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580 matches for "labour":
In theory, the headline labour market data in France should be a source of comfort and support for the new government.
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.
April's labour market data show that slack in the job market is no longer declining, while wage growth still isn't recovering. As a result, we no longer think that the MPC will raise Bank Rate in August and now expect the Committee to stand pat until the first half of 2019.
Signs of a slowdown in the labour market data are conspicuously absent.
Today's labour market figures likely will bring further signs that firms are recruiting more cautiously and limiting pay awards, due to still-elevated economic uncertainty.
In one line: Grim trade data, but decent labour costs headline.
In one line: EZ labour costs are accelerating.
The Monetary Policy Committee continues to assert that it can leave interest rates at rock-bottom levels, even though the unemployment rate has returned to its pre-recession level, because it understates the extent of slack in the labour market. If that hypothesis were correct, however, the relationship between the unemployment rate and wage growth would have weakened. But this clearly has not happened, as our first chart shows.
Yesterday's labour market data showed that growth in households' income has slowed significantly in recent months. Firms are both hiring cautiously and restraining wage increases, due to heightened uncertainty about the economic outlook and rising raw material and non-wage labour costs. Consumers' spending, therefore, will support GDP growth to a far smaller extent this year than last.
Data to be released this Friday should show that Japan's labour market remains tight, though the unemployment rate likely ticked back up in February, to 2.6%, after the erratic drop to 2.4% in January.
November's labour market data were the last before the MPC's February meeting, when it will conduct its annual assessment of the supply side of the economy.
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.
German labour market data continue to break records on a monthly basis. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.2% in A pril, with jobless claims falling 16,000, following a revised 2,000 fall in March. March employment rose 1.2% year-over-year, down slightly from 1.3% in February, but the total number of people in jobs rose to a new high of 43.4 million.
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.
Japan's labour market is already tight, but last week's data suggest it is set to tighten further.
Rapid growth in labour supply has enabled the U.K. economy to grow quickly over the last three years without generating excessive wage or inflation pressure. The rise in the participation rate--the proportion of those aged over 16 in or looking for work--has been critical to this revival. But the rise in the participation rate largely has reflected cyclical factors rather than a sustainable upward trend, and the downward pressure on participation from demographic factors will build over the coming years.
Apart from a slew of economic data--see here and here--two important things happened in Germany last week.
The stand-out news yesterday was the increase in the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate to 4.4% in December, from 4.3% in September.
Japan's jobless rate inched up to 2.5% in January, from 2.4% in December.
Chile's unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.1% in July-to-September, from 7.3% in June-to-August, but it was up from 6.7% in September last year.
In one line: Resilient wage growth bolsters the case for rate hikes.
In one line: Wage growth is too strong for the MPC to mull renewed stimulus.
Japan's domestic demand has underperformed in the last three quarters, while exports were strong last year but weakened--due to temporary factors--in Q1.
At first glance, the U.K. consumer price data show a perplexing absence of domestically generated inflation.
Korea's unemployment rate tumbled to 3.7% in February, after the leap to 4.4% in January.
In Brazil, last week's formal payroll employment report for March was decent, with employment increasing by 56K, well above the consensus expectation for a 48K gain.
Over the next 18 months we expect to see interest rates break out further on the upside. Initially, we expect developed market growth to be resilient to that.
Data over the weekend revealed a further slowdown in China's CPI inflation, to 1.5% in February, from 1.7% in January.
Japan's headline jobless rate edged up to 2.8% in December, from 2.7% in November, but the increase was negligible, with the rate moving to 2.76% from 2.74%.
Brazil's December industrial production and labour reports, released late last week, confirmed that the recovery was struggling at the end of last year.
Investors kicked expectations for the first rise in official interest rates even further into the future when last month's labour market data, revealing a sharp fall in wage growth, were released. But a closer look at the official figures reveals that labour cost pressures have remained robust, cautioning against making a snap reaction if even weaker wage data are released on Wednesday.
The Tankan survey--published on Monday--points to still buoyant sentiment, a further tightening of the labour market, and building inflation pressures.
