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10 April 2018 Falling Stock Prices Threaten NFIB Headlines, Labor Data Strong (Publication Centre)

It's probably too soon to expect to see a meaningful reaction in the NFIB small business survey to the drop in stock prices, but it likely is coming, and a hit in today's March report can't be ruled out entirely.

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.

23 Feb. 2016 Falling Stock Prices Won't Kill Consumers Enjoying Cheap Gas (Publication Centre)

Dire warnings that the plunge in s tock prices would depress consumers' confidence and spending have not come to pass. It's too soon to draw a definitive conclusion--the S&P hit its low as recently as the 11th--but peoples' end-February brokerage statements are on track to look less horrific than the end-January numbers, provided the market doesn't swoon again over the next few days.

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.

19 October 2018 Mortgage Lenders were Spooked by Higher Rates even Before Stocks Fell (Publication Centre)

Rising mortgage rates appear to have triggered the start, perhaps, of a tightening in lending standards, even before Treasury yields spiked this month and stock prices fell.

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.

22 May 2017 What Does the Path to the Recession of 2019 Look Like? (Publication Centre)

In recent years only one event has made a material difference to the growth path of the U.S. economy, namely, the plunge in oil prices which began in the summer of 2014. The ensuing collapse in capital spending in the mining sector and everything connected to it, pulled GDP growth down from 2½% in both 2014 and 2015 to just 1.6% in 2016.

21 July. 2016 Upside Risk for July Existing Home Sales - Price Gains Should Rebound (Publication Centre)

A very light week for U.S. data concludes today with four economic reports, which likely will be mixed, relative to the consensus forecasts. The recent run of clear upside surprises and robust-looking headline numbers is likely over, for the most part.

26 Apr. 2016 Aircraft Will Lift March Durables, but Early Easter Will Depress Core (Publication Centre)

The good news in today's March durable goods report is that a rebound in orders for Boeing aircraft means February's 3.0% drop in headline orders won't be repeated. The company reported orders for 69 aircraft in March, compared to just one in February.

23 October 2018 The Eurozone Auto Sector is on Sale Should Investors Bite (Publication Centre)

The automotive sector accounts for 6.1% of total employment, and 4% of GDP, in the Eurozone.

22 September 2017 How far will the Hurricanes Depress September Payrolls? (Publication Centre)

The trend rate of increase in private payrolls in the months before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was about 240K per month.

27 November 2017 Economic Growth Set to Rise Next Year, but Pain Will Follow in 2019 (Publication Centre)

We have argued for some time that the revival in nonoil capex represents clear upside risk for GDP growth next year, but it's now time to make this our base case.

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

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

9 April 2018 March Payrolls Don't Signal a Shift in the Trend, Expect 200K-plus in April (Publication Centre)

March payrolls were constrained by both the impact of colder and snowier weather than usual in the survey week, and a correction in the construction and retail components, which were unsustainably strong in February.

9 November. 2016 With Trump the Likely winner, what next for policy and Markets? (Publication Centre)

The verdict is not yet definitive, but prudence dictates we must now assume victory for Donald Trump. The immediate implication of President Trump is global risk-off, with stocks everywhere falling hard, government bonds rallying, alongside gold and the Swiss franc. The dollar is the outlier; usually the beneficiary when fear is the story in global markets, it has fallen overnight because the risk is a U.S. story.

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.

7 November 2017 JOLTS Report will Confirm that Labor Demand is Rising Strongly (Publication Centre)

No single measure of labor demand is always a reliable leading indicator of the official payroll numbers, which is why we track an array of private and official measures.

6 June. 2016 Payrolls Will Rebound Over the Summer - Fed to Hike in September (Publication Centre)

We chose last week to ignore the payroll warning signal from the ISM non-manufacturing employment index, which rolled over in January and February, because the danger seemed to have passed. The ISM is not always a reliable indicator--the drop in the index in early 2014 was not replicated in the official data, but the plunge in early 2015 was--and usually it operates with a very short lag, just a month or two.

21 February 2018 Downside Risk for January Home Sales, but Expect a Decent Spring (Publication Centre)

Today's housing market data likely will look soft, but will probably not be representative of the underlying story, which remains quite positive.

