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9 May. 2016 More Timely EZ GDP Data also Means Larger Revisions (Publication Centre)

The trade-off between the timeliness and accuracy of the data is fundamental to macroeconomic analysis. Coincident data such as GDP, industrial production and retail sales are the most direct measures of economic activity, but their first estimates don't always tell the full story.

17 July 2019 Consumers Leading the Way, but is Manufacturing Close to a Floor (Publication Centre)

We have revised up our second quarter consumption forecast to a startling 4.0% in the wake of yesterday's strong June retail sales numbers, which were accompanied by upward revisions to prior data.

16 August 2017 Strong July Sales and Revisions Signal Robust Consumption (Publication Centre)

July's retail sales report signalled a good start to the third quarter but also implied that second quarter spending was stronger than previously thought. The upward revisions--totalling 0.5% for total sales and 0.4% for non-auto sales--were the biggest for some time, but we were not unduly surprised.

15 February 2019 Seasonal Problems and Sampling Error Explain December's Sales Drop (Publication Centre)

We can't remember the last time a single economic report was as surprising as the December retail sales numbers, released yesterday.

12 February 2019 GDP Likely Will Still Rise Marginally in Q1, Despite December's Dip (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the latest GDP data look awful. December's 0.4% month-to-month fall in GDP closed a poor Q4, in which quar ter-on-quarter growth slowed to 0.2%, from 0.6% in Q3.

8 March 2019 Payrolls Constrained by Reversals of Weather and Shutdown Boosts (Publication Centre)

Our below-consensus 125K forecast for today's February payroll number is predicated on two ideas.

11 December 2018 Probably No Help From Net Exports for German GDP in Q4 (Publication Centre)

German net exports were treading water at the start of the fourth quarter. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus slipped to €17.4B in October, from a revised €17.7B in September, constrained by a 1.3% month-to-month rise in imports, which offset a 0.7% increase in exports.

19 July 2019 Spanish GDP Growth is Still Lifting the EZ Average, Substantially (Publication Centre)

The Spanish economy remains the star performer among the majors in the Eurozone.

15 November 2018 Japan's Q3 GDP Drops Q4 will be Better but Trends are Deteriorating (Publication Centre)

Japanese leading indicators point to a slowdown, and the trend over this volatile year is emerging as firmly downward.

21 February 2019 Will the Real Story in French Services Please Stand Up (Publication Centre)

Today's data dump will deliver the advance PMIs and the French INSEE business sentiment indices for February, all of which will be examined closely for signs of stabilisation in the wake of recent evidence that EZ growth is slowing quicker than markets and the ECB have been expecting.

4 Apr. 2016 While We Were Out... (Publication Centre)

The March employment report didn't tell us what we really want to know. The underlying trend in wage growth remains obscured by the calendar quirk which depresses reported hourly earnings when the 15th of the month--pay day for people paid semi-monthly -- falls after the payroll survey week.

4 July 2018 Household Balance Sheets in the Eurozone are in Good Shape (Publication Centre)

Data yesterday showed that Momentum in the EZ retail sector stumbled through middle of Q2.

26 Nov. 2015 The Chancellor Leaves the Fiscal Shackles Firmly in Place (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor used the Autumn Statement to shift the composition of the fiscal consolidation slightly away from spending cuts and towards tax hikes. But in overall macroeconomic terms, he changed little. The fiscal stance is still set to be extremely tight in 2016 and 2017, ensuring that the economic recovery will lose more momentum.

3 April 2017 Expect Strength in Both the ISM and Construction Data Today (Publication Centre)

We'd be very surprised to see a material weakening in today's March ISM manufacturing survey. The regional reports released in recent weeks point to another reading in the high 50s, with a further advance from February's 57.7 a real possibility.

25 April 2019 Still Scope for Neutral Fiscal Policy in 2020, Despite March Hiccup (Publication Centre)

The run of better-than-expected public borrowing figures ended abruptly with the publication of March data yesterday.

21 May 2019 Japan's Q1 GDP Rose for the Wrong Reasons Tax Hike Still Questionable (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, Japanese GDP came thumping home in Q1, rising 0.5% quarter-on-quarter, after the 0.4% increase in Q4.

19 January 2018 China's GDP is in Revisions Limbo. Q4 Growth Likely Slowed (Publication Centre)

Officially, Chinese real GDP growth was a sturdy 6.8% year-over-year in Q4, matching the Q3 rate, with full year growth at 6.9%.