The labour market in Germany tightened further at the end of last year. The headline unemployment rate--unemployment claims as a share of the labour force--fell to 5.5% in December, from 5.6% in November, driven by a 29K plunge in claims.
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.
Japanese labour cash earnings data threw analysts another curveball in July, falling 0.3% year-over-year. At the same time, June earnings are now said to have risen by 0.4%, compared with a fall of 0.4% in the initial print.
The Conservatives' opinion poll lead continued to decline over the last week, suggesting that a landslide victory on Thursday no longer is likely. Indeed, the Tories' average lead over Labour in the 10 most recent opinion polls has fallen to just 6%, down from a peak of nearly 20% a month ago.
Data last Friday showed Japan's labour market trends deteriorating.
Yesterday's labour market data delivered a further blow to hopes that consumers' spending will retain enough momentum for the MPC to press ahead and raise interest rates this year. The most striking development is the decline in year-over-year growth in average weekly wages to just 1.9% in December, from 2.9% in November.
Friday's inflation and labour market data in the Eurozone were dovish.
Some analysts argue that sterling won't recover materially even if MPs wave through Brexit legislation, because the threat of a Labour government worries investors more than a messy departure from the EU.
The slowdown in GDP growth in Q1 reflects more than just Brexit risk. The intensifying fiscal squeeze, the uncompetitiveness of U.K. exports, and the lack of spare labour suggest that the U.K.'s recovery now is stuck in a lower gear.
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.
The French labour market improved much more than we expected in Q4. The headline unemployment rate plunged to 8.9%, from a downwardly-revised 9.6% in Q3.
French consumer sentiment dipped slightly in June, but we see no major hit from ongoing labour market disputes. The headline index slipped to 97 in June, from 98 in May; this is a decent reading given the fourpoint jump last month. The headline was constrained by a big fall in consumers' "major purchasing intentions," but this partly was mean-reversion following a surge last month.
Brazil's February industrial production numbers, labour market data, and sentiment indicators are gradually providing clarity on the underlying pace of activity growth, pointing to some red flags.
Yesterday's October labour market data in Mexico showed that the adjusted unemployment rate rose a bit to 3.4%, from 3.3% in September.
Japanese firms hand out a significant portion of labour compensation through bonuses, with the largest lump awarded in December.
Consumer sentiment in Mexico continues to improve, consistent with tailwinds from the relatively strong labour market and the president's rising approval ratings.
Korea's labour market took an overdue breather in March after an extremely volatile start to the year.
May's labour market figures, released on Wednesday, likely will have something for both the doves and the hawks on the MPC , who have been wrangling over whether to reverse last year's rate cut.
Data on Friday showed that German wage growth is firming. Nominal labour costs rose 2.5% year-overyear in Q3, accelerating from a revised 1.9% increase in Q2. The main driver was a strong rebound in gross earnings growth, which rebounded to 2.4% year-over-year from an oddly weak 1.2% in Q2.
Japan's labour cash earnings rose by 1.5% year-over- year in July, a strong result in the Japanese context, if it hadn't been preceded by the 3.6% leap in June.
Workers in the euro area remain scarred by the zone's repeated crises, but the strengthening cyclical recovery is slowly starting to spread to the labour market. The unemployment rate fell to a three-year low of 10.9% in July, and employment has edged higher after hitting a low in the middle of 2013. Germany's outperformance is a key story, with employment increasing uninterruptedly since 2009, and the unemployment rate declining to an all-time low of 6.4%. Among the other major economies, the unemployment rate in Spain and Italy remains higher than in France. But employment in Spain has outperformed in the cyclical recovery since 2013.
Japan's regular wage growth continued to edge up in November, maintaining the rising trend. The headline is volatile, with growth in labour cash earnings rising to 0.9% year-over-year in November, up from a downwardly revised 0.2% in October.
Consensus expectations for August's labour market data, released today, look well grounded.
Chinese CPI inflation trends point to diminishing wage growth, as the services sector begins to struggle with the influx of labour displaced by the industrial productivity drive.
