Search Results: 371
Pantheon Macroeconomics aims to be the premier provider of unbiased, independent macroeconomic intelligence to financial market professionals around the world.
Sorry, but our website is best viewed on a device with a screen width greater than 320px. You can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
371 matches for " surveys":
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.
Recent retail surveys have indicated that consumers are not suffering yet from Brexit blues. The BRC reported that year-over-year growth in total sales values picked up to 1.9% in July, from 0.2% in June. After adjusting for falling prices, this measure suggests that year-over-year growth in official retail sales volumes held steady at about 4% last month.
All the regional PMIs and Fed business surveys are volatile in the short-term, so observations for single months need to be viewed with due skepticism.
We're placing less weight than usual on conventional business surveys at the moment, as they are ill-suited to charting the economy's turnaround from the Covid-19 slump.
The Bank of Korea's two main monthly economic surveys were very perky in January.
The huge drop in the March Markit services PMI, reported yesterday, and the modest dip in the manufacturing index, are the first national business survey data to capture the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
In the wake of the unexpectedly weak September Empire State survey, released Monday, we are now very keen to see what today's Philadelphia Fed survey has to say.
The startling jump in the Philly Fed index in May, when it rose 11.2 points to a 12-month high, seemed at first sight to be a response to fading tensions over global trade.
This was supposed to be the year that wage growth finally would pick up and signal clearly to the MPC that the economy needs higher interest rates.
We raised our forecast for today's January payroll number after the ADP report, to 200K from 160K.
Korea's manufacturing PMI fell for a fourth straight month in April, dropping to 41.6, which is the lowest reading since January 2009.
The stagnation in business investment since 2016 has been key to the slowdown in the overall economy since the E.U. referendum.
Just as we turned more positive on the labor market, following three straight months of payroll gains outstripping the message from an array of surveys, the Labor Department's JOLTS report shows that the number of job openings plunged in November.
Consensus forecasts expect further gains in this week's key EZ business surveys, but the data will struggle to live up to expectations. The headline EZ PMIs, the IFO in Germany, and French manufacturing sentiment have increased almost uninterruptedly since August, and we think the consensus is getting ahead of itself expecting further gains. Our first chart shows that macroeconomic surprise indices in the euro area have jumped to levels which usually have been followed by mean-reversion.
The substantial gap between the key manufacturing surveys for the U.S. and China, relative to their long-term relationship, likely narrowed a bit in December.
Both business surveys and unconventional activity indicators suggest that the recovery from the Covid-19 shock has sped up in June, after a shaky start in May.
The flash readings of the Markit/CIPS surveys in February provide reassurance that GDP is on track to rebound in Q1, despite disruption to the global economy caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and bad weather in the U.K. this month.
November's monetary indicators provide an upbeat rebuttal to the swathe of downbeat business surveys. Year-over-year growth in the MPC's preferred measure of broad money--M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations--rose to a 19-month high of 4.0% in November, from 3.5% in October.
Leading economic indicators in the Eurozone continue to send contradictory signals. Most of the headline surveys indicate that a further slowdown, and perhaps even recession, are imminent, while the money supply data suggest that GDP growth is about to re-accelerate.
We aren't convinced by the idea that consumers' confidence will be depressed as a direct result of the rollover in most of the regular surveys of business sentiment and activity.
PBoC holding still in the wake of Fed rate cut. China's Caixin manufacturing PMI was due a bounce. Inflation in Korea will soon take another nosedive, due largely to unfavourable non-core base effects. Korea's export slump turned less bad in July. Korea's two main manufacturing surveys aren't talking to each other.
Core durable goods orders in recent months have been much less terrible than implied by both the ISM and Markit manufacturing surveys.
The post-election run of upbeat business surveys was extended yesterday, with the release of the final Markit/CIPS services PMI for January.
We look for a 210K increase in July payrolls. That would be consistent with the message from an array of private sector surveys, as well as the recent trend.
Business surveys released over the last week have made us more confident in our call that quarter-on- quarter GDP growth will recover to about 0.4% in Q2, from Q1's weather-impacted 0.1% rate.
Economic conditions remain challenging in Mexico, despite a modest improvement in leading indicators. The usual surveys currently are not well-suited to capture the economy's upturn from the Covid-19 collapse.
Here's the bottom line: U.S. businesses appear to have over-reacted to the impact of the trade war in their responses to most surveys, pointing to a serious downturn in economic growth which has not materialized.
Incoming data continue to highlight the severe hit from the pandemic on the real economies of the region, but some surveys and leading indicators are already pointing to a gradual upturn from June onwards.
The next couple of rounds of business surveys will capture firms' responses to the Phase One trade deal agreed last week, though the news came too late to make much, if any, difference to the December Philly Fed report, which will be released today.
Yesterday's national business surveys provided an optimistic counterbalance to the underwhelming PMIs on Monday, although they all suggest that the euro area economy is in good form.
November's Markit/CIPS surveys for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors suggest that GDP growth is on track to strengthen a touch in Q4.
The economic damage from the measures taken to curb the Covid-19 outbreak is now wreaking havoc with the key EZ surveys.
Activity surveys picked up across the board in April, offering hope that the slowdown in GDP growth--to just 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q1-- will be just a blip. The headline indicators of surveys from the CBI, European Commission, Lloyds Bank and Markit all improved in April and all exceeded their 2004-to-2016 averages.
Today's huge wall of data will add significantly to our understanding of third quarter economic growth, with new information on consumers' spending, industrial activity, inflation and business sentiment. In light of the unexpected drop in the ISM surveys in August, we are very keen to see the Empire State and Philly Fed surveys for September.
Eurozone surveys make for 'grim reading' as region stutters
Survey data point to a very strong headline, 0.6%-to-0.7% quarter-on-quarter, in today's Q1 advance Eurozone GDP report. But the hard data have been less ebullient than the surveys. A GDP regression using retail sales, industrial production and construction points to a more modest 0.4% increase, implying a slowdown from the upwardly-revised 0.5% gain in Q4.
A cluster of surveys suggest that the manufacturing sector finished 2016 with a flourish, after a dismal performance for most of the year. But momentum will drain away from the sector's recovery in 2017, as higher oil prices make low value-added work unprofitable again and resurgent inflation causes domestic consumer demand to crumble.
Surveys released yesterday failed to support the MPC's view that the economy has bounced back in Q2.
All the main business surveys released last week continued to paint a picture of a listless economy.
