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24 May. 2016 The Weaker Dollar Will Lift Nominal Retail Sales Growth (Publication Centre)

The recent run of grim sales and earnings numbers from major national retailers, including Kohl's, Nordstrom, and Macy's, reflects two major trends. The first is obvious; the rising market share of internet sales is squeezing brick and mortar retailers, as our first chart shows. We have no idea how far this trend has yet to run but it shows no signs yet of peaking.

17 February 2017 Retail Sales Likely got off to a Soft Start This Year (Publication Centre)

Today's official retail sales figures look set to show that consumers tightened their purse strings at the start of this year, following last year's spending spree. We think that retail sales volumes rose by just 1.0% month-to-month in January; that would be a poor result after December's 1.9% plunge. Surveys of retailers have been weak across the board. The reported sales balance of the CBI's Distributive Trade Survey collapsed to -8 in January, from +35 in December. The balance is notoriously volatile, but the 43-point drop is the largest since the survey began in 1983.

16 January 2017 Inflation Will Soon Be Marching Upwards in Double Time (Publication Centre)

December's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, likely will reveal that CPI inflation rose to 1.4%--its highest rate since August 2014--from 1.2% in November. Inflation will take even bigger upward steps over the coming months as the anniversary of sharp falls in commodity prices is reached and retailers pass on hefty increases in import prices to consumers.

9 May 2017 Chainstore Sales Rebound Points to Robust Q2 Consumption (Publication Centre)

If the Redbook chain store sales survey moved consistently in line with the official core retail sales numbers, it would attract a good deal more attention in the markets. We appreciate that brick-and-mortar retailers are losing market share to online sellers, but the rate at which sales are moving to the web is quite steady and easy to accommodate when comparing the Redbook with the official data.

20 May. Retailers Can't Slash Prices to Boost Demand for Much Longer (Publication Centre)

April's consensus-beating retail sales figures fostered an impression that the recovery in consumer spending is in fine fettle, even though the rest of the economy is suffering from Brexit blues. Retailers have stimulated demand, however, by slashing prices at an unsustainable rate. With import prices and labour costs now rising, retailers are set to increase prices, sapping the momentum in sales volumes.

21 December 2016 Home Sales Likely Fell in November, Before the Hit from Higher Rates (Publication Centre)

After two big monthly gains in existing home sales, culminating in October's nine-year high of 5.60M, we expect a dip in sales in today's November report. This wouldn't be such a big deal -- data correct after big movements all the time -- were it not for the downward trend in mortgage applications.

21 August 2017 The Peak in CPI Inflation Still Hasn't Been Reached Yet (Publication Centre)

After soaring in the Spring, inflation has slipped back in the Summer. July's consumer prices report, released while we were away last week, showed that CPI inflation held steady at 2.6% in July, one -tenth below the consensus and three tenths below May's year-to-date peak.

20 September 2017 August Retail Sales to Confirm Consumption Still Weak in Q3 (Publication Centre)

August's retail sales figures, released today, look set to show that growth in consumers' spending has remained subpar in Q3, casting doubt over whether the MPC will conclude that the economy can cope with a rate hike this year.

21 September 2017 August's Jump in Retail Sales Just Looks Like a Flash in the Pan (Publication Centre)

Retail sales increased by 1.0% month-to-month in August, exceeding our no-change forecast and spurring markets to price-in a 65% chance that the MPC will raise interest rates at its next meeting on November 2, up from 60% beforehand.

22 Jan. 2016 Consensus Looks too Sanguine on December Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

The consensus forecast of a mere 0.3% month-to-month decline in retail sales volumes in December, following the 1.7% surge in November, looks far too timid. We anticipate a much bigger decline, about 1%, bringing volumes back in line with their underlying trend. We can't rule out a bigger fall.

23 August. 2016 The Inventory Cycle is About to Turn, Worsening the Downturn (Publication Centre)

Whether the economy enters recession will hinge more on corporate behaviour than on consumers. Household spending accounts for about two thirds of GDP, but it is a relatively stable component of demand. By contrast, business investment and inventories--which are often overlooked--are prone to wild swings.

22 January 2018 The Government Shutdown is Theater, but Could Become a Threat (Publication Centre)

As we reach our Sunday afternoon deadline, no deal has been reached to re-open the federal government.

20 October 2017 September's Retail Sales Slump Highlights Consumers' Caution (Publication Centre)

Retail sales fell sharply in September, highlighting that consumers still are spending only cautiously amid high economic uncertainty and falling real wages.

