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Tracking the consumer services sector has become more important since Covid-19, as it was flattened by the lockdown in Q2 and it might prove to be an incubator of new infections, if it becomes too busy.
Don't be alarmed by the second straight jump in consumers' inflation expectations, captured by the Conference Board's May survey, reported yesterday.
The speculation is over: 3.283 million people filed a new claim for unemployment benefits last week, nearly double the 1.7M consensus forecast, which looked much too low.
The official data lag developments in the real economy even at the best of times, but on this occasion the gap has turned into a chasm.
We expect to learn today that first quarter GDP fell at a 4.3% annualized rate, but the margin of error here is bigger than usual. Under normal circumstances we're disappointed if our quarterly GDP estimate is out by more than a few tenths, but this time around, the uncertainties are huge. Anywhere between -2% and -6% wouldn't be a big surprise.
The Fed's statement yesterday was unsurprising, acknowledging a "sharp" decline in economic activity and a significant tightening of financial conditions, which has "impaired the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses."
It's possible that first hints of better news ahead in the Covid surge in the South and West are beginning to emerge in the data.
Britain now looks set to flirt with deflation in the summer.
The closer we look at the data, the less concerned we are at the painfully slow decline in the number of new daily confirmed Covid-19 cases.
The number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, but we're expecting to see signs that the number of new cases is peaking within the next two to three weeks.
New BoE Governor Andrew Bailey will be reaching for his letter-writing pen soon, to explain to the Chancellor why CPI inflation is more than one percentage point below the 2% target.
Business surveys released this week suggest the economic recovery decelerated in early September.
The drop in the flash composite PMI in March will be one for the record books, unfortunately. We look for an unprecedented drop to 43.0, from 53.3 in February, which would undershoot the 45.0 consensus and signal clearly that a deep recession is underway.
Recent data in Colombia have confirmed that virus containment measures caused much bigger declines in activity in early Q2 than initially expected.
Some normality has returned in India, more than three weeks from the end of the nationwide lockdown and the start of "Unlock 1.0" on June 1.
Yesterday's March PMIs confirmed that governments' actions to contain the Covid-19 outbreak dealt a hammer blow to the economy at the end of Q1.
We doubt that the new Job Support Scheme, announced by the Chancellor yesterday, will hold back the tide of redundancies over the coming months.
The huge drop in the March Markit services PMI, reported yesterday, and the modest dip in the manufacturing index, are the first national business survey data to capture the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Even the record-breaking slump in Markit's composite PMI probably understates the hit to economic activity from Covid-19 and the emergency measures to slow its spread.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany suggest that EZ inflation is now rebounding slightly.
Retail sales in Japan rose modestly in May, after collapsing in March and April, as the government tried to put a lid on the country's Covid-19 outbreak.
The jump in oil prices over the past two trading days eventually will lift retail gasoline prices by about 35 cents per gallon, or 131⁄2%.
Friday's final June PMI data confirmed the survey's recovery through Q2. The composite index edged higher to 48.5, from 31.9 in May, extending its rebound from a low of just 13.6 in April.
Let's get straight to the point: It's very unlikely that July's payroll numbers will be as good as June's. Too many direct and indirect indicators of employment and broader economic activity are now moving in the wrong direction.
India's services PMI for June underscores the half-hearted nature of Unlock 1.0, with the daily number of new cases of Covid-19 still rocketing.
The next couple of months likely will see some activity data rebound to close to pre-Covid levels, fuelling hopes of a V-shaped recovery.
April's GDP report probably will be the worst any of us will see in our lifetime.
The single most surprising U.S. economic report ever published likely is explained very simply: We know a great deal about the numbers of people losing jobs, but not much about people finding jobs.
Last week's heavy snowfall, which blighted the entire country, will depress GDP growth in Q1, making it harder for the MPC to read the economy.
A range of indicators show that the pace of the economic recovery shifted up a gear in July, when all shops were open for the entire month, and most consumer services providers finally were permitted to reopen.
We're very comfortable with the idea that the coronavirus is a broad deflationary shock to the U.S. economy.
The only significant surprise in the terrible second quarter GDP numbers was the 2.7% increase in government spending, led by near-40% leap in the federal nondefense component.
We remain concerned that huge job losses are imminent, slowing the economic recovery after a mid-summer spurt.
Yesterday's first estimate of Q2 GDP in Mexico confirmed that the economy has been under severe stress in recent months.
A pair of closely-watched reports today will confirm that business and consumer confidence is tanking in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
We are revising down our forecasts for quarteron-quarter GDP growth in Q1 and Q2 to 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, from 0.4% in both quarters previously, to account for the likely impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The recent March economic activity reports for Chile have been terrible, showing the first signs of the Covid-19 shock, and worse is to come.
Recent hard data have confirmed the severe shock from Corona to the Chilean economy in Q2.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone probably firmed slightly in August. Data yesterday showed that inflation in Germany and Spain rose by 0.1 percentage points to 1.8% and 1.6% year-over-year respectively, and we are also pencilling-in an increase in French inflation today, ahead of the aggregate EZ report.
We are hearing a great deal about the threat of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, caused either by the reopening of the economy, or the arrival of cooler weather in the fall, or both.
The costs of the government's failure to lock down quickly in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, ultimately necessitating long-lasting restrictions, were visible in May's GDP figures.
Today brings a wave of data which will help analysts narrow their estimates for first quarter GDP growth, and will offer some clues, albeit limited, about the early part of the second quarter.
