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625 matches for " tax":
We've seen some alarming estimates of the potential impact on inflation of the House Republicans' plans for corporate tax reform, with some forecasts suggesting the CPI would be pushed up as much as 5%. We think the impact will be much smaller, more like 1-to-11⁄2% at most, and it could be much less, depending on what happens to the dollar. But the timing would be terrible, given the Fed's fears over the inflation risk posed by the tightness of the labor market.
The Prime Minister's refusal last week to reaffirm her party's 2015 election pledge not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT has fuelled speculation that taxes will rise if the Conservatives are re-elected on June 8. Admittedly, Mrs. May asserted that her party "believes in lower taxes", and the tax pledge s till might appear in the Conservatives' manifesto, which won't be published for a few weeks.
India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman finally brought out the big guns on September 20, announcing significant cuts to corporate tax rates.
The Chancellor claims he can eliminate public borrowing without raising taxes. But the latest borrowing overshoot and the continual optimistic bias of the OBR's forecasts cast doubt on whether his approach will be sufficient to meet his self-imposed surplus target.
The delay in the processing of personal income tax refunds this year appears not to have had any adverse impact on retail sales, so far. Indeed, the Redbook chainstore sales survey suggests that sales have accelerated over the past few weeks.
The tax plan released by the administration yesterday was so thoroughly leaked that it contained no real surprises. The border adjustment tax is dead -- not that we thought it would have passed the Senate in any event -- and the centerpiece is a proposed cut in the corporate income tax rate to 15% from 35%.
It's not our job to pontificate on the merits, or otherwise, of the tax cut bill from a political perspective.
Housing market data yesterday fostered the view that prices are vulnerable to a fall following April's increase in stamp duty--a transactions tax-- and before the E.U. referendum in June. Political uncertainty, however, has rarely had a pervasive or sustained impact on prices in the past.
Japan's retail sales data--due out on Thursday-- have been badly affected by the October tax hike.
Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor last week threatened to cut business taxes aggressively to persuade multinationals to remain in Britain in the event of hard Brexit. But these threats lack credibility, given the likely lingering weakness of the public finances by the time of the U.K.'s departure from the EU and the scale of demographic pressures set to weigh on public spending over the next decade.
The passage of the House tax cut bill does not guarantee that the Senate will follow suit with its own bill, still less that both chambers will then be able to agree on a single bill which can then b e signed into law. As
Japan's industrial production data for May carried more evidence that the economy is getting a lift--at least temporarily--from the front-loading of activity ahead of the scheduled sales tax increase in October.
As far as we can tell, most forecasters expect the impact of fiscal stimulus this year to be gradual, with perhaps most of the boost to growth coming next year. At this point, with no concrete proposals either from the new administration or Congress, anything can happen, and we can't rule out the idea of a slow roll-out of tax cuts and spending increases.
Japan's PPI data yesterday confirmed that October was a turning point for prices--due to the consumption tax hike--despite the surprising stability of CPI inflation in Tokyo for the same month.
It seems pretty clear from press reports that the White House budget, which reportedly will be released March 14, will propose substantial increases in defense spending, deep cuts to discretionary non- defense spending, and no substantive changes to entitlement programs. None of this will come as a surprise.
Japan's GDP growth was revised up, to 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, from 0.1% in the preliminary reading.
Japan returned the ruling LDP coalition to power in an upper house election over the weekend.
China's government overshot its deficit target last year, and probably will overshoot it by at least as much this year
Japan's May retail sales rebound was underwhelming at a mere 0.3% month-on-month, after a 0.1% fall in April.
Retail sales values in Japan plunged by 14.4% month-on-month in October, reversing September's 7.2% spike twice over.
The Chinese authorities have been out in force in the last few days, aiming to reassure markets and the populace that they are ready and able to support the economy, after abysmal trade data on Monday.
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.
We are sticking to our call for a weak first half in Japan, despite likely upgrades to Q1 GDP on Monday.
The CBO reckons that the April budget surplus jumped to about $179B, some $72B more than in the same month last year. This looks great, but alas all the apparent improvement reflects calendar distortions on the spending side of the accounts.
Progress in reducing the budget deficit has ground to a virtual halt, despite the ongoing fiscal consolidation. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks--PSNB ex.--was £10.6B in September, exceeding the £9.3B borrowed in the same month last year.
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.
March's public sector borrowing figures brought more signs that the economy has lost considerable momentum this year. Borrowing, on the PSNB excluding public sector banks measure, came in at £5.1B in March, up slightly from £4.3B in March 2016.
In yesterday's Monitor, we outlined how the government's plans to allow more migrants to register in cities could help counterbalance the effects of aging and put a floor under medium-term property prices.
The last few years have thrown up surprise after surprise for establishment parties. Mr. Abe's Liberal Democrat Party is about as establishment as they come.
The headline retail sales numbers for October looked good, but the details were less comforting.
China's September activity data, released at the end of last week, back up our claim that GDP growth weakened in Q3, on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
The release yesterday of the weekly Redbook chainstore sales report for the week ended Saturday August 4 means that we now have a complete picture of July sales.
On the face of it, Japanese GDP came thumping home in Q1, rising 0.5% quarter-on-quarter, after the 0.4% increase in Q4.
The first estimate of retail sales growth in August was weaker than implied by the Redbook chainstore sales survey, but our first chart shows that the difference between the numbers was well within the usual margin of error.
The White House Budget for fiscal 2018, released last week, has no chance of becoming law in anything like its current form, so we don't propose to spend much time dissecting it. But we do need to set out our view on what might actually happen to fiscal policy over the next few months, because it potentially could make a material difference to the pace, and ultimate extent, of Fed tightening.
We have consistently flagged the likelihood that Japan's government would boost spending after the consumption tax hike was implemented.
The new fiscal year began on April 6, marking the post-election intensification of the fiscal squeeze for many households. The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates net tax and benefit changes will subtract 1.2 percentage points from year-over-year growth in households' disposable incomes in 2016.
The main story to emerge from China's Economic Work Report is the extent of tax cuts, which on our calculations will leave a large funding hole.
China's new Loan Prime Rate amounts to a rate cut, but supply-side banking strains limit its efficacy. Chinese slowdown and pre-tax front-loading keeps Japan's trade balance in deficit.
The Chancellor's decision immediately to spend all the proceeds from the OBR's upgrade to its projections for tax receipts appears to leave his plans exposed to future adverse revisions to the economic outlook.
Minimal front-loading ahead of Japan's October tax hike so far.
Evidence continues to build that Korea's August unemployment plunge was a fluke. October sales tax hike in Japan opens the door for a quicker exit from PPI deflation.
China's firms aren't passing on tax hikes after all. China takes full advantage of previous oil price declines. Japan's core machine orders better than expected, but that won't help Q2. Japan is heading for a spell of sustained PPI deflation in H2. Better May jobs report will help to keep any BoK rate cuts at bay.
CPI inflation in China punches through the 3% target. PPI deflation in China should soon bottom out. Japan's rugby boost small in the face of pre-tax front loading. September machinery orders data seriously undermines Japan's "resilient capex" story.
Tax front-loading in full swing
The Japanese government's plan to smooth out the consumption cliff-edge generated by October's sales tax hike is either going too well, or consumers now are facing fundamental headwinds.
The plunge in oil prices in recent weeks is not a threat to the overall U.S. economic growth story in the near term--we have always expected growth to slow, but remain decent, once the boost from the tax cuts fades--but it will make a difference, at the margin.
Evidence of slowing economic activity in Colombia continues to mount. Retail sales fell 2.0% year- over-rate in April, down from a revised plus 3.0% in March; and the underlying trend is falling. This year's consumption tax increase, low confidence, tight credit conditions, and rising unemployment continue to put private consumption under pressure.
BanRep surprised the markets on Friday with a 25bp interest rate cut, bringing rates to 7.50%. We expected the Colombian central bank to start easing in January, due to the uncertainties surrounding the tax reform package and the ongoing minimum wage negotiations.
Commodity prices have started the year under further downward pressure. This is yet more negative news for LatAm, as most of the countries have failed to diversify, instead relying on oil or copper for a large share of exports and, critically, tax revenue. Venezuela is the biggest loser in the region from the oil hit, and, together with the worsening political and economic crisis, it has pushed the country even closer to the verge of collapse, threatening its debt payments. Venezuela's central bank last week released economic data for the first time since 2014, showing that inflation spiralled to 141% and that the economy shrank 4.5% in the first nine months of last year.
The U.S. consumer is back on track, almost. We have argued in recent months that the sharp slowdown in the rate of growth of consumption is mostly a story about a transition from last year's surge, when spending was boosted by the tax cuts and, later, by falling gas prices, to a sustainable pace roughly in line with real after-tax income growth.
Over the past couple of weeks, the number of applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase have reached their highest level since late 2010, when activity was boosted by the impending expiration of a time-limited tax credit for homebuyers.
January's public finance data, released today, take on particular importance because they are the last to be published before the Chancellor delivers his first Budget on March 8. The public finances nearly always swing into surplus in January, primarily because the deadline for individuals to submit self-assessment--SA--tax returns for the previous fiscal year is at the end of the month. Firms also pay their third of four payments of corporation tax for their profits in the current fiscal year.
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.
AMLO unveiled on Saturday Mexico's budget plan for 2019, calling for a moderate increase in spending, focused mainly on social programs, without raising taxes or the country's debt.
The Chancellor used the Autumn Statement to shift the composition of the fiscal consolidation slightly away from spending cuts and towards tax hikes. But in overall macroeconomic terms, he changed little. The fiscal stance is still set to be extremely tight in 2016 and 2017, ensuring that the economic recovery will lose more momentum.
Our hopes that tax cuts and lower energy inflation would lift French household consumption in Q4 were badly dented by yesterday's consumer sentiment report.
The underlying U.S. consumer story, hidden behind a good deal of recent noise, is that the rate of growth of spending is reverting to the trend in place before last year's tax cuts temporarily boosted people's cashflow.
The recent revival in housing market activity reflects more than just a temporary boost provided by imminent tax changes. The current momentum in market activity and lending likely will fade later this year, but we think this will have more to do with looming interest rate rises than a lull in activity caused by a shift in the timing of home purchases.
Tariffs are a tax on imported goods, and higher taxes depress growth, other things equal.
After many years in which the phrase "twin deficits" was never mentioned, suddenly it is the explanation of choice for the weakening of the dollar and the sudden increase in real Treasury yields since the turn of the year, shortly after the tax cut bill passed Congress.
