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3 January 2019 Is QT Driving the Stock Market Down, or is it Just a Bit-part Player (Publication Centre)

We have focussed on the role of the trade war in depressing U.S. stock prices in recent months, arguing that the concomitant uncertainty, disruptions to supply chains, increases in input costs and, more recently, the drop in Chinese demand for U.S. imports, are the key factor driving investors to the exits.

27 February 2019 More Patience from Powell, Despite the Recovery in the Stock Market (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell's semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony yesterday broke no new ground, largely repeating the message of the January 30 press conference.

20 December 2018 The Dovish Hike wasn't Dovish Enough for the Stock Market (Publication Centre)

The FOMC did the minimum expected of it yesterday, raising rates by 25bp--with a 20bp increase in IOER--and dropping one of its dots for 2019.

25 August. 2015 The Stock Drop is Unwelcome, but the Market is not the Economy (Publication Centre)

If you want to know what's going to happen to the real economy over, say, the next year, don't look to the stock market for reliable clues. The relationship between swings in stock prices over single quarters and GDP growth over the following year is nonexistent, as our next chart shows.

7 April 2017 Mexico Sentiment is on the Mend as U.S. Threats are Easing, for Now (Publication Centre)

Sentiment has been improving gradually in Mexico in recent weeks, reversing some of the severe deterioration immediately after the U.S. presidential election. Year-to-date, the MXN has risen 10.3% against the USD and the stock market is up by almost 8%. We think that less protectionist U.S. trade policy rhetoric than expected immediately after the election explains the turnaround.

27 December 2018 The President is the Problem, not the Federal Reserve or Jay Powell (Publication Centre)

The biggest single problem for the stock market is the president.

28 Jan. 2015 QE will boost equities this year, but valuations will be stretched to the extreme (Publication Centre)

The ECB will receive most of the credit for the recent gain in stock markets, but the main leading indicator for the stock market, excess liquidity, was already turning up late last year. With the MSCI EU ex-UK up 21%, in euro terms, since October, a lot is already priced in, but in the medium term the outlook is upbeat, and we look for further gains this year.

19 Aug 2019 Sometimes, the Obviously Optimal Things don't Happen (Publication Centre)

A big picture approach to the China trade war, from the perspective of Mr. Trump, is reasonably positive. The president very clearly wants to be re-elected, and he knows that his chances are better if the economy and the stock market are in good shape.

19 March 2018 Will Rising Labor Participation Fix Everything this Year? (Publication Centre)

We need to take a closer look at the chance of a sustained rise in the labor participation rate, which is perhaps the single biggest risk to the idea that 2018 will be a good year for the stock market, with limited downside for Treasuries.

13 June. 2016 Further Thoughts on May Jobs, and Why June Won't be Great (Publication Centre)

We are still annoyed, for want of a better word, by the May payroll numbers. Specifically, we're annoyed that we got it wrong, and we want to know why. Our initial thoughts centered on the idea that the plunge in the stock market in the first six weeks of the year hit business confidence and triggered a pause in hiring decisions, later reflected in the payroll numbers.

09 Feb. 2016 NFIB Survey Components are More Important than the Headline (Publication Centre)

The headline number in today's NFIB survey of small businesses probably will look soft. The index is sensitive to the swings in the stock market and we'd be surprised to see no response to the volatility of recent weeks. We also know already that the hiring intentions number dropped by four points, reversing December's gain, because the key labor market numbers are released in advance, the day before the official payroll report.

28 March 2018 February Foreign Trade Data Could Move the Needle on Q1 GDP Growth (Publication Centre)

Markets often greet the monthly international trade numbers with a shrug.

24 April 2018 Surveys are Stronger than Hard Data, but with no Common Cause (Publication Centre)

The levelling-off in the industrial surveys in recent months is reflected in the consumer sentiment numbers. Anything can happen in any given month, but we'd now be surprised to see sustained further gains in any of the regular monthly surveys.

28 May 2019 The Trade War: What we Know, What we Believe, and What we Don't Know (Publication Centre)

The trade war with China is a macroeconomic event, whose implications for economic growth and inflation can be estimated and measured using straightforward standard macroeconomic tools and data.