The case for continuing to increase Bank Rate gradually--recently reiterated by MPC members Andy Haldane and Michael Saunders-- strengthened yesterday with the release of April's labour market report, which revealed renewed momentum in wage growth.
The final flurry of opinion polls indicates that voting intentions have changed little over the last few days. The Conservatives have an average lead over Labour of 7.5% in the final p olls conducted by 10 different agencies, only slightly more than their 6.5% lead at the 2015 election.
Japan's average monthly labour earnings growth tumbled to 0.9% year-over-year in August, from 1.6% in July. This is not a disaster.
The recent slowdown in labour cash earnings growth in Japan halted in September.
The Brazilian consumer will continue to suffer from high interest rates and a deteriorating labour market this year. But sentiment data imply that the fundamentals are stabilising, at least at the margin. The headline consumer sentiment gauge, published by the FGV, has improved significantly in the past five months, and we expect another modest increase later this month
September's labour market report suggests that wage growth won't continue to rise for much longer.
Brazil's consumer recession seems never-ending. Retail sales fell 0.8% month-to-month in October, pushing the headline year-over-year rate down to -8.2% in October, from -5.7% in September. Recent financial market volatility, credit restrictions and the ongoing deterioration of the labour market continue to hurt consumers.
Today's employment report in the euro area should extend the run of positive labour market data. We think employment rose 1.4% year-over-year in Q1, accelerating marginally from a 1.2% increase in Q4.
According to Brazil's mid-August inflation reading, which is a preview of the IPCA index, overall inflation pressures are easing. But some price stickiness remains, due to inertia and temporary shocks, despite the severity of the recession and the rapid deterioration of the labour market in recent months.
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.
CPI inflation has been extremely stable this year, only breaking away from 0.3% in March due to the shift in the timing of Easter. June, however, should mark the beginning of a sustained upward trend in inflation, fuelled by rising prices for imports, raw materials and labour. Indeed, we think CPI inflation is on course to hit 3% in 2017, ensuring that the MPC provides additional stimulus only cautiously.
The most striking aspect of yesterday's labour market report was the pick-up in the headline three month average year-over-year growth rate of average weekly wages, to a 14-month high of 2.8% in November, from 2.6% in October. Although still low by pre-recession standards, wage growth now is close to the rate that might worry the MPC.
The decision by seven MPs to abandon Labour and set up a new centrist grouping--the Independent Group--will not have a significant impact on the outcome of parliamentary Brexit votes.
The rate that labour market slack is being absorbed has slowed, potentially giving the MPC breathing space to postpone the first rate rise beyond next month.
The labour market in the Eurozone continues slowly to improve. The unemployment rate fell to 10.7% in October from 10.8% in September, reaching its lowest level since 2013. The divergence in rates, however, between the major economies remains significant. Unemployment in France, Italy and Spain is still above 10%, but the advance German number continued their record-breaking form in November.
Today's labour market figures likely will show that wage growth is bouncing back from a soft patch in late 2015. As a result, the MPC won't be able to sit on its hands much longer, especially in light of the continued dire news on productivity.
Brazil's December industrial production and labour reports, released this week, confirmed that the recovery remained solidly on track at the end of last year.
The Eurozone has a productivity problem. Between 1997 and 2007, labour productivity rose an average 1.2% year-over-year, but this rate has slowed to a crawl--a mere 0.5%--since the crisis. These data tell an important story about the peaks in EZ GDP growth over the business cycle. Before the financial crisis in 2008, cyclical peaks in Eurozone GDP growth were as high as 3%-to-4% year-over-year.
Yesterday's labour market figures revealed that employment growth has picked up this year, despite the shadow cast over the medium-term economic outlook by Brexit. The 122K, or 0.4%, quarter-on-quarter rise in employment in Q1 was the biggest since Q2 2016.
Today's labour market figures look set to show that wage growth has continued to slow, fuelling speculation that interest rates are going nowhere soon. But a close examination of why wage growth has weakened suggests investors will be surprised by a robust rebound later this year.
