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16 November. 2016 Look Behind Falling Utility Output to See the Manufacturing Gain (Publication Centre)

Falling demand for utility energy, thanks to yet another very warm month, relative to normal, will depress the headline industrial production number for October, due today. We look for a 21⁄2% drop in utility energy production, enough to subtract a quarter point from total industrial output.

17 Feb. 2016 Behind Utility-Hit Headlines, the Industrial Sector is Growing, Jus (Publication Centre)

If the collapse in oil sector capex and the strong dollar were going to push the industrial economy into recession, it probably would have started by now

15 Apr. 2015 Plunging utility output and oil well-drilling to depress March IP (Publication Centre)

The combination of weather effects and the meltdown in the oil sector make it very hard to spot the underlying trend in manufacturing activity. The sudden collapse in oil-related capital spending likely is holding down production of equipment, but the data don't provide sufficient detail to identify the hit with any precision.

19 July 2017 CPI Inflation Still is set to Exceed 3% this Year, Despite June's Pullback (Publication Centre)

The fall in CPI inflation to 2.6% in June, from 2.9% in May, greatly undershot expectations for an unchanged rate and it has made a vote by the MPC to keep interest rates at 0.25% in August a near certainty.

23 June 2017 Fed Officials Cite "Full Employment" but Worry About Recent CPI Data (Publication Centre)

A couple of Fed speakers this week have described the economy as being at "full employment". Looking at the headline unemployment rate, it's easy to see why they would reach that conclusion.

24 April 2017 Take None of Last Week's Data at Face Value -- Distortions Abound (Publication Centre)

The gap between the hard and soft data from the industrial economy appeared to widen still further last week. But we are disinclined to take the data--the official industrial production report for March, and the first survey evidence for April--at face value.

18 Jan. 2016 Falling Energy Prices Won't Prevent Inflation Rising (Publication Centre)

December's consumer prices figures, released tomorrow, look set to show CPI inflation ticked up to 0.2% from 0.1% in November, despite the renewed collapse in oil prices. The further fall in energy prices this year means that the inflation print won't reach 1% until May's figures are published in June. But Governor Carney has emphasised that core price pressures will motivate the first rate hike--a focus he likely will reiterate in a speech on Tuesday-- meaning that a May lift-off is still on the table.

21 Mar. Upside Inflation Surprise in February Unlikely to be the Last (Publication Centre)

February's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, are likely to show that CPI inflation has picked up again, perhaps to 0.5%--the highest rate since December 2014--from 0.3% in January. This will give the Monetary Policy Committee more confidence in its judgement that CPI inflation will be back at the 2% target in two years' time.

18 Feb. 2016 How to Read the Jobless Claims Numbers, Wherever They Go (Publication Centre)

The question of what's really happening to the pace of layoffs is still unanswered, despite the apparent upturn over the past couple of months. The weekly jobless claims numbers are only just emerging from the fog of the usual holiday season chaos. The pattern of pre-holiday hiring and post-holiday layoffs is broadly the same each year, but Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a different day each year, making seasonal adjustment difficult.

17 May 2017 CPI Inflation Still has Further to Climb this Year (Publication Centre)

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.

16 November. 2016 Statistical Quirks Will Flatter September's Jobs Report (Publication Centre)

Today's labour market figures likely will show that the Brexit vote has inflicted only minimal damage on job prospects so far. The unemployment rate likely held steady at 4.9% in the three months to September, and the risk of a renewed fall in unemployment appears to be bigger than for a rise.

17 November 2017 Manufacturing Output Rebounds, but no Boom Coming (Publication Centre)

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.

17 October. 2016 Retail Sales are Noisy, but the Trend in Consumption Looks Solid (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the September retail sales report, we can be pretty sure that real consumers' spending rose at a 2¾% annualized rate in the third quarter, slowing from the unsustainable 4.3% jump. That would mean consumption contributed 1.9 percentage points to headline GDP growth.