28 November 2018 The Fed is Nearer Neutral, but That's not News Where is Neutral (Publication Centre)

Today brings a ton of data, as well as an appearance by Fed Chair Powell at the Economic Club of New York, in which we assume he will address the current state of the economy and the Fed's approach to policy.

23 May 2019 Patience to Persist FOMC Members Content to Wait for Developments (Publication Centre)

It's hard to read the minutes of the April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting as anything other than a statement of the Fed's intent to do nothing for some time yet.

25 June 2019 New Home Sales Set for a Steady Summer, but New Highs in the Fall (Publication Centre)

We are fundamentally quite bullish on the housing market, given the 100bp drop in mortgage rates over the past six months and the continued strength of the labor market, but today's May new home sales report likely will be unexciting.

23 March 2018 Stock up on Chinese-Made T-Shirts, While They're Still Nearly Free (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's announcement that the administration plans to imposes tariffs worth about $60B per year -- thatìs 0.3% of GDP -- on an array of imports of consumer goods from China is a serious escalation.

28 Aug 2019 Consumers are Very Happy About the Labor Market: Can it Last? (Publication Centre)

We were happy to see upside surprises from both sides of the domestic economy yesterday, but we doubt that the August readings from both the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey and the Richmond Fed business survey can hold.

26 November 2018 Tariffs are Hurting the U.S. and China Escalation Would be Excruciating (Publication Centre)

It is becomingly increasingly clear that the trade war with China is hurting manufacturers in both countries.

26 June 2019 Durable Goods Orders Under Pressure, but no Meltdown (Publication Centre)

I need to ask your indulgence today, because the release of the durable goods and advance international trade reports coincides with my elder daughter's college graduation ceremony.

28 March 2017 Full-Scale Tax Reform Likely is Dead (Publication Centre)

The failure of House Republicans to support Speaker Ryan's healthcare bill has laid bare the splits within the Republican party. The fissures weren't hard to see even before last week's debacle but the equity market has appeared determined since November to believe that all the earnings-friendly elements of Mr. Trump's and Mr. Ryan's agendas would be implemented with the minimum of fuss.

24 July 2019 Why are Cash Buyers Abandoning the Existing Homes Market (Publication Centre)

The sluggishness of existing home sales in recent months, as exemplified by yesterday's report of a small dip in June, is due entirely to a sharp drop in the number of cash buyers.

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 Aug 2019 Existing Home Sales are Reviving Lower Rates Signal a Better H2 (Publication Centre)

We're expecting to learn today that existing home sales rose quite sharply in July, perhaps reaching the highest level since early 2018.

21 Mar. 2016 The Fed Either Hopes for a Miracle or Wants Inflation to Overshoot (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen made it clear in last week's press conference that she is not convinced the increase in core inflation will persist: "I want to warn that there may be some transitory factors that are influencing [the rise in core inflation]... I see some of that is having to do with unusually high inflation readings in categories that tend to be quite volatile without very much significance for inflation over time.

20 June 2017 Brazil's Recovery Continues, but Politics have Harmed its Prospects (Publication Centre)

Economic data released in recent weeks underscore that Brazil emerged from recession in Q1, but the recovery is fragile and further rate cuts are badly needed. The political crisis has damaged the reform agenda, and political uncertainty lingers.

20 July 2018 Mortgage Lending Standards Tighten Again More to Come (Publication Centre)

The average FICO credit score for successful mortgage applicants has risen in each of the past four months.

20 August 2018 EZ Inflation has Peaked for the Year, but Core Rate to Rise Further (Publication Centre)

Friday's final EZ CPI data for July confirm the advance report.

22 August. 2016 Financial Services are Set to Push Core PCE Inflation Higher (Publication Centre)

The rate of increase of the financial services and insurance component of the PCE deflator has slowed from a recent peak of 5.8% in May 2014 to 3.3% in June this year. This matters, because it accounts for 8.4% of the core deflator, a much bigger weight than in the core CPI.