April's public finances indicate that the economy has remained weak in Q2, casting doubt on the suggestion from recent business surveys that the slowdown in Q1 was just a blip.
Yesterday's national surveys in the EZ confirmed the downbeat message from the PMIs and consumer sentiment data earlier this week.
The ECB made no changes to policy yesterday, leaving its key refinancing and deposit rates unchanged, at 0.00% and -0.5%, and confirmed that it will restart QE in November at €20B per month.
The gaps in the third quarter GDP data are still quite large, with no numbers yet for September international trade or the public sector, but we're now thinking that growth likely was less than 11⁄2%.
The PM now is at a fork in the road and will have to decide in the coming days whether to risk all and seek a general election, or restart the process of trying to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--through parliament.
The path of new home sales over the past couple of years has followed the mortgage applications numbers quite closely.
Yesterday's stock market bloodbath stands in contrast to the U.S. economic data, most of which so far show no impact from the Covid-19 outbreak.
The consensus for today's first post-apocalypse jobless claims number, 1,500K, looks much too low.
Analysing the EZ sentiment data at the moment is a bit like a surveyor being called out to assess the damage on a property after a flood.
Don't be alarmed by the second straight jump in consumers' inflation expectations, captured by the Conference Board's May survey, reported yesterday.
Yesterday's June PMIs offered more of the same, insofar as the survey's key message goes in the past few months.
Friday's advance PMI data for the Eurozone added further evidence of stabilisation in the economy after the sharp slowdown in GDP growth since the beginning of last year.
News that the Covid-19 virus has spread to more countries frayed investors' nerves further yesterday, with the FTSE 100 eventually residing 5.3% below its Friday close.
The mortgage market is continuing to hold up surprisingly well, given the calamitous political backdrop.
The PMIs in the Eurozone are still warning that the economy is in much worse shape than implied by remarkably stable GDP growth so far this year.
Yesterday's sole economic report in the EZ showed that consumer sentiment in Germany improved mid-way through the fourth quarter.
This week's detailed Q1 GDP data confirmed that the German economy is in dire straits, alongside its euro area peers, but there's a silver lining.
The recent pick-up in mortgage approvals is another sign that households are unperturbed by the risk of a no-deal Brexit.
Japan's CPI inflation was stable at 0.2% in October, despite the sales tax hike, thanks to a combination of offsetting measures from the government and a deepening of energy deflation.
The November IFO report suggests that the headline indices are on track for a tepid recovery in Q4 as a whole, but the central message is still one of downside risks to growth
If Japan's flash PMIs for March are a sign of things to come, then the government really should get moving on fiscal stimulus.
Yesterday's State Council meeting significantly expanded support to the economy, through a number of channels.
Markets will be hyper-sensitive to U.K. data releases following the MPC's warning that it is on the verge of raising interest rates.
The Covid-19 scare can be split into two stages, the initial outbreak in China, concentrated in Wuhan, and the now-worrying signs that clusters are forming in other parts of the world, primarily in South Korea, the Middle East and Italy.
Today's preliminary estimate of GDP likely will show that the economy continued to struggle in response to high inflation, further fiscal austerity and Brexit uncertainty.
The headline May durable goods orders numbers today probably will look very strong, with the odds favoring a much bigger increase than the 10.1% consensus; we'll come back to that.
Investors think it more likely that the MPC will cut Bank Rate in the first half of next year, following Friday's release of the flash Markit/CIPS PMIs for November.
The weaker is the economy over the next few months, the more likely it is that Mr. Trump blinks and removes some--perhaps even all--the tariffs on Chinese imports.
While we were out last week, market nervousness over the Covid-19 outbreak intensified, though most key indicators of the spread of the infection continued to improve.
The coronavirus pandemic looks set to spread rapidly throughout LatAm.
Friday's PMI data were a mixed bag.
The speculation is over: 3.283 million people filed a new claim for unemployment benefits last week, nearly double the 1.7M consensus forecast, which looked much too low.
Last week's data added yet more weight to our view that manufacturing is in deep trouble, and that the bottom has not yet been reached.
Hot on the heels of yesterday's grim-looking-- temporarily--existing home sales numbers for May, we see upside risk for today's new sales data.
The number of Covid-19 cases is increasing at a faster rate, though 89% of the new cases reported Saturday were in China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.
Colombian policymakers on Friday cut the reference rate by 50bp, for a third straight month, to 2.75%.
While were out over the holidays, the single biggest surprise in the data was yet another drop in imports, reported in the advance trade numbers for November.
With campaigning for the general election intensifying last week, it was unsurprising that October's money and credit release from the Bank of England received virtually no media or market attention.
Data on Friday showed that the downward trend in Brazil's unemployment continued into this year. The unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 11.2% in January, slightly below the consensus, and down from 12.0% in January last year.
Investors moved rapidly last week to price-in renewed easing by central banks around the world, in response to the rapid growth in coronavirus cases outside China and the resulting sell-off in equity markets.
Signs of a slowdown in the labour market data are conspicuously absent.
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate by June fell to 34%, from 38%, after the release of January's consumer price figures, though investors still see around an 80% chance of a cut by the end of this year.
Friday's inflation data in the Eurozone added a dovish twist to the story ahead of the key ECB meeting later this month.
Korea's trade data have been extremely volatile over the past two months, thanks to distortions caused by last year's odd holiday calendar.
We're reasonably happy with the idea that business sentiment is stabilizing, albeit at a low level, but that does not mean that all the downside risk to economic growth is over.
The Fed headlines yesterday carried no real surprises; rates were cut by 25bp, with a promise to take further action if "appropriate to sustain the expansion".
Boeing's announcement that it will temporarily cut production of 737MAX aircraft to zero in January, from the current 42 per month pace, will depress first quarter economic growth, though not by much.
The February activity report in Colombia showed a modest pick-up in manufacturing activity and strength in the retail sales numbers.
The case for the MPC to hold back from implementing more stimulus was bolstered by September's consumer prices figures.
Some of the recent labor market data appear contradictory. For example, the official JOLTS measure of the number of job openings has spiked to an all-time high, and the number of openings is now greater than the number of unemployed people, for the first time since the data series begins, in 2001.
Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively weak footing. The IBC-Br index, a monthly proxy for GDP, fell 0.3% month- to-month, pushing down the adjusted year-over- year rate to 0.3%, from a downwardly-revised 0.7% increase in November.
Today's labour market report looks set to be a mixed bag, with growth in employment remaining strong, but further signs that momentum in average weekly wages has faded.
The BoE has lived up to its reputation again as one of the most unpredictable central banks.
