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18 September 2018 Chainstore Sales Growth has Jumped Thank the Tax Cuts (Publication Centre)

The first estimate of retail sales growth in August was weaker than implied by the Redbook chainstore sales survey, but our first chart shows that the difference between the numbers was well within the usual margin of error.

18 June 2019 Chainstore Sales Growth is Set to Slow Sharply Don't Worry (Publication Centre)

The chainstore sales numbers have been hard to read over the past year.

22 May 2018 Chainstore Sales Growth has Surged, Thank Warmer Weather? (Publication Centre)

We have been pleasantly surprised by the recent Redbook chainstore sales numbers.

18 November. 2016 New Car Sales Growth is Slowing in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

Growth in EZ car sales slowed further at the beginning of Q4. New registrations in the euro area fell 1.2% year-over-year in October, down from a 7.2% increase in September.

15 July. 2015 Should We Worry About Slower Retail Sales Growth? (Publication Centre)

Whichever way you choose to slice the numbers, retail sales growth has slowed this year. Ex-gasoline, ex-autos, core, whatever, sales growth in year-over-year terms is notably weaker now than at the end of last year. It is equally, true, however, that after-tax incomes have risen at a robust pace--up 3.8% in the year to May, exactly the same pace as in the year to May 2014--so consumers in aggregate have plenty of cash to spend. So, what's holding people back at the mall? Why aren't they spending more?

Question of the Week, WC 7th Oct (Media Centre)

Are there any signs of a Chinese recovery yet? Freya Beamish discusses

24 January 2018 Existing Home Sales Likely Dropped in December, but the Trend is Rising (Publication Centre)

In November, existing home sales substantially overshot the pace implied by the pending home sales index.

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%.

24 April 2019 Industrial Sentiment is Stabilizing, Despite the Richmond Fed Drop (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's data were mixed, though disappointment over the weakening in the Richmond Fed survey should be tempered by a quick look at the history, shown in our first chart.

23 Sept. 2015 Expansions don't die of old age - the Fed kills them, with rates (Publication Centre)

The theory of spontaneous combustion of the U.S. economy appears to be making something of a comeback, if our inbox and market chat is to be believed. The core idea here is that expansions die of old age, and can be helped on their way to oblivion by factors like falling corporate earnings and rising inventory. The current recovery, which began in June 2009 and is now 63 months old, already looks a bit long-in-the-tooth.

24 June. 2015 Mexico's Soft April Consumption Will Change Course Ahead (Publication Centre)

Mexico's private spending stumbled at the start of the second quarter. Retail sales fell 0.3% month-to-month in April after three consecutive increases, hit by an unexpected 1.6% drop in both supermarket and apparel sales, and a surprising 1.2% fall in food sales. In year-over-year terms, total sales rose 4.6% in April, down from 5.6% in March.

24 October 2017 Which to Believe, the Markit PMI or the ISM Survey? (Publication Centre)

A startlingly wide gap has emerged over the past nine months between the ISM manufacturing index and Markit's manufacturing PMI.

25 October. 2016 Consumers Confidence is High, but Expect an October Correction (Publication Centre)

Recent consumer confidence numbers have been strong enough that we don't need to see any further increase. The expectations components of both the Michigan and Conference Board surveys are consistent with real spending growth of 21⁄2-to- 3%, which is about the best we can expect when real income growth, after tax, is trending at about 21⁄2%.

25 May 2017 Is it Time to Tell a Less Upbeat Story on the Eurozone Consumer? (Publication Centre)

Markets cheered soaring business surveys in the Eurozone earlier this week, and recent consumer sentiment data also have been cause for celebration. The advance GfK consumer confidence index in Germany rose to a record high of 10.4 in June, from 10.2 in May.

24 Sept 2019 September Retail Sales Enjoying a Temporary Tariff-Beating Boost? (Publication Centre)

The rational thing to do when the price of a consumer good you are considering buying is thought likely to rise sharply in the near future is to buy it now, provided that the opportunity cost of the purchase--the interest income foregone on the cash, or the interest charged if you finance the purchase with credit--is less than the expected increase in the price.

23 July 2019 Shock News Politicians Choose not to Cut Spending in Election Year (Publication Centre)

As we reach our deadline--4pm eastern time--media reports indicate that a debt ceiling agreement is close.

23 January 2019 Mortgage Applications Point to Rebounding Home Sales in Q1 (Publication Centre)

The weekly mortgage applications numbers have been wild recently, but our first chart shows that the trend underneath the noise is solid.