22 December 2017 Strong November Consumption Sets Course for 3½% Q4 Gain? (Publication Centre)

This is the final U.S. Economic Monitor of 2017, a year which has seen the economy strengthen, the labor market tighten substantially, and the Fed raise rates three times, with zero deleterious effect on growth.

29 June 2018 Core PCE Inflation is Nudging Towards the Target (Publication Centre)

Our base-case forecast for the May core PCE deflator, due today, is a 0.17% increase, lifting the year-over-year rate by a tenth to 1.9%.

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

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

23 April 2018 Behind the Base-Case Forecast, Risks Abound, in Both Directions (Publication Centre)

For now, we're happy with our base-case forecast that growth will be nearer 3% than 2% this year, and that most of the rise in core inflation this year will come as a result of unfavorable base effects, rather than a serious increase in the month-to-month trend.

22 March 2017 Why Are Pending Sales Lagging Existing Sales? (Publication Centre)

The remarkably strong existing home sales numbers in recent months, relative to the pending home sales index, are hard to explain. In January, total sales reached 5.69M, some 6% higher than the 5.35M implied by December's pending sales index. The gap between the series has widened in recent months, as our first chart shows, and we think the odds now favor a correction in today's February report.

22 February 2017 Easier lending standards to boost housing market? (Publication Centre)

Whatever today's report tells us about existing home sales in January, the underlying state of housing demand right now is unclear. The sales numbers lag mortgage applications by a few months, as our first chart shows, so they're usually the best place to start if you're pondering the near-term outlook for sales. But the applications data right now are suffering from two separate distortions, one pushing the numbers up and the other pushing them down. Both distortions should fade by the late spring, but in they meantime we'd hesitate to say we have a good idea what's really happening to demand.

23 July 2019 The ECB Will Prepare Markets for a Deposit Rate Cut This Week (Publication Centre)

We're breaking protocol this week by delivering our preview for Thursday's ECB meeting in today's Monitor.

29 May 2019 Will Consumers Save Less this Year, in Order to Spend More (Publication Centre)

While businesses--and farmers--fret over the damage already wrought by the trade war with China and the further pain to come, consumers are remarkably happy.

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.

6 September. 2016 Payrolls Will Revive, but not Immediately, Ignore "So" AHE (Publication Centre)

Over the past six months, payroll growth has averaged exactly 150K. Over the previous six months, the average increase was 230K. And in the six months to August 2015--a fairer comparison, because the fourth quarter numbers enjoy very favorable seasonals, flattering the data--payroll growth averaged 197K.

6 July 2017 Monte dei Paschi Finally is Restructured. Will it Work? (Publication Centre)

It's probably happening a decade too late, but the EU is now moving in leaps and bounds to restructure the continent's weakest banks. Yesterday, the Monte dei Paschi saga reached an interim conclusion when the Commission agreed to allow the Italian government to take a 70% stake in the ailing lender.

6 February 2019 Q1 GDP Growth will be Lacklustre, but not as Bad as the PMIs Imply (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's news that the business activity index of the Markit/CIPS services survey fell again in January, to just 50.1--its lowest level since July 2016--has created a downbeat backdrop to the MPC meeting; the minutes and Q1 Inflation Report will be published on Thursday.

6 February 2019 Don't Worry About the Tightening of Bank C&I Lending Standards (Publication Centre)

We are not concerned by the very modest tightening in business lending standards reported in the Fed's quarterly survey of senior loan officers, published on Monday.

7 December 2017 China Regulates in an Attempt to Avoid a Korea-style Credit Spiral (Publication Centre)

China last week banned unlicensed micro-lending and put a ceiling on borrowing costs for the sector, in an effort to curtail the spiralling of consumer credit.

7 June 2019 The Rising Threat of Protectionism Is Hurting More than Just the MXN (Publication Centre)

Monday will see 5% tariffs going into effect on Mexican exports to the U.S.--which totalled about USD360B last year--unless President Trump steps back from the brink.

8 May 2019 Financial Services have Depressed the Core PCE Expect a Rebound (Publication Centre)

A steep drop in prices for financial services in January was a key factor behind the sharp slowdown in the rate of increase of the core PCE deflator in the first quarter, relative to the core CPI.

