to headline GDP growth.

14 Nov 2019 Healthcare Inflation is Gathering Steam How Far will it Rise (Publication Centre)

It's hard to know what to make of the October CPI data, which recorded hefty increases in healthcare costs and used car prices but a huge drop in hotel room rates, and big decline in apparel prices, and inexplicable weakness in rents.

18 November. 2016 Yellen Still Thinks Inflation Will Hit the Target in Two Years. Hmm. (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen's Testimony yesterday pretended the election hadn't happened, and ignored the incoming administration's plans for a huge fiscal stimulus. She did address the issue under questioning, though, pointing out that fiscal stimulus could have inflationary consequences and that the Fed will have to factor-in to its decisions whatever Congress decides to do to taxes and spending.

23 Nov. 2015 How to Scare Yourself Over the U.S. Inflation Outlook (Publication Centre)

Should you be feeling in the mood to panic over inflation risks--or more positively, benefit from the markets' underpricing of inflation risks--consider the following scenario. First, assume that the uptick in wages reported in October really does mark the start of the long-awaited sustained acceleration promised by a 5% unemployment rate and employers' difficulty in finding people to hire. Second, assume that the rental property market remains extremely tight. Third, assume that the abrupt upturn in medical costs in the October CPI is a harbinger o f things to come. And finally, assume that the Fed hawks are right in their view that the initial increase in interest rates will--to quote the September FOMC minutes--"...spur, rather than restrain economic activity". Under these conditions, what happens to inflation?

26 May. 2015 Is Core Inflation Really Rising, or are the Recent Gains Just Noise? (Publication Centre)

After four straight above-trend increases in the core CPI, you could be forgiven for thinking that something is afoot. It's still too soon, though to rush to judgment. The data show three previous streaks of 0.2%-or-bigger over four-month periods since the crash of 2008, and none of them were sustained.

14 Aug 2019 Trump Blinks Again, but Some Consumer Goods will be Tariffed (Publication Centre)

President Trump blinked again yesterday, delaying tariffs on some $150B-worth of Chinese consumer goods until December 15.

13 Nov 2019 Used Car Prices Pose an Upside Threat to the October Core CPI (Publication Centre)

The consensus forecast for the October core CPI, which will be reported today, is 0.2%. Take the over. Nothing is certain in these data, but the risk of a 0.3% print is much higher than the chance of 0.1%.

11 Oct 2019 Core Inflation is Still Rising, Despite September's Soft Data (Publication Centre)

The undershoot in the September core CPI does not change our view that the trend in core inflation is rising, and is likely to surprise substantially to the upside over the next six-to-12 months.

11 April 2019 Don't be Misled by Falling Apparel Prices Services Inflation Risks Rising (Publication Centre)

A plunge in apparel prices attracted most of the attention after the release of the March CPI report, but it was not, in our view, the most important number.

13 February 2019 Few Near-Term Upside Risks to Core Inflation Medium-Term Threat Rising (Publication Centre)

The odds favor--just--an end to the three-month streak of solid 0.2% increases in the core CPI with the release of today's January report.

13 March 2019 Durable Goods Orders are Noisy, but the Near-term Outlook is Grim (Publication Centre)

Our default position for core durable goods orders over the next few months is that they will fall, sharply.

13 May 2019 Inflation in Rents and Other Services is Rising, Further Gains Ahead (Publication Centre)

The core CPI inflation rate rose in April to 2.1% from 2.0%, thanks to unfavorable rounding, despite the below consensus 0.14% month-to-month print.

10 Oct 2019 A Fourth Straight 0.3% Core CPI is Unlikely, but Far From Impossible (Publication Centre)

After three straight 0.3% increases in the core CPI, we are in agreement with the consensus view that September's report, due today, will revert to the 0.2% trend.

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