Brazil's government announced on Monday spending cuts and new tax increases, aiming to generate a 0.7% of GDP primary surplus, and so restore market confidence and avoid further credit rating downgrades. The plan is to reduce expenditure by BRL26B next year--or 0.4% of GDP--mainly through freezing public sector salaries and slashing social projects. These measures, especially the latter, will likely meet strong resistance in Congress. The salary freeze has more of a chance of passing, but reducing or closing some Ministries is a cost-cutting exercise with an extremely high political price.
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson speaking about Donald Trump's plans for sweeping tax cuts
Japan's retail sales spiked 7.1% in September, after the 4.6% jump in August, suggesting that efforts to smooth out spending around the October tax hike have fallen short.
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, examines the French government's move to suspend a planned fuel-tax hike that sparked three weeks of protests.
What do the protests mean for Chile's economy?
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the Fed's growth forecast
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Public Finances
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Inflation
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on UK Government Borrowing
Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on Corporate Tax Cuts
Hong Kong delivered a resounding landslide victory to pro-Democracy parties in district council elections over the weekend.
When Fed Chair Powell said last week that the "surprise" weakness in the official retail sales numbers is "inconsistent with a significant amount of other data", we're guessing that he had in mind a couple of reports which will be updated today.
President Trump made official his plan to impose tariffs on up to $60B of annual imports from China, as well as limitations on Chinese investments in the U.S.
Data released in recent days are confirming the story of a struggling economy and falling inflation pressures in Mexico, strengthening our base case of interest rate cuts over the second half of the year.
We were terrified by the plunge in the ISM manufacturing export orders index in August and September, which appeared to point to a 2008-style meltdown in trade flows.
We have tweaked our third quarter GDP forecast in the wake of the September advance international trade and inventory data; we now expect today's first estimate to show that the economy expanded at a 4.0% annualized rate.
The closer we look at the startling surge in imports in the fourth quarter, the more convinced we become that it was due in large part to a burst of inventory replacement following the late summer hurricanes.
Yesterday's consumer sentiment data in the two major euro area economies were mixed, but they still support our view that a rebound in EZ consumption growth is underway.
China's annual "two sessions" conference is due to start on Sunday, with the economic targets for this year set to be made official over the course of the meetings.
Yesterday's barrage of French business sentiment data was mixed.
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.
Economic news in the Eurozone, and virtually everywhere else, has been mostly downbeat in the past few months, but French consumers are doing great.
After the disruption in repo markets last week, theories are flying as to what's going on.
The German statistical office will supply a confidential estimate to Eurostat for this week's advance euro area Q2 GDP data. Our analysis suggests this number will be grim, and weigh on the aggregate EZ estimate. Our GDP model, which includes data for retail sales, industrial production and net exports, forecasts that real GDP in Germany contracted 0.1% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, after a 0.7% jump in Q1.
need to add docMea culpa: We failed to spot the press release from the Commerce Department announcing the delay of the release of the advance December trade and inventory data, due to the government shutdown.
December's public finance figures suggest that borrowing is on track to come in a bit below the forecasts set out in the Autumn Statement in November. But we caution against expecting the Chancellor to unveil a material reduction in the scale of the fiscal consolidation set to hit the economy in his Budget on 8th March.
The PBoC and Ministry of Finance have been locked in a relatively public debate recently over which body should shoulder the burden of stimulating the economy as growth slows and trade tensions take their toll.
New home sales surprised to the upside in May, rising 6.7% to 689K, a six-month high.
The minutes of the Banxico's monetary policy meeting on February 7, when the board unanimously voted to keep the reference rate on hold at 8.25%, were consistent with the post-meeting statement.
The run of better-than-expected public borrowing figures ended abruptly with the publication of March data yesterday.
A shutdown of the federal government, which could happen as early as this weekend, is a political event rather than a macroeconomic shock. But if it happens--if Congress cannot agree on even a shortterm stop-gap spending measure in order to keep the lights on after the 28th--it would demonstrate yet again that the splits in the House mean that the prospects of a substantial near-term loosening of fiscal policy are now very slim.
Today brings new housing market data, in the form of the weekly applications numbers from the MBA. The weekly data are seasonally adjusted but are still very volatile, especially in the spring.
Public borrowing has continued to fall more rapidly than anticipated in the latest official plans.
April's public finances show that borrowing still is falling more slowly than the Chancellor had envisaged. This casts further doubt over whether he will be able to keep his pledge to run a budget surplus before the end of this parliament in 2020.
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.
The latest public finance figures make it virtually inevitable that the Chancellor will scrap the existing fiscal rules when he delivers his first Budget.
We're expecting to learn today that the economy expanded at a 2.6% annualized rate in the first quarter, rather better than we expected at the turn of the year--our initial assumption was 1-to-2%--and above the consensus, 2.3%.
A trade deal with China is in sight. President Trump tweeted Sunday that the planned increase in tariffs on $200B of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, due March 1, has been deferred--no date was specified-- in light of the "substantial progress" in the talks.
Japan's September PMI report showed some slippage, but overall, it suggests that GDP growth in Q3 was a little stronger than the 0.3% quarter- on-quarter rate in Q2.
When you read between the lines of its public statements on Brexit, the Government appears to be prioritising controlling immigration over maintaining unfettered access to the single market, much to the chagrin of the financial sector.
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 Chancellor hinted in the Autumn Statement that the fiscal consolidation might not be as severe as it appears on paper because he has built in some "fiscal headroom". By that, Mr. Hammond means that he could borrow more and still adhere to his new, self-imposed rules.
U.S. President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order aimed at delivering on his campaign pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The executive order also includes measures to boost border patrol forces and increase the number of immigration enforcement officers. As previous U.S. presidents have discovered, however, signing an executive order is one thing and fulfilling it is something else. President Obama, for instance, signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo detention facility on his second day in office.
Whichever way you choose to slice the numbers, consumers' spending is growing much more slowly than is implied by an array of confidence surveys.
Fourth quarter GDP growth is likely to be revised down today.
Net foreign trade was a drag on GDP growth in the second quarter, subtracting 0.7 percentage points from the headline number.
Bond yields in the Eurozone took another leg lower yesterday.
Brazil's economic prospects continue to deteriorate rapidly, due to a combination of rising political uncertainty, the failure of the new government to advance on reforms, and ongoing external threats.
CPI inflation last Friday gave Japanese policymakers a break from the run of bad data, jumping to 0.9% in April, from 0.5% in March.
Concern over individual freedoms was the spark for Hong Kong's recent demonstrations and troubles, and protesters' demands continue to be political in nature.
The Colombian economy was relatively resilient at the end of last year, but economic reports released during the last few weeks indicate that growth is still fragile, and that downside risks have increased. Real GDP rose 1.0% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 1.6% from 1.2% in Q3.
The E.C.'s Economic Sentiment Indicator for the U.K., released yesterday, painted an upbeat picture of the economy's recent performance. The ESI picked up to 109.4 in February from 107.1 in January; its average level since 1990 is 100. February's reading was the highest since December 2015, and it slightly exceeded the E.U.'s average of 108.9.
We expect to learn today that the economy expanded at a 2.1% annualized rate in the fourth quarter, slowing from 3.4% in the third.
The U.S. household sector carries substantial gross debts, even after the sustained deleveraging since the crash of 2008. The gross debt-to-income ratio stood at 105.3% in the second quarter of this year, down from the 135% peak in late 2007 but still well above the 88% average recorded in the 1990s, which was not a decade of restraint on the part of consumers.
Wage growth will be crucial in determining how quickly the MPC raises interest rates this year. So far, it hasn't recovered meaningfully.
Markets often greet the monthly international trade numbers with a shrug.
The decline in headline durable goods orders in May, reported yesterday, doesn't matter.
At first glance, the U.K. consumer price data show a perplexing absence of domestically generated inflation.
The end of the government shutdown--for three weeks, at least-- means that the data backlog will start to clear this week.
China's abysmal industrial profits data for October underscore why the chances of less- timid monetary easing are rising rapidly.
French consumers remained in great spirits midway through the fourth quarter. The headline INSEE consumer confidence index jumped to a 28-month high in November, from 104 in October, extending its v-shaped recovery from last year's plunge on the back of the yellow vest protests.
The Fed is on course to hike again in December, with 12 of the 16 FOMC forecasters expecting rates to end the year 25bp higher than the current 2-to-21⁄4%; back in June, just eight expected four or more hikes for the year.
Today is a busy day in the Eurozone economic calendar, but we suspect that markets mainly will focus on the details of Italy's 2019 budget.
China's finance minister Liu Kun provided his report on China's current fiscal situation to the legislature last Friday.
Guo Shuqing, head of the newly formed China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, has been named as Party Secretary for the PBoC.
China's industrial profits tanked in January/ February, falling 14.0% year-to-date year-over-year, after a 1.9% drop year-over-year in December.
In this Monitor, befitting these uncertain times, we set out the decision tree facing Chinese policymakers.
Yesterday's raft of data had no net impact on our forecast for second quarter GDP growth, which we still think will be about 21⁄4%.
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.
It seems reasonable to think that manufacturing should be doing better in the U.S. than other major economies.
We have been asked how we can justify raising our growth forecasts but at the same time arguing that the housing market is set to weaken quite dramatically, thanks to the clear downshift in mortgage applications in recent months. Applications peaked back in June, so this is not just a story about the post-election rise in mortgage rates.
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.
China's official real GDP growth slowed to 6.0% year-over-year in Q3, from 6.2% in Q2 and 6.4% in Q1. Consecutive 0.2 percentage points declines are significant in China.
The definition of "yesbutism": Noun, meaning the practice of dismissing or seeking to diminish the importance of data on the grounds that the next iteration will tell the opposite story.
The BoJ until last week had been in wait-and-see mode over China's slowdown, but they finally folded with Thursday's decision.
MPs will be asked today to approve the PM's motion, proposed in accordance with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act--FTPA--to hold a general election on December 12.
Yesterday's consumer sentiment data provided further evidence of a strengthening French economy, amid signs of cracks in the otherwise solid German economy.
October's surprise jump in public borrowing is not a material setback for the Chancellor, who will stick to his new Budget plans for modest fiscal stimulus next year.
Growth in South America disappointed last year, but prospects are gradually improving on the back of rising commodity prices and the global manufacturing rebound. These factors will help to ease the region's external and fiscal vulnerabilities, particularly over the second half of the year. On the domestic front, though, the first quarter has proved challenging for some countries, hit by temporary supply factors such as a mine strikes, floods, and wildfires.