8 November 2018 Fed on Hold Today, but Zero Real Rates won't Slow the Labor Market (Publication Centre)

The Fed today will do nothing to rates and won't materially change the language of the post-meeting statement.

8 May 2018 Small Firms' Sentiment Likely has Weakened Further, but no Disaster (Publication Centre)

We're looking forward to today's April NFIB survey of activity and sentiment in the small business sector with some trepidation.

8 June. 2016 Job Openings Likely Dipped in April, but Remain Very High (Publication Centre)

A casual glance at our char t below, which shows the number of job openings from the JOLTS report, seems to fit our story that the slowdown in payrolls in April and May--perhaps triggered by the drop in stocks in January and February--will prove temporary. Job openings dipped, but have recovered and now stand very close to their cycle high.

8 January 2019 Bifurcation Intensifying Services Outperforming as Industry Suffers (Publication Centre)

If you need more evidence that the U.S. economy is bifurcating, look at the spread between the ISM non- manufacturing and manufacturing indexes, which has risen to 3.5 points, the widest gap since September 2016.

5 February 2019 Six Days Later, We're Still Struggling to Make Sense of the Fed's Thinking (Publication Centre)

We very much doubt that Fed Chair Powell dramatically changed his position last week because President Trump repeatedly, and publicly, berated him and the idea of further increases in interest rates.

5 August 2019 Tariffs on Chinese Consumer Goods not Necessarily a Done Deal (Publication Centre)

The President's threat to impose tariffs on imported Chinese consumer goods on September 1 might yet come to nothing.

8 November 2018 Is it Time to Worry About Consumers' Spending in Japan (Publication Centre)

The recent slowdown in labour cash earnings growth in Japan halted in September.

2 March 2018 Q1 Growth is Set to Disappoint, Again, the Big Picture is Unchanged (Publication Centre)

This week has seen a huge wave of data releases for both January and February, but the calendar today is empty save for the final Michigan consumer sentiment numbers; the preliminary index rose to a very strong 99.9 from 95.7, and we expect no significant change in the final reading.

9 January 2019 Small Firms are Cutting their Capex Plans but Raising Prices (Publication Centre)

The only way to read the December NFIB survey and not be alarmed is to look at the headline, which fell by less than expected, and ignore the details.

9 July 2019 Did the Rising China Tariffs and the Mexico Threat Scare Small Firms? (Publication Centre)

Small business sentiment and activity, as reported by the NFIB survey, has recovered exactly half the drop triggered by the rollover in stock prices in the fourth quarter. This matters, because most people work at small firms, which are responsible for the vast bulk of net job growth.

29 March 2019 Debt-Assisted Household Spending Will Keep Potential BoK Cuts at Bay (Publication Centre)

Korea's business survey index rose for a second straight month in March, to 75 from 73 in February, on our adjustment.

3 January 2019 China's PMIs Deteriorate What are the Positives Amid the Gloom (Publication Centre)

China's Caixin manufacturing PMI doused hopes of turning over a January new leaf; it dropped to 49.7 in November, from 50.2 in December.

3 June 2019 Trade is Now Trump's Weapon for Everything, but it Shoots Backwards (Publication Centre)

The chance of a self-inflicted, unnecessary weakening in the economy this year, and perhaps even a recession, has increased markedly in the wake of the president's announcement on Friday that tariffs will be applied to all imports from Mexico, from June 10.

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.

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.

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.

3 Sept 2019 If China Doesn't Budge as Tariffs Rise, Mr. Trump will Blink, Eventually (Publication Centre)

After a week--yes, a whole week!--with no significant new developments in the trade war with China--it's worth stepping back and asking a couple of fundamental questions, which might give us some clues as to what will happen over the months ahead.

3 May. 2016 Auto Sales Set for Clear April Rebound, Boosting Consumption (Publication Centre)

The startling 5.5% drop in auto sales in March left sales at just 16.5M, well below the 17.4M average for the previous three months and the lowest level since February last year. A combination of the early Easter, which causes serious problems for the seasonal adjustments, and the lagged effect of the plunge in stock prices in January and February, likely explains much of the decline.