22 February 2018 Jobless Claims Still Under Downward Pressure, Labor is Scarce (Publication Centre)

We have learned over the years not to become too excited in the face of swings in the jobless claims numbers, even when the movement appears to persist for a month or two.

2 August 2017 An Advance Preview of July's Consumer Price Figures (Publication Centre)

July's consumer price figures--published on August 15th, while we are on vacation--look set to show that June's drop in CPI inflation was just a blip. We think that CPI inflation ticked up to 2.7% in July, from 2.6% in June, on track to slightly exceed 3% toward the end of this year.

18 December 2017 Why We're Below the Consensus on CPI Inflation Next Year (Publication Centre)

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%.

17 November 2017 Respite for Consumers from Price Rises will be Short-Lived (Publication Centre)

October's retail sales figures confirm that consumers have adopted a more cautious mindset since the summer, when retail sales increased at a faster rate than incomes.

17 May 2017 CPI Inflation Still has Further to Climb this Year (Publication Centre)

The jump in CPI inflation to 2.7% in April, from 2.3% in March, was only partly to a temporary boost from the later timing of Easter this year. Indeed, inflation likely will rise further over the coming months as food, energy and core goods prices all continue to pick up in response to last year's depreciation of sterling.

18 October 2017 Weak Underlying Price Pressures Give the MPC Scope to Wait (Publication Centre)

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.

19 March 2018 CPI Inflation will Start to Undershoot the MPC's Forecast from February (Publication Centre)

February's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, likely will show that CPI inflation fell to 2.8%--one tenth below the MPC's forecast--from 3.0% in January.

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.

23 July. 2015 Mortgage Demand Signals Rising Third Quarter Home Sales (Publication Centre)

If the recovery in existing homes hadn't been interrupted by the taper tantrum, in the spring of 2013, sales by now would likely be running at an annualized rate in excess of 6M. The rising trend in sales from late 2010 through early 2013 was strong and stable, as our first chart shows, but the decline was steep after the Fed signalled it would soon slow the pace of QE, and it was made temporarily worse by the severe late fall and early winter weather.

20 April 2018 Weak Retail Sales in Q1 Can't be Attributed Solely to Bad Weather (Publication Centre)

The 1.2% month-to-month fall in retail sales volumes in March undoubtedly was due mostly to the bad weather.

25 January 2017 Will a Border Adjustment Tax Drive Up Inflation? (Publication Centre)

We've seen some alarming estimates of the potential impact on inflation of the House Republicans' plans for corporate tax reform, with some forecasts suggesting the CPI would be pushed up as much as 5%. We think the impact will be much smaller, more like 1-to-11⁄2% at most, and it could be much less, depending on what happens to the dollar. But the timing would be terrible, given the Fed's fears over the inflation risk posed by the tightness of the labor market.

6 December 2017 Don't Take Seriously Surveys Pointing to Faster Q4 GDP Growth (Publication Centre)

November's Markit/CIPS surveys for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors suggest that GDP growth is on track to strengthen a touch in Q4.

4 May 2017 How to Interpret the Results from Today's Local Elections (Publication Centre)

Today's local elections are more important than usual, because they will enable investors to assess if the Conservatives really are on track for a landslide victory in the general election, as suggested by the opinion polls and priced-in by the forex market.

31 July 2017 The Inflation Report Likely Won't Boost 2017 Rate Hike Odds (Publication Centre)

The pullback in CPI inflation in June and continued slow GDP growth in Q2 mean that the MPC almost certainly will keep Bank Rate at 0.25% on Thursday.

6 June 2018. We Have High Hopes for the Eurozone Consumer in Q2 (Publication Centre)

Eurozone consumers had a slow start to the second quarter. Retail sales increased a modest 0.1% month- to-month in April, but the March headline was revised up by 0.3 percentage points, and the year-over-year rate increased by 0.2pp to 1.7% due to base effects.

6 March 2018 Inventories Rebounding in Q1 (Publication Centre)

The wide spread in first quarter GDP growth "trackers"--which at this point are more model and assumption than actual data--is indicative of the uncertainty surrounding the international trade and inventory components.

9 April 2018 Q1 GDP Shaping up to be Weak, Leaving a May Rate Rise in Doubt (Publication Centre)

Most investors remain convinced that the MPC will raise Bank Rate when it meets next, on May 10.

7 February 2018 The Economic Fallout from the Plunge in Equities will be Modest (Publication Centre)

As things stand, we see little reason to revise down our forecasts for the U.K. economy in response to the tailspin in equity markets

6 November 2017 Could a Q4 Data Bounce the MPC into Another Rate Hike? (Publication Centre)

The MPC's penchant for providing interest rate guidance reached new heights last week.

