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17 August. 2016 Oil Sector Capex is Rebounding, and Will Add to Q3 GDP Growth (Publication Centre)

The most important number released yesterday was hidden well behind the headline inflation, production and housing construction data. We have been waiting to see how quickly the upturn in the number of rigs in operation would translate into rising oil and gas well-drilling, and now we know: In July, well-drilling jumped by 4.7%

20 July. 2016 How Fast Will Oil Capex Rebound in the Wake of Higher Oil Prices? (Publication Centre)

We have been arguing for some time that the drag on growth from falling capital spending in the oil sector would fade to nothing in the third quarter, and would then likely be followed by a small increase in the fourth quarter. But we seem to have been too cautious. It now seems much more likely that oil capex will rebound strongly as soon as the third quarter, following the clear upturn in the rig count data produced by Baker Hughes, Inc.

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.

15 March 2017 Mexican Manufacturing will do Fine in Q1, Despite Threats (Publication Centre)

The collapse in capital spending in the oil sector and poor construction spending have constrained aggregate Mexican industrial output in recent months, despite the strength of the manufacturing sector. Total production fell 0.1% year-over-year in January, though note this was a clear improvement after the 0.6% drop in December, and better than the average 0.4% contraction over the second half of 2016.

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

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

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

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

10 January 2017 The Core Inventory Cycle is Turning, but Q4 Data Likely Won't Show it (Publication Centre)

For some time now we have argued that collapse in capital spending in the oil sector was the source of most of the softening of activity in the manufacturing and wholesaling sectors last year.

27 Mar. 2015 No Hit from Oil Sector's Troubles Yet - Gains Elsewhere Offsetting? (Publication Centre)

We argued in the Monitor yesterday that the plunge in capital spending on equipment in the oil sector could cost about 300K jobs over the course of this year. Adding in the potential hit from falling spending on structures, which likely will occur over a longer period, given the lead times in the construction process, the payroll hit this year could easily be 500K, or just over 40K per month.

11 May. 2016 Outside the Oil Sector, the NFIB Survey Points to Decent Capex (Publication Centre)

We're pretty sure our forecast of a levelling-off in capital spending in the oil sector will prove correct. Unless you think the U.S. oil business is going to disappear, capex has fallen so far already that it must now be approaching the incompressible minimum required for replacement parts and equipment needed to keep production going.

21 July 2017 Venezuela's Economic and Political Crisis Deteriorates, Risks is Soaring (Publication Centre)

The risk of political change in Venezuela is coming to a boil, following President Maduro's plans for a new constituent assembly that has the power to rewrite the constitution and scrap the existing National Assembly.

20 Apr. 2016 Capex Growth Will Mean-Revert As the Drop in Oil Spending Ends (Publication Centre)

As we're writing, the price of U.S. crude oil is only about 50 cents per barrel lower than on Thursday, when markets began to anticipate an OPEC deal to cut production over the weekend. The failure of the Doha talks generated an initial sharp drop in oil prices, but the damage now is very limited, as our first chart shows.

22 May 2018 Maduro Wins Bogus Presidential Election, what will Happen Next? (Publication Centre)

President Nicolás Maduro has "won' another six-year term, as expected, even as millions of Venezuelans boycotted the election.

16 November 2018 The Boost to Retail Sales from Tax Cuts is Fading, as Holidays Approach (Publication Centre)

The headline retail sales numbers for October looked good, but the details were less comforting.

23 October 2018 Business Surveys have Flattened Richmond Fed due to Correct (Publication Centre)

All the regional PMIs and Fed business surveys are volatile in the short-term, so observations for single months need to be viewed with due skepticism.

19 May 2017 Expect a Hike on June 14 Unless Financial Conditions Tighten, a Lot (Publication Centre)

The probability of a rate hike on June 14, as implied by the fed funds future, has dropped to 90%, from a peak of 99% on May 5.

23 February 2017 Fiscal Easing Could Boost Growth Substantially, but not for Long (Publication Centre)

The White House budget proposals, which Roll Call says will be released in limited form on March 14, will include forecasts of sustained real GDP growth in a 3-to-3.5% range, according to an array of recent press reports.

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.

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

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

17 March 2017 February's Manufacturing Data Flattered by Warm Weather? (Publication Centre)

The latest survey evidence strongly supports our view that momentum is building in the industrial economy, but the official production data continue to lag. Yesterday's March Philly Fed survey was remarkably strong, with the correction in the headline sentiment index -- inevitable, after February's 33-year high -- masking increases in all the subindexes.