29 March 2017 Consumers are Happy, but Spending Will Lag Sentiment (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's data don't significantly change our view that first quarter GDP growth will be reported at only about 1%, but the foreign trade and consumer confidence numbers support our contention that the underlying trend in growth is rather stronger than that.

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

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

11 November. 2016 Eyes of Hurricanes Pass, then the Real Uproar Begins (Publication Centre)

Uncertainty about the U.S. economic and political outlook, following Donald Trump's presidential win, likely will cast a long shadow over EM in general and LatAm in particular. On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump argued for tearing up NAFTA and building a border wall.

11 June 2019 What's Happening to Small Firms' Capex and Pricing Plans (Publication Centre)

We already know that the key labor market numbers in today's May NFIB survey are strong.

12 February 2019 The Details Matter Much More than the NFIB Survey's Headline Index (Publication Centre)

We're very interested in the detail of today's January NFIB survey; the headline index, not so much.

12 March 2018 As Good as it Gets, Provided Participation Keeps Rising (Publication Centre)

It's hard to find anything to dislike in the February employment report.

14 Mar. 2016 Don't Abandon All Hope in EZ Equities - Better Times are Ahead (Publication Centre)

The benchmark MSCI EU ex-UK equity index was down a startling 17% year-over-year at the end of February. A disappointing policy package from the ECB in December initially put Eurozone equities on the back foot, and the awful start to the year for global risk assets has since piled on the misery.

13 Aug 2019 The Pillars of Japanese Domestic Demand are Built on Shaky Ground (Publication Centre)

GDP growth in Japan surprised to the upside in the second quarter, although the preliminary headline arguably flattered the economy's actual performance.

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 August. 2016 Mortgage Demand is Faltering, Will it Rebound Soon? (Publication Centre)

The medium-term trend in the volume of mortgage applications turned up in early 2015, but progress has not been smooth. The trend in the MBA's purchase applications index has risen by about 40% from its late 2014 low, but the increase has been characterized by short bursts of rapid gains followed by periods of stability.

04 October. 2016 Colombian Voters Reject Peace Deal, Leaping into the Unknown (Publication Centre)

Colombians have rejected the peace deal with FARC guerrillas to end 52 years of war. The referendum saw relatively poor turnout--almost two thirds of voters abstained--but delivered 50.2% votes against the deal.

1 Sept. 2015 Manufacturing Woes Changing as Oil Hit Eases but Dollar Gains Bite (Publication Centre)

The pressures on U.S. manufacturers are changing. For most of this year to date, the problem has been the collapse in capital spending in the oil business, which has depressed overall investment spending, manufacturing output and employment. Oil exploration is extremely capital-intensive, so the only way for companies in the sector to save themselves when the oil prices collapsed was to slash capex very quickly.

10 July 2019 Powell to Stick to the Party Line. Will he Mention the Trimmed Mean PCE? (Publication Centre)

We'd be surprised to see any serious shift in the tone of Fed Chair Powell's semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony today compared to the FOMC statement and press conference just three weeks ago.

10 June 2019 Job Gains will Rebound, May's Slowdown is no Reason to Cut Rates (Publication Centre)

Payroll growth has slowed, no matter how you slice and dice the numbers.

14 May 2019 Trade Stand-off won't Last Forever, but Expect a Few Painful Weeks (Publication Centre)

Markets are caught in a trade loop.

14 November 2018 Banxico Likely Will Hike Tomorrow Interventionist Threats are Growing (Publication Centre)

After recent interventionist moves and plans in Mexico from AMLO's incoming administration and his political party, uncertainty and soured sentiment are the name of the game.

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.

18 Nov. 2015 Hawks Want to Hike, but What do They Expect From Higher Rates? (Publication Centre)

At the October FOMC meeting, policymakers softened their view on the threat posed by the summer's market turmoil and the slowdown in China, dropping September's stark warning that "Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term." Instead, the October statement merely said that the committee is "monitoring global economic and financial developments."