Today's labour market figures will provide the first "hard data" showing how the economy has fared since the referendum. The headline employment and unemployment numbers will refer to the three months ending June, but data for July will be published on the number of people claiming unemployment benefit and the level of job vacancies.
This week's labour market, inflation and retail sales data--the last before the MPC meets on May 10--will have a major bearing on the Committee's decision.
Yesterday's labour market data brought further signs that wage growth is recovering from its early 2017 dip.
This week's Fed meeting eased many LatAm investors' minds, fuelling rallies in most of the region's currencies. We think the U.S. labour market is going through a genuine soft patch but will regain momentum over the coming months, prompting policymakers to hike rates in September.
ebruary's labour market data failed to make a resounding case for the MPC to raise interest rates in May, prompting markets to reduce the probability attached to a hike next month to 85%, from nearly 90% before the data were released.
The stand-out news from August's labour market report was the pick-up in the headline three-month average rate of year-over-year growth in average weekly wages, excluding bonuses, to 3.1%--its highest rate since January 2009--from 2.9% in July.
The possibility of a Corbyn-led Labour Government has been highlighted by some analysts as a major economic risk. Mr. Corbyn, however, has little practical chance of being elected soon.
Labour costs are rising so quickly that the MPC cannot justify an "insurance" cut in Bank Rate to counteract the impending damage from Brexit uncertainty in the run-up to the October deadline.
It's now four weeks since the Prime Minister called a snap general election, and the Conservatives still are riding high in the opinion polls. The average of the last 10 polls suggests that the Tories are on track to take 47% of the vote, well above Labour's 30%.
April's consensus-beating retail sales figures fostered an impression that the recovery in consumer spending is in fine fettle, even though the rest of the economy is suffering from Brexit blues. Retailers have stimulated demand, however, by slashing prices at an unsustainable rate. With import prices and labour costs now rising, retailers are set to increase prices, sapping the momentum in sales volumes.
Labour costs growth accelerated modestly last year in the Eurozone. Data on Friday showed that Q4 nominal labour costs in the Eurozone rose 1.3% year-over-year, slightly higher than the 1.1% increase in Q3. The modest acceleration was mainly due to a rise in "non-business" labour costs, which rose 1.6% year-over-year, up from a 0.9% increase in Q3.
Slack in the labour market no longer is being absorbed and wage growth still is struggling for momentum, placing little pressure on the MPC to rush the next rate rise.
Yesterday's labour market data significantly bolster the consensus view on the MPC that interest rates do not need to rise this year to counter the imminent burst of inflation. Granted, the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in January--its lowest rate since August 1975--from 4.8% in December, defying the consensus forecast for no-change.
On balance, our conviction that the MPC will surprise markets on May 2 by retreating from its dovish stance has risen, following last week's labour and retail sales data.
While financial markets remain obsessed with the Brexit saga, January's labour market data provided more evidence yesterday that the economy is coping well with the heightened uncertainty.
Elections will be held on Thursday in two constituencies vacated recently by Labour MPs. Betting markets are pricing-in a 70% chance that the Conservatives will win the by-election in Copeland--even though they trailed Labour there by eight points in the general election in 2015--mainly because around 60% of Copeland's electorate voted to leave the EU last year.
Bank Governor Mark Carney reiterated in a speech yesterday that he wants to see sustained momentum in GDP growth, domestic cost pressures firm and core inflation rise further towards 2%, before raising interest rates. We doubt he will have long to wait on the last two points, given the tightness of the labour market.
Today's labour market data look set to show that the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate held steady at just 5% in May, unchanged from April's reading.
Today's labour market figures likely will cast doubt over the sustainability of strong growth in household spending. Growth in the three-month average level of employment likely weakened in August, from July's impressive 1.9% year-over-year rate.
It's easy to claim from yesterday's labour market data that the economy is weathering the uncertainty caused by the E.U. referendum. Employment rose by 172K, or 0.5%, between Q1 and Q2, and the claimant count fell by 7K month-to-month in July. These numbers, however, flatter to deceive.