China's growth can be decomposed into the structural story and the mini-cycle, which is policy- driven.
Existing home sales peaked last February, and the news since then has been almost unremittingly gloomy.
The renewed slide in oil prices in recent weeks will crimp capital spending, at the margin, but it is not a macroeconomic threat on the scale of the 2014-to-16 hit.
On the face of it, the latest public finance data suggest that the economy has lost momentum.
The intensity of the pressure on households' finances was highlighted last week by December's retail sales report, which showed that volumes fell by 1.5% month-to-month, the most since June 2016.
Chinese GDP numbers always require a great deal of detective work, and yesterday's needed more than the norm; multiple rounds of revisions needed decoding.
Unlike other central banks, the MPC has stuck to its message that "an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period" likely will be required to keep inflation close to the 2% target, provided a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
The PBoC's quarterly monetary policy report seemed relatively sanguine on the question of PPI deflation, attributing it mainly to base effects--not entirely fairly--and suggesting that inflation will soon return.
The advance international trade data for December were due for publication today, but the report probably won't appear.
In recent public appearances, the Chancellor has made a concerted effort to downplay expectations of fiscal loosening in Wednesday's Autumn statement. On Sunday, he labelled the deficit "eye-wateringly" large and he warned that he was "highly constrained".
Today brings a wave of data, some brought forward because of Thanksgiving. We are most interested in the durable goods orders report for October, which we expect will show the upward trend in core capital goods orders continues.
Yesterday's barrage of survey data in France suggests that business sentiment in the industrial sector remained soft mid-way through Q4, but the numbers are more uncertain than usual this month.
Back-to-back elevated weekly jobless claims numbers prove nothing, but they have grabbed our attention.
The public finances are in better shape than October's figures suggest in isolation. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks--PSNB ex.--leapt to £11.2B, from £8.9B a year earlier.
The weather-driven surge in December housing starts, reported last week, is unlikely to be replicated in today's existing home sales numbers for the same month.
The BoJ kept its main policy settings unchanged yesterday, in another 7-to-2 split.
The New York Fed tweeted yesterday that "Housing market fundamentals appear strong.
The trend in public borrowing has improved significantly over recent months, but it is far too soon to conclude that the Chancellor is on track to meet his goal of running a budget surplus by the end of this decade. The recent economic slowdown has not impacted the public borrowing numbers, yet.
The stakes in the Brexit saga have been raised significantly over the summer.
It has become pretty clear over the past couple of weeks that Hillary Clinton will be the next president, so it's now worth thinking about how fiscal policy will evolve over the next couple of years.
The French economy has suffered from weakness in manufacturing this year, alongside the other major EZ economies.
If the only manufacturing survey you track is the Philadelphia Fed report, you could be forgiven for thinking that the sector is booming.
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.
It would be easy to characterize the Fed as quite split at the July meeting.
Consumption and investment spending by state and local government accounts for just over 10% of the U.S. economy, making it more important than exports or consumers' spending on durable goods, and roughly equal to all business investment in equipment and intellectual property.
We expect the official estimate of quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in Q4 to be revised up to 0.7% today, from last month's preliminary estimate of 0.6%. The consensus forecast is for no revision, so the data likely will boost interest rate expectations and sterling, if we're right.
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.
The Chancellor can go on his Christmas vacation content that the public finances have weathered the economy's slowdown relatively well this year.
Brazil's economic performance has improved marginally in recent months, with inflation falling and economic activity and sentiment data stabilizing, or even increasing modestly. The latest regional economic activity report, for instance, showed that although overall output declined again on a sequential basis in March-to-May, three of the five regions expanded.
The latest public finance figures continue to imply that the Chancellor will be able to change course later this year in the Autumn Budget so that fiscal policy doesn't drag on GDP growth next year.
Economic growth in France has been the key downside surprise in the Eurozone this year.
The slowdown in the EZ economy is well publicised.
The Chancellor probably can't believe his luck. Public borrowing has continued to fall this year at a much faster rate than anticipated by the OBR, despite the sluggish economy.
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.
We can't yet know how bad the spread of the coronavirus from the Chinese city of Wuhan will be.
The public finances are in better health than appeared to be the case a few months ago.
The PBoC left its interest rate corridor, including the Medium-term Lending Facility rate, unchanged last Friday, but published the reformed Loan Prime Rate modestly lower, at 4.20% in September, down from 4.25% in August.
At the halfway mark of the fiscal year, public borrowing has been significantly lower than the OBR forecast in the March Budget.
The 17-point leap in the Richmond Fed index for October, reported yesterday, was startlingly large.
On the face of it, the surge in retail sales volumes in September suggests that the U.K. consumer is in fine fettle and can prevent the economic recovery from losing momentum as exporters struggle and government spending retrenches. But the underlying picture is less encouraging and consumers won't be able to sustain the recent robust growth in real spending when inflation revives next year.
The main measure of public borrowing--PSNB excluding public sector banks--came in at £2.6B in December, well below the £5.1B in December 2016 and lower than in any other December since 2000.
On the face of it, the trend in public borrowing deteriorated sharply late last year. In the three months to December, borrowing on the main "PSNB ex ." measure, which excludes banks owned by the public sector, was a trivial £0.3B, or 1.6%, lower than in the same months of 2017.
Japan's national CPI inflation has peaked, falling to 0.7% in May from 0.9% in April.
The minutes of the May 2/3 FOMC meeting today should add some color to policymakers' blunt assertion that "The Committee views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory and continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further, and inflation will stabilize around 2 percent over the medium term."
The apparent softness of business capex is worrying the Fed.
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.
Eurozone consumer confidence remained at its low for the year at the start of Q3.
Our base case remains that the slowdown in quarter-on-quarter GDP growth to about zero in Q2 is just a blip, and that the economy will regain momentum in Q3 and sustain it well into 2020.
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.
The prospect of fiscal stimulus in the euro area-- ostensibly to "help" the ECB reach its inflation target-- remains a hot topic for investors and economists.
GDP growth in Korea surprised to the upside in the fourth quarter, with the economy expanding by 1.2% quarter-on-quarter, three times as fast as in Q3, and the biggest increase in nine quarters.
The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators appears to signal that the U.S. economy is plunging headlong into recession.
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.
Yesterday's public finance figures showed that the public sector, excluding public sector banks, ran a surplus of £0.2B in July, a modest improvement on borrowing of £0.4B a year ago.
Public borrowing continues to falling at a very slow pace, despite the major fiscal consolidation implemented this year. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks--PSNB ex.--was £10.5B in August, only 8.1% less than the £11.5B borrowed a year ago.
Japan's flash PMI numbers for August were a mixed bag.
Brazil's central bank is finally decisively facing its demon, persistently high inflation. The eight-member policy board, known as Copom, decided unanimously on Wednesday to increase the Selic rate by 50bp to 12.25%, the highest level in more than three years, in line with the consensus.
The public finances continue to heal rapidly, suggesting that the Chancellor should have scope to soften his fiscal plans substantially in the Autumn Budget.
The recent deceleration in households' real spending means that either business investment or net exports will have to pickup if the economy is to avoid a severe slowdown this year.
Japanese policymakers will have been scouring yesterday's data for signs that the trade situation is improving.
The Monetary Policy Committee chose to keep its options open in the minutes of this week's meeting, rather than signal as clearly as it did last year that interest rates will rise very soon.
New home sales are much more susceptible to weather effects -- in both directions -- than existing home sales. We have lifted our forecast for today's February numbers above the 575K pace implied by the mortgage applications data in recognition of the likely boost from the much warmer-than-usual temperatures.
Back on May 14, we argued--see here--that the stars were aligned to generate very strong second quarter GDP growth, perhaps even reaching 5%.
As we reach our deadline--4pm eastern time--media reports indicate that a debt ceiling agreement is close.
Yesterday's second estimate of Q3 GDP confirmed that the U.K. economy has underperformed this year.
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.
Always expect the unexpected in a bonus month for Japanese wages.
...The Fed did nothing, surprising no-one; the labor market tightened further; the housing market tracked sideways; survey data mostly slipped a bit; and oil prices jumped nearly $4, briefly nudging above $50 for the first time since May.
We're sticking to our 220K forecast for today's official payroll number, despite the slightly smaller-than- expected 179K increase in the ADP measure of private employment.
Ms Keiko Fujimori, the candidate of Peru's conservative Fuerza Popular party, seems on course to win the first round of the presidential election this Sunday, April 10. According to the latest Ipsos poll, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori continues to lead the race, with the support or about 34% of voters.
Labor demand appears to have remained strong through August, so we expect to see a robust ADP report today.
Inflation in Colombia right now is under control but risks are increasing rapidly, and the outlook for next year has deteriorated significantly.
We read the same polls, newspapers, and political websites as everyone else, and we're not claiming any special insight into the outcome of the midterm elections today.
German manufacturing is in good shape, but probably is not as strong as implied by yesterday's surge in new orders. Factory orders jumped 5.2% month-to-month in December, rebounding strongly after a downwardly revised 3.6% fall in November. December's jump was the biggest monthly increase in two years, but it was flattered by a leap in bulk investment goods orders, mainly in the domestic market and other EZ economies.
The 5% year-over-year increase in private new car registrations in January ended a nine-month period of falling sales. January's increase, however, is unlikely to be a bellwether for car sales over the whole year, or for the strength of consumer spending more generally.
At first glance, car sales appear to be staging a strong recovery, mirroring the better news on high street spending in Q2.
If the Chancellor is true to his word, Wednesday's Budget will be a pedestrian affair with few major policy changes designed to prevent the economy from slowing this year. In an article in The Sunday Times, Philip Hammond asserted that "we cannot take our foot off the pedal" in the mission to eliminate the budget deficit by the end of the next parliament.
Predicting which way markets would move in response to potential general election outcomes has been relatively straightforward in the past. But the usual rules of thumb will not apply when the election results filter through after polling stations close on Thursday evening.
Inflation in the Eurozone fell significantly last month, and probably will ease further in Q1.
As we go to press, equities in the Eurozone are having a bad day following the collapse in U.S. and Asian equities earlier.
Following the publication of Korea's preliminary Q4 GDP report last month--see here--we said the consensus-beating print would be susceptible to downgrades, unless the economy had a miraculous end to 2018
Judging by interactions with readers in the past few weeks, fiscal policy is one of the most important topics for EZ investors as we move into the final stretch of the year.