The Eurozone economy all but stalled at the start of Q4.
Some shoes never drop. But it would be unwise to assume that the steep plunge in manufacturing output apparently signalled by the ISM manufacturing index won't happen, just because the hard data recently have been better than the survey implied.
Brazil's monetary authority adopted a neutral tone and kept its main rate on hold at 6.5% at its monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, surprising investors.
Expectations that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its meeting on January 30 received a further shot in the arm at the end of last week, when December's retail sales figures were released.
The Fed's announcement, at 11.30pm Wednesday, that it will establish a Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility--MMLF--to support prime money market funds, is another step to limit the emerging credit crunch triggered by the virus.
We're breaking protocol this week by delivering our preview for Thursday's ECB meeting in today's Monitor.
November's labour market data were the last before the MPC's February meeting, when it will conduct its annual assessment of the supply side of the economy.
Barring a meteor strike, the ECB will leave its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged today, at 0.00% and -0.5% respectively.
Friday's economic data suggest that the downtrend in German PPI inflation is reversing.
Recent data in Colombia have confirmed that virus containment measures caused much bigger declines in activity in early Q2 than initially expected.
All eyes today will be on the core PCE deflator for August, which we think probably rose by a solid 0.2%.
The 810K drop in jobless claims in the week ended April 18 was a bit less than we expected, but the downward trend is clear; claims have fallen by some 2.4M from their peak, in the final week of March.
The 17-point leap in the Richmond Fed index for October, reported yesterday, was startlingly large.
As we write, the Commons appears to be on the verge of voting for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--at its second reading but then voting against the government's "Programme Motion", which sets out a very tight timetable for its passage through parliament, in a bid to meet the October 31 deadline and to minimise parliamentary scrutiny.
Yesterday's barrage of economic data in the Eurozone added to the evidence that economic momentum is slowing.
Sterling briefly touched $1.30 yesterday, in response to signs that a very small majority in the Commons stands ready to vote for an unamended version of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB-- on Tuesday.
After the strong Philly Fed survey was released last week, we argued that the regional economy likely was outperforming because of its relatively low dependence on exports, making it less vulnerable to the trade war.
Borrowing by local authorities from the Public Works Loan Board, used to finance capital projects-- and arguably dubious commercial property acquisitions--has surged this year.
Investor sentiment in the Eurozone showed further signs of recovery yesterday. The ZEW expectations index rose strongly to 48.4 in January from 34.9 in December, and the leap since the trough in October ranks among the strongest rebounds ever recorded in the index.
We expect the flash reading of Markit's composite PMI, released today, to print at 52.4 in February, below the consensus, 52.8, and January's final reading, 53.3, albeit still in line with last month's flash.
The recent increases in single-family housing construction are consistent with the rise in new home sales, triggered by the substantial fall in mortgage rates over the past year.
The government now has a 50:50 chance of getting the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--through parliament in the coming weeks, despite Letwin's successful amendment and the extension request.
After a disappointing run of monthly data, the huge surplus on the main "PSNB ex ." measure of borrowing in January must have been greeted with relief at the Treasury.
Back-to-back elevated weekly jobless claims numbers prove nothing, but they have grabbed our attention.
Japan's export data for April unsurprisingly were abysmal, driving a massive deterioration in the trade balance, which flipped from a modest ¥5B surplus in March, to a ¥930B deficit.
A round of recent conversations with investors suggests to us that markets remain quite skeptical of the idea that the recent upturn in capital spending will be sustained.
With Fed officials now in pre-FOMC meeting blackout mode, this week will not bring a repeat of Friday's confusion, when the New York Fed felt obligated to issue a clarification following president William's speech on monetary policy close to the zero bound.
Korean GDP contracted by 1.4% quarter-on- quarter in Q1, erasing the 1.3% jump at the end of last year. The pullback was sharper than we expected, with the cliff-edge drop in private consumption, in particular, catching us by surprise.
We're expecting ADP today to report a 10M drop in private payrolls in May, but investors should be braced for surprises, in either direction, because ADP's methodology is not clear.
Productivity growth reached the dizzy heights of 1.8% year-over-year in the second quarter, following a couple of hefty quarter-on-quarter increases, averaging 2.9%.
October's Markit/CIPS services survey suggests that the PM's new Brexit deal has had a lukewarm reception from firms.
Efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak severely dented industrial activity in Brazil.
We're nudging up our forecast for today's August payroll number to 180K, in the wake of the ADP report.
According to the official data presented in the JOLTS report, the number of job openings across the U.S. rose gently from 2011-to 13, rocketed in 2014, trended upwards much more slowly from 2015-to-17, and then, finally, unexpectedly jumped to record highs in the spring of this year.
April's GDP report, released on Monday, likely will add fuel to the fire of the re cent sharp decline in interest rate expectations.
Yesterday's economic reports in the Eurozone were solid across the board.
Our hope for a year-end jump in German factory orders was laughably optimistic.
It would be astonishing if the May and June payroll numbers looked much like April's strong data, at least in the private sector.
We think today's February payroll number will be reported at about 140K, undershooting the 175K consensus.
News last week increased our conviction that the economy will struggle over the coming months, but then will have a spring in its step next year.
Services will bear the brunt of the Covid-19 shock in the euro area, but manufacturing is not far behind.
We're very comfortable with the idea that the coronavirus is a broad deflationary shock to the U.S. economy.
The U.K. services sector has vanished overnight, following the introduction of tough restrictions on everyday life to stem the spread of Covid-19.
October payrolls were stronger than we expected, rising 128K, despite a 46K hit from the GM strike.
The ADP private sector employment number was a bit weaker than we expected in May, and the undershoot relative to our forecast has pulled down our model's estimate for today's official number
It's hard to overstate the geopolitical importance of Friday's assassination of Qassim Soleimani, architect of Iran's external military activity for more than 20 years and perhaps the most powerful man in the country, after the Supreme Leader.
Productivity likely rose by 1.7% last year, the best performance since 2010.
All the signs are that ADP will today report a solid increase in February private payrolls; our forecast is 200K, but if you twist our arms we'd probably say the mild weather last month across most of the country points to a bit of upside risk.
Yesterday's economic reports in the Eurozone were mostly positive.
December's payroll numbers were unexciting, exactly matching the 175K consensus when the 19K upward revision to November is taken into account. Some of the details were a bit odd, though, notably the 63K jump in healthcare jobs, well above the 40K trend, and the 19K drop in temporary workers, compared to the typical 15K monthly gain.