18 Apr. 2016 Housing Demand Picking Up - Home Sales Will Rise in Q2 (Publication Centre)

We are becoming increasingly convinced that momentum is starting to build in the housing market. That might sound odd in the context of the recent trends in both new and existing home sales, shown in our first chart, but what has our attention is upstream activity.

25 Jan. 2016 Oil Capex Crash Nearly Over - What Happens Next to Consumers? (Publication Centre)

If we had known back in June 2014 that oil prices would drop to about $30, the collapse in capital spending in the oil sector would not have been a surprise. Spending on well-drilling, which accounts for about three quarters of oil capex, has dropped in line with the fall in prices, after a short lag, as our first chart shows. We think spending on equipment has tracked the fall in oil prices, too.

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

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

31 March 2017 February Consumption Will Look Grim (Publication Centre)

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.

31 January 2017 Will Faster Wage Growth Finally Trigger An Acceleration in the ECI? (Publication Centre)

The headline employment cost index has been remarkably dull recently, with three straight 0.6% quarterly increases. The consensus forecast for today's report, for the three months to December, is for the same again.

4 Dec. 2014 - November Data Might Hide Underlying Labor Market Strength (Publication Centre)

The ADP report yesterday has not changed our view that tomorrow's payroll number will be about 180K, well below our estimate of the underlying trend, which is about 250K. ADP's numbers are heavily influenced by the BLS data for the prior month, and tell us little or nothing about the next official report.

9 August 2017 Inflation in the Andes Remains in Check, But H2 Will Be Less Benign (Publication Centre)

Inflation pressures in Colombia cooled considerably last month. Saturday's CPI report showed that inflation fell to 3.4% year-over-year in July, its lowest level since 2014, from 4.0% in June.

9 May 2017 Colombian Inflation is Heading Lower, Despite the Pause in April (Publication Centre)

Colombia's disinflation since mid-2016 has been driven by easing pressures on food prices, weak demand, and the better performance of the COP. But higher regulated prices at the start of the second quarter have triggered a pause in the downward trend.

31 August 2017 Third Quarter Consumption off to a Strong Start? (Publication Centre)

Today's wave of economic reports are all likely to be strong. The most important single number is the increase in real consumers' spending in July, the first month of the third quarter.

30 November 2017 A Strong Start to Fourth Quarter Consumption, Probably (Publication Centre)

The rate of growth of third quarter consumers' spending was revised up by 0.3 percentage point to 3.3% in the national accounts released yesterday.

28 June. 2016 The Case for Stronger U.S. Economic Growth is Still Robust (Publication Centre)

Difficult though it is to tear ourselves away from Britain's political and economic train-wreck, morbid fascination is no substitute for economic analysis. The key point here is that our case for stronger growth in the U.S. over the next year is not much changed by events in Europe.

16 May. Inflation Likely to Surprise the MPC to the Upside, Again (Publication Centre)

The MPC predicted in last week's Inflation Report that CPI inflation eased to 0.3% in April, thereby fully reversing its increase in March to 0.5%. We think, however, the Committee is underestimating the strength of inflation pressures across the economy.

3 April 2017 Brazil's Labour Market is Still Poor, but Likely Will Stabilize Soon (Publication Centre)

Economic data released on Friday underscored our view that bolder rate cuts in Brazil are looming. The BCB's latest BCB's inflation report, released on Thursday, showed that policymakers now see conditions in place to increase the pace of easing "moderately" .

30 June 2017 Core PCE Inflation set to Fall Again, but it won't Sway the Fed (Publication Centre)

We have argued recently that the year-over-year rates of core CPI and core PCE inflation could cross over the next year, with core PCE rising more quickly for the first time since 2010.

26 September 2017 Brazil's Labor Market is on the Mend, But Challenges Persist (Publication Centre)

The Brazilian labour market is slowly healing following the severe recession of 2015-16. The latest employment data, released last week, showed that the economy added 35K net jobs in August, compared to a 34K loss in August 2016.