The PBoC finally moved yesterday, cutting its one-year MLF rate by 5bp to 3.25%, whilst replacing around RMB 400B of maturing loans.
China is facing a nasty mix of spiking CPI inflation and ongoing PPI deflation.
When the BoJ tweaked policy back in July, we think the increase in flexibility in part was to lay groundwork for the BoJ to respond to the Fed's ongoing hiking cycle.
We've always said that China's first weapon, should the trade war escalate, is to do nothing and allow the RMB to depreciate.
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.
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.
Fed Chair Powell yesterday said about as little as he could without appearing to ignore the turmoil in markets since the President announced his intention to apply tariffs to imports from Mexico: "We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the U.S. economic outlook and, as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective."
Japan's monetary base growth slowed to just 4.6% year-over-year in February, from 4.7% in January, well below the 17% rate needed to keep the base expanding at a pace consistent with the BoJ's JGB quantity target.
October payrolls were stronger than we expected, rising 128K, despite a 46K hit from the GM strike.
Yesterday's detailed Q3 growth data in the Eurozone offered no surprises in terms of the headline.
The case for the MPC to hold back from raising interest rates in May remains strong, despite the improvement in the Markit/CIPS services survey in February.
China's National People's Congress yesterday laid out its main goals for this year, on the first day of its annual meeting.
The pushback from within the President's own party against the proposed tariffs on Mexican imports has been strong; perhaps strong enough either to prevent the tariffs via Congressional action, or by persuading Mr. Trump that the idea is a losing proposition.
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.
The jump in the Caixin services PMI in the past two months looks erratic, with holiday effects playing a role, though there could be more going on here.
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.
We are surprised by the EU's reaction to Mr. Trump's announcement that the U.S. will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium.
The Chancellor will struggle to make his Spring Statement heard on March 13 over the noise of next week's key Brexit votes in parliament, likely spanning from March 12 to 14.
The recovery in small business sentiment since the fourth quarter rollover has been extremely modest, so far.
In Friday's Monitor we analysed the draft Japanese budget, as reported by Bloomberg. We suggested that the GDP bang-for-government-expenditure- buck is likely to be less than that implied by the authorities' forecasts.
The release of October's GDP report on Tuesday likely will be overshadowed by campaigning ahead of Thursday's general election.
The 62K jump in jobless claims for the week ended September 2 is a hint of what's to come. Claims usually don't surge until the second week after major hurricanes, because people have better things to do in the immediate aftermath, so we are braced for a further big increase next week.
Inflation pressures are easing rapidly in Colombia, according to October's CPI report, released on Saturday. Inflation fell to 6.5% year-over-year in October, down from 7.3% in September; the consensus expectation was 6.7%.
The RMB has been on a tear, as expectations for a "Phase One" trade deal have firmed.
We are not political analysts or psephologists, but we note that each of the nine separate election forecasting models tracked by the New York Times suggests that Hillary Clinton will be president, with odds ranging from 67% to greater than 99%.
The budget sequestration process, which cut discretionary government spending by a total of $114B in fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014, was one of the dumbest things Congress has done in recent years.
We already know that the month-to-month movements in the key labor market components of the December NFIB small business survey were mixed; the data were released last week, ahead the official employment report, as usual.
Friday's German new orders data were sizzling. Factory orders jumped 3.6% month-to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year rate up to a nine-month high of 7.8%, from an upwardly-revised 5.4% in July.
The PBoC cut the Reserve Requirement Ratio late on Friday--as signalled at last Wednesday's State Council meeting--by 0.5 percentage points, to be implemented from September 16.
Japan's current account surplus has been broadly stable in absolute terms in the last couple of years, though it has retreated as a share of GDP.
If the Redbook chain store sales survey moved consistently in line with the official core retail sales numbers, it would attract a good deal more attention in the markets. We appreciate that brick-and-mortar retailers are losing market share to online sellers, but the rate at which sales are moving to the web is quite steady and easy to accommodate when comparing the Redbook with the official data.
Andean inflation remains under control, due to subpar growth, modest pressures on prices for nontradeables, and broadly stable currencies.
The Chancellor lived up to his reputation for fiscal conservatism yesterday and is pressing ahead with a tough fiscal tightening. He hopes that this will create scope to loosen policy if the economy struggles after the U.K. leaves the EU in 2019, but we remain concerned his "fiscal headroom" will be much smaller than he currently anticipates.
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.
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.
Make no mistake, business investment has been depressed by Brexit uncertainty over the last year.
The two big surprises in the September employment report--the drop in the unemployment rate and the flat hourly earnings number--were inconsequential, when set against the sharp and clear slowdown in payroll growth, which has further to run.
Car manufacturers have been at the sharp end o f the slowdown in consumers' spending this year. In response, several brands have launched generous scrappage schemes, giving buyers a big discount when they trade in their old vehicle.
Speculation that another general election is imminent is rarely out of the news. At present, betting markets see about a 35% chance of another election in 2019, broadly the same chance as one in 2022, when it is currently scheduled to be held.
The flow of data pointing to strength in the labor market has continued this week, on the heels of last week's report of a 250K jump in October payrolls.
India's PMIs for October were grim, indicating minimal carry-over of energy from the third quarter rebound.
The downturn in car sales is showing no sign of abating. Data released yesterday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that private registrations fell 10.1% year-over-year in October, much worse than the 6.6% average drop in the previous 12 months.
Fears of a Chinese hard landing have roiled financial and commodity markets this past year and have constrained the economic recovery of major raw material exporters in LatAm.
Colombia was the fastest growing LatAm economy in 2019, due mostly to strong domestic demand, offsetting a sharp fall in key exports.
China's FX reserves fell to $3,134B in February, from $3,161B in January, after a year of gains.
At their March meeting FOMC members' range of forecasts for the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of this year ranged from 4.4% to 4.7%, with a median of 4.5%. But Friday's report showed that the unemployment rate hit the bottom of the forecast range in April.
Markets have been positively surprised by Brazil's rapid disinflation, the efforts at fiscal reform, and the prospect of growth in the economy this year. The Ibovespa index is now above its pre-crisis high and the real has approached the key level of three per USD in recent months. But the latest GDP report, released yesterday, showed that the economy struggled in Q4. Real GDP fell 0.9% quarter-on-quarter, worse than the revised 0.7% drop in Q3.
Yesterday's Nikkei services PMI report completed Japan's set of surveys for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Japan's services sector PMI last week was disappointing.
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.
Data released last week confirmed the strength of the economic recovery in Chile, and we expect further good news in the next three-to-six months.
We don't believe that payrolls rose only 138K in May. History strongly suggests that when the May payroll survey is conducted relatively early in the month, payroll growth falls short of the prior trend.
The Fed likely will do nothing today, both in terms of interest rates and substantive changes to the statement. We'd be very surprised to hear anything new on the Fed's plans for its balance sheet.
Modern Money Theory has come up at two consecutive BoJ press conferences.
Japan's Q1 is coming more sharply into focus.
The CPIH--the controversial, modified version of the existing CPI that includes a measure of owner occupied housing, or OOH, costs--will become the headline measure of consumer price inflation when February's data are published on March 21.
Gilts continued to rally last week, with 10-year yields dropping to their lowest since October 2016, and the gap between two-year and 10-year yields narrowing to the smallest margin since September 2008.
The Manufacturing Upswing Continues; no Sign of Weakening
Japan's Q2 Tankan survey wasn't all bad news, but the positives won't last long. The large manufacturers index dropped to 7 in Q2, after the decline to 12 in Q1.
Yesterday's data in the French economy provided the final confirmation that growth remained sluggish in Q2, and showed that households had a slow start to the third quarter.
Mexico's trade balance shrank slightly last year, to USD13B, from USD14.6B in 2015. An improvement in the non-energy deficit was the main driver, while the energy gap worsened.
The trade war with China is not big enough or bad enough alone to push the U.S. economy into recession.
Reporting on the German labour market has been like watching paint dry in this expansion, but yesterday's data were a stark exception to this rule.
China's official manufacturing PMI for May, out tomorrow, will give the first indication of the coming hit from the resumption of its tariff war with the U.S.
The risk of a snap general election has jumped following Theresa May's resignation and the widespread opposition within the Conservative party to the compromises she proposed last week, which might have paved the way to a soft Brexit.
The 0.18% increase in the core PCE deflator in December was at the lower end of the range implied by the core CPI. It left the year-over-year rate at just 1.5%.
Fiscal policy is in limbo until a new leader of the Conservative party has been elected on September 9. Shortly after, however, a new Budget--or a Budget disguised as an Autumn Statement--will be held.
CPI inflation looks set to remain below the 2% target this year, driven by sterling's recent appreciation and lower energy prices.
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.
Headline money supply growth in the Eurozone accelerated further at the start of Q2.
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.
The emergence last month of a new E.U. Withdrawal Agreement that has a strong chance of being ratified by MPs appears to have given a small boost to business confidence.
Industrial profits in China dropped 3.7% year-over- year in April, after surging 13.9% in March, according to the officially reported data.
Tokyo CPI inflation edged down to 0.4% in May, from 0.5% in April.
Our base case forecast has core PCE inflation at 1.9% from November 2018 through July this year.
Korea's business survey index rose for a second straight month in March, to 75 from 73 in February, on our adjustment.
The stock market loved Fed Chair Powell's remarks on the economy yesterday, specifically, his comment that rates are now "just below" neutral.
Our analysis of the Q3 activity and GDP data in yesterday's Monitor strongly suggests that China's authorities will soon ready further stimulus.
The picture of the economy's recent performance will be redrawn today, when the national accounts are published.
The national accounts for the fourth quarter showed that the economy relied on households slashing their saving rate to a record low in order to spend more. Now, growth in consumer spending will have to fall back in line with real incomes, which will increasingly be impaired by rising inflation.
Friday's consumer sentiment data in the two main Eurozone economies were mixed.
Later today, the Chancellor likely will take the first step towards abandoning plans for further fiscal tightening. In
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.
Monetary policy usually is the first line of defence whenever a recession hits.
Markets see a strong possibility, though not a probability, that the BoJ will cut rates on Thursday.
The news in Brazil on inflation and politics has been relatively positive in recent weeks, allowing policymakers to keep cutting interest rates to boost the stuttering recovery.
China's current account surplus was revised down last week to $46.2B in Q2, from $57.0B in the preliminary data, marking a dip from $49.0B in Q1.