The reported drop in mortgage applications over the holidays is now reversing, not that it ever mattered.
The release of October's GDP report on Tuesday likely will be overshadowed by campaigning ahead of Thursday's general election.
Last week's news that output per hour jumped by 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in Q3--the biggest rise since Q2 2011--has fanned hopes that the underlying trend finally is improving.
Mark Carney revealed last week that recent data had given him "greater confidence" that the weakness of Q1 GDP was almost entirely due to severe weather.
A flawed theory still is circulating that the economy might outperform over the next two quarters because firms will stockpile goods due to the risk of a no-deal Brexit.
January's GDP report, released on Wednesday, was set to be one of the most important data releases of this year, due to its role in providing the first official steer on the economy's post-election performance.
A third wave of Covid-19 outbreaks is now underway. The first, in China, is now under control, and the rate of increase of cases in South Korea has dropped sharply. The other second wave countries, Italy and Iran, are still struggling.
We have two competing explanations for the unexpected leap in November payrolls. First, it was a fluke, so it will either be revised down substantially, or will be followed by a hefty downside correction in December.
Economic data have yielded the limelight in recent months to Brexit news and, alas, we doubt that February's GDP data, released on Wednesday, will reclaim investors' attention.
One bad month proves nothing, but our first chart shows that October's auto sales numbers were awful, dropping unexpectedly to a six-month low.
India's PMIs for October were grim, indicating minimal carry-over of energy from the third quarter rebound.
The economic data calendar for next week is so congested that we need to preview early September's GDP report, released on Monday.
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.
Our core view on the May payroll number remains that the single most likely cause of the unexpectedly modest increase is a seasonal adjustment error, triggered when the survey is conducted early in the month.
Markets clearly love the idea that the "Phase One" trade deal with China will be signed soon, at a location apparently still subject to haggling between the parties.
Headline inflation in Brazil remained low in October, and even breached the lower bound of the BCB's target range.
So far, the MPC has been more timid with unconventional stimulus than other central banks. At the end of May, central bank reserves equalled 29.7% of four-quarter rolling GDP in the U.K., compared to 32.7% in the U.S. and 46.7% in the Eurozone.
The recent March economic activity reports for Chile have been terrible, showing the first signs of the Covid-19 shock, and worse is to come.
China's official non-manufacturing PMI rose further in May, hitting a four-month high of 53.6.
Friday's advance Q4 growth numbers in the EZ were a bit of a dumpster fire.
The number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, but we're expecting to see signs that the number of new cases is peaking within the next two to three weeks.
The Redbook chainstore sales survey today is likely to give the superficial impression that the peak holiday shopping season got off to a robust start last week.
Labour costs are rising so quickly that the MPC cannot justify an "insurance" cut in Bank Rate to counteract the impending damage from Brexit uncertainty in the run-up to the October deadline.
Yesterday's final manufacturing PMIs confirmed that all remained calm in the EZ industrial sector through February.
Data released last week confirm that Argentina's economy remains a mess.
Last week's preliminary estimate of Q1 GDP has extinguished any lingering chance that the MPC might raise interest rates at its next meeting on May 10.
Yesterday's final EZ manufacturing PMIs for August provided little in the way of relief for the beleaguered industrial sector.
The political momentum in the run-up to the election now lies with Labour.
The limited data available on the state of the labour market, since the government forced businesses to close two weeks ago, paint a disconcerting picture.
Recent export performance has been poor, but the export orders index in the ISM manufacturing survey-- the most reliable short-term leading indicator--strongly suggests that it will be terrible in the fourth quarter.
Beyond the immediate wild swings in prices for food, clothing, hotel rooms and airline fares, the medium-term impact of the Covid outbreak on U.S. inflation will depend substantially on the impact on the pace of wage growth.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone rebounded slightly last month, reversing some of the weakness at the start of the year.
The Fed will do nothing to the funds rate or its balance sheet expansion program today.
Korea's business survey index rose for a second straight month in March, to 75 from 73 in February, on our adjustment.
With almost two thirds of the nominal data for the third quarter now available, we can make a stab at the contribution of inventories to real GDP growth.
Retail sales values in Japan plunged by 14.4% month-on-month in October, reversing September's 7.2% spike twice over.
Data released this week have confirmed that the Mexican economy is struggling and that the near-term outlook remains extremely challenging.
It's possible that first hints of better news ahead in the Covid surge in the South and West are beginning to emerge in the data.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany suggest that EZ inflation is now rebounding slightly.
Japan's jobless rate inched up to 2.5% in January, from 2.4% in December.
We aren't in the business of trying to divine the explanation for every twist and turn in the stock market at the best of times, and these are not the best of times.
January's Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey suggests that the outcome of the general election has brought manufacturers some momentary relief.
April payroll growth likely will be reported at close to 200K. Overall, the survey evidence points to a stronger performance, but they don't take account of weather effects, and April was a bit colder and snowier than usual. We're not expecting a big weather hit, but some impact seems a reasonable bet.
The unexpectedly robust 128K increase in October payrolls--about 175K when the GM strikers are added back in--and the 98K aggregate upward revision to August and September change our picture of the labor market in the late summer and early fall.
We were worried about downside risk to yesterday's ADP employment measure, but the 67K increase in November private payrolls was at the very bottom of our expected range.
We have argued for some time that much of the early phase of the downturn in global manufacturing was due to the weakening of China's economic cycle, rather than the trade war.
We look for a 150K increase in September payrolls, rather better than the August 130K headline number, which was flattered by a 28K increase in federal government jobs, likely due to hiring for the 2020 Census.
The fundamentals underpinning our forecast of solid first half growth in consumers' spending remain robust.
2019 is a year many in the construction sector would prefer to forget.
Inflation pressures remain under control in most LatAm economies, allowing central banks to keep interest rates on hold, despite the challenging external environment.
The stage is set for the Fed to ease by 25bp today, but to signal that further reductions in the funds rate would require a meaningful deterioration in the outlook for growth or unexpected downward pressure on inflation.
The models which generate the ADP measure of private payrolls will benefit in May from the strength of the headline industrial production, business sales and jobless claims numbers.
A dovish speech by external MPC member Michael Saunders was the primary catalyst for a renewed fall in interest rate expectations last week.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany suggest that inflation fell slightly in August.
The ADP employment report was on the money in October at the headline level--it undershot the official private payroll number by a trivial 6K--but the BLS's measure was hit by the absence of 46K striking GM workers from the data.