28 September 2016 No Scope For Complacency on Inflation as Import Prices Rise (Publication Centre)

Our forecast that CPI inflation will shoot up to about 3% in the second half of 2017, from 0.6% last month, assumes that pass-through from the exchange rate to consumer goods prices will be as swift and complete as in the past. Our first chart shows that this relationship has held firm recently, with core goods prices falling at the rate implied by sterling's appreciation in 2014 and 2015.

28 November 2017 Consumers' Spending Ought to be Strong this Holiday Season (Publication Centre)

Media reports suggest that the underlying trends in retailing--rising online sales, declining store sales and mall visits--continued unabated over the Thanksgiving weekend.

17 June. Price Rises Will Soon Call Time on the Retail Sales Splurge (Publication Centre)

Sharp increases in retail sales over the last two months suggest that consumers are not overly concerned by the risk that the U.K. could leave the E.U. next week. Sales volumes rose 0.9% month-on-month in May, and April's surge was revised larger, to 1.9% from 1.3%.

24 Mar. 2016 Mexico's Domestic Sector Still Resilient - a Good Start to the Year (Publication Centre)

Mexico's CPI rose just 0.1% in the first half of March, due to higher core prices. The increase was broadbased within this component, with goods prices increasing by 0.2% and core services 0.4%. Core services prices were driven by temporary factors, including vacation packages and higher airfare tickets. Non-core prices, meanwhile, fell 0.5%, due mainly to falling fresh food prices.

24 August. 2016 Chainstore Sales Still Pitifully Weak, Despite the Dip in the Dollar (Publication Centre)

We are a bit troubled by the persistent weakness of the Redbook chain store sales numbers. We aren't ready to sound an alarm, but we are puzzled at the recent declines in the rate of growth of same-store sales to new post-crash lows. On the face of it, the recent performance of the Redbook, shown in our first chart, is terrible. Sales rose only 0.5% in the year to July, during which time we estimate nominal personal incomes rose nearly 3%.

25 Nov. 2015 Q3 Inventory Revisions Limit the Potential for Q4 Growth Rebound (Publication Centre)

The hefty upward revision to Q3 inventories means we have to lower our working assumption for fourth quarter GDP growth, because the year-end inventory rebound we previously expected is now much less likely to happen. Remember, the GDP contribution from inventories is equal to the change in the pace of inventory accumulation between quarters, and we're struggling to see a faster rate of accumulation in Q4 after the hefty revised $90B third quarter gain. Inventory holdings are in line with the trend in place since the recession of 2001; firms don't need to build inventory now at a faster pace.

27 June 2017 Mexican Economic Growth Will be Sustained over the Second Half (Publication Centre)

Economic activity in Mexico during the past few months has been relatively resilient, as external and domestic threats appear to have diminished.

28 June 2017 Inflation Forecast Revisions in August won't Force the MPC's Hand (Publication Centre)

The minutes of the MPC's meeting in June indicated that several members' patience for tolerating for above-target inflation is wearing thin.

27 March 2018 A Good Start to Q1 for Mexico and Colombia, Fears are Easing (Publication Centre)

Recent upbeat economic reports have mitigated the downside risks we had been flagging to our growth forecast for Mexico for the current quarter.

23 March 2017 February Retail Sales Likely to Confirm Consumer Slowdown (Publication Centre)

Under normal circumstances, we would expect today's retail sales figures to reveal that volumes rebounded in February, following the 2.7% fall over the previous three months. But the continued weakness of spending surveys suggests that we should brace for another soft report.

16 November. 2016 Statistical Quirks Will Flatter September's Jobs Report (Publication Centre)

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.

12 December 2017 Core PPI Inflation Is Rising Rapidly. Even as Core CPI PCE Slow (Publication Centre)

The sudden downshift in core inflation at the consumer level since March, clearly visible in the CPI and the PCE, and shown in our first chart, has been accompanied by a steady increase in core producer price inflation.

12 April 2017 Inflation Pressures Remain more Intense than the MPC Expected (Publication Centre)

CPI inflation held steady at 2.3% in March, as we and the consensus had expected. Nonetheless, the consumer price figures boosted sterling and bond yields, as the details of the report made it clear that inflation is on a very steep upward path.

12 December 2017 CPI Inflation Likely Peaked in November, but Will Soon Fall Swiftly (Publication Centre)

Today's consumer prices figures likely will show that CPI inflation increased to 3.1% in November, from 3.0% in October.