Households' decision to reduce their saving rate sharply was the main reason why economic growth exceeded forecasters' expectations in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
India's headline GDP print for the third quarter was damning, with growth slowing further, to 4.5% year- over-year, from 5.0% in Q2.
The current momentum in house prices partly reflects a dearth of homes offered for sale by existing homeowners. This scarcity reflects a series of constraints, which we think will ease only gradually. Further punchy gains in house prices therefore look sustainable and we expect average prices to rise by about 8% next year.
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.
Last week's final barrage of data showed that EZ headline inflation rose slightly last month, by 0.1 percentage points to 1.5%, driven mainly by increases in the unprocessed food energy components.
The downturn in global trade looks set to turn a corner, at least judging by the outlook for Korean exports, which are a key bellwether.
Over the summer, both Chancellor Javid and PM Johnson appeared to be repositioning the Conservatives, claiming that the era of austerity was over and that higher levels of spending and investment were justified.
Last week's strong ISM manufacturing survey for November likely will be followed by robust data for the non-manufacturing sector today, but the headline index, like its industrial counterpart, likely will dip a bit.
Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party took a drubbing at the polls in Tokyo's Assembly election over the weekend. The consequences for fiscal spending probably are minimal but the vote strengthens the case for increased emphasis on the structural reform "arrow" and less focus on monetary policy.
We expect to see a 160K increase in June payrolls today, though uncertainty over the extent of the rebound after June's modest 75K increase means that all payroll forecasts should be viewed with even more skepticism than usual.
The Caixin services PMI ticked down to 53.6 in January, from 53.9 in December.
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.
The violent protests in France claimed their first victims over the weekend, providing sombre evidence of the severity of the situation for the government.
Colombia's BanRep stuck to the script on Thursday by leaving the policy rate on hold at 4.25%.
At the start of the year, #euroboom was the moniker used in financial media to describe the EZ economy.
British firms have adopted a cautious mindset since the Brexit vote and are saving a huge share of their earnings, even though high profit margins make a strong case for investing more. Firms likely will run down their cash stockpiles when they become more confident about the medium-term economic outlook, potentially boosting GDP growth powerfully.
The Prime Minister achieved a rare victory yesterday, when the Commons passed the government-backed Brady amendment.
The jobless rate fell back to 2.8% in June after the surprise rise to 3.1% in May. This drop takes us back to where we were in April before voluntary unemployment jumped in May.
This Budget will be remembered as the moment when the Government finally threw in the towel on plans to run sustainable public finances.
French consumer confidence and consumption have been among the main bright spots in the euro area economy so far this year.
Britain looks set for a general election during the week commencing December 9, now that all main parties are pushing for a pre-Christmas poll.
Japanese trade remained in the doldrums in October, keeping policymakers on their toes as they repeat the refrain of "resilient" domestic demand.
Japan's June retail sales data add to the run of numbers suggesting a strong rebound in real GDP growth in Q2, after the 0.2% contraction in activity in Q1.
Yesterday's BoJ statement, outlook and press conference raised our conviction on two key aspects of the policy outlook.
Implied volatility on the euro is now so low that we're compelled to write about it, mainly because we think the macroeconomic data are hinting where the euro goes next.
The economic calendar in Mexico was relatively quiet over Christmas, and broadly conformed to our expectations of resilient economic activity in Q4.
Today's October ADP measure of private payrolls likely will overshoot Friday's official number.
The biggest surprise in the revisions to first quarter GDP growth, released yesterday, was in the core PCE deflator.
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.
In the wake of April's 0.2% increase in real consumers' spending, and the upward revisions to the first quarter numbers, we now think that second quarter spending is on course to rise at an annualized rate of about 3.5%.
China's Q2 real GDP growth officially slowed to 6.2% year-over-year, from 6.4% in Q1, which already matched the trough in the financial crisis.
China's current account surplus grew further in the final quarter of 2018, more than doubling to $54.6B, from $23.3B in Q3.
The National People's Congress yesterday announced a sweeping restructuring of Party/State architecture.
As expected, the Chancellor kept his powder dry in the Spring Statement, preferring instead to wait for the Budget in the autumn to deploy the funds technically available to him to support the economy.
The wave of May data due for release today likely will go some way to countering the market narrative of a seriously slowing economy, a story which gained further momentum last week after the release of the May employment report.
Industrial production in India turned around sharply in November, rising by 1.8% year-over-year, following October's 4.0% plunge and beating the consensus forecast for a trivial 0.3% uptick.
Turkey has all the problems you don't want to see in an emerging market when the U.S. is raising interest rates.
The Fed surprised no-one by raising rates 25bp yesterday and leaving in place the median forecast for three hikes next year and two next year.
Manufacturing in the EZ was held above water by Ireland at the end of Q3.
It's hard to know what to make of the October CPI data, which recorded hefty increases in healthcare costs and used car prices but a huge drop in hotel room rates, and big decline in apparel prices, and inexplicable weakness in rents.
Sterling leapt to $1.27, from $1.22 last week, amid some positive signals from all sides engaged in Brexit talks.
No matter how you choose to slice-and-dice the recent retail sales numbers, the core data for the past couple of months have been disappointing. Our favorite measure--total sales less autos, gasoline, food and building materials--rose by just 0.1% month-to- month in May but then reversed this minimal gain in June.
Today's CPI report from India should raise the pressure on the RBI to abandon its aggressive easing, which has resulted in 135 basis points worth of rate cuts since February.
Friday's data added further colour to the September CPI data for the Eurozone.
Friday's detailed October CPI report in Germany confirmed that inflation pressures are steadily rising. Inflation rose to 0.8% year-over-year in October, from 0.7% in September, lifted mostly by a continuing increase in energy prices.
Markets are beginning to grasp that President-elect Trump's economic plans, if implemented in full--or anything like it--will constitute substantial inflationary shock to the U.S.
China's M2 growth surprised on the upside in July, rising to 8.5% year-over-year, from 8.0% in June.
Japan's Q2 GDP was driven by the twin pillars of private consumption and capex.
Thursday's CPI report in Mexico showed that inflation is edging lower. We are confident that it will continue to fall consistently during Q1, thanks chiefly to the subpar economic recovery, low inertia and the effect of the recent MXN rebound.
The French manufacturing data delivered another upside surprise last week, following the solid numbers in Germany; see here. French industrial production rose slightly in November, by 0.3% month-to-month, extending the gains from an upwardly-revised 0.5% rise in October.
China's GDP report for the fourth quarter, due on Friday, is likely to show that economic growth has stabilised, on the surface.
Our argument that rates could rise as soon as March has always been contingent on two factors, namely, robust labor market data and a degree of clarity on the extent of fiscal easing likely to emerge from Congress. On the first of these issues, the latest evidence is mixed.
The pick-up in CPI inflation to 3.1% in November--its highest rate since March 2012-- from 3.0% in October, shouldn't alarm the MPC at this week's meeting.
On the face of it, the upturn in initial jobless claims since late September appears to signal a softening in the economy.
Manufacturing in the Eurozone rebounded midway through the second quarter.
When Park Geun-hye came to power in Korea 2013, it was to cheers of "economic democratisation". At the time, I wrote a report with a list of reforms that would be needed for Korea to "economically democratise".
The manufacturing sector likely was the primary driver of Q3 GDP growth in the Eurozone. Data yesterday showed that industrial production rose 1.4% month-to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 3.8%, from a revised 3.6% in July.
Today's labour market report likely will show that employment continued to grow briskly over the summer, but that wage gains still are lagging well behind inflation.
PM Abe last week asked the cabinet to put together a package of measures in a 15-month budget aimed at bolstering GDP growth through productivity enhancement, in addition to the shorter-term goal of disaster recovery.
We often hear that the large gap between the slowing rising path for interest rates anticipated by the MPC and the flat profile expected by markets is justified because markets have to price-in all of the downside risks to the economic outlook posed by Brexit.
Under normal circumstances, we can predict movements in the headline NFIB index from shifts in the key labor market components, which are released a day ahead of the official employment report, and, hence, about 10 days before the full NFIB survey appears.
Yesterday's second EZ Q2 GDP report was slightly more upbeat than the advance estimate.
The first wave of domestic third quarter data crashes ashore this morning.
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.
The surge in July core retail sales was flattered by the impact of the Amazon Prime Event, which helped drive a 2.8% leap in sales at nonstore retailers.
The industrial production trajectory in Mexico looked strong going into Q3, but Friday's report for August threatens to change that picture.
The New York Times called the China trade agreement reached Friday "half a deal", but that's absurdly generous.
China's main activity data for October disappointed across the board, strengthening our conviction that the PBoC probably isn't quite done with easing this year.
China's September imports missed expectations, but commentators and markets tend to focus on the year-over-year numbers.
"Is EZ fiscal stimulus on the way?" is a question that we receive a lot these days.
Yesterday's wave of data suggested that a good part of the strength in final demand in the second quarter was sustained into the first month of this quarter, and perhaps the second too.
The BoJ is likely to be thankful next week for a relatively benign environment in which to conduct its monetary policy meeting.
Judging by the solid advance data in the major economies, yesterday's EZ industrial production report should have hit desks with a bang, but it was a whimper in the end.
In yesterday's Monitor, we argued that if the upside risk in an array of core CPI components crystallised in January, the month-to-month gain would print at 0.3%, for the first time since August. That's exactly what happened, though we couldn't justify it as our base forecast. A combination of rebounding airline fares, apparel prices, new vehicle prices, and education costs conspired to generate a 0.31% gain, lifting the year-over-year rate back to the 2.3% cycle high, first reached in February last year.
Friday's sole economic report showed that wage growth in France remained robust mid-way through the year. The non-seasonally adjusted private wage index, ex-agriculture and public sector workers, published by the Labour Ministry, rose by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q3.
Italy's political leadership faces its first biggest test in autumn, when it has to deliver its first budget.
Markets greatly cheered the Conservatives' landslide victory on Friday, but remained cautious on the potential for the MPC to return to the tightening cycle it started in 2017.
Italy is edging closer to a coalition government with the Five-Star Movement, the Northern League, and Forza Italia at the helm.
Manufacturing is not in recession, yet, despite the reams of gloomy analysis of the sector, including our own.
China's trade surplus jumped to a six-month high of $46.8B in December, from $37.6B in November, on the back of a strong increase in exports.
Eurozone investors should by now be accustomed to direct intervention in private financial markets by policymakers.