9 September. 2016 Political Turbulence in Mexico Won't Derail Fiscal Consolidation (Publication Centre)

Political developments are clouding the horizon in Mexico, at least temporarily. Mexico's Finance Minister Luis Videgaray, the mastermind behind President Enrique Peña Nieto's most important economic reforms, resigned on Wednesday. José Antonio Meade, a former finance chief, has been tapped to replace him.

24 January 2018 Brazil's Inflation is Still Falling, Assisting BCB Policymakers (Publication Centre)

Brazilian inflation rate remained well under control at the start of this year, and we think the news will continue to be favorable for most of this year.

19 August. 2016 Dear Fed, Please Don't Increase the Inflation Target. Thanks. (Publication Centre)

Everyone heard San Francisco Fed president Williams's suggestion Monday that central banks could raise their inflation targets in response to the sustained slow growth and lower-than-expected inflation of recent years. It's not clear, though, that markets grasped the scale of the increase he thinks might be appropriate.

17 August 2017 The Manufacturing Recovery Continues, but no Boom in Sight (Publication Centre)

The elevated readings from the ISM manufacturing survey this year have not been followed by rapid growth in output. The headline ISM averaged 55.8 in the second quarter, a solid if unspectacular reading. But output rose by only 1.2% year-over-year, and by 1.4% on a quarterly annualized basis.

25 Feb. 2016 Huge Upside Risk for Durable Orders as Aircraft Sales Rebound (Publication Centre)

Today's headline durable goods orders number for January is likely to blast through the consensus forecast, +2.7%. We expect a 6.5% jump, comfortably reversing December's 5.0% drop.

31 August. 2016 ADP Likely to Report Strong August Payrolls, But it's Unreliable (Publication Centre)

We are expecting a hefty increase in the August ADP employment number today--our forecast is 225K, above the 175K consensus --but we do not anticipate a similar official payroll number on Friday. Remember, the ADP number is based on a model which incorporates lagged official employment data, the Philly Fed's ADS Business Conditions Index, and data from firms which use ADP for payroll processing.

29 November 2017 The Profit Share in GDP is set to Fall Sharply as Wage Growth Picks up (Publication Centre)

It doesn'tt matter if third quarter GDP growth is revised up a couple of tenths in today's third estimate of the data, in line with the consensus forecast.

31 May 2017 A Consumer Rebound is Underway, but Watch out for Healthcare Costs (Publication Centre)

In the wake of April's 0.2% increase in real consumers' spending, and the upward revisions to the first quarter numbers, we now think that second quarter spending is on course to rise at an annualized rate of about 3.5%.

4 July 2017 BanRep Speeds up Rate Cuts, Expect Further Stimulus this Month (Publication Centre)

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.

5 September 2017 BanRep's Hawks want Proof the Coming In ation Jump is Noise (Publication Centre)

Colombia's Central Bank is about to face a short-term dilemma. The recent fall in inflation will be interrupted while economic growth, particularly private spending, will struggle to build momentum over the second half.

28 September 2018 Mixed Signals on Industry Peak or Plateau (Publication Centre)

It seems reasonable to think that manufacturing should be doing better in the U.S. than other major economies.

27 September 2018 Fed Confirms December Rate Hike (Publication Centre)

The Fed is on course to hike again in December, with 12 of the 16 FOMC forecasters expecting rates to end the year 25bp higher than the current 2-to-21⁄4%; back in June, just eight expected four or more hikes for the year.

26 April 2018 March Trade and Durable Orders Data to Boost Q1 GDP Forecasts? (Publication Centre)

The key data today, covering March durable goods orders and international trade in goods, should both beat consensus forecasts.

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.

16 May 2018 Better Fundamentals and Fading Political Risk to Support Colombia (Publication Centre)

Colombia's Q1 GDP report confirms that the economy is improving. Leading indicators and survey data suggest that the recovery will continue over the second half of the year.

26 March 2018 Smoot and Hawley are Still Dead, Trump is not Resurrecting them... Yet (Publication Centre)

Everyone needs to take a deep breath: This is not 1930, and Smoot-Hawley all over again.

27 November 2017 Economic Growth Set to Rise Next Year, but Pain Will Follow in 2019 (Publication Centre)

We have argued for some time that the revival in nonoil capex represents clear upside risk for GDP growth next year, but it's now time to make this our base case.

25 August 2017 Yellen to Talk on Financial Stability, But Might Refer to Policy too (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen speaks at Jackson Hole today, at 10:00 Eastern. Her topic is billed as "financial stability", but that does not necessarily preclude remarks on the outlook for the economy and policy.