12 February 2018 Stable CPI Inflation in January Won't Set the Tone for 2018 (Publication Centre)

January's consumer price figures, due on Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation held steady at December's 3.0% rate.

12 September 2017 CPI Inflation Likely Leapt in August and is Still Set to Peak at 3% Soon (Publication Centre)

The upward trend in CPI inflation likely reasserted itself in August, following a hiatus in the last two months due to the decline in oil prices.

17 July 2017 CPI Inflation Likely Held Steady in June, but will Exceed 3% Soon (Publication Centre)

Economists are divided evenly on whether Tuesday's consumer price figures will show that CPI inflation held steady at 2.9% or edged down to 2.8% in June.

11 September 2017 Will the MPC Step up its Rhetoric to Support the Pound? (Publication Centre)

The key question for the MPC at this week's meeting is whether it is prepared to tolerate the consequences for inflation of sterling's further depreciation since its last meeting in August.

11 September 2017 Hurricane Reconstruction Will Lift Wages, Inflation, and the Deficit (Publication Centre)

As we reach our Sunday afternoon deadline, Hurricane Irma is pounding Florida's west coast with an intensity not seen since Andrew, in 1992.

1 December 2017 Relapse in Confidence Signals the Economy is Only Muddling Through (Publication Centre)

Economy-wide confidence deteriorated in November, highlighting that Britain continues to struggle to shake off its malaise.

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.

1 March 2017 The Soaring Trade Deficit is set to Constrain First Quarter Growth (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's wall of data told us a bit about where the economy likely is going, and a bit about how it started the first quarter. The January trade and inventory data were disappointing, but the February Chicago PMI and consumer confidence reports were positive.

10 April 2017 Inflation's Rise Likely Arrested in March by this Year's Later Easter (Publication Centre)

March's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, look set to show that inflation's ascent was kept in check by the later Easter this year compared to last. Nonetheless, CPI inflation will take big upward strides over the coming months, and it likely will exceed 3% by the summer.

11 August. 2016 Household Spending Will Not Defy Gravity For Long Surveys (Publication Centre)

Recent retail surveys have indicated that consumers are not suffering yet from Brexit blues. The BRC reported that year-over-year growth in total sales values picked up to 1.9% in July, from 0.2% in June. After adjusting for falling prices, this measure suggests that year-over-year growth in official retail sales volumes held steady at about 4% last month.

10 May 2017 April's Surge in Retail Sales Isn't a Turning Point (Publication Centre)

April's Retail Sales Monitor from the British Chambers of Commerce, released yesterday, provided a powerful signal that households' spending rebounded in April, following a terrible Q1.

13 April 2017 Core PPI In ation is set to Rise Further, Lifting Core CPI and PCE (Publication Centre)

Today's producer price report for March likely will show a further increase in core goods inflation, which already has risen to 2.0% in February, from 0.2% in the same month last year. The acceleration in the U.S. PPI follows the even more dramatic surge in China's PPI for manufactured goods, which jumped to 6.6% year-over-year in February, from minus 4.9% a year ago. China's PPI is much more sensitive to commodity prices than the U.S. series, so there's very little chance that core U.S. PPI goods inflation will rise to anything like this rate.

12 October 2017 Core PPI at Risk from Hurricanes. Trend is Rising too, Slowly (Publication Centre)

Our forecast for a 0.3% increase in the September core PPI, slightly above the underlying trend, is even more tentative than usual.

13 November 2017 October's CPI Inflation Rate Should Represent the Peak (Publication Centre)

October's consumer price figures, released Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation increased to 3.1%, from 3.0% in September.

15 September 2016 August Retail Sales to Shatter Picture of Consumer Resilience (Publication Centre)

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.

16 March 2018 Colombia's Consumption and Investment are Strengthening (Publication Centre)

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.

16 November 2017 Retail Sales to Surprise to the Downside Again in October (Publication Centre)

The consensus view that today's retail sales data will show volumes increased by 0.2% month-to-month in October is too sanguine.

16 October 2017 Rate Hike Bets Likely Will Fade After September's CPI Data (Publication Centre)

September's consumer price figures likely will surprise to the downside, prompting markets to reassess their view that the MPC will almost certainly raise interest rates next month.

15 May 2017 April's Consumer Price Figures Will Surprise to the Upside (Publication Centre)

April's consumer price figures, released on Tuesday, look set to reveal that CPI inflation jumped to 2.7%--its highest rate since September 2013--from 2.3% in March. Inflation likely will be driven up entirely by a jump in the cor e rate to 2.3%, from 1.8% in March.