We can't remember the last time a single economic report was as surprising as the December retail sales numbers, released yesterday.
Japan's 0.3% quarter-on quarter increase in Q4 GDP was disappointing, on the face of it, after a downwardly-revised 0.7% fall in Q3.
The stand-out development in yesterday's labour market report was the drop in the he adline, three-month average, unemployment rate to just 4.0% in June--its lowest rate since February 1975--from 4.2% in May.
Fed Chair Yellen delivered no great surprises in her semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony, though she certainly was clear on her attitude to the balance sheet. The Fed does not want to "...use the balance sheet as an active tool of monetary policy."
Economists are evenly split on December's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, with half expecting CPI inflation to fall to 2.1%, from 2.3% in November, and the other half expecting a 2.2% print.
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.
The Chancellor has prepared the public and the markets for a ratcheting-up of the already severe austerity plans in the Budget on Wednesday. George Osborne warned on Sunday that he would announce "...additional savings, equivalent to 50p in every £100 the government spends by the end of the decade", raising an extra £4B a year.
The Fed will hike by 25 basis points today, citing the tightening labor market as the key reason to press ahead with the process of policy normalization. We think the case for adding an extra dot to the plot for both this year and next is powerful.
We have been asked recently why we rarely talk about the signal from the U.S. money supply numbers, in contrast to the emphasis we give to real M1 growth in our forecasts for economic growth in both the Eurozone and China.
The headline May retail sales numbers were flattered by a 2.4% leap in the wildly volatile building materials component and a price-driven 2.0% surge in gasoline sales.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's five-line letter to House Speaker Pelosi on last Friday--copied to other Congressional leaders--which said that "there is a scenario in which we run out of cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes", introduces a new element of uncertainty to the debt ceiling story.
Today's rate hike will be accompanied by a new round of Fed forecasts, which will have to reflect the faster growth and lower unemployment than expected back in September.
November's consumer price report likely will show that October's dip in CPI inflation was just a blip against a strong upward trend. We think that CPI inflation picked up to 1.1% in November, from 0.9% in October, in line with the consensus.
Our base case remains a 10bp cut in the deposit rate, to -0.5%, in September.
Note: This updates our initial post-election thoughts, adding more detail to the fiscal policy discussion. Apologies for the density of the text, but there's a lot to say. Our core conclusions have not changed since the election result emerged. The biggest single economic policy change, by far, will be on the fiscal front.
We think Japanese monetary policy easing essentially is tapped out, both theoretically and by political constraints.
History is repeating itself in France. When the Republican Nicolas Sarkozy defeated the Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal in April 2007, consumer sentiment briefly soared to a six-year high, before plunging to an all-time low a year later.
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.
The latest batch of FOMC speakers yesterday, together with the December minutes--participants said "the committee could afford to be patient about further policy firming"--offered nothing to challenge the idea, now firmly embedded in markets, that the next rate hike will come no sooner than June, if it comes at all.
We remain confident in the success of legislation designed to compel the PM to request a further extension of the U.K.'s E.U. membership on October 19, in the overwhelmingly likely scenario that an exit deal is not agreed at next week's E.U. Council meeting.
The economy's recovery from the 2008/09 recession has been weaker than after the previous two downturns partly because households have not depleted housing equity to fund consumption.
China's November money and credit data were a little less grim, with only M2 growth slipping, due to unfavourable base effects.
First things first: Payroll growth likely will be sustained at or close to November's pace.
Markets rightly placed little weight on October's below-consensus GDP report yesterday, and still think that the chances of the MPC cutting Bank Rate within the next six months are below 50%.
Inflation pressures in Brazil are now well- contained, with the headline rate falling to a decade low in July. We think inflation is now close to bottoming out, but the current benign rate strengthens our base case forecast for a 100bp rate cut at the next policy meeting, in September.
The likely dip in the headline NFIB index of small business sentiment and activity today will tell us that business owners are unhappy and nervous about the potential impact of the latest China tariffs on their sales and profits.
Normal service appears to have resumed in August, with payrolls rising by 201K, very close to the 196K average over the previous year.
Colombia's January inflation rate easily exceeded BanRep's 2-to-4% target range yet again, jumping to 7.5% from 6.8% in October, the fastest increase since December 2008. This is putting pressure on BanRep to continue tightening, following 150bp rate hikes, to 6.0%, since September.
The softening in payroll growth in November appears mostly to be a story about short-term noise, rather than a sign that tariffs are hurting or that the broader economy is slowing.
The Brazilian Central Bank's policy board-- COPOM--voted unanimously on Wednesday to cut the Selic rate by 50bp to 5.00%, as expected.
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 Office for Budget Responsibility has decided to press ahead with the publication of new fiscal forecasts on November 7, despite the government's decision to postpone the Budget until after the next election.
On the face of it, the timing of the drop in the E.C.'s measure of consumers' confidence, to its lowest level since July 2016 in April, is peculiar.
At next Wednesday's Budget, the Chancellor will have the rare pleasure of announcing lower-than- anticipated near-term borrowing forecasts. But hopes that he will prevent the fiscal tightening from intensifying when the new financial year begins in April look set to be dashed, just as they were at the Autumn Statement in November.
A quick rebound in growth, after the slowdown to a reported 2.6% in the fourth quarter, is unlikely.
The BoJ kept monetary policy unchanged yesterday, as expected, with the signal coming through loud and clear: Japan's central bank will continue its aggressive easing policy until the inflation cows come home...
The MPC's new inflation forecasts usually take centre stage on "Super Thursday" and provide a numerical indication of how close the Committee is to raising interest rates again.
The Conservatives successfully have defended their average poll lead over Labour of 10 percentage points over the last week.
The monthly survey of small businesses conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business is quite sensitive to short-term movements in the stock market, so we're expecting an increase in the November reading, due today.
Our view that households will continue to spend more in the first half of this year, preventing the economy from slipping into a capex-led recession, was not seriously challenged yesterday by the BRC's Retail Sales Monitor.
Bond investors in Italy voted with their feet on Friday with news that the government has agreed a 2019 budget deficit of 2.4%.
The BoJ kept policy unchanged, as expected, at its meeting yesterday.
Markets' inflation expectations have fallen in recent weeks, maintaining the trend seen over the previous 18 months. The fall in expectations for the next year or so is justified by the sharp fall in oil prices. But expectations for inflation further ahead have drifted down too, even though lower oil prices will have no effect on the annual comparison of prices beyond a year or so from now.
Analysts' forecasts for January's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, are unusually dispersed.
Oil prices remain sticky, poised to hover close to a four-year high for the rest of the year.
The imposition of 10% tariffs on $200B-worth of Chinese imports is not a serious threat either to U.S. economic growth--the tariffs amount to 0.1% of GDP--or inflation.
We have downgraded our 2019 and 2020 China GDP forecasts on previous occasions because monetary conditions have been surprisingly unresponsive to lower short-term rates.
The reported rebound in January retail sales was welcome, but the overshoot to consensus was matched, more or less, by the unexpected downward revisions to the December numbers.
We're very interested in the detail of today's January NFIB survey; the headline index, not so much.
Central bankers globally are full of market- appeasing but conditional statements.
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.
We've been consistent in saying that Japanese capex would roll over this year, after strength in the first three quarters was seen by the authorities and many commentators as a sign of resilience.
GDP growth in Japan surprised to the upside in the second quarter, although the preliminary headline arguably flattered the economy's actual performance.
We expect July's consumer prices report, due on Wednesday, to reveal that CPI inflation dropped to 1.8% in July, from 2.0% in June.
Political uncertainty is never far away in the Eurozone, though the most recent outbreak could easily swing in favour of markets.
The Mexican industrial sector is struggling. December industrial output fell 0.4% month-to-month, the third consecutive drop, driven mainly by a similar decline in mining/oil output.
The outlook for the French economy is changing on a daily basis these days.
China's trade surplus bounced back strongly in May, rising to $40.1B on our adjustment, from $35.7B previously.
China's October foreign trade headlines beat expectations, but the year-over-year numbers remain grim, with imports falling 6.4%, only a modest improvement from the 8.5% tumble in September.
The latest IPCA inflation data in Brazil show the year-over-year rate fell to 8.8% in June from 9.3% in May. This is the slowest pace since May 2015, with inflation pulled lower by declines across all major components, except food. Indeed, food prices were the main driver of the modest 0.4% unadjusted monthto-month increase, rising by 0.7%, following a 0.8% jump in May. The year-over-year rate rose to 12.8% in June from 12.4%.
France is solidifying its position as one of the Eurozone's best-performing economies.
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.
Yesterday's price data for China showed continued declines in both CPI and PPI inflation.
The large unexpected surge in oil and gas output this year has boosted the overall economic recovery significantly. But this looks like the last hurrah for a sector of the U.K. economy in terminal decline.
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.
Today's general election looks set to be a closer race than opinion polls suggested two weeks ago.
China concludes its annual Central Economic Work Conference today, where the economic targets and the agenda for next year are set.
Q2's GDP figures create a terrible first impression, but a closer look suggests that the risk of a recession remains very low.
The month-to-month core CPI numbers in March were consistent, in aggregate, with the underlying trend.
Friday's weekly report on the assets and liabilities of U.S. commercial banks will complete the picture or March and, hence, the first quarter. It won't be pretty. With most of the March data already released, a month-to-month decline in lending to commercial and industrial companies of about 0.7% is a done deal. That would be the biggest drop since May 2010, and it would complete a 1% annualized fall for the first quarter, the worst performance since Q3 2010. The year-over-year rate of growth slowed to just 5.0% in Q1, from 8.0% in the fourth quarter and 10.3% in the first quarter of last year.
The IBC-Br index, a monthly proxy for Brazil's GDP--rose 0.5% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 2.8%, from an upwardly-revised 3.1% in October.
Private consumption remains resilient in Brazil and recent data suggest that growth will continue over the coming months.
Inflation pressures in France eased across the board at the end of last year.
Korea's trade data have been extremely volatile over the past two months, thanks to distortions caused by last year's odd holiday calendar.
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.
The odds of a hike this month have increased in recent days, though the chance probably is not as high as the 82% implied by the fed funds future. The arguments against a March hike are that GDP growth seems likely to be very sluggish in Q1, following a sub-2% Q4, and that a hike this month would be seen as a political act.
China's official manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 50.2 in December, marking a weak end to the year. But it could have been worse; we had been worried that the return to above-50 territory in November had been boosted by temporary factors. December's print allays some of those fears.