23 April 2018 German Producer Price Inflation is Turning Up, Slowly (Publication Centre)

Friday's economic data suggest that the downtrend in German PPI inflation is reversing.

22 November. 2016 Will November EZ Survey Data Take a Step Back this Week? (Publication Centre)

November data for most of the major EZ business and consumer surveys arrive this week. We doubt the reports will change our view that EZ GDP growth likely will remain steady at about 1.6% year-over-year in Q4. But appearances matter, and risks are tilted to the downside in some of the main surveys, after jumps in October.

22 November. 2016 Soybean Exports Still High, but Falling Sharply (Publication Centre)

Surging soybean exports contributed 0.9 percentage points, gross, to third quarter GDP growth, though the BEA said that this was "mostly" offset by falling inventories of wholesale non-durable goods.

23 August 2017 New Home Sales set for Cycle Highs, but Only Temporarily (Publication Centre)

The level of new home sales is likely to hit new cycle highs over the next few months, with a decent chance that today's July report will show sales at their highest level since late 2007.

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 June 2017 Home Sales set for new Cycle Highs, but not in May (Publication Centre)

Over the past couple of weeks, the number of applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase have reached their highest level since late 2010, when activity was boosted by the impending expiration of a time-limited tax credit for homebuyers.

23 January 2018 Eurozone Households Enter 2018 With Robust Tailwinds (Publication Centre)

Today's data likely will show that EZ households' sentiment remained close to a record high at the start of the year.

26 June 2019 Green Shoots in Semiconductors, but they aren't Out of the Woods (Publication Centre)

Major central banks in Asia, particularly those operating in export-oriented economies, have recently been pinning their future policy moves on the prospects of a specific industry, namely semiconductors.

21 May 2019 The Money Supply is a Poor Guide to U.S. Growth it's Different in Europe (Publication Centre)

We have been asked recently why we rarely talk about the signal from the U.S. money supply numbers, in contrast to the emphasis we give to real M1 growth in our forecasts for economic growth in both the Eurozone and China.

28 September 2017 Is Business Capex Finally Breaking to the Upside, led by Small Firms? (Publication Centre)

We have been waiting a long time to see signs that business investment spending is becoming less reliant on movements in oil prices.

6 March 2018 Why China will Miss its GDP Growth, Fiscal Deficit and RMB targets (Publication Centre)

China's National People's Congress yesterday laid out its main goals for this year, on the first day of its annual meeting.

6 March 2017 PMIs Signal Stronger EZ Growth, but Will the Hard Data Follow? (Publication Centre)

Survey data continue to suggest that GDP growth will accelerate in Q1. The final PMI reports on Friday showed that the headline EZ composite index rose to 56.0 in February, from 54.4 in January, in line with the first estimate.

6 February 2017 EZ Households are in Good Shape, But Spending Will Slow in 2017 (Publication Centre)

Consumers' spending in the euro area weakened at the end of Q4, but we think households will continue to boost GDP growth in the first quarter. Data on Friday showed that retail sales fell 0.3% month-to-month in December, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 1.1%, from a revised 2.8% in November.

5 June 2018 ISM Non-manufacturing Set to Rebound, Watch Employment (Publication Centre)

The headline May ISM non-manufacturing index today likely will mirror, at least in part, the increase in the manufacturing survey, reported Friday.

6 September 2017 EZ Consumers' Spending Likely will Slow in Q3, but don't Panic (Publication Centre)

EZ consumers' spending slowed at the start of Q3. Retail sales slipped 0.3% month-to-month in July, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 2.6% from an upwardly revised 3.3% in June.

7 January 2019 Chile's Economic Upturn Stuttered in Q4, Risks to Growth are Rising (Publication Centre)

Chile's economic outlook is still positive, but clouds have been gradually gathering since mid-year, due mostly to the slowdown in China, low copper prices and falling consumer and business confidence.

9 September. 2016 Inventories are Key to Q3 Growth, but Anything Could Happen (Publication Centre)

Inventories subtracted 1.3 percentage points from headline GDP growth in the second quarter and were by far the biggest constraint on the economy. This was the fifth straight drag from inventories, but it was more than twice the average hit over the previous year.

9 November 2017 Claims Data Look Great, but Payrolls are Driven More by Shifts in Hiring (Publication Centre)

We were pretty sure that the underlying trend in jobless claims had bottomed, in the high 230s, before the hurricanes began to distort the data in early September.