13 Apr. 2016 Downside Risk as Autos Set to Pull Down March Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

The headline March retail sales numbers probably will look horrible, thanks to the unexpected drop in auto sales reported by the manufacturers earlier this month. Their unit sales data don't always move exactly in line with the dollar value numbers in the retail sales report, as our first chart shows, but it's hard to imagine anything other than a clear decline today.

12 Apr. 2016 Foreign Trade Set to Boost Q2 Growth, Thanks to Dollar, Oil (Publication Centre)

We fully expect to learn today that import prices rose in March for the first time since June last year. Our forecast for a 1% increase is in line with the consensus, but the margin of error is probably about plus or minus half a percent, and an increase of more than 1.2% would be the biggest in a single month in four years. Most, if not all, of the jump will be due to the rebound in oil prices.

18 August 2017 Sluggish Income Growth has Held Back Consumption, that will Change (Publication Centre)

Consumer confidence surveys have risen since the elections to levels consistent with very rapid growth in real spending.

12 Apr. Do Leading Indicators Signal Impending Recession? (Publication Centre)

Another day, another downbeat survey. The British Chamber of Commerce's comprehensive and long-running Quarterly Economic Survey was published yesterday, and it added to evidence of a Q1 slowdown.

11 May 2018 Core Inflation is Still Set To Rise, April's Softness won't be Repeated (Publication Centre)

The undershoot in the April core CPI wasn't a huge surprise to us; the downside risk we set out in yesterday's Monitor duly materialized, with used car prices dropping by a hefty 1.6% month-to-month, subtracting 0.05% from the core index.

13 April 2018 Stock Price Hit May Hurt Consumers' Sentiment (Publication Centre)

Whatever happened to consumers' sentiment in March, the level of University of Michigan's index will be very high, relative to its long-term average.

17 August 2018 Noisy Headlines Don't Change the Core Story Growth Still Solid (Publication Centre)

Your correspondent is headed to the beach for the next couple of weeks, with publication resuming on Tuesday, September 4.

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.

11 Sept. 2015 Falling Stock Set to Depress Consumers' Sentiment (Publication Centre)

People don't like to see the value of their portfolios decline, and it is just a matter of time before the benchmark measures of consumer sentiment drop in response to the 7% fall in the S&P since mid-August. Sometimes, movements in stock prices don't affect the sentiment numbers immediately, especially if the market moves gradually. But the drop in the market in August was rapid and dramatic, and gripped the national media.

14 March 2017 Commodity Prices won't Alter the Improving LatAm Picture (Publication Centre)

The medium-term outlook in most LatAm economies is improving, though economic activity is likely to remain anaemic in the near term. The gradual recovery in commodity prices is supporting resource economies, while the post-election surge in global stock prices has boosted confidence. But country-specific domestic considerations are equally relevant; the growth stories differ across the region.

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.

9 Oct. 2015 FOMC Members Sticking to Previous Positions, Mostly (Publication Centre)

The FOMC minutes showed both sides of the hike debate are digging in their heels. As the doves are a majority--rates haven't been hiked--the tone of the minutes is, well, a bit do vish. But don't let that detract from the key point that, "Most participants continued to anticipate that, based on their assessment of current economic conditions and their outlook for economic activity, the labor market, and inflation, the conditions for policy firming had been met or would likely be met by the end of the year." Confidence in this view has diminished among "some" participants, however, worried about the impact of the strong dollar, falling stock prices and weaker growth in China on U.S. net exports and inflation.

24 June. 2016 Brexit Implications for the U.S: No Immediate Fed Easing (Publication Centre)

The U.K.'s unexpected vote for Brexit means a stronger dollar for the foreseeable future, a sharp though likely containable drop in U.S. stock prices, and a further delay before the Fed next raises rates. The vote does not necessarily mean the U.K. actually will leave the EU, because the policy choices now facing leaders of Union have changed dramatically. An offer of substantial concessions on the migration issue--the single biggest driver of the Leave vote-- might be enough to trigger a second referendum, but this is a consideration for another day.

Consistently Right

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