Markets now think the Fed is done.
Last month was sobering month for equity investors in the Eurozone, and indeed in the global economy as a whole.
The Fed won't raise rates today, or substantively change the wording of the post-meeting statement. In September, the FOMC said that "The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being, to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives."
Banxico cut its policy rate by 25bp to 7.25% yesterday, as was widely expected, following similar moves in August, September and November.
The BoJ held firm, for the most part, during this year's bout of central bank dovishness.
While we were away, EM growth prospects and risk appetite deteriorated, due mainly to rising geopolitical risks and Turkey's currency crisis.
Halfway through the third quarter, we have no objection to the idea that GDP growth likely will exceed 2% for the third straight quarter.
Japan's Tankan survey continues to paint a picture of a contracting economy.
The recent sell-off in Treasuries has not yet reached significant proportions.
Japan's jobless rate was unchanged, at 2.4% in October, as the market took a breather after September's job losses.
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 RICS Residential Market Survey caught our eye last week for reporting that new sale instructions to estate agents rose in May for the first month since February 2016.
The Fed will leave rates unchanged today.
Mexico's economic and financial outlook is deteriorating rapidly and hopes of a gradual recovery over the next three-to-six months are fading away after AMLO's missteps in recent months.
June's retail sales figures provided a timely reminder that consumers aren't being haunted by the warnings of the damage that a no -deal Brexit would entail.
Slower growth in households' spending was the main reason why the economy lost momentum last year.
A slew of Asian price numbers are due this Friday, and they will all likely show that price gains softened further in January.
China's National People's Congress this year was the most significant in years and followed 12 months of lightning-speed change in the country.
The People's Bank of China cut its seven-day reverse-repo rate yesterday, to 2.50% from 2.55%.
Recent data have added to the evidence that the Colombian economy stumbled in July. Retail sales plunged 3.3% year-over-year, from an already poor and downwardly revised 0.9% decline in June. The underlying trend is negative, following two consecutive declines, and July's data were the weakest since September 2009.
On the face of it, British manufacturers are weathering the global slowdown well. The Markit/CIPS PMI jumped to 55.1 in March, from 52.1 in February, and now comfortably exceeds those for the Eurozone, U.S. and Japan.
Bond yields in Italy remain elevated, but volatility has declined recently; two-year yields have halved to 0.7% and 10-year yields have dipped below 3%.
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".
Italian bond yields have remained elevated this week, following the release of the government's detailed draft budget for 2019.
The two key planks of the argument that a substantial easing of fiscal policy won't be inflationary are that labor participation will be dragged higher, limiting the decline in the unemployment rate, while productivity growth will rebound, so unit labor costs will remain under control.
One of the most surprising features of the economic recovery has been that households have not responded to the surge in house prices by releasing housing equity to fund consumption. Housing equity rose to 4.2 times annual disposable incomes in 2015, up from 3.7 in 2012. It has more than doubled over the last two decades.
Fed Chair Yellen said something which sounded odd, at first, in her Q&A at the Senate Banking Committee last Tuesday. It is "not clear" she argued, that the rate of growth of wages has a "direct impact on inflation".
December's labour market report, released today, won't be a game-changer for the near-term outlook for interest rates; January data will be released before the MPC meets in March, and February data will be available at its key meeting in May.
This is the final report before we dial down for our Christmas break, and we are happy to report that the economic calendar will be almost empty in our absence.
The details of next year's Japanese budget are not yet official and the Chinese budget remains unknown. But the main figures of the Japanese budget are available, while China's Economic Work Conference, which concluded yesterday, has set out the colour of the paint for the budget, if not the actual brush strokes.
After a 15 year hiatus, Argentina returned to the global credit markets yesterday with the sale of a USD16.5B sovereign bonds, the largest ever dollar offering by a developing country. Argentina boosted the size of its offering to USD16.5B from USD15B after attracting orders worth USD70B. The country sold four tranches: 10-year debt at 7.5%, three- and five year yielding 6.25% and 6.875%, respectively, and 30-year paper at 8.0%.
We're expecting to learn today that existing home sales rose quite sharply in July, perhaps reaching the highest level since early 2018.
Politics are once again encroaching on the economic story in the Eurozone. At the ECB, this week has so far been a tumultuous one.
As we write, markets see a 70% chance that the MPC will cut Bank Rate on January 30.
Premier Li Keqiang rounded out the National People's Congress with his press conference yesterday.
February's consumer price figures give the MPC reason to doubt the case for raising interest rates again as soon as May.
The federal debt ceiling was re-imposed last week, with no fanfare, and no reaction in the markets. All eyes were focussed instead on the Fed's rate hike and Chair Yellen's press conference.
We've had pushback from readers over our take on the likelihood of a trade deal with China in the near future.
By any yardstick, progress in reducing public sector borrowing so far this fiscal year has been poor. While the borrowing trend should improve in the final four months of this year--including December's figures, published Friday--the Chancellor has only a slim chance of meeting the forecasts set out in the Autumn Statement.
The BoJ kept all policy measures unchanged at its meeting yesterday.
The media and markets are waking up to the idea that the housing market has peaked in the face of higher mortgage rates and slightly--so far--tighter lending standards.
The tone of Fed Chair Powell's opening comments at the press conference yesterday was much more dovish than the statement, which did little more than most analysts expected.
Japan's trade balance deteriorated sharply in May, flipping to a ¥967B deficit from the modest ¥57B surplus in April.
Yesterday's economic data added further evidence that GDP growth in the EZ will slow in Q2.
Officially, China's real GDP growth was unchanged at 6.0% year-over-year in Q4; low by Chinese standards, but not overly worrying. Full-year growth was 6.1% within the 6.0-to-6.1% target down from 6.7% last year, also in keeping with the authorities' long-term poverty reduction goals.
The PBoC late on Wednesday announced measures to provide medium-term funding for smaller businesses.
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.
We would be astonished if the FOMC meeting starting today does not end with a 25bp rate hike.
We expect the Fed today to shift its dotplot to forecast one rate hike this year, down from two in December and three in September.
Yesterday's headline economic data in the euro area were solid across the board, though the details were mixed.
CPI inflation in India jumped to 4.6% in October, from 4.0% in September, marking a 16-month high and blasting through the RBI's target.
We have been puzzled in recent months by the sudden and substantial divergence between the Redbook chainstore sales numbers and the official data.
The national February inflation data are due this Friday, a couple of weeks after the Tokyo report, as usual.
Construction in the EZ stumbled at the start of the year.
In the short-term, all the housing data are volatile. But you can be sure that if the recent pace of new home sales is sustained, housing construction will rise.
GDP growth currently is subdued by historical standards, but at least it is not debt-fuelled.
At the end of last year, U.S. homebuilders were more optimistic than at any time in the previous 18 years, according to the monthly NAHB survey.
The euro area's trade surplus slipped further mid- way through the second quarter; falling to a 15-month low of €16.9B in May, from a downwardly-revised €18.0B in April, and extending its descent from last year's peak of nearly €24.0B.
A strong finish to the fourth quarter spared the EZ auto sector the embarrassment of posting an outright fall in domestic sales through 2019 as a whole.
The rate of growth of real personal incomes is under sustained downward pressure, slowing to 2.1% year-over-year in December from 3.4% in the year to December 2015. In January, we think real income growth will dip below 2%, thanks to the spike in the headline CPI, reported Wednesday. Our first chart shows that the 0.6% increase in the index likely will translate into a 0.5% jump in the PCE deflator, generating the first month-to-month decline in real incomes since January last year.
China's activity data outperformed expectations in November.
The ECB's negative interest rate policy--NIRP--has come under the spotlight following the violent selloff in Eurozone bank equities. Mr. Draghi reassured markets and the EU parliament earlier this week that new regulation, stronger capital buffers, and common recognition of non-performing loans have made Eurozone banks stronger.
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.
China's activity data for May were a mixed bag, but they broadly paint a consistent picture of a slowdown in economic growth from the first quarter.
Japan's economic data have been very volatile in the last 18 months.
Evidence in support of our view that the U.S. industrial slowdown is ending continues to mount, though nothing is yet definitive and the re-escalation of the trade war is a threat of uncertain magnitude to the incipient upturn.
The jump in CPI inflation to 2.7% in April, from 2.3% in March, was only partly to a temporary boost from the later timing of Easter this year. Indeed, inflation likely will rise further over the coming months as food, energy and core goods prices all continue to pick up in response to last year's depreciation of sterling.
The Chancellor chose in his Budget to increase the total size of the forthcoming fiscal consolidation, to ensure that the Office for Budget Responsibility continues to forecast that a budget surplus will be obtained in 2019/20.
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.
Incoming activity data from Colombia over the past quarter have been surprisingly strong, despite many domestic and external threats.
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.
Mr. Macron will be in Berlin today with the message that France wants a strong Eurozone and a tight relationship with Germany. Friendly overtures between Paris and Berlin are good news for investors; they reduce political uncertainty while increasing the chance that the economic recovery will continue. But it is too early to get excited about closer fiscal coordination, let alone a common EZ fiscal policy and bond issuance.
Official industrial production growth in China plunged to 5.4% year-over-year in April, from 8.5% in March.
It might seem odd to describe a meeting at which the Fed raised rates for only the third time since 2006 as a holding operation, but that just about sums up yesterday's actions. The 25bp rate hike was fully anticipated; the forecasts for growth, inflation and interest rates were barely changed from December; and the Fed still expects a total of three hikes this year.
Today's brings the June retail sales and industrial production reports, after which we'll update our second quarter GDP forecast.
The most important retail sales report of the year, for December, won't be published today, unless some overnight miracle means that the government has re-opened.
We can see no hard evidence, yet, that the expanding trade war with China and other U.S. trading partners is hitting business investment.
Yesterday's data in the EZ provided a little more evidence on what happened in Q1.
We are not worried about the reported drop in April manufacturing output, which probably will reverse in May.
The sovereign debt crisis in the euro area was a macroeconomic horror story
Japan's tertiary index edged up 0.1% month-on-month in July, after the 0.1% decrease in June.
The PBoC reduced its 14-day reverse repo by 5bp to 2.65% in a routine operation yesterday.
China's official real GDP growth likely slowed to 6.0% year-over-year in Q3, from 6.2% in Q2.
Japanese GDP growth in the third quarter corrected the imbalances of the second. Domestic demand took a breather after unsustainable growth in Q2, while net exports rebounded.