Today's figures likely will bring the first real signs that the Brexit vote has had an adverse impact on the labour market. The employment balances of the key private-sector surveys weakened sharply in July, and recovered only partially in August. In addition, the three-month average level of job vacancies fell by 7K between April and July.
Since the Party Congress last month, China has made a number of bold moves in multiple policy fields, with a regularity that almost implies the authorities are working through a list.
Survey data in the Eurozone were mixed yesterday. In Germany, the advance GfK consumer sentiment index slipped to 10.0 in October, from 10.2 in September, marginally below consensus forecasts. The details, reported for September, also were soft.
China's government overshot its deficit target last year, and probably will overshoot it by at least as much this year
We think today's consumer sentiment survey in France will show that the headline index was unchanged at 94 in May. The survey's forward looking components have weakened modestly in recent months, due to declines in households' outlook for their financial situation and standard of living in the coming 12 months.
Developments over the last month have heightened our concern about the near-term outlook for households' spending.
President Temer seems to be advancing on his reform agenda.
Yesterday's January EZ money supply data offered support for investors betting on a further dovish shift by the ECB at next month's meeting.
Korean real GDP growth rebounded to 1.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, from 0.6% in Q2. The main driver was exports, with government consumption also popping, and private consumption was a little faster than we were expecting.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany and Spain suggest that inflation in the Eurozone as a whole dipped slightly in February.
Sterling's depreciation, which began over two years ago, has inflicted pain on consumers but fostered a negligible improvement in net trade.
The mortgage market still is defying gravity. U.K. Finance initially reported yesterday that house purchase mortgage approvals by the main high street banks collapsed to 35.3K in February, from 39.6K in January.
Improving fundamentals have supported private spending in Mexico during the current cycle.
Japan's flash Nikkei manufacturing PMI report for November was abysmal, putting the chances of a recovery this quarter into serious doubt.
Retail sales in Mexico plunged at the end of Q4, but we think households' spending will continue to contribute to GDP growth in the first quarter.
Japanese services price inflation edged down in May as the twin upside drivers of commodity price inflation and yen weakness began to lose steam. We expect wage costs to begin edging up in the second half but this will provide only a partial counterbalance.
Mr. Abe yesterday called a snap general election, to be held on October 22nd; more on this in tomorrow's Monitor. For now, note that the election comes at a reasonably good stage of the economic cycle, hot on the heels of very rapid GDP growth in Q2, while the PMIs indicate that the economy remained healthy in Q3.
Brazilian financial assets lately appear to be responding only to developments in the presidential election race and external jitters.
The past year has been difficult for Asian economies, with trade wars, natural disasters, and misguided policies, to name a few, putting a dampener on growth.
It is becomingly increasingly clear that the trade war with China is hurting manufacturers in both countries.
Politics in Brazil has been busy in recent days, with local media reporting several items of interest.
The INSEE's manufacturing sentiment data in France are slightly confusing at the moment.
Yesterday's ECB meeting was comfortably uneventful for markets.
This week's Mexican retail sales report for February offered more support to our view that domestic conditions improved at the end of Q1.
Mexico's private spending stumbled at the start of the second quarter.
Yesterday's consumer sentiment data provided further evidence of a strengthening French economy, amid signs of cracks in the otherwise solid German economy.
We have no choice but to revise down our forecast for GDP growth in Q2, now that the threat of a no-deal Brexit likely will hang over the economy beyond March, probably for three more months.
Mexico's policymakers are battling two opposing forces. First, inflation pressures are rising, on the back of the one-time increase in petrol prices and the lagged effect of the MXN's sell-off in Q4. These factors are pushing short-term inflation expectations higher, even though the MXN has remained relatively stable since President Trump took office and has risen by about 6% against the USD year-to-date.
Economic data in the Eurozone are sending an increasingly upbeat message on the economy. Yesterday saw a barrage of numbers, but the most startling of them was the continued acceleration in the money supply.