19 December 2018 The Fed will Hike, but the Dots Could Sting a Shift to Two isn't Certain (Publication Centre)

From a bird's-eye perspective, the argument for continued steady Fed rate hikes is clear.

2 December. 2016 Friendly Seasonals Set to Push Payrolls Back Above 200K? (Publication Centre)

Our payroll model, which incorporates survey data as well as the error term from our ADP forecast, points to a hefty 225K increase in November employment. We have tweaked the forecast to the upside because of the tendency in recent years for the fourth quarter numbers to be stronger than the prior trend, as our first chart shows.

2 January 2019 China to Turn up the Stimulus in 2019, but Constraints Remain (Publication Centre)

At the end of last year, China's Central Economic Work Conference set out the lay of the land for 2019. Cutting through the rhetoric, we think the readout implies more expansionary fiscal policy, and a looser stance on monetary policy.

18 May 2017 Political Uncertainty is set to Plague Markets for Many Months (Publication Centre)

The turmoil in Washington has begun to hit markets. We don't know how this will end, but we do know that it isn't going away quickly.

18 April 2018 Mortgage Applications Wilting Under the Weight of Higher Rates (Publication Centre)

Mortgage applications appear to have recovered from their reported February drop, which was due mostly to a very long-standing seasonal adjustment problem

15 Jan. 2016 Equity Price Drop Not Yet Big Enough to Darken Growth Outlook (Publication Centre)

The FTSE 100 fell further yesterday, briefly to levels not seen since November 2012, but its drop over recent months is not a convincing signal of impending economic disaster. The economic recovery is likely to slow further, but this will reflect the building fiscal squeeze and the sterling-related export hit much more than the wobble in market sentiment.

15 Dec. 2014 Stocks Should Start Well in 2015, But Much Still Hinges on the ECB (Publication Centre)

The equity market this year has been a story of two halves. Hopes of a sustainable economic recovery pushed the benchmark Eurozone equity index to an 7.5% increase in the first six months of the year.

15 January 2019 The Trade War is not the Only Factor Hurting Stocks, but it's the Biggest (Publication Centre)

In our Monitor of January 10, we argued that the market turmoil in Q4 was largely driven by the U.S.- China trade war, and that a resolution--which we expect by the spring, at the latest--would trigger a substantial easing of financial conditions.

16 May. 2016 What Went Wrong With the Rising Yield Story? (Publication Centre)

Back in September, after the Fed decided to hold fire in the wake of market turmoil, we expected rates to rise in December and again in March. We forecast 10-year yields would rise to 2.75% by the end of March. in the event, the Fed hiked only once, and 10-year yields ended the first quarter at just 1.77%. So, what went wrong with our forecasts?

17 June 2019 Peak Trade War Might Already be Past, but Strong Nerves Needed (Publication Centre)

When economic historians look back at the bizarre trade war of 2018-to-19, we think they will see Tuesday June 4 as the turning point, after which the threats of fire and brimstone were taken much less seriously, and markets began to ponder life after tariffs.

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.

Market Watch - The stock market is too complacent about risk of higher rates, says top forecaster (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson named Market Watch forecaster of the month for July

DAILY TELEGRAPH - Stock markets rocked by US consumer fears (Media Centre)

Chief US Economist Ian Shepherdson on Consumer Confidence figures for April

24 June 2019 Capex and Stock Market Fears Explain the Fed's Itchy Trigger-Finger (Publication Centre)

The apparent softness of business capex is worrying the Fed.

15 October 2018 The Stock Market Wobble isn't Enough to Deter the Fed (Publication Centre)

A 45bp rise in long-term interest rates--the increase between mid-August and last week's peak--ought to depress stock prices, other things equal.

2 November 2018 Will the October Stock Market Swoon Hurt the EZ Economy (Publication Centre)

Last month was sobering month for equity investors in the Eurozone, and indeed in the global economy as a whole.