Korea's unemployment rate was unchanged in April, at 3.8%, beating even our below-consensus forecast for only a minor uptick, to 3.9%.
The trend in retail sales no longer looks quite so flat, following yesterday's May report. The level of sales volumes in April was revised up by 0.3%.
Korea's unemployment rate rose faster than expected in May, jumping to 4.5%, from 3.8% in April. We've been arguing for some time that the delayed impact of the economic growth slowdown from late- 2017 to early-2019 would eventually push the jobless rate to the mid-4% level this year; the sudden stop caused by Covid-19 merely sped up this process.
August's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, is harder to forecast than usual, given high uncertainty regarding the impact of the cut in VAT for the hospitality sector, as well as the consequences of the ONS' decision to resume collecting data from physical stores.
Our current base-case forecast for the second quarter is a 30% annualized drop in GDP, based on our assessment of the hit to discretionary spending by both businesses and consumers.
The gap between the official measure of the rate of growth of core retail sales and the Redbook chainstore sales numbers remains bafflingly huge, but we have no specific reason to expect it to narrow substantially with the release of the April report today.
The U.K. economy underperformed its peers to an extraordinary degree in Q2.
All major EZ governments are now in the process of lifting lockdowns, but investors should expect less a grand opening, more of a careful tip-toeing.
Yesterday's EZ data showed that French households came out swinging as the economy reopened. Consumers' spending, ex-services, jumped by 36.6% month-to-month in May, driving the year-over-year rate up to -8.3%, from -32.7% in April.
Today's March ADP employment report likely will catch the leading edge of the wave of job losses triggered by the coronavirus.
Yesterday's EZ producer price data showed that deflationary pressures in the manufacturing sector are fading. The headline PPI index fell 0.2% month- to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year up to -2.1%, from a revised -2.6% July.
Yesterday's national accounts showed that the downturn in the economy on the eve of the Covid-19 outbreak was sharper than first estimated.
The worst of the pandemic seems to be over in many countries in LatAm, allowing a gradual reopening of their economies.
The 0.1% dip in the core CPI in March was the first outright decline in three years, but we expect another-- and bigger--decline in today's April numbers.
The Q1 GDP figures, released on Wednesday, likely will show that the quarter-on-quarter decline in economic activity eclipsed the biggest decline in the 2008-to-09 recession--2.1% in Q4 2008--even though the U.K. went into lockdown towards the very end of the quarter.
Markets rightly placed little weight on October's below-consensus GDP report yesterday, and still think that the chances of the MPC cutting Bank Rate within the next six months are below 50%.
Today brings only the May existing home sales report, previewed below, so we have an opportunity to look over the latest near-real-time data on economic activity. The picture is mixed.
For all the excitement generated by yesterday's raft of appalling economic reports, the weekly jobless claims numbers still offer the best, and almost real-time, guide to the big picture.
Fed Chair Powell broke no new ground in his Senate Testimony alongside--virtually--Treasury Secretary Mnuchin yesterday, maintaining the cautious tone of his recent public statements.
The Fed's announcement, at 11.30pm Wednesday, that it will establish a Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility--MMLF--to support prime money market funds, is another step to limit the emerging credit crunch triggered by the virus.
Just over four weeks after Mike Pence's spectacularly badly-timed Wall Street Journal Op-ed, entitled "There Isn't a Coronavirus Second Wave", the U.S. recorded 465K new cases in the week ended Saturday, easily the worst week of the pandemic to date.
We expect the flash reading of Markit's composite PMI, released today, to print at 52.4 in February, below the consensus, 52.8, and January's final reading, 53.3, albeit still in line with last month's flash.
Retailers made hay while the sun shone in August, but clouds now are looming overhead. The 0.8% month-to-month rise in retail sales volumes took them 3.3% above last year's average.
We remain very bullish on the housing market, given sustained 11-year highs in applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase.
Complacency and wishful thinking seem to be creeping back into the government's approach to containing Covid-19.
The re-opening of businesses in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, starting this week and expanding next week, comes as the rate of increase of confirmed Covid-19 infections in these states remains much faster than in European countries where lockdowns have started to ease.
The surge in July core retail sales was flattered by the impact of the Amazon Prime Event, which helped drive a 2.8% leap in sales at nonstore retailers.
The jump in CPI inflation to 1.0% in July, from 0.6% in June, caught all analysts by surprise.
We're sticking to our call that the Eurozone PMIs have bottomed, though we concede that the picture so far is more one of stabilisation than an outright rebound.
The coronavirus outbreak and its associated movements in asset prices have radically changed the outlook for CPI inflation, which ultimately the MPC is tasked with targeting.
The most important retail sales report of the year, for December, won't be published today, unless some overnight miracle means that the government has re-opened.
The gradual reopening of the major EZ economies continues, a process which is now accompanied by the inevitable concern that the virus is regaining a foothold.
Here's something we didn't expect to write: The control measure of retail sales in May was slightly higher than in February.
Slower growth in households' spending was the main reason why the economy lost momentum last year.
CPI inflation fell to 0.2% in August, from 1.0% in July, but exceeded our forecast and the consensus, both zero.
Friday's second Q1 GDP estimate confirmed that lockdowns to halt the spread of Covid-19 hurt the EZ economy in Q1. Real GDP plunged by 3.8% quarter-on- quarter, following a 0.1% rise in Q4, in line with the first estimate.
The chainstore sales numbers have been hard to read over the past year.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the U.K. Services sector
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Price Increases
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