A pair of closely-watched reports today will confirm that business and consumer confidence is tanking in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
The MPC's decision yesterday was a "dovish hold", designed to keep market interest rates at current stimulative levels and to preserve the option of cutting Bank Rate swiftly and without surprise, if the economy fails to rebound in Q1.
We're revising down our forecast for quarteron-quarter GDP growth in Q3 to 0.3%, from 0.4%, in response to signs that the rebound in industrial production is shaping up to b e smaller than we had anticipated.
Japan's GDP likely dropped by 1.1% quarter- on-quarter in the first quarter, even from the favourable Q4 base, when it fell by 1.8%.
The economy looks to be in better shape following May's GDP report than widely feared.
April's GDP data give a grim firs t impression, though the details provide reassurance that the economy isn't on the cusp of a recession.
It's still unclear how exactly Covid-19 will impact the euro area as a whole, but little doubt now remains that Italy's economy is in for a rough ride.
On the face of it, the slowdown in bank loan growth to commercial and industrial companies over the past two years looks alarming. In the year to November, the stock of loans outstanding rose by 8.0%, the smallest gain since January 2014. A further decline in the year-over-year rate, taking it below the rate of growth of nominal GDP--we expect 4.7% in the first quarter--for the first time in six years, is now a fair bet. The three- and six-month annualized growth rates of C&I lending in November were just 6.2% and 4.7% respectively, and still falling.
The rundown of the Fed's balance sheet has proceeded in line with the plans laid out b ack in June 2017.
Manufacturing in France remained on the front foot at the start of Q4.
Recent activity data in Mexico have been soft and leading indicators still point to challenging near-term prospects, due mainly to relatively high domestic political risk, stifling interest rates and difficult external conditions.
At first glance, the continued weakness of domestically-generated inflation, despite punchy increases in labour costs, is puzzling.
It's just not possible to forecast the reaction of businesses and consumers to the coronavirus outbreak.
Hideous though the official April payroll numbers were, the chances are that they'll be revised down.
We expect May's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that the headline rate of CPI inflation fell to a four-year low of 0.4% in May, from 0.8% in April.
The Fed paved the way with a 50bp emergency rate cut on March 3, with more to come.
It's hard to find anything to dislike in the February employment report.
Brazilian political risk remains high, due mainly to President Bolsonaro's gross mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis, but, as we have argued in previous Monitors, it is unlikely to deter policymakers from further near-term monetary easing.
Yesterday's industrial production report in Mexico added weight to the idea that the sector improved marginally in the first quarter, despite many external threats. Industrial output rose 0.1% month-to-month in February, following a similar gain in January. The calendar-adjusted year-over-year rate rose to -0.1%, after a modest 0.3% contraction in January.
The undershoot in the September core CPI does not change our view that the trend in core inflation is rising, and is likely to surprise substantially to the upside over the next six-to-12 months.
A cursory glance at July's labour market report gives no cause for alarm. The headline, three-month average, unemployment rate returned to 3.8% in July, after edging up to 3.9% in June.
EZ investors remain depressed. The headline Sentix confidence index fell to 12.0 in September, from 14.7 in August, and the expectations gauge slid by three points to -8.8.
Normal service appears to have resumed in August, with payrolls rising by 201K, very close to the 196K average over the previous year.
Yesterday's industrial production report in Germany was much better than implied by the poor new orders data--see here--released earlier this week.
Today brings a raft of data with the potential to move markets, but we're far from convinced that the two most closely-watched reports--ADP employment and the ISM manufacturing survey--will tell us much about the future.
Yesterday's national accounts showed that the downturn in the economy on the eve of the Covid-19 outbreak was sharper than first estimated.
Sterling fell to $1.38, from $1.39, in the hour following the EU's publication of a draft Article 50 withdrawal treaty, which set out the practical consequences of the principles the U.K. agreed to in December.
Trade talks between the U.S. and China officially resumed this week, with the first face-to-face meeting of the main negotiators taking place yesterday in Shanghai.
China's official PMIs for March surprised well to the upside, cheering markets across Asia.
The trend in manufacturing output probably is about flat, with no real prospect of any serious improvement in the near term.
Today's March ADP employment report likely will catch the leading edge of the wave of job losses triggered by the coronavirus.
Data released this week in LatAm are the last calm before the coronavirus storm.
Yesterday's economic headlines in the Eurozone were pleasant reading.
We expect to see a 70K increase in October payrolls today.
We can't quibble with the consensus that GDP likely rose by 0.2% month-to-month in December, reversing only two-thirds of November's drop.
The reported 225K jump in payrolls in January was even bigger than we expected, but it is not sustainable. The extraordinarily warm weather last month most obviously boosted job gains in construction, where the 44K increase was the biggest in a year
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate in the first half of this year leapt to 50% yesterday, from 35%, following Mark Carney's speech.
Core CPI inflation has been 2.1-to-2.2% year-over- year for the past seven months, a remarkably stable run which likely will persist for a few more months.
The case for believing that August's unexpected 14-year high in the ISM manufacturing index was a fluke is pretty straightforward, and it has both short and medium-term elements.
The BoJ yesterday kept the policy balance rate at -0.1%, and the 10-year yield target at "around zero", in line with the consensus.
The BoJ kept policy unchanged, as expected, at its meeting yesterday.
The Q1 GDP figures, released on Wednesday, likely will show that the quarter-on-quarter decline in economic activity eclipsed the biggest decline in the 2008-to-09 recession--2.1% in Q4 2008--even though the U.K. went into lockdown towards the very end of the quarter.
If the Phase One trade deal with China is completed, and is accompanied by a significant tariff roll-back, we'll revise up our growth forecasts, but we'll probably lower our near-term inflation forecasts, assuming that the tariff reductions are focused on consumer goods.
China's September imports missed expectations, but commentators and markets tend to focus on the year-over-year numbers.
The New York Times called the China trade agreement reached Friday "half a deal", but that's absurdly generous.
ate last week, China and the U.S. reached an agreement, averting the planned U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese consumer goods that were slated to be imposed on December 15.
We expect September's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation held steady at 1.7%, below the 1.8% consensus.
The rate of growth of nominal core retail sales substantially outstripped the rate of growth of nominal personal incomes, after tax, in both the second and third quarters.
Members of the Monetary Policy Committee have signalled that January's flash Markit/CIPS composite PMI, released on Friday 24, will have a major bearing on their policy decision the following week.
The economy will be a shadow of its former self over the remainder of this year, following the heavy pummelling from Covid-19.
