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5 Dec. 2014 - Brace for Anything in Jobs Data (Publication Centre)

We often have quite strong views on the balance of risks in the monthly payroll numbers. November is not one of those months. We can generate plausible forecasts between about 50K and 370K, and that's much too wide for comfort. This is probably a payroll release to sit out.

5 Jan. 2015 - While We Were Out... (Publication Centre)

...Third quarter growth was revised up sharply and the prospects for fourth quarter consumption improved substantially. Less positively, the first signs of faltering capex in the wake of the plunge in oil prices emerged in the macro data, and the ISM manufacturing index began to reverse its run of absurd, seasonally-assisted, "strength".

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.

3 Dec. 2014 - ADP Likely to Overstate November Payrolls, Thanks to Early Snows (Publication Centre)

Since its October 2012 revamp, the ADP measure of private employment--the November survey will be released this morning--has tended to be little more than a lagging indicator of the official number.That's because ADP incorporates official data, lagged by one month, into the regression which generates its employment measure.

22 Dec. 2014 - Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting for the Great Housing Rebound (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen said in her press conference last week that she has "...been surprised that housing hasn't recovered more robustly than it has. In part I think it reflects very tight credit--continuing tight credit conditions for any borrower that doesn't have really pristine credit... my hope is that that situation will ease over time".

6 Jan. 2015 - How Will the Fed React to Sub- Zero Headline Inflation in Q2? (Publication Centre)

The latest drop in crude oil prices me ans that sub-zero headline CPI inflation in the spring is now more likely than not. We expect a lurch down from November's 1.3% to 0.7% in December, then 0.3% in January. The rate will remain close to that level for the next few months before hitting zero in May and slipping into negative territory--just--in June and July.

7 Jan. 2015 - Oil Will Flatter Headline Trade Data, But Won't Stop Q4 Hit (Publication Centre)

The plunge in oil prices me ans that U.S. oil imports are set to drop much further over the next few months, flattering the headline trade deficit. The trend in imports has been downwards since early 2013, as our first chart shows, reflecting the surge in domestic production. That surge is now over, but as falling prices become the dominant factor in the oil import story, the trend will remain downwards.

9 Jan. 2015 - Expect Another Robust Payroll Report - Watch Hourly Wages Too (Publication Centre)

Most of the evidence points to a robust December employment report today, though we doubt the headline number will match the heights seen in November, when the initial estimate showed payrolls up 321K. We look for 275K.

9 Dec. 2014 - NFIB Says Wage Pressure is Rising: ECI Data Seem to Agree (Publication Centre)

We argued in the Monitor yesterday that the NFIB survey's hiring intentions number is the best guide to the trend in payroll growth a few months ahead. But today's November NFIB report will bring no new information on job growth because the key labor market elements of the survey have already been released.

8 Jan. 2015 - Payroll Still Set for Big December Gain - ADP is Unreliable (Publication Centre)

We aren't revising our payroll forecast in the wake of the ADP report, which showed private payrolls rising by 241K in December. We expected a bigger increase because ADP tends to lag the official data for the previous month, and the BLS reported a 314K jump in private employment in November, but the "shortfall" is too small to matter.

8 Dec. 2014 - Falling Unemployment Will Trigger Tightening: Payrolls Will Soar (Publication Centre)

The first thing to ask after a payroll number far from consensus is whether it is supported by other evidence. We are happy to argue that November's blockbuster report is indeed consistent with a range of other numbers, notwithstanding the unfortunate truth that there are no reliable indicators of payrolls on a month-to-month basis.

19 Dec. 2014 - Fed on Course to Raise Rates in Spring, Unless the Data Intervene (Publication Centre)

If clarity is the first test of written English, the FOMC failed miserably yesterday. "Considerable time" is gone, but the new formulation--"the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy"--was not clearly defined, though the FOMC did say it is "consistent with its previous statement".

2 Dec. 2014 - Falling Oil Prices are Set to Hit Mining Capex Hard Next Year (Publication Centre)

Oil and gas extraction, and the drilling of wells to facilitate extraction, accounts for only 2.0% of GDP, but it punches far above its weight when it comes to capital spending.

12 Dec. 2014 - Q4 Core Retail Sales Heading for Best Performance in Years (Publication Centre)

Take at look at the chart below, which shows core retail sales on a month-to-month and year-over-year basis. What's most striking about the chart is not the latest data, showing robust 0.8% gains in core sales--we exclude autos, gasoline and food--in both October and November, but the solidity of the trend since the winter.

18 Dec. 2014 - Fed on Course to Raise Rates in Spring, Unless the Data Intervene (Publication Centre)

If clarity is the first test of written English, the FOMC failed miserably yesterday. "Considerable time" is gone, but the new formulation--"the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy"--was not clearly defined, though the FOMC did say it is "consistent with its previous statement".

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

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

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

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

1 Dec. 2014 Fed Set to Respond As Unemployment Hits Nairu (Publication Centre)

It has become fashionable to argue that the combination of favorable yield differentials and abundant global liquidity, courtesy of the BoJ and the ECB, will keep Treasury yields very low for the foreseeable future; the 10-year could even establish itself below 2%.

13 Jan. 2015 - Small Business Sector on the Brink of Normalization (Publication Centre)

Within the next few month, and perhaps as soon as next month, the gap between the headline NFIB and ISM manufacturing indexes, shown in our first chart, will close for the first time since late 2008.

12 Jan. 2015 - Unemployment Plunging Towards the Nairu - What Will the Fed Do? (Publication Centre)

The strength in payrolls in recent months is real. The three-month moving average increase in private payrolls now stands at 280K, despite adverse seasonal adjustments totalling 91K in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year.

14 Jan. 2015 - Small Firms Recovery Accelerates, but Labor Costs are Rising (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's data were second-tier in the eyes of the markets, but not, perhaps in the eyes of the Fed. The continued surge in job openings, which reached a 14-year high in December, means that the Beveridge Curve--which links the number of job openings to the unemployment rate--shows no signs at all of returning to normal.

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.

17 Dec. 2014 - Time Runs Out for (Publication Centre)

We think the FOMC's announcement this afternoon will not include the phrase "considerable time", signaling that the first rate cut will come at or before the middle of next year. At the same time, the Fed's new forecasts likely will show the unemployment rate falling into the Fed's estimated Nairu range this year, rather than the spring of 2016, as implied by their September forecasts.

15 Dec. 2014 - U.S. Approaching the Monetary Policy Crossing Point (Publication Centre)

All policymaking is about trade-offs; very few government decisions confer only benefits. Someone, or more likely some group, loses. Monetary policy is no exception to the trade-off rule.

Al Jazeera - EU-Japan free trade (Media Centre)

EU-Japan free trade: Japan and the European Union agreed on an outline for a massive trade deal this week that will rival the size of NAFTA, the free trade accord that the United States has with Canada and Mexico, currently the largest one in the world. Claus Vistesen, the chief eurozone economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics, assesses what's in the agreement and why it matters (19mins 10 secs).

NEW YORK TIMES - Fed Might Not Have the Luxury of Slow and Steady Rate Increases (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on U.S. interest rates

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

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

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