The Fed wants price stability--currently defined as 2% inflation--and maximum sustainable employment.
Bond yields in the Eurozone took another leg lower yesterday.
The Prime Minister will invoke Article 50 today, marking the end of the beginning of the U.K.'s departure from the EU. The move likely will not move markets, as it has been all but certain since MPs backed the Government's European Union Bill on February 1.
Banxico yesterday left its policy rate unchanged at 3%, the highest level in a decade.
Sterling found its feet yesterday, rising to $1.33 from Monday's 31-year low of 1.32, but it would be the height of folly to rule out a further short-term decline. By the end of this year, however, we think that sterling likely will have appreciated to around $1.38.
Votes in the House of Commons to day likely will mark the start of MPs stamping their collective will on the Brexit process, following the Prime Minister's botched attempt at getting the current Withdrawal Agreement--WA--and Political Declaration through parliament earlier this month.
Mexico's risk profile and financial metrics have improved in recent days, following news of a preliminary bilateral trade deal with the U.S. on Monday.
Brazil's external accounts were a bright spot last year, again.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone quickened last month, by 0.3 percentage points to 3.9% year- over-year, but the details were less upbeat.
The Prime Minister appears set to have one more go at getting the House of Commons to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement today.
Many investors are betting that the MPC will announce a bold package of easing measures on Thursday. For a start, overnight index swap markets are pricing-in a 98% probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate to 0.25%, and a 30% chance that interest rates will fall to, or below, zero by the end of the year.
We look for a 210K increase in July payrolls. That would be consistent with the message from an array of private sector surveys, as well as the recent trend.
Data released last week confirm that Brazil's recovery has continued over the second half of the year, supported by steady household consumption and rebounding capex.
This was supposed to be the year that wage growth finally would pick up and signal clearly to the MPC that the economy needs higher interest rates.
A long period of extremely accommodative U.S. monetary policy generated sizable capital inflows and asset price appreciation in EM countries.
The economic data in the Eurozone were mixed while we were away.
Friday's consumer sentiment data in the two main Eurozone economies were mixed.
Data released last week confirm that the Argentinian economy ended 2017 strongly.
We fear that private spending in the EZ slowed in Q1, despite rocketing survey data. This fits our view that household consumption will slow in 2017 after sustained above-trend growth in the beginning of this business cycle.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone rebounded slightly last month, reversing some of the weakness at the start of the year.
Industrial profits growth is closely watched by the Chinese authorities, even more so now that deleveraging is a prime policy aim.
Last week the Chinese authorities issued a series of new measures to help with bank recapitalisation, and, we think, to supplement interbank liquidity.
Gilt yields have tumbled, with the 10-year sliding to just 1.0%, from 1.2% a week ago.
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.
Household sentiment in France continues to improve, consistent with tailwinds from low energy prices and accommodative monetary policy. INSEE's measure of consumer confidence rose to 94 in April, up from 93 in March, the highest since November 2010.
Inflation in Mexico remains relatively sticky, limiting Banxico's capacity to adopt a more dovish approach, despite the subpar economic recovery.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone firmed last month. Broad money--M3--rose 5.0% year-overyear in August, after a tepid 4.5% rise in July.
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.
Chinese industrial profits growth officially edged down to 25.1% year-over-year in October, from 27.7% in September. This is still very rapid but we think the official data are overstating the true rate of growth.
We expect today's preliminary estimate of Q4 GDP growth to surprise the consensus to the downside, underscoring our view that the economic recovery has shifted down to a much slower gear.
It's hard to read the minutes of the April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting as anything other than a statement of the Fed's intent to do nothing for some time yet.
High inflation and interest rates, coupled with increasing uncertainty, both economic and political, put Mexican consumption under strain last year.
We expect the Mexican economy to continue growing close to 2% year-over-year in 2019, driven mainly by consumption, but constrained by weak investment, due to prolonged uncertainty related to trade.