The story of U.S. retail sales since last summer is mostly a story about the impact of the hurricanes, Harvey in particular.
The "Phase One" China trade deal announced late last week is a step in the right direction, but a small one. With no official text available as we reach our deadline, we're relying on media reporting, but the outline of the agreement is clear.
Ahead of the release of the retail sales report for December 2018, markets expected to see unchanged non-auto sales.
The November industrial production numbers will be dominated by the rebound in auto production following the end of the GM strike.
This week brings the third anniversary of the first rate hike in this cycle, on December 16, 2015.
The consensus forecast for a 0.6% month-to month rise in retail sales volumes in December--data released today--is far too timid.
We look for yet another unanimous vote by the MPC to keep Bank Rate at 0.75% on Thursday, with no new guidance on the near-term outlook.
Consensus expectations for August's labour market data, released today, look well grounded.
The Brexit-related slump in corporate confidence finally has taken its toll on hiring.
China's official real GDP growth is absurdly stable, but the risks in Q3 are tilted to the downside.
The 0.8% jump in nominal November retail sales is consistent with a 0.4% rise in real total consumption, which in turn suggests that the fourth quarter as a whole is likely to see a near-3% annualized gain.
The weekly jobless claims numbers are due Thursday, as usual, but in the wake of a flood of emails from readers, all asking a variant of the same question-- should we be worried about the rise in continuing jobless claims?--we want to address the issue now.
Analysis of the economy's potential to recover later this year from extreme weakness in Q2 has focussed largely on the extent to which virus-related restrictions will be lifted.
The rate of deterioration in the labour market remains gradual enough for the MPC to hold back from cutting Bank Rate over the coming months.
The BoE announced on Thursday that it had agreed the Treasury could increase its usage of its Ways and Means facility--effectively the government's overdraft at the central bank--without limit.
Today's labour market figures likely will bring further signs that firms are recruiting more cautiously and limiting pay awards, due to still-elevated economic uncertainty.
Yesterday's data showed that industrial production in the Eurozone accelerated at the end of spring. Output, ex-construction, jumped 1.3% month-to-month in May, much better than the downwardly-revised 0.3% rise in April; the rise pushed the year-over-year rate up to a six-year high of 4.0%.
The fact that Italy's economy is in poor shape will not surprise anyone following the euro area, but the advance Q4 GDP headline was astonishingly poor all the same.
Households have been a rock of stability over the last two years, increasing their real spending at a steady rate of 1.8% year-over-year, while the rest of the economy collectively has ground to a halt.
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.
Next week is so crammed full of data releases that we need to preview November's consumer price data early, in the eye of the storm of the general election.
The EU's decision to grant the U.K. an extension under Article 50, until October 31, reveals two key aspects of continental Europe's position on Brexit.
We've already raised a red flag for today's second Q4 GDP estimate in the Eurozone, but for good measure, we repeat the argument here.
The U.K. Monitor will be on a short break soon for paternity leave, so we are taking this opportunity to preview next week's data releases.
The hard economic data in Brazil were relatively solid while we were off last week, supporting our view that the economy was experiencing a good spell at the start of the year just before the coronavirus hit.
Our base case is that the core CPI rose 0.2% in December, but the net risk probably is to the upside. We see scope for significant increases in sectors as diverse as used autos, apparel, healthcare, and rent, but nothing is guaranteed.
Sterling leapt to $1.27, from $1.22 last week, amid some positive signals from all sides engaged in Brexit talks.
Manufacturing in the EZ was held above water by Ireland at the end of Q3.
Investors concluded too hastily yesterday that November's GDP report boosted the chances that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its upcoming meeting on January 30.
September's labour market report suggests that wage growth won't continue to rise for much longer.
The EZ economic survey data for April were disappointing in our absence.
Yesterday's IFO survey in Germany was a nasty downside surprise for markets. The business climate index slipped to 106.2 in August, from 108.3 in July, well below the consensus forecast for a modest rise. In addition, the expectations index slid ominously to 100.1, from a revised 102.1 in July.
Another week, another batch of contradictory signals regarding the economy's current health.
Our forecast of a solid 190K increase in headline December payrolls ignores our composite employment indicator, which usually leads by about three months and points to a print of just 50K or so.
December's retail sales numbers are the most important of the year for retailers, but they don't necessarily tell us anything about the future prospects for consumers' spending or the broad economy. The December 2016 numbers, however, might be different, because they capture consumers' behavior in the first full month after the election.
The CPI inflation rate for non-energy industrial goods--core goods, for short--has tracked past movements in trade-weighted sterling closely over the last ten years, because virtually all goods in this sector are imported.
Recently released data in Mexico are sending weak signals for the business outlook, and the Texcoco airport saga won't help.
The recent softening in the ISM employment indexes failed to make itself felt in the June payroll numbers, which sailed on serenely even as tariff-induced chaos intensified at the industry and company level.
The MPC's view that the economy likely will grow at an above-trend rate over the coming quarters was challenged immediately last week by the PMIs.
Catalonia goes to the polls today, and it will be a close call. Surveys point to a hung parliament in which neither the pro-separatists nor the unionist coalition will secure an absolute majority.
We think this week's main economic surveys in the Eurozone will take a step back following a steady rise since the end of Q3. Today's composite PMI in the Eurozone likely slipped to 54.0 in February, from 54.4 in January, mainly due to a dip in the manufacturing component. Even if we're right about slightly weaker survey data in February, though, it is unlikely to change the story of a stable and solid cyclical expansion in the EZ.
Signs that Easter trading was unusually poor lead us to anticipate a downside surprise from today's retail sales data for March. The BRC's Retail Sales Monitor, which surveys companies that account for 60% of total retail sales, was remarkably weak in March.
Swoons in EZ investor sentiment are not always reliable leading indicators for the economic surveys, but it is fair to say that risks for today's advance PMIs are tilted to the downside, following the dreadful Sentix and ZEW headlines earlier this month.
Surveys suggest that today's retail sales figures will show that sales volumes increased by around 1% month-to-month in June, significantly exceeding the consensus, 0.4%. But the pickup in June likely will be just a blip; the further intensification of the squeeze on real wages and a tightening of unsecured lending standards will keep retail sales on a flat path in the second half of 2017.
At the headline level, much of the recent U.S. macro dataflow has been disappointing. January retail sales, industrial production, housing starts, and both ISM surveys--manufacturing and non-manufacturing-- undershot consensus, following a sharp and unexpected drop in December durable goods orders.