The spectacular 1.3% rebound in manufacturing output last month -- the biggest jump in seven years, apart from an Easter-distorted April gain -- does not change our core view that activity in the sector is no longer accelerating.
The softness of the headline September retail sales numbers hid a decent 0.5% increase in the "control" measure, which is the best guide to consumers' spending on non-durable goods.
China's investment slowdown went from worrying to frightening in October. Last week's fixed asset investment ex-rural numbers showed that year- to-date spending grew by 5.2% year-over-year in October, marking a further slowdown from 5.4% in the year to September.
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."
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.
Japan's inflation target came under heavy fire yesterday, as Finance Minister Taro Aso suggested that "things will go wrong if you focus too much on 2%."
Media reports allege that the Chancellor's Budget pared back the fiscal squeeze planned for the next couple of years. The Director of the Office for Budget Responsibility, Robert Chote, even compared the Chancellor to Saint Augustine, who supposedly said "make me pure, but not yet."
Data on Friday confirmed that headline inflation in the Eurozone rose a bit last month, to 1.5% from 1.4% in January, but also that the core rate dipped by 0.1 percentage points, to 1.0%.
Argentinians are heading to the polls on Sunday October 27 and will likely turn their backs on the current president, Mauricio Macri.
A November interest rate rise is far from the done deal that markets still anticipate, even though CPI inflation rose to 3.0% in September from 2.9% in August.
The Eurozone economy all but stalled at the start of Q4.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea voted yesterday to lower its policy base rate to 1.25%, from 1.50%.
While we were away, EM growth prospects and risk appetite deteriorated significantly, due mainly to rising geopolitical risks, weaker economic prospects for DM, and, in particular, the most recent chapter of the global trade war.
For the record, we think the Fed should raise rates in December, given the long lags in monetary policy and the clear strength in the economy, especially the labor market, evident in the pre-hurricane data.
China's monetary and credit data--released yesterday, two days behind schedule--suggest that monetary conditions are loosening at the margin, while credit conditions have remained stable, but easier than in the first half.
Markets have given the BoJ a break this month, with the 10-year JGB yield rising back into the implied band around the 0% target, and the yen snapping its appreciation streak.
The chainstore sales numbers have been hard to read over the past year.
Rapidly increasing food inflation is creating all sorts of dilemmas for policymakers in Asia's giants.
China's real GDP growth was unchanged at 6.4% year-over-year in Q1, above the consensus for a slowdown to 6.3%.
Consumer confidence surveys have risen since the elections to levels consistent with very rapid growth in real spending.
Mortgage applications appear to have recovered from their reported February drop, which was due mostly to a very long-standing seasonal adjustment problem
Data over the past week give a near-complete picture of how India's economy fared in the fourth quarter.
The median of FOMC members' estimates of longer run nominal r-star--the rate which would maintain full employment and 2% inflation--nudged up by a tenth in September to 3.0%, implying real r-star of 1%.
The BoJ is likely to stay on hold this week for all its main policy settings.
Economic data in Brazil over the second quarter were relatively positive, and June reports released in recent weeks, coupled with leading indicators for July, are encouraging.
The stubbornly slow rate of decline of public borrowing casts doubt on whether the Chancellor will run a budget surplus before the end of this parliament, as his fiscal rule stipulates. But downward revisions to debt interest forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility are likely to absolve him again from intensifying the impending fiscal squeeze in the Budget on March 16.
Colombia's December activity reports confirmed that quite strong retail sales last year were less accompanied by local production, which became only a minor driver of the economic recovery, as shown in our first chart.
The consensus forecast for retail sales in December has been consistently too upbeat in recent years and we think most analysts are too sanguine yet again.
In the wake of last week's strong core retail sales numbers for November, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model for fourth quarter GDP growth shot up to 3.0% from 2.4%.
Our forecast that CPI inflation will return to the 2% target by the end of 2018 sets us apart from the MPC and consensus, which expect a more modest decline, to 2.4%.
We became more confident last week in our call that GDP growth will hold up better than widely feared in the first half of 2019, following signs that consumers have maintained their happy-go-lucky mentality, despite the ongoing political crisis.
In the absence of new economic data today, we want to take the opportunity to expand on the key themes in our latest Chartbook, which was distributed Friday.
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%.
Another deadline has come and gone in the negotiations between Greece and its creditors. This week's meeting between EU finance ministers revealed that the creditors have not seen enough commitments unlock the €7B Greece needs to repay in July. Mr. Tsipras has agreed to energy sector privatizations, and to increase the threshold for income tax exemption.
Reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax paid by first-time buyers likely will take centre stage in the Budget. At the Conservatives' party conference, Theresa May pledged another £10B to expand the Help to Buy Scheme, which helps first-time buyers obtain a mortgage which just a 5% deposit.
Fed Chair Yellen's Testimony yesterday pretended the election hadn't happened, and ignored the incoming administration's plans for a huge fiscal stimulus. She did address the issue under questioning, though, pointing out that fiscal stimulus could have inflationary consequences and that the Fed will have to factor-in to its decisions whatever Congress decides to do to taxes and spending.
The defeat in the House of Lords of the Government's plans to cut spending on tax credits by £4.4B next year is not a barrier to their implementation. But it has prompted speculation that the Chancellor will reduce the size of the fiscal consolidation planned for next year. The plans may be tweaked in the Autumn Statement on 25 November, but we think the economy will still endure a major fiscal tightening next year.
Companies' profit margins have fared relatively well during this recovery, and on many measures, they are back to pre-crisis levels. But looking ahead, corporate profitability is set to be squeezed as labour takes a larger share of national income and the Government gets to grips with the budget deficit by increasing corporate taxation.
Fiscal stimulus, partly financed by a border adjustment tax, and Fed rate hikes, were supposed to be a powerful cocktail driving a stronger dollar in 2017. But so far only the Fed has delivered--we expect another rate hike next month--while Mr. Trump has disappointed in the White House.
Japan's machine tool orders remain nasty. Japan's M2 growth shows first signs of looming tax hike.
Chancellor George Osborne has invested considerable personal capital in attaining a budget surplus by the end of this parliament, and he has passed a 'law' to ensure he and his successors achieve this goal. But the current fiscal plans, which will be reviewed in the Budget on March 16, make a series of optimistic assumptions on future tax revenues and spending savings.
The draft Eurogroup document circulated Sunday evening indicates that European leaders seemingly are willing to offer Greece a new bailout. But it is conditional on passing required legislation reforming pensions and taxes on Wednesday. A "time-out" from the Eurozone, was discussed as a bizarre alternative, but this would be the equivalent of Grexit and default.
Growth Has Peaked as the Tax Cut Boost Fades...But the Labor Market is Keeping the Fed on Track
Japan's tertiary index remains below trend despite looming tax hike
Whichever way you choose to slice the numbers, retail sales growth has slowed this year. Ex-gasoline, ex-autos, core, whatever, sales growth in year-over-year terms is notably weaker now than at the end of last year. It is equally, true, however, that after-tax incomes have risen at a robust pace--up 3.8% in the year to May, exactly the same pace as in the year to May 2014--so consumers in aggregate have plenty of cash to spend. So, what's holding people back at the mall? Why aren't they spending more?
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.
The acceleration in real consumption over the past year reflects the upturn in real after-tax income growth. This, in turn, is mostly a story of falling gasoline prices, which have depressed the PCE deflator. Gross nominal incomes before tax rose 4.2% year-over-year in the three months to September, exactly matching the pace in the three months to September 2014. But real income growth, after tax, accelerated to 3.3% from 2.5% over the same period, as our first chart shows.
Are there any signs that the U.S. tax cuts and/or regulatory relaxation are stimulating increased non-residential fixed investment?
Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday might mark the beginning of a new era for both the U.S. and the global economy. For commodity-producing Latam countries, such as Chile, Peru and Colombia, attention will shift to Trump's proposed tax reforms, pro-business agenda and planning infrastructure spending. Mexico, on the other hand, will be grappling with Mr. Trump's trade and immigration policies.
In one line: Too soon to take fright from the slowdown in tax receipts.
Japan's wage growth is not strong enough to support households through the tax hike
Slowing FAI growth underscores the urgency for more PBoC easing October was painful and the slowdown in Chinese IP growth is far from over and no, households in China won't come to the economy's rescue. Japan sneaks in a tax hike; GDP data unfazed. Japan's tertiary index jars with the GDP data.
Japan GDP now shows more of the tax distortions. Japan's current account surplus is likely to see another downshift. Chinese imports boosted soybeans and circuits. China's FX reserves slide in November, as Phase One talks enter crunch time.
In one line: Looser fiscal targets will have to be adopted in response to methodological changes and sluggish growth in tax revenues.
In one line: The rebound from the tax hit continues, fitfully.
In one line: Still no sign of a slowdown in tax receipt data.
Larger-than-expected collapse in Japanese retail sales highlight inefficacy of tax-smoothing efforts
BoJ snubs the doves. Japan's unemployment rate downtick was minimal. The weak external backdrop dominates Japan's pre-tax front-loading industrial activity.
Steady Q4 GDP growth in China masks respectable q/q rebound. Signs of recovery in China's industrial complex, but for how long? China's households continue to struggle. China's FAI growth shows rebuilding confidence around the Phase One deal. Japan's November tertiary index suggests October plunge was more tax than typhoon. January sees the first of many BoK "holds" this year.
More evidence of the damage from the tax hike.
Non-core items outweigh government measures in Japan's October CPI. Ignore the minor rebound in Japan's manufacturing PMI; the trend remains very weak. The post-tax drop and rebound in Japan's services PMI isn't as sharp, but Q4 looks vulnerable to a painful GDP hit.
Judgement pending on Chinese industrial production. Chinese retail sales buoyed by inflation. Chinese FAI growth stable through Q4; local government spending better managed this year. China's housing market still not reached a bottom. Japan's tertiary index plunge is more tax hike than typhoon. Japan's PMIs underline damage from tax hike.
Japan's stable unemployment rate belies underlying weakness. Tokyo energy inflation turns the corner. Sales tax preparations breathe life into Japanese production in May... if only temporarily. Korea's IP plunge in May shows why Japan can't rest on its laurels.
Japan's trade balance continues to struggle with oil gains and post-tax hike recovery. Activity index shows downside risks to Q4 GDP.
Japan's Q1 GDP number leaves sales tax delay on the table
Samuel Tombs, Chief U.K. Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics crunches the figures from the manifestos and tracks sterling against the latest opinion polls.
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