Chile's central bank cut the country's main interest rate by 25bp to 3.25% last Thursday. The easing was expected, as the board adopted a dovish bias last month, after keeping a neutral stance for most of 2016. Last week's move, coupled with the tone of the communiqué, suggests that further easing is coming, as growth continues to disappoint and inflation pressures are easing.
The beginning of the electoral campaign last week in Brazil bodes uncertain results and a very close competition for the presidential elections on October 7.
The U.K. economy retained its momentum last year, despite the seismic shock of the vote to leave the EU. Quarter-on-quarter GDP growth averaged 0.5% in the first three quarters of 2016, matching 2015's rate and the average pace of growth across the Atlantic.
The economic data in Brazil were poor while we were away.
The manufacturing industry in France is recovering slowly, but surely. The headline INSEE index rose to 102 in July from 101 in June, close to a post-crisis high, pointing to steady improvement for manufacturers. Our first chart shows the main leading components of the survey, indicating a modest, but positive, trend in output. The increase in sentiment in July was driven by firming new orders--especially in the export sector--pushing the new orders-to-inventory ratio to an 18-month high.
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.
Japan will host the Olympics in 2020 and the preparatory surge in construction investment makes 2017-to-2018 the peak spending period.
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.
Yesterday's advance consumer sentiment index in the Eurozone confirmed the upside risks for consumers' spending in Q4. The headline index rose to a 17- year high of +0.1 in November, from -1.0 in October.
Yesterday's March retail sales report for Mexico is in line with other recently released hard and survey data, painting an upbeat picture of the economy.
The recovery in the French economy since the sovereign debt crisis has been lukewarm. Growth in domestic demand, excluding inventories, has averaged 0.4% quarter-on-quarter since 2012. This comp ares with 0.8%-to-1.1% in the two major business cycle upturns in the 1990s and from 2000s before the crisis.
Friday's economic data suggest that the downtrend in German PPI inflation is reversing.
Germans head to the polls on Sunday to elect representatives for the national parliament. The media has tried to keep investors on alert for a surprise, but polls indicate clearly that Angela Merkel will continue as Chancellor.
We have to pinch ourselves when looking at economic data in Spain at the moment. Real GDP rose a dizzying 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, driven by solid gains of 0.7% and 1.1% in consumer's spending and investment respectively. Retail sales and industrial production data indicate GDP growth remained strong in Q2, even if survey data lost some momentum towards the end of the quarter. We will be looking for signs of further moderation in Q3, but surging private deposit growth indicate the cyclical recovery will continue.
Dr. Yellen's Testimony yesterday was largely a cut-and-paste job from the FOMC statement last week and her remarks at the press conference. The Fed's core views have not changed since last week, unsurprisingly, and policymakers still expect to raise rates gradually as inflation returns to the target, but will be guided by the incoming data.
Sentiment in the French business sector ended this year on a high. The headline manufacturing index fell slightly to 112 in December, from an upwardly-revised 113 in November, but the aggregate sentiment gauge edged higher to a new cycle high of 112.
The Prime Minister has revealed that her Plan B for Brexit is to get Eurosceptics within the Tory party on side in an attempt to show the E.U. that a deal could be done if the backstop for Northern Ireland was amended. Her plan is highly likely to fail, again.
Brazil's inflation rate remained well under control over the first half of February.
So much has changed in China over the last six months that we are taking the opportunity in this Monitor to step back and gain an overview of where the economy is going in the long term.
The BoJ left policy unchanged yesterday, but we noted some significant additions and modifications in the statement and the press conference.
Sterling's renewed depreciation to just €1.10--just below last year's nadir--has fuelled speculation that it could reach parity against the euro within the next year.
Last week, the Atlanta Fed updated its median hourly earnings series with new October data, showing wage growth accelerating to an eight-year high of 3.9%. That's a full percentage point higher than the increase in this measure of wages in the year to October 2015, and it follows a spring and summer during which wage growth appeared to be topping-out at just under 3½%.
Japan's all-industry activity index fell 0.5% month-on- month in September after a 0.2% rise in August. Construction activity continued to plummet, with the subindex dropping 2