7 November 2018 No Sign of Slowing Labor Demand it's Rising Faster than Supply (Publication Centre)

The flow of data pointing to strength in the labor market has continued this week, on the heels of last week's report of a 250K jump in October payrolls.

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.

4 January 2018 ADP Likely Will Show a Solid Gain in December Private Employment (Publication Centre)

Today's ADP employment report for December ought to show private payrolls continue to rise at a very solid pace

29 January 2019 No Trade Data Today, but You Can Assume the Trend is Deteriorating (Publication Centre)

The advance international trade data for December were due for publication today, but the report probably won't appear.

2 October 2018 Money Data Indicate the Recent Revival in Retail Sales Can't Last (Publication Centre)

August's money and credit figures show that households' incomes remain under pressure, indicating that the recent pick-up in growth in consumers' spending likely won't last.

26 September 2017 Another Marginal Dip in the IFO, and Murky Politics in Germany (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's IFO survey in Germany sent a marginally more downbeat message than the strong PMIs last week. The IFO business climate index fell to 115.2 in September, from 115.9 in August, its second straight monthly dip.

3 June. 2016 May Payrolls Constrained By Verizon Strike, but Should be OK (Publication Centre)

The downside surprise in April payrolls reflected weakness in just three components--retail, construction, and government--compared to their prior trends. Of these, we think only the construction numbers are likely to remain soft in May. Had it not been for the Verizon strike, then, we would have expected payrolls to rise by just over 200K in May, but the 35K strike hit means our forecast is 170K.

3 October 2018 Are Higher Wages Squeezing EZ Manufacturing Margins? (Publication Centre)

Producer price inflation in the euro area almost surely peaked over the summer.

4 December 2018 The Manufacturing Cycle has Peaked, but No Rollover Yet (Publication Centre)

The rebound in the ISM manufacturing index was a relief, after the sharp drop in October, though the strength in last week's Chicago PMI meant that it wasn't a complete surprise.

30 October 2018 Airline Fares Lifted September's Core PCE Deflator Noise not Signal (Publication Centre)

The modest overshoot to consensus in September's core PCE deflator won't trouble any lists of great economic surprises, but it did serve to demonstrate that the PCE can diverge from the CPI, in both the short and medium-term.

30 Aug 2019 Trade Spats are Starting to Hurt Business Sentiment in Korea (Publication Centre)

The recent spate of manufacturing business survey indices from Korea show that sentiment is deteriorating in the wake of its trade spat with Japan and the re-intensification of U.S.-China tensions.

26 October. 2016 Soybean Exports Set to Hold Down the Trade Deficit, Again (Publication Centre)

Today's September international trade report will be the third to be distorted by hugely elevated soybean exports. The surge began in July, when soybean exports jumped by $3.6B--that's a 220% month-to-month increase--to $5.2B.

19 June 2019 Mr. Draghi Just Made Things Difficult for the BoJ (Publication Centre)

In light of Mr. Draghi's Sintra speech, we take this opportunity to give an update on the BoJ's stance, ahead of the meeting on Thursday.

13 Sept 2019 Core Inflation is Set to Breach 21⁄2% by Year-End Breakevens have to Rise (Publication Centre)

The third straight 0.3% increase in the core CPI-- that hasn't happened since 1995--was ignored by the Treasury market yesterday, which appeared to be focusing its attention on the ECB.

19 September 2017 Housing Takes a Modest Hurricane Hit, so far, More to Come? (Publication Centre)

The September NAHB survey, released yesterday, shows, that the housing market took a knock from the hurricanes but the damage, so far at least, appears to be contained.

13 September 2017 Brazilian Consumers' Spending set to Keep Rising Steadily (Publication Centre)

Data released yesterday in Brazil are consistent with our view that private consumption will continue to drive the recovery over the second half, offsetting the ongoing weakness in private investment.

14 June 2019 Retail Sales and IP Both Likely Rebounded in May (Publication Centre)

The wave of May data due for release today likely will go some way to countering the market narrative of a seriously slowing economy, a story which gained further momentum last week after the release of the May employment report.

15 June 2018 The PBoC Throws Out the Housekeeping Growth is Slowing (Publication Centre)

The PBoC has left rates unchanged, so far, in the wake of the Fed hike.

15 July. 2016 Autos Will Depress Headline June Spending, Core Picture is Fine (Publication Centre)

When the dust settles after today's wave of data, we expect to have learned that core retail sales continued to rise in June, core inflation nudged back up to its cycle high, and manufacturing output rebounded after an auto-led drop in May. None of these reports will be enough to push the Fed into early action, but they will add to the picture of a reasonably solid domestic economy ahead of the U.K. Brexit referendum.