12 March 2019 We Need to Talk a Bit about Revisions to German Construction (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's industrial production numbers in Germany were similar to Friday's confusing new orders data.

10 November. 2016 A Trump Victory Means Revisions to EU Leaders' Playbooks (Publication Centre)

EZ equity futures predictably fell out of bed as the news of the Trump victory gradually became clear overnight yesterday. The reaction was less violent than after the U.K. Brexit referendum, though, and Mr. Trump's balanced victory speech appears to have calmed nerves for now.

2 October 2017 Revisions Leave Economy Looking Weaker, Undermining the Hawks (Publication Centre)

Last week's national accounts were a setback for the hawks on the MPC seeking to raise interest rates at the next meeting, on November 2.

7 February 2019 Korea's December was Good, not Great Expect Revisions to Q4 GDP (Publication Centre)

Following the publication of Korea's preliminary Q4 GDP report last month--see here--we said the consensus-beating print would be susceptible to downgrades, unless the economy had a miraculous end to 2018

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.

29 September 2017 Revisions to Show Higher Household Saving, but a Worse External Deficit (Publication Centre)

The picture of the economy's recent performance will be redrawn today, when the national accounts are published.

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.

6 May. 2016 Chile's Economy Picks Up in Q1, but no Sustained Acceleration (Publication Centre)

Economic growth in Chile picked up in Q1, but the recovery remains disappointingly weak, due to both global and domestic headwinds. The latest Imacec index, a proxy for GDP, rose just 2.1% year-over-year in March, slowing from a 2.8% gain in February. Assuming no revisions next month, economic activity rose 1.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, better than the 0.9% increase in Q4. These data points to a modest pick-up in GDP growth in Q1, to 1.8% year-over-year, from 1.3% in Q4.

6 June 2018. Productivity Growth is Improving, Ignore the Lackluster Q1 Numbers (Publication Centre)

Revisions to the first quarter productivity numbers, due today, likely will be trivial, given the minimal 0.1 percentage point downward revision to GDP growth reported last week.

5 Oct. 2015 Why are Payroll Gains Slowing When Employers Want to Hire? (Publication Centre)

It is possible that the broad-based softness of September payrolls captures a knee-jerk reaction on the part of employers, choosing to wait-and-see what happens to demand in the wake of stock market correction. But that can't be the explanation for the mere 136K August gain, because the survey was conducted before the market rolled over. Even harder to explain is the hefty downward revision to August payrolls, after years of upward revisions. All is not yet lost for August--the last time the first revision to the month was downwards, -3K in 2010, the second revision was +56K--but we aren't wildly optimistic.

6 Nov. 2015 Woeful German Manufacturing Data Curbs Optimism for Q4 (Publication Centre)

German manufacturing data continues to offer a sobering counterbalance to strong services and consumers' spending data. New orders plunged 1.7% month-to-month in September, well below the consensus, pushing the year-over-year rate down to a 1.0% fall from a revised 1.7% increase in August. These data are very volatile, and revisions probably will lift the final number slightly next month, but the evidence points to clear risks of a further decline in the underlying trend of production.

6 July. 2015 Labor Market is Still Tightening, Despite June Payroll Miss (Publication Centre)

First, a deep breath: June payrolls, with a margin of error of +/-107K, missed the consensus by 10K. Adding in the -60K revisions and the miss is still statistically insignificant. The story, therefore, is that there is no story. Even relative to our more bullish forecast, the miss was just 37K. Nothing bad happened in June. But we hav e to acknowledge that payroll growth has now undershot the pace implied by the NFIB's hiring intentions number--lagged by five months--in each of the past four months. In June, the survey pointed to a 320K jump in private employment, overshooting the actual print by nearly 100K.

8 Sept. 2015 No Loss of Momentum in August Employment, Despite Headline (Publication Centre)

The soft-looking August payroll number almost certainly will be revised up substantially, as the readings for this month have been in each of the past six years. Runs of remarkably consistent revisions--from 53K to 104K, with a median of 66K--don't happen by chance very often. A far more likely explanation is that the seasonal adjustments are flawed, having failed to keep up with changes in employment patterns since the crash. If the median revision is a good guide to what happens this year, the August number will be pushed up to 240K, in line with our estimate of the underlying trend and much more closely aligned with the message from a host of leading indicators.