16 Jan. 2015 - Oil Output is Holding up, but Still Downside Risk for December IP (Publication Centre)

The latest data from the Energy Department show that the feared collapse in U.S. oil production in the wake of the plunge in crude prices has no t started yet. The number of rigs in operation is falling sharply, but our first chart shows it is not yet approaching the collapse seen after the financial crash.

11 Mar. 2016 Inflation in Brazil Starts to Slow - Better Odds for Rate Cuts in H2 (Publication Centre)

Brazil's headline CPI has been well above the upper limit of the BCB's target zone since January 2015. We expect this situation will continue for some time, due to the lagged effect of last year's sharp increases in regulated prices, El Niño, the BRL's sell-off in 2015, and, especially, widespread price indexation.

16 May 2017 Manufacturing is Recovering, Despite the Hard and Soft Data Gap (Publication Centre)

The over-hyped mystery of the gap between the hard and soft data in the industrial economy has largely resolved itself in recent months.

12 Mar. 2015 Cheap Gas to Boost Spring Sales, but February Looks Soft (Publication Centre)

Sooner or later, the surge in consumers' spending power triggered by the drop in gas prices and the acceleration in payrolls will appear in the retail sales data.

11 July 2017 Political Risk Return this Week in Brazil, but a Catastrophe is Unlikely (Publication Centre)

Political risks in Brazil recently have simmered alongside the modest cyclical recovery, but they are now increasing. President Michel Temer's future remains hard to predict as circumstances change by the day.

11 August 2017 Core CPI Looks Set to Revert to 0.2% in July, but Nothing is Certain (Publication Centre)

Our base case forecast for today's July core CPI is that the remarkable and unexpected run of weak numbers, shown in our first chart, is set to come to an end, with a reversion to the prior 0.2% trend.

1 June. 2015 Consumption Started Q2 Slowly, but May Looks Much Better (Publication Centre)

The first look at real consumers' spending for the second quarter will be discouraging, at least at the headline level. We expect to see a 0.1% month-to-month decline in real consumers' spending in April, below the +0.1% consensus.

1 March 2017 The Soaring Trade Deficit is set to Constrain First Quarter Growth (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's wall of data told us a bit about where the economy likely is going, and a bit about how it started the first quarter. The January trade and inventory data were disappointing, but the February Chicago PMI and consumer confidence reports were positive.

13 May. 2016 Savings Rate is Set to Dip as Retail Sales Rebound From Easter Hit (Publication Centre)

Some of the rise in the saving rate in recent months is real, but part of the increase likely reflects seasonal adjustment problems. The saving rate has risen between the fourth and first quarters in eight of the past 10 years, as our first chart shows.

12 August. 2016 Consumption Growth Will Slow in Q3, but Remain Respectable (Publication Centre)

It's unrealistic to have a repeat of the second quarter's 4.2% leap in consumers' spending as your base case for the third quarter. It's not impossible, though, given the potential for the saving rate to continue to decline, and the apparently favorable base effect from the second quarter.

16 Apr. 2015 Manufacturing constrained by the Oil capex collapse (Publication Centre)

More evidence emerged yesterday of the fading impact of the severe winter on the data, in the form of the strength of the NAHB survey and the weakness of the headline industrial production number.

14 July 2017 Core CPI Inflation Won't Fall Forever, but When Will the Rebound Come? (Publication Centre)

Today brings a huge wave of data, but most market attention will be on the June CPI, following the run of unexpectedly soft core readings over the past three months.

15 May 2017 Core Inflation Surprises Again, but the Trend Likely has not Turned (Publication Centre)

The failure of the core CPI to mean-revert in April, after the unexpected March drop, does not mean that the Fed can relax.

15 November. 2016 Autos and Higher Gas Prices Will Flatter October Retail Sales Data (Publication Centre)

The combination of unexpectedly strong auto sales and rising gas prices should generate strong-looking headline retail sales numbers for October. We have no idea what to expect for November, with two-thirds of the month coming after the election, but the final pre- election sales report will look good.