12 September. 2016 More Poor Data Signal Slow Start to Q3 (Publication Centre)

Friday's economic data added to the evidence that the German economy stumbled in July. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus slipped to €19.4B, from a revised €21.4B in June.

12 October 2018 Brazilian Households are in Good Shape, Despite Rising Political Risk (Publication Centre)

Data released yesterday support our view that the Brazilian retail sector has gathered strength in recent months, following a weak Q2, when activity was hit by the truckers' strike.

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.

10 April 2019 Retail Sales Likely Dipped in March, but Remain Firmly on a Rising Path (Publication Centre)

Our view that households will continue to spend more in the first half of this year, preventing the economy from slipping into a capex-led recession, was not seriously challenged yesterday by the BRC's Retail Sales Monitor.

11 December 2018 Macro Data set to Split: Consumer Strength, Industrial Weakness (Publication Centre)

The next few months, perhaps the whole of the first quarter, are likely to see a clear split in the U.S. economic data, with numbers from the consumer side of the economy looking much better than the industrial numbers.

11 July 2018 Higher Oil Prices have Driven up Core PPI Inflation it will Rise Further (Publication Centre)

Core PPI inflation has risen relentlessly, though not rapidly, over the past two-and-a-half years.

12 May 2017 Core CPI Inflation to Mean-Revert After the Shocking March Drop (Publication Centre)

The April CPI report today will be watched even more closely than usual, after the surprise 0.12% month-to-month fall in the March core index. The biggest single driver of the dip was a record 7.0% plunge in cellphone service plan prices, reflecting Verizon's decision to offer an unlimited data option.

15 November 2018 Consumption Seems to have Started Q4 with Surprising Strength (Publication Centre)

Consumption accounts for almost 70% of GDP, and retail sales account for about 45% of consumption.

13 June 2017 NFIB Headline Likely to Decay, but Capex and Jobs Readings are Strong (Publication Centre)

Under normal circumstances, we can predict movements in the headline NFIB index from shifts in the key labor market components, which are released a day ahead of the official employment report, and, hence, about 10 days before the full NFIB survey appears.

18 July 2017 China is Slowing, not Rebounding. the Headline Data are Misleading (Publication Centre)

Chinese official headline data paint a picture of a strengthening economy in Q2. Our analysis shows a sharply contrasting picture. China's nominal GDP, real GDP and deflators are often internally inconsistent.

18 April 2018 Don't be Lulled by China's Steady Year-over-Year Growth Rate (Publication Centre)

We can't afford the luxury of believing China's year-over-year growth rates. Real GDP growth was 6.8% year-over-year in Q1, matching the rate in Q4 and Q3, and hitting consensus.

19 Apr. 2016 Weaker Dollar Will Boost Q2 Retail Sales, but not March Consumption (Publication Centre)

If we're right in our view that the strength of the dollar has been a major factor depressing the rate of growth of nominal retail sales, the weakening of the currency since January should soon be reflected in stronger-looking numbers. In real terms--which is what matters for GDP and, ultimately, the lab or market--nothing will change, but perceptions are important and markets have not looked kindly on the dollar-depressed sales data.

19 February 2018 Growth in Households' Spending Won't Recover This Year (Publication Centre)

Slower growth in households' spending was the main reason why the economy lost momentum last year.

16 January 2019 If December's Retail Sales Report Could Speak, it Would be Excited (Publication Centre)

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.

17 September 2018 China's August Activity Headlines are Misleading on Multiple Counts (Publication Centre)

The headlines of China's August activity data are missing the real story in recent months.

19 March 2019 Lessons from Rapid Wage Gains and Low Inflation in Eastern Europe (Publication Centre)

Following our note yesterday about upside risks to wage growth and the question of how the Fed will respond, given their sensitivity to labor cost-push inflation risk in the past, we want to address a question raised by readers.

16 July 2019 No End in Sight Yet to the Industrial Consumer Bifurcation (Publication Centre)

Today's brings the June retail sales and industrial production reports, after which we'll update our second quarter GDP forecast.

17 Sept 2019 China Needs a Rate Cut and an Interim Deal it will Prioritise Rates (Publication Centre)

China's activity data yesterday made pretty uncomfortable reading for policymakers.

16 May 2019 Chinese Activity Comes Back Down to Earth--and Then Some--in April (Publication Centre)

Official industrial production growth in China plunged to 5.4% year-over-year in April, from 8.5% in March.