16 April 2018 CPI Inflation Likely Undershot the MPC's Forecast in March, Again (Publication Centre)

March's consumer prices figures, released on Wednesday, are even more important than usual, as they are the last to be published before the MPC's next meeting on May 10.

14 May 2018 Could Foreign Trade Propel Second Quarter GDP Growth to 5%? (Publication Centre)

To answer the question: Yes, growth could hit 5% in the second quarter.

15 June 2018 May's Surge in Retail Sales is Just a Weather-Related Blip (Publication Centre)

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%.

15 August 2017 Time for a Rebound in Core Retail Sales A er Unexpected So ness (Publication Centre)

No matter how you choose to slice-and-dice the recent retail sales numbers, the core data for the past couple of months have been disappointing. Our favorite measure--total sales less autos, gasoline, food and building materials--rose by just 0.1% month-to- month in May but then reversed this minimal gain in June.

13 September 2016 Sterling is Already Stoking Price Pressures, More to Come (Publication Centre)

August's consumer price figures, released today, likely will show that households' spending power is being increasingly eroded by rising inflation. We think CPI inflation picked up to 0.8%, from 0.6% in July, exceeding the consensus, 0.7%, for the third consecutive month.

15 August. 2016 July Inflation Figures to Show Adverse Brexit Impact (Publication Centre)

July's consumer price figures, due tomorrow, likely will bring early evidence that sterling's Brexit-driven depreciation already is pushing up inflation. We think that CPI inflation picked up to 0.6% in July from 0.5% in June, exceeding the consensus forecast for an unchanged reading. Experience of past depreciations suggests that July's figures likely won't be the last time the consensus is surprised by the speed of the rise in inflation.

15 January 2018 Inflation to Undershoot Consensus as it Begins its Downward Trend (Publication Centre)

December's consumer price figures, released on Tuesday, likely will show that CPI inflation fell more than most analysts expect.

17 June. 2015 Brazilian Retailers Face Tough Times As Consumers Tighten Belts (Publication Centre)

Consumption remains a serious weak spot in Brazil's economic cycle. High inflation, rising interest rates, surging unemployment, plunging confidence, and the government's belt tightening, have trashed Brazilians' purchasing power. Retail sales surprised to the downside in April, falling 0.4% month-to-month, equivalent to a huge 3.5% contraction year-over-year, down from a revised 0.3% gain in March. The underlying trend is awful, as our first chart shows.

19 Dec. 2014 Further Signs of Diverging Growth Paths in Mexico And Brazil (Publication Centre)

This year has proved to be challenging for retailers in Mexico. The combination of fiscal reform, the economic slowdown over the first half of the year, and the collapse of consumer sentiment took a significant toll in the sector.

14 February 2017 Brace for January Data to Show Another Hefty Rise in CPI Inflation (Publication Centre)

January's consumer price report, released today, likely will show that CPI inflation jumped to 1.9%--its highest rate since June 2014--from 1.6% in December. Inflation will continue to take big upward steps over the coming months, as retailers pass on to consumers large increase in import prices and energy companies increase tariffs.

21 October. 2016 Do September Retail Sales Mark the Start of a Weaker Trend? (Publication Centre)

Retail sales volumes held steady in September, undershooting the consensus, 0.3%, and they were unchanged in August too. At this stage, evidence of a slowdown in retail sales growth is only tentative, but the trend will weaken decisively when retailers raise prices sharply next year.

3 Dec. 2015 Low Inflation Expectations Won't Become Self-Fulfilling (Publication Centre)

Households' inflation expectations have fallen again over the last few months, but we doubt they will constrain the forthcoming rebound in actual inflation. Past experience shows that inflation expectations are more of a coincident than a leading indicator of inflation. In addition, inflation is weakest right now in sectors where demand is relatively insensitive to price changes, so, when retailers' costs rise, they won't pay much heed to households' expectations.

13 January 2017 Will Consumers' Spending Rise in Line with the Sentiment Surveys? (Publication Centre)

December's retail sales numbers are the most important of the year for retailers, but they don't necessarily tell us anything about the future prospects for consumers' spending or the broad economy. The December 2016 numbers, however, might be different, because they capture consumers' behavior in the first full month after the election.

26 Apr. Is the Recovery in Consumer Spending Coming Off the Boil? (Publication Centre)

The slowdown in retail sales in the first quarter and the recent pick-up in the number of retailers seeking protection from creditors begs the question: are consumers retrenching, or just spending their money elsewhere?

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