14 Mar. 2016 Three Big Questions are the Key to the Fed's Actions this Year (Publication Centre)

A huge wave of data will break over markets this week, along with the FOMC meeting, new dot plots and Chair Yellen's press conference. But today is calm, with no significant data releases and no Fed speeches; policymakers are in purdah ahead of the meeting.

1 September 2017 Expect Strong August Payrolls, but Calendar Distortions will hit Wages (Publication Centre)

Leading indicators all point to a solid August payroll number. Survey-based measures of the pace of hiring signal a 200K-plus increase, and jobless claims--a proxy for the pace of gross layoffs--are at a record low as a share of the workforce.

12 April 2017 Mexico's Industrial Sector Resilient in Q1, Despite External Threats (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's industrial production report in Mexico added weight to the idea that the sector improved marginally in the first quarter, despite many external threats. Industrial output rose 0.1% month-to-month in February, following a similar gain in January. The calendar-adjusted year-over-year rate rose to -0.1%, after a modest 0.3% contraction in January.

1 November. 2016 The Recovery in Mexico is Solid, Hampered By Weak Mining (Publication Centre)

Mexico's economy grew 1.0% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, the fastest pace since 2014, following a 0.2% contraction in Q2, according to the preliminary report published yesterday.

1 November 2016 Will Core PCE Inflation hit 2% This Year? (Publication Centre)

In the absence of an unexpected surge in auto sales or a sudden burst of unseasonably cold weather, lifting spending on utilities, fourth quarter consumption is going to struggle to rise much more quickly than the 2.1% annualized third quarter increase.

1 December 2017 The ISM Manufacturing Index is set to Drop, but the Trend Remains Firm (Publication Centre)

All the regional PMI and Fed business surveys we follow suggest that today's national ISM manufacturing report for November will be weaker than in October

12 July 2017 Yellen Will Re-affirm Fed Policy. Expect no Revelations, or Dates (Publication Centre)

Chair Yellen has become quite good at not giving much away at her semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony.

12 September 2018 The MXN Remains Resilient, but Can it Withstand Broad EM Pressure (Publication Centre)

Mexico has been one of LatAm's highlights in terms of financial markets and currency performance in recent months.

15 September 2016 A Critical 12 Months Ahead for the EU (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's State of the Union address by EC president Jean-Claude Juncker commanded more attention than usual, but contained little news on the key talking points for investors.

15 August 2017 Weak Q2 for Mexico's Industrial Activity, but What Happens in Q3? (Publication Centre)

Last week's industrial report confirmed that the Mexican economy softened at the end of the second quarter. Industrial production was unchanged year- over-year in June, calendar-and seasonally adjusted, down marginally from +0.1% in May.

14 March 2017 Small Firms are Happy, but When Will Their Capex Plans Pick up? (Publication Centre)

Small businesses remain extremely positive about the economy, but some of the post-election gloss appears to be wearing off. To be clear, the headline composite index of small business sentiment and activity in February, due this morning, will be much higher than immediately before the election, but a modest correction seems likely after January's 12- year high.

14 December 2018 Look Behind the Headlines for the Real Retail and Industrial Stories (Publication Centre)

We argued earlier this week that the data on the consumer economy are likely to be rather stronger than the industrial numbers.

16 May 2017 Manufacturing is Recovering, Despite the Hard and Soft Data Gap (Publication Centre)

The over-hyped mystery of the gap between the hard and soft data in the industrial economy has largely resolved itself in recent months.

26 Mar. 2015 How Far Will Capital Goods Orders Fall as the Oil Sector Shrinks? (Publication Centre)

The rollover in core capital goods orders in recent months has been startling. In the three months to February, compared to the previous three months, orders for non-defense capital goods fell at a 7.6% annualized rate.

27 Jan. 2015 Falling Oil Sector Capex a Wild Card for Durable Goods Orders (Publication Centre)

We would like to be able to argue with confidence that today's December durable goods orders report will show core capital goods orders rebounding after three straight declines, totalling 3.4%.

20 Apr. 2015 The Weather was the Big Story in Q1, and the Hit Will Reverse (Publication Centre)

If our inbox is any guide, a significant proportion of investors remain far from convinced that the slowdown in the economy in the first quarter is largely the consequence of the severe weather, with an additional temporary hit to capex from the rollover in the oil sector.

17 Feb. 2016 Behind Utility-Hit Headlines, the Industrial Sector is Growing, Jus (Publication Centre)

If the collapse in oil sector capex and the strong dollar were going to push the industrial economy into recession, it probably would have started by now

15 Apr. 2015 Plunging utility output and oil well-drilling to depress March IP (Publication Centre)

The combination of weather effects and the meltdown in the oil sector make it very hard to spot the underlying trend in manufacturing activity. The sudden collapse in oil-related capital spending likely is holding down production of equipment, but the data don't provide sufficient detail to identify the hit with any precision.