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%.

17 Sept 2019 August IP Likely Rebounded, but the Trend is Deteriorating (Publication Centre)

Manufacturing is in recession, with few signs yet that a floor is near, still less a recovery.

17 March 2017 Colombia's Economy is Slowing Rapidly, BanRep to Cut Further (Publication Centre)

The Fed's insistence this week that U.S. rates will rise only twice more this year helped to ease pressures on LatAm markets this week, particularly FX. The way is now clear for some LatAm central banks to cut interest rates rapidly over the coming months, even before U.S. fiscal and trade policy becomes clear. We expect the next Fed rate hike to come in June, as the labor market continues to tighten. If we're right, the free-risk window for LatAm rate cuts is relatively short.

24 January 2017 Chainstore Sales Growth is Trending Upwards, but not for Long (Publication Centre)

Now that the holidays are just a distant memory, the distortions they cause in an array of economic data are fading. The problems are particularly acute in the weekly data­ -- mortgage applications, chainstore sales and jobless claims -- because Christmas Day falls on a different day of the week each year.

22 July. 2015 Chain Store Sales Growth Will Slow Further - Don't be Misled (Publication Centre)

The downshift in the rate of growth of retail sales, which has caused a degree of consternation among investors, likely has further to run. The Redbook chain store sales survey clearly warned at the turn of the year that a slowdown was coming, but forecasters didn't want hear the warning: Five of the seven non-auto retail sales numbers released this year have undershot consensus.

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.

8 August 2018 Chainstore Sales Growth is Strong, but the Tax Cuts aren't Responsible (Publication Centre)

The release yesterday of the weekly Redbook chainstore sales report for the week ended Saturday August 4 means that we now have a complete picture of July sales.

17 Dec. 2015 Why are Retail Sales Losing Momentum? (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, recent retail spending surveys have been puzzlingly weak in light of the pick-up in employment growth, still-robust real wage gains and renewed momentum in the housing market. We think those surveys are a genuine signal that retail sales growth is slowing, and expect today's official figures to surprise to the downside. But retail sales account for just one-third of household spending, and, in contrast to the early stages of the economic recovery, consumers now are prioritising spending on services rather than goods.

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.

18 Dec. 2015 Should We be Worried by the Rise in the Saving Rate? (Publication Centre)

We have argued consistently since oil prices first began to fall that U.S. consumers would spend most of their windfall, so real spending would accelerate even as nominal retail sales growth was dragged down by the drop in the price of gas and other imported goods. At the same time, we argued that capital spending in the oil business would collapse, and that exports would struggle in the face of the stronger dollar.

16 May 2018 Chinese Retail Sales Volumes Stabilised in April, Q1 was Weak (Publication Centre)

Chinese April retail sales growth slowed sharply in value terms, to 9.4% year-over-year, from 10.1% in March.

22 Apr. 2015 Do rising Inventories pose a threat to growth? (Publication Centre)

A classic indicator of impending recession is the emergence of excessive levels of inventory across the economy. The pace of businesses inventory accumulation typically lags sales growth, so when activity slows, usually in response to higher interest rates, firms are left with unsold goods.

ASIAN DATA WRAP 15 May 2019 (Publication Centre)

Our caution over China's March industrial production spike was justified. Chinese retail sales growth hits lows. Chinese FAI growth suggests private sector policy loosening isn't working. Japan's M2 growth upturn is a welcome break, but needs to be sustained. Korean unemployment jumps in April, showing the limits of the government's hiring spree.

24 July. 2015 Retail Sales on Track for New High, Despite Dip in Sentiment (Publication Centre)

Advance Eurozone consumer sentiment fell disappointingly to -7.1 in July, from -5.6 in June, but it is consistent with a solid trend in retail sales growth. Household consumption in the zone has surged in the last four quarters, and a modest loss of momentum in Q3 and Q4 is a reasonable bet. But we see little risk of a sharp slowdown in the shor t run, and the trend in spending growth should stabilize at an annualised 1.5% this year.

22 Sept. 2015 Nominal Retail Sales Set to Slow Further, Thanks to the Dollar (Publication Centre)

The rate of growth of chain store sales has levelled off in recent months, after slowing dramatically in the first four months of this year, almost certainly in response to falling prices for dollar-sensitive goods like household electronics. In the fourth quarter of last year, the Redbook recorded same-store sales growth averaging 4.3%, but that has slowed to a 1-to-2% range since April.

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.

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