12 Oct. 2015 Fed Minutes Bring Temporary Relief to Besieged LatAm Markets (Publication Centre)

In recent weeks LatAm's currencies and stock markets, together with key commodity prices, have risen as financial markets' expectations for a rate increase by the Fed this year have faded. The COP has risen 8.5% over the last month, the MXN is up 2.5%, the CLP has climbed 1.4% and the PEN has been practically stable against the USD. The minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting added strength to this market's view, showing that policymakers postponed an interest rate hike as they worried about a global slowdown, particularly China, the strong USD and the impact of the drop in stock prices.

15 Jan. 2016 Downside Risk for December Retail Sales and Industrial Output (Publication Centre)

After a very light week for economic data so far, everything changes today, with an array of reports on both activity and inflation. We expect headline weakness across the board, with downside risks to consensus for the December retail sales and industrial production numbers, and the January Empire State survey and Michigan consumer sentiment. The damage will b e done by a combination of falling oil prices, very warm weather, relative to seasonal norms, and the stock market.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. NFIB Survey, May (Publication Centre)

In one line: Small business owners responding to the Jan-Apr stock market rally with the usual lag.

12 February 2018 The Next Round of Data Likely Will Dampen Inflation Fears, For a Time (Publication Centre)

It's hard to know what will stop the correction in the stock market, but we're pretty sure that robust economic data--growth, prices and/or wages--over the next few weeks would make things worse.

16 September. 2016 Mexican Peso in the Firing Line, Volatility will Remain High (Publication Centre)

The Mexican peso and the Mexican stock market were hit this week after a poll showed that the Republican presidential candidate, Mr. Donald Trump, is leading in Ohio, a bellwether state in US presidential elections. After the poll's release, the MXN, which has been trading at about 18.9 to the USD, shot up to around 19.2.

10 June. 2016 Nominal Corporate Sales Set to Rebound, Supporting Stock Prices (Publication Centre)

For some time now we have argued that the forces which have depressed business capex--the collapse in oil prices, the strong dollar, and slower growth in China--are now fading, and will soon become neutral at worst. As these forces dissipate, the year-over-year rate of growth of capex will revert to the prior trend, about 4-to-6%. We have made this point in the context of our forecast of faster GDP growth, but it also matters if you're thinking about the likely performance of the stock market.

10 Dec. 2014 - Mortgage Demand Has Recovered its October Plunge, but Still Low (Publication Centre)

Demand for new mortgages to finance house purchase has rebounded somewhat in recent weeks, following an alarming dip in the wak e of October's stock market correction. At the low, in the third week in October, the MBA's index of applications volume was at its lowest since mid-February, when the reported numbers are substantially depressed by a long-standing seasonal adjustment problem.

10 Feb. 2016 Yellen to Sound Cautious Today, but Can't Ignore the Labor Market (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen today needs to strike a balance between addressing investors' concerns over the state of the stock market and the risks posed by slower growth in Asia, and the tightening domestic labor market.

21 Dec. 2015 Corporations Still Over-leveraged, but Little Near-Term Danger? (Publication Centre)

The markets' favorite story of the moment, aside from the Fed, seems to be the idea that overstretched corporate finances are an accident waiting to happen. When the crunch comes, the unavoidable hit to the stock market and the corporate bond market will have dire consequences, limiting the Fed's scope to raise rates, regardless of what might be happening in the labor market. We don't buy this. At least, we don't buy the second part of the narrative; we have no problem with the idea the finances of the corporate sector are shaky.

11 Dec. 2014 - How Far Did Falling Gas Prices Depress November Retail Sales? (Publication Centre)

Demand for new mortgages to finance house purchase has rebounded somewhat in recent weeks, following an alarming dip in the wak e of October's stock market correction. At the low, in the third week in October, the MBA's index of applications volume was at its lowest since mid-February, when the reported numbers are substantially depressed by a long-standing seasonal adjustment problem.

17 Nov. 2015 Does the Underperformance of the FTSE Portend a Weaker Economy? (Publication Centre)

The FTSE 100 has fallen by 4% over the last two weeks, exceeding the 1-to-3% declines in the main US, European and Japanese markets. The FTSE's latest drop builds on an underperformance which began in early 2014. The index has fallen by 10% since then--compared to rises of between 10% and 20% in the main overseas benchmarks--and has dropped by nearly 15% since its April 2015 peak. We doubt, however, that the collapse in U.K. equity prices signals impending economic misery. The economy is likely to struggle next year, but this will have little to do with the stock market's travails.