Economic survey data this week will give the first clear evidence on whether recent market volatility has dented Eurozone confidence. The key business and consumer surveys dipped in January, and we now expect further declines, starting with today's PMI data. We think the composite index fell slightly to 53.0 in February from 53.6 in January.
It's hard to have much conviction in any forecast for September retail sales, as the relationship between the official data and the surveys has weakened considerably.
The recent sharp, if not startling, upturn in the regional manufacturing surveys should continue today with the release of the Philadelphia Fed report. The survey is constructed in the same way as the more volatile Empire State, which has rocketed in the past few months, and the headline indexes follow similar trends, as our first chart shows.
The June batch of the French statistical office's business surveys continues to signal a firming cyclical recovery. The aggregate business index rose to cyclical high of 106 in June from a revised 105 in May, continuing an uptrend that began in the middle of 2016.
Financial market performance and economic survey data on the Brazilian economy have been better than many investors and commentators feared this year. The composite PMI has improved gradually since November last year, consumer sentiment has stabilized, and national business surveys have been less bleak.
Yesterday's barrage of French business surveys contains hundreds of indicators, but its central story is comfortably simple.
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%.
Of all the regional Fed and PMI business surveys, the Richmond Fed index appears to be the most sensitive to U.S. trade policy.
Under normal circumstances, we would expect today's retail sales figures to reveal that volumes rebounded in February, following the 2.7% fall over the previous three months. But the continued weakness of spending surveys suggests that we should brace for another soft report.
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.
The pronounced weakness of activity surveys conducted since the referendum and the Governor's guidance in June, reinforced by the minutes of July's MPC meeting, indicate that a rate cut on Thursday is virtually guaranteed.
Financial markets and economic survey data have been sending a downbeat message on the Eurozone economy so far this year. The composite PMI has declined to a 12-month low, consumer sentiment has weakened, and national business surveys have also been poor.
This week sees the release of most of the key May surveys. The prospect of mean reversion following a very strong start to the year, coupled with the impact of recent market volatility, points to a modest loss of momentum, especially for surveys of investors.
It's hardly surprising that the consensus forecast for month-to-month growth in November GDP, released on Friday, is a mere 0.1%, given the flow of downbeat business surveys.
We're expecting a hefty increase in February payrolls today, but even a surprise weak number likely wouldn't prevent a rate hike next week. The trends in all the private sector employment surveys are strong and improving, and jobless claims have dropped to new lows too, though we think that's probably less important than it appears.
The Monetary Policy Committee likely will not follow up August's stimulus measures with another rate cut at its meeting on Thursday. The partial revival in surveys of activity and confidence have weakened the case for immediate action.
Surveys released over the last week have suggested that the housing market might be past the worst.
All the regional PMI and Fed business surveys we follow suggest that today's national ISM manufacturing report for November will be weaker than in October
Clarity Emerging As Hard Data Beat The Surveys...The Fed Has No Reason To Ease Further
GDP Growth In The Euro Area Has Stabilised....But The Surveys Still Warn That Worse Is To Come
This week's hard data confirmed the bleak situation of Brazil's industrial sector, signalled over the last few months by key leading indicators such as the PMI manufacturing and the CNI business confidence surveys. March industrial production fell by 0.8% month-to-month and 3.5% year-over-year, following a downwardly-revised 9.4% contraction in February.
We will be paying special attention to the sentiment surveys for Argentina over the coming weeks.
Today's figures likely will bring the first real signs that the Brexit vote has had an adverse impact on the labour market. The employment balances of the key private-sector surveys weakened sharply in July, and recovered only partially in August. In addition, the three-month average level of job vacancies fell by 7K between April and July.
Consumer confidence surveys have risen since the elections to levels consistent with very rapid growth in real spending.
It would be a serious mistake to conclude from July's retail sales figures that consumers' spending will be immune to the fallout of the Brexit vote. Households have yet to endure the hiring freeze and pay squeeze indicated by surveys of employers, or the price surge signalled by sterling's sharp depreciation. The real test for consumers' spending lies ahead.
The two main national surveys--IFO and INSEE-- both beat consensus forecasts yesterday, supporting our story of that economic sentiment is holding up relatively well in the face increasing investor anxiety. In Germany, the main IFO business climate index rose marginally to 108.5 from a revised 108.4 in August, boosted by an increase in the expectations index to a six-month high of 103.3, up from 102.0 in August. The IFO expectations index points to real GDP growth rising 0.5%-to-0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q3.
Today's official retail sales figures look set to show that consumers tightened their purse strings at the start of this year, following last year's spending spree. We think that retail sales volumes rose by just 1.0% month-to-month in January; that would be a poor result after December's 1.9% plunge. Surveys of retailers have been weak across the board. The reported sales balance of the CBI's Distributive Trade Survey collapsed to -8 in January, from +35 in December. The balance is notoriously volatile, but the 43-point drop is the largest since the survey began in 1983.
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.
The MPC almost certainly will keep interest rates on hold today and likely won't give a strong steer on the outlook for policy in the minutes of its meeting, which are released at mid-day. On the whole, surveys of economic activity have been weak, indicating that GDP growth has slowed sharply in the second quarter.
We have not been expecting the Fed to raise rates next week, and yesterday's data made a hike even less likely. The September Philly Fed and Empire State surveys were alarmingly weak everywhere except the headline level, and the official August production data were grim.
Everyone is familiar by now with the conundrum in the labor market: How come wage gains have barely increased over the past few years even as the unemployment rate has fallen to very low levels, and business surveys scream that employers can't find the people they want? To give just one visual example of the scale of the apparent anomaly, our first chart shows the yawning gap between the headline unemployment rate and the rate of growth of hourly earnings, compared to previous cycles.
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.
We argued yesterday that the steep declines in the ISM surveys in August, both manufacturing and services, likely were one-time events, triggered by a combination of weather events, seasonal adjustment issues and sampling error. These declines don't chime with most other data.
London has been the U.K.'s growth star for the last two decades. Between 1997 and 2014, yearover-year growth in nominal Gross Value Added averaged 5.4% in London, greatly exceeding the 4% rate across the rest of the country. Surveys since the referendum, however, indicate that the capital is at the sharp end of the post-referendum downturn.
China PMI chimes with our GDP downgrade last week. China's non-manufacturing PMI weakest on construction. Japan's MoF capex numbers point to Q4 GDP downgrade. Ignore the consensus-beating headline, Korean exports were abysmal in February, calendar effects aside. The virus now has infected Korea's PMI; expect business surveys to get a lot worse.