4 Apr. 2016 ECB QE is Failing to Lift Equities, but Bond Yields are Being Crushed (Publication Centre)

Today's Sentix survey of Eurozone investor sentiment likely will remain downbeat. We think the headline index rose only trivially, to 6.0 in April from 5.5 in March, and that the expectations index was unchanged at 2.8. Weakness in equities due to global growth fears and negative earnings revisions likely is the key driver of below-par investor sentiment.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Jobless Claims, June (Publication Centre)

In one line: Claims noise likely insignificant; hefty upward revisions to Q1 capex.

9 Sept. 2015 Cyclical Recovery in the Eurozone Goes from Strength to Strength (Publication Centre)

Final Q2 GDP data yesterday indicate the euro area economy was stronger than initially estimated in the first half of the year. Real GDP rose 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q2, slightly higher than the initial estimate of 0.3, following an upwardly revised 0.5% increase in Q1. Upward revisions to GDP in Italy were the key driver of the more upbeat growth picture. The revisions mean that annualised Eurozone growth is now estimated at 1.8% in the first six months of the year, up from the previous 1.4%, consistent with the bullish message from real M1 growth and the composite PMI.

7 Apr. 2016 Real Economic Data Point to an Upbeat German GDP Story in Q1 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's German industrial production data were poor, but better than we expected. Output fell 0.5% month-to-month in February, pushing annual growth down to 1.3% from a revised 1.8% in January. In addition, net revisions to the month-to-month data were a hefty -1.0%, but this is not enough to change the story of a Q1 rebound in industrial production.

31 May 2019 The Rebound in the Core PCE Deflator Likely Started in April (Publication Centre)

The biggest surprise in the revisions to first quarter GDP growth, released yesterday, was in the core PCE deflator.

17 May 2018 Japan has Paid for Breaking the Speed Limit in H1 Last Year (Publication Centre)

The Japanese GDP report yesterday contained substantial revisions to Q4. We had expected the Q1 contraction, but the revisions recast the health of the recovery, making the domestic demand performance look much less impressive recently, with the economy struggling since the burst of growth in the first half last year.

15 March 2019 We are Still Looking for the Real German Core CPI Inflation Rate (Publication Centre)

Inflation data in Germany remain up in the air following recent revisions and restatements of the underlying indices.

15 July. 2015 Q2 GDP Tracking Models are Too Pessimistic, Focus on Net Trade (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's industrial production report was grim reading, with volatility in Greece and the Netherlands, as well as revisions, throwing off our own, and the market's, forecasts. Output fell 0.4% month-to-month in May, well below the consensus and our expectation for a 0.2% rise, pushing the year-over-year rate higher to 1.6%, from a revised 0.9% in April.

18 Feb. 2016 Has the Chancellor's Room for Manoeuvre Disappeared? (Publication Centre)

The stubbornly slow rate of decline of public borrowing casts doubt on whether the Chancellor will run a budget surplus before the end of this parliament, as his fiscal rule stipulates. But downward revisions to debt interest forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility are likely to absolve him again from intensifying the impending fiscal squeeze in the Budget on March 16.

18 May 2018 Did Markets Jump the Gun on Japan's Recovery? (Publication Centre)

Downward revisions to Japan's Q4 real GDP growth, published on Wednesday, lead us to revisit our main worry over the durability of the recovery; namely, that monetary conditions appear to be signalling a slowdown.

2 Feb. 2015 Slower Q4 Growth is a Distraction - Labor Data Matter Much More (Publication Centre)

Don't fret over the slowdown in growth in the fourth quarter. The quarterly GDP data are volatile even after several rounds of revisions, and the advance numbers are full of assumptions about missing trade, inventory and capex data, which often turn out to be wrong.

19 Nov. 2015 A Rebound in Construction Could Lift Investment in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

The construction sector in the Eurozone remains moribund. Output fell 0.4% month-to-month in September, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 1.8% from a revised 1.4% fall in August. Declines were recorded in France, Germany, and Italy, with a small increase in Spain. These data could, in theory, lead to revisions in the final Q3 Eurozone GDP data released December 8th, but we very much doubt they will move the needle. Our first chart shows the relationship between construction and GDP growth has broken down since the crisis.

14 Jan. 2016 A Downbeat Outlook for Q4 GDP Data in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

EZ survey data were solid in the fourth quarter, pointing to robust GDP growth, but numbers from the real economy have so far not lived up to the rosy expectations. Data yesterday showed that industrial production fell 0.7% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 1.1% from a revised 2.0% in October. Italian data today likely will force marginal revisions to the headline next month, but they are unlikely to change the big picture.