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

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

14 September 2017 August Core CPI Set to Mean-Revert to 0.2% as Temporary Factors Fade? (Publication Centre)

After five straight undershoots to consensus, with the core CPI averaging monthly gains of just 0.05%, investors are asking hard questions about the Fed's belief -- and ours -- that core inflation is headed towards 2% in the not-too-distant future.

14 May. 2015 Core Retail Sales Aren't Bad, but They Aren't Good, Either--Yet (Publication Centre)

So, what should we make of the fourth straight disappointment in the retail sales numbers? First, we should note that all is probably not how it seems. The 0.2% upward revision to March sales was exactly equal to the difference between the consensus forecast and the initial estimate, neatly illustrating the danger of over-interpreting the first estimates of the data.

2 June. 2015 Q2 Consumption Heading for 2.5% - Q3 Should be Far Stronger (Publication Centre)

Markets weren't impressed by the sub-consensus consumption numbers for April, reported yesterday, but the undershoot was all in the we ather-related utility component, where spending plunged 5.1% month-to-month. The process of post-winter mean reversion is now complete.

17 Mar. 2015 Plunging Temperatures Boost Utilities, Depress Manufacturing (Publication Centre)

The February industrial production numbers were flattered by an enormous 7.3% jump in the output of electricity and gas utility companies, thanks to a surge in demand in the face of the extraordinarily cold weather. February this year was the coldest since at least 1997, when comparable data on population weighted heating degree days begin.

16 Dec. 2014 - Industrial rebound continues, despite the plunging Empire State (Publication Centre)

You'd have to be very brave to take the weakness of yesterday's Empire State survey more seriously than the strong official industrial report published 45 minutes later. The hard data showed industrial production up 1.3% month-to-month, and only two tenths of that gain was explained by the cold weather, which drove up utility energy output.

2 Oct. 2015 Economic Activity Remains Weak in Chile - But the BCCh Will Act (Publication Centre)

Chile's economic indicators for July were unreservedly weak, confirming that the economic recovery remains sluggish. The industrial production index--comprising mining, manufacturing, and utility output--fell by 5.2% year-over-year in August, after a 1.7% contraction in July. Mining production suffered a sharp 9.3% year-over-year contraction, due mainly to an 8.3% fall in copper production, as strikes and maintenance works badly hit the industry.

02 Feb. 2016 First Quarter Consumption Will be Better - Weather Effects Will Help (Publication Centre)

The upward revisions to real consumers' spending in the fourth quarter, coupled with the likelihood of a hefty rebound in spending on utility energy services, means first quarter spending ought to rise at a faster pace than the 2.2% fourth quarter gain. Spending on utilities was hugely depressed in November and December by the extended spell of much warmer-than-usual weather.

30 August. 2016 Strong Consumption Set to Support Robust Third Quarter GDP Growth (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the robust July data and the upward revisions to June, real personal consumption--which accounts for 69% of GDP--appears set to rise by at least 3% in the third quarter, and 3.5% is within reach. To reach 4%, though, spending would have to rise by 0.3% in both August and September, and that will be a real struggle given July's already-elevated auto sales and, especially, overstretched spending on utility energy.

3 Feb. 2015 Behind the Noise, U.S. Economic Fundamentals are Solid (Publication Centre)

We are not bothered by either the drop in real December consumption, all of which was due to a weather-induced plunge in utility spending, or the drop in the ISM manufacturing index, which is mostly a story about hopeless seasonal adjustments.

2 Sept. 2015 Chile's Economic Recovery Stutters, Risks To Growth Increase (Publication Centre)

Chile's activity numbers at the beginning of Q3 were mediocre, suggesting that the economy remains sluggish. The industrial production index--comprising mining, manufacturing, and utility output--fell by 1.7% year-over-year in July, reversing a 1.6% expansion in June. A disappointing 4.5% year-over-year contraction in mining activity depressed the July headline index, following a 1.4% increase in June. The moderation in output growth was due to maintenance-related shutdowns at key processing plants, and disruptions from labor strikes, especially a three-week strike by contract workers at Codelco--the state-owned mining firm--which badly hit production.

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