September PMI surveys in Mexico continued to bolster our argument for a subpar recovery in the second half of the year.
The verdict from the German business surveys is in; economic growth probably slowed further in Q2.
The hard numbers in Eurozone manufacturing continue to lag the sharp rise in the main surveys. Data yesterday showed that German factory orders rose 1.0% month-to-month in May, only partially rebounding from a downwardly revised 2.2% plunge in April.
In the absence of market-moving data today, we want to take a closer look at the labor market, and, specifically, the idea that payroll growth is slowing because firms cannot find staff they consider suitably qualified for the jobs available. Every indicator of labor demand, with the sole exception of manufacturing-specific surveys, is consistent with very rapid payroll growth, well in excess of 200K per month.
Yesterday's Nikkei services PMI report completed Japan's set of surveys for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Korean inflation surprises to the upside in April. Manufacturing surveys in Korea are turning up.
In one line: Disappointingly slow GDP growth at the end of 2019, but in line with surveys and hard data.
In one line: The jump in capex orders is welcome but impossible to square with surveys; expect a correction.
In one line: Meh. But the trend is *much* better than surveys suggest.
Mixed Surveys, Mixed Data; Contradictions Abound....No Wonder The Fed Wants To Do Nothing
In one line: No sign of recovery, but other regional surveys are less bad.
In one line: Grim; no sign of hitting bottom despite better regional surveys.
In one line: The French consumer looks o.k.; in Germany, surveys now point to slower growth.
In one line: Looks great, but does it matter for the economic surveys?
In one line: Disconnected from the rebound in China's surveys by the trade war.
Any model of payrolls based on the usual indicators--jobless claims, ISM hiring, NFIB hiring, and other sundry surveys--right now points to payroll growth at 250K or better. Indeed, the ISM non-manufacturing report on Wednesday is consistent with payroll growth closer to 400K, and the lagged NFIB hiring intentions number points to 300K. Yet the consensus forecast for today's October report is just 182K. Why so timid?
Brazil's March industrial production report, released on Thursday last week, was weaker than we and the markets were expecting, while the recent deterioration in sentiment surveys highlights the downside risks to the rather fragile economic recovery.
Business surveys coming out of the Eurozone have been remarkably strong recently. The composite PMI for the Eurozone jumped to 56.7 in March--its highest level since April 2011--from 56.1 in February. Germany's IFO business climate index leaped to a 67-month high in March.
Friday's Q3 GDP report for Colombia confirmed the message from hard data and surveys, showing that the economy slowed sharply. Real GDP growth dropped to 1.2% year-over-year, its slowest pace since early 2009, from 2.0% in Q2.
On the face of it, the February consumer spending data, due today, will contradict the upbeat signal from confidence surveys. The dramatic upturn in sentiment since the election is consistent with a rapid surge in real consumption, but we're expecting to see unchanged real spending in February, following a startling 0.3% decline in January.
The rise in Markit/CIPS services PMI to 55.0 in March, from 53.3 in February, brings some relief that GDP growth has not stalled in Q1, following manufacturing and construction surveys that signalled near-stagnation.
In contrast to surveys of manufacturing activity and sentiment, the Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence rose sharply in August, hitting an 11-month high. People were more upbeat about both the current state of the economy and the outlook, with the improving job market key to their optimism. The proportion of respondent believing that jobs are "plentiful" rose to 26%, the highest level in nine years.
We're still no nearer to a definitive answer to the question of what went wrong in the manufacturing sector over the summer, when we expected to see things improving on the back of the rebound in activity in the mining sector, rising export orders and an end to the domestic inventory correction. Instead, the August surveys dropped, and September reports so far are, if anything, a bit worse.
Whichever way you choose to slice the numbers, consumers' spending is growing much more slowly than is implied by an array of confidence surveys.
All the main surveys of business activity in Q1 now have been released and they present a uniformly downbeat picture.
The disappearance from the FOMC statement of any reference to global risks, which first appeared back in September, was both surprising and, in the context of this cautious Fed, quite bold. After all, one bad month in global markets or a reversal of the jump in the latest Chinese PMI surveys presumably would force the Fed quickly to reinstate the global get-out clause. So, why drop it now?
The flow of downbeat business surveys continued yesterday, with the release of the Markit/CIPS construction survey.
The simultaneous weakening of the ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys in recent months is one of the more disconcerting shifts in the recent macro data.
A further rise in the business activity index of the November Markit/CIPS report on services offset declines in the manufacturing and construction surveys' key balances. The composite PMI--a weighted average of three survey's activity indices -- therefore rose, to a level consistent with quarter-on-quarter GDP growth strengthening to 0.6% in the fourth quarter, from 0.5% in Q3. Nonetheless, we do not think this is a convincing signal that the economic recovery is regaining strength.
December's Markit/CIPS surveys for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors suggest that the economy ended 2017 on a lacklustre note.
Labor demand, as measured by an array of business surveys, clearly slowed from the cycle peak, recorded late last year.
It probably would be wise to view the increase in the ISM manufacturing index in December with a degree of skepticism. The index is supposed to record only hard activity, but we can't help but wonder if some of the euphoria evident in surveys of consumers' sentiment has leaked into responses to the ISM. That said, the jump in the key new orders index-- which tends to lead the other components--looked to be overdue, relative to the strength of the import component of China's PMI.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI for January was grim, indicating that China's start to the year wasn't as benign as the official surveys suggested.
We're expecting to see November payrolls up by about 200K this morning, but our forecast takes into account the likelihood that the initial reading will be revised up. In the five years through 2014, the first estimate of November payrolls was revised up by an average of 73K by the time o f the third estimate. Our forecast for today, therefore, is consistent with our view that the underlying trend in payrolls is 250K-plus. That's the message of the very low level of jobless claims, and the strength of all surveys of hiring, with the exception of the depressed ISM manufacturing employment index. Manufacturing accounts for only 9% of payrolls, though, so this just doesn't matter.
Payroll growth rebounded to 223K in May, after two sub-200K readings, and we're expecting today's June ADP report to signal that labor demand remains strong.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Retail Sales
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on the Eurozone recovery
Will EZ services hold their own amid weakness in manufacturing?
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the U.K. PMI data, April
pantheon macroeconomics, pantheon, macroeconomic, macroeconomics, independent analysis, independent macroeconomic research, independent, analysis, research, economic intelligence, economy, economic, economics, economists, , Ian Shepherdson, financial market, macro research, independent macro research