14 August. 2015 Robust Real Spending Signals Consumers aren't Saving More (Publication Centre)

The robust July retail sales numbers, coupled with the substantial upward revisions to prior data, should finally put to bed the idea that consumers have chosen spontaneously to raise their saving rate, accelerating the pace of deleveraging seven years after the financial crash. People just don't behave like that unless interest rates are soaring and the economy is rolling over, and that's not happening.

10 May. 2016 Jump in German Factor Orders do Not Signal the Start of an Upturn (Publication Centre)

New business in German manufacturing ended the first quarter on a strong note. Factory orders rose 1.9% month-to-month in March, above the consensus 0.6%, and net revisions to the February data were +0.4 percentage points. The rise in new orders was exclusively due to a 4.3% increase in export orders, which offset a 1.2% fall in domestic orders. These are strong numbers, but the details suggest that mean reversion will push the headline down next month.

02 Feb. 2016 First Quarter Consumption Will be Better - Weather Effects Will Help (Publication Centre)

The upward revisions to real consumers' spending in the fourth quarter, coupled with the likelihood of a hefty rebound in spending on utility energy services, means first quarter spending ought to rise at a faster pace than the 2.2% fourth quarter gain. Spending on utilities was hugely depressed in November and December by the extended spell of much warmer-than-usual weather.

11 Jan. 2016 Did German GDP Growth Slow Significantly in Q4? (Publication Centre)

Industrial production and trade data on Friday ended last week on a downbeat note, amid otherwise solid economic reports. In Germany, industrial output fell 0.3% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 0.1% from a revised 0.4% in October. The details, however, were better than the headline. Production was hit by a 3.3% plunge in capital goods output, offsetting gains in all other key sectors, and net revisions added 0.3% to the October data.

12 June. 2015 Consumption Back on Track as the Winter Weather Hit Reverses (Publication Centre)

Consumers' spending in the second quarter is still set to be less than great, thanks in part to unfavorable base effects from the first quarter, but a respectable showing of about 2¾% now seems likely. The core May retail sales numbers were a bit stronger than we expected, with gains in most sectors, and the upward revisions to April and March were substantial.

12 September 2018 Don't Expect Japanese GDP Growth to Maintain the Q2 Pace (Publication Centre)

Revisions to Japan's real GDP growth, on Monday, left Q2 blisteringly hot.

12 March 2019 Strong January Retail Sales Can't Alone Rescue Q1 Consumption (Publication Centre)

The reported rebound in January retail sales was welcome, but the overshoot to consensus was matched, more or less, by the unexpected downward revisions to the December numbers.

2 Oct. 2015 Expect Decent September Payrolls, But Sluggish Wage Gains (Publication Centre)

Whatever you think is the underlying tr end in payroll growth, you probably should expect a modest undershoot in today's report, thanks to the persistent tendency for the first estimate of September payrolls to undershoot and then be revised higher. The good news is that the initial September error tends not to be as big as in August--the median revision from the first estimate to the third over the past six years has been 49K, compared to 66K--and it has declined recently. Over the past three years, September revisions have ranged from only 18K to 27K. Still, we can't ignore six straight years of initial undershoots.

20 Nov. 2015 Will the OBR's New Forecasts Make the Chancellor Cut Deeper? (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor must feel a sense of foreboding before his pre-Autumn Statement meetings with the Office for Budget Responsibility. Even minor revisions to the independent body's economic forecasts could shred into tatters his plans for a budget surplus by the end of the parliament, given the lack of wiggle room in the July Budget borrowing projections. The OBR won't present the Chancellor with disastrous news ahead of next Wednesday's Autumn Statement, but the already slim margin for error he has in meeting his surplus goal likely will be reduced.

27 Mar. 2015 Credit Growth is Improving, But the Periphery is Being Left Behind (Publication Centre)

Money supply data continue to support the continuation of cyclical recovery in the Eurozone. M3 growth accelerated to 4.0% year-over-year in February from a revised 3.7% in January. Revisions, however, mean that momentum in the beginning of the year was not as solid as we thought.

27 July. 2015 PMIs Point to Stable GDP Growth, but EM Rout is Hurting Germany (Publication Centre)

The July Eurozone PMI survey echoed the message from consumer sentiment earlier of a mild dip in momentum going into Q3. The composite PMI in the euro area fell to 53.7, from 54.2 in June due mainly to a fall in the services index. Companies' own expectations for future business fell in the core, but the survey was conducted soon after the Greek referendum. Markit claims this didn't depress the data, but we are on alert for revisions to the headline and expectations next week, or a rebound next month.