02 Feb. 2016 Is the Recovery in Business Investment About to Fizzle Out? (Publication Centre)

Business investment has been resilient to the slowdown in the wider economy so far, with year-over-year growth in the first three quarters of 2015 averaging a very respectable 6.2%. Outside the oil sector, firms are generating healthy profits and can borrow cheaply.

13 Jan. 2016 Mexico's Industrial Sector Still Slowing - Services to the Rescue? (Publication Centre)

November production data in Mexico, released Monday, showed that the industrial economy remained quite soft in the last part of last year. The collapse in capital spending in the oil sector, slowing public spending, and weaker growth in EM and the U.S. manufacturing sector have combined to hit Mexican industrial output quite hard. Total production rose just 0.1% year-over-year in November, down from an already weak 0.5% in October, and below the 1.3% average increase in Q3. Output fell 0.5% month-to-month, the biggest drop since May, reflecting broad-based weakness.

21 August. 2015 Mexico's Domestic Recovery Remains - But Oil Woes Continue (Publication Centre)

The Mexican economy had a decent start to the year thanks to resilient domestic demand, but hampered by the rollover in capital spending in the oil sector and the slowdown in manufacturing activity. Economic activity expanded 2.2% year-over-year in the second quarter, down from 2.6% in the first quarter, but the underlying trend remains reasonably solid.

27 Oct. 2015 Capital Goods Orders are Stabilizing, at Least - Oil Hit Fading (Publication Centre)

The durable goods numbers were among the first short-term indicators to warn clearly of the hit to manufacturing from the rollover in oil sector capex, which began last fall. The trend in core capital goods orders was rising strongly before oil firms began to cut back, with the year-over-year rate peaking at 11.9% in September. Leading capex indicators in the small business sector remained quite robust, but just nine months later, core capex orders were down 6.4% year-over-year, following annualized declines of more than 14% in both the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of this year.

9 December. 2016 The Oil Hit Spread Widely Across the Economy - Now, it's Over (Publication Centre)

A core element of our relatively upbeat macro view before the implementation of fiscal stimulus under the new administration is that the ending of the drag from falling capex in the oil sector will have quite wide, positive implications for growth. The recovery in direct oil sector spending is clear enough; it will just track the rising rig count, as usual.

9 June. 2016 The Inventory Rundown isn't Over, but the Intensity Will Soon Diminish (Publication Centre)

The collapse in capital spending in the oil sector last year was the biggest single drag on the manufacturing sector, by far. The strong dollar hurt too, as did the slowdown in growth in China, but most companies don't export anything. Capex has fallen in proportion to the drop in oil prices, so our first chart strongly suggests that the bottom of the cycle is now very near.

30 Oct. 2015 Can the Recovery in Business Investment Maintain Its Pace? (Publication Centre)

Business investment has punched above its weight in the economic recovery from the crash of 2008; annual real growth in capex has averaged 5% over the last five years, greatly exceeding GDP growth of 2%. This recovery is unlikely to grind to a halt soon, since profit margins are still high and borrowing costs will remain low. But corporate balance sheets are not quite as robust as they seem, while capex in the investment-intensive oil sector still has a lot further to fall.

30 Nov. 2015 Capex to Rebound--Modestly--as the Oil Hit Is Overtaken (Publication Centre)

Capex data by industry are available only on an annual basis, with a very long lag, so we can't directly observe the impact the collapse in the oil sector has had on total equipment spending. But we can make the simple observation that orders for non-defense capital goods were rising strongly and quite steadily-- allowing for the considerable noise in the data--from mid-2013 through mid-2014, before crashing by 9% between their September peak and the February low. It cannot be a coincidence that this followed a 55% plunge in oil prices.

29 Apr. 2015 Growth in the first quarter, but not much? (Publication Centre)

The first estimate of Q1 growth will show that the economy struggled in the face of the severe winter and, to a lesser extent, the rollover in capital spending in the oil sector. But the weather hit appears to have been much smaller than last year, when the economy shrank at a 2.1% rate in the first quarter; this time, we think the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.1%.

25 Jan. 2016 Oil Capex Crash Nearly Over - What Happens Next to Consumers? (Publication Centre)

If we had known back in June 2014 that oil prices would drop to about $30, the collapse in capital spending in the oil sector would not have been a surprise. Spending on well-drilling, which accounts for about three quarters of oil capex, has dropped in line with the fall in prices, after a short lag, as our first chart shows. We think spending on equipment has tracked the fall in oil prices, too.

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