29 November 2018 Powell Says the Funds Rate is Just Below... Well, What, Exactly (Publication Centre)

The stock market loved Fed Chair Powell's remarks on the economy yesterday, specifically, his comment that rates are now "just below" neutral.

4 April 2017 Mexican Markets Had a Good Q1, the Next Test is on the Political Front (Publication Centre)

LatAm, particularly Mexico, has dealt with Donald Trump's presidency better than expected thus far. Indeed, the MXN rose 10.7% against the USD in Q1, the stock market has recovered after its initial post-Trump plunge, and risk metrics have eased significantly.

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.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Consumer Confidence, May (Publication Centre)

In one line: The recovery from the Q4 stock market hit continues apace.

21 Jan. 2016 Why Aren't Core Goods Prices Falling Much Faster? (Publication Centre)

Another day, another sharp drop in the stock market, and another wavelet of commentary suggesting recession and deflation are just around the corner. We have no argument with the idea that the manufacturing sector could contract over, say, the next six months. But the other 88% of the economy--apart from the 1½% of GDP generated by oil extraction-- is benefiting from the strong dollar and cheap fuel.

29 July. 2015 Is EM Weakness Threatening Investment Recovery in the EZ? (Publication Centre)

Volatility in commodities and emerging markets has intensified since the beginning of July, with the stock market drama in China taking centre stage. The bubble in Chinese equities inflated without much ado elsewhere, and can probably deflate in isolation too. But the accelerating economic slowdown in EM is becoming an issue for policy makers in the Eurozone.

23 February 2018 Earnings Set to Beat Consensus this Year (Publication Centre)

The knee-jerk reaction of the stock market to the unexpectedly high hourly earnings growth number for January was predicated on two connected ideas.

26 October 2018 It Would Take a Lot to Turn the ECB Away from Ending QE in Q4 (Publication Centre)

The ECB kept its cool yesterday, at the headline level, amid crashing stock markets, volatile BTPs and souring economic data.

26 August. 2015 Sharp Swings In LatAm Markets Highlights Their Vulnerabilities (Publication Centre)

LatAm currencies and stock markets have suffered badly in recent weeks, but Monday turned into a massacre with the MSCI stock index for the region falling close to 4%. Markets rebounded marginally yesterday, but remain substantially lower than their April-May peaks. Each economy has its own story, so the market hit has been uneven, but all have been battered as China's stock market has crashed. The downward spiral in commodity prices--oil hit almost a seven-year low on Monday--is making the economic and financial outlook even worse for LatAm.

26 August. 2015 Solid Net Trade Lifts German GDP in Q2, but Payback Likely in Q3 (Publication Centre)

The IFO did its part to alleviate the stock market gloom yesterday, with the business climate index rising slightly to 108.3 in August from 108.0 in July. The August reading doesn't reflect the panic in equities, though, and we need to wait until next month to gauge the real hit to business sentiment. The increase in the headline index was driven by businesses assessment of current output, with the key expectations index falling trivially to 102.2 from a revised 102.3 in July. This survey currently points to a stable trend in real GDP growth of about 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, consistent with our expectation of full year growth of about 1.5%.

24 August. 2015 The U.S. Will be A Net Gainer from EM Turmoil, Thanks to Cheap Oil (Publication Centre)

If the plunge in the stock market last week, and especially Friday, was a entirely a reaction to the slowdown in China and its perceived impact on other emerging economies, then it was an over-reaction. Exports to China account for just 0.7% of U.S. GDP; exports to all emerging markets account for 2.1%. So, even a 25% plunge in exports to these economies-- comparable to the meltdown seen as global trade collapsed after the financial crisis--would subtract only 0.5% from U.S. growth over a full year, gross.

MARKETWATCH - You should trust the BLS more than the Dow, economist says (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the U.S. Economy

NEW YORK TIMES - Survey Indicates Slower Growth in Services Sector (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on ISM Non-Manufacturing

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