29 Jan. 2016 Will Inventories and Government Hold Q4 GDP Close to Zero? (Publication Centre)

We expect to learn today that the economy barely grew at all in the fourth quarter. At least, that's what we think the first estimate of growth, due today, will show. This number will then be revised twice over the next couple of months, then again when revisions for the past three years are released in July. Thereafter, the numbers are subject to further annual revisions indefinitely.

3 July 2019 Further Signs of a Q2 Slowdown in German Consumption (Publication Centre)

German retail sales always have to be taken with a pinch of salt, given their monthly volatility and often substantial revisions, but the preliminary Q2 data don't look pretty.

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%.

30 August. 2016 Strong Consumption Set to Support Robust Third Quarter GDP Growth (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the robust July data and the upward revisions to June, real personal consumption--which accounts for 69% of GDP--appears set to rise by at least 3% in the third quarter, and 3.5% is within reach. To reach 4%, though, spending would have to rise by 0.3% in both August and September, and that will be a real struggle given July's already-elevated auto sales and, especially, overstretched spending on utility energy.

31 October 2018 Plans for a Modest Near-Term Fiscal Expansion are Future-Proof (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor's decision immediately to spend all the proceeds from the OBR's upgrade to its projections for tax receipts appears to leave his plans exposed to future adverse revisions to the economic outlook.

27 January 2017 Q4 Growth Likely Hit by Foreign Trade, Temporarily (Publication Centre)

We expect to learn today that the economy expanded at a 1.7% rate in the fourth quarter. At least, that's our forecast, based on incomplete data, and revisions over time could easily push growth significantly away from this estimate. The inherent unreliability of the GDP numbers, which can be revised forever--literally--explains why the Fed puts so much more emphasis on the labor market data, which are volatile month-to-month but more trustworthy over longer periods and subject to much smaller revisions.

21 July. 2015 The Eurozone is Adding to Global Current Account Imbalances (Publication Centre)

The Eurozone's current account surplus plunged to €18.0B in May from €24.0B, the biggest monthly fall since July 2013, but an upward revision to the April data makes the headline look worse than it is. These numbers are volatile, even after seasonal adjustments, and revisions have been larger than normal this year, so we need to smooth the data to get the true story.

21 December 2016 Big Current Account Deficit Likely to Cloud Resilient GDP Picture (Publication Centre)

The third quarter national accounts, due to be published on Friday, likely will not alter the picture of economic resilience immediately after the referendum. The latest estimate of GDP growth often is revised in this release, but revisions have not exceeded 0.1 percentage points in either direction in the last four years, as our first chart shows.

24 June. 2015 Q1 GDP to be Revised up, But the Big Shift Will Come Next Month (Publication Centre)

The third estimate of first quarter GDP growth, due today, will not be the final word. The BEA will revise the data again on July 30, when it will also release its first estimate for the second quarter and the results of its annual revision exercise. Quarterly estimates back to 2012 will be revised. The revisions are of greater interest than usual this year because the new data will incorporate the first results of the BEA's review of the seasonal problems.

22 January 2019 Chinese GDP Growth was Much Weaker than the Headlines Suggest (Publication Centre)

Chinese GDP numbers always require a great deal of detective work, and yesterday's needed more than the norm; multiple rounds of revisions needed decoding.

22 November. 2016 Trade Data are Improving in the Andes... Better Still in 2017? (Publication Centre)

Colombia's trade deficit continued to narrow in Q3; a postive development now that EM are back in the firing line. Assuming no revisions, the marginal year-over-year dip in the September trade deficit means that the third quarter deficit was USD3.1B, down from US4.6B a year ago.

22 Oct. 2015 Claims Signal Payroll Data are Flawed, or Labor Pool Has Run Dry (Publication Centre)

The headline payroll number each month is the difference between the flow of gross hirings and the flow of gross firings. The JOLTS report provides both numbers, with a lag, but we can track the firing side of the equation via the jobless claims numbers. Claims are volatile week-to-week, thanks to the impossibility of ironing out every seasonal fluctuation in such short-term data, but the underlying trend is an accurate measure. The claims data are based on an actual count of all the people making claims, not a sample survey like most other data. That means you'll never be blindsided by outrageous revisions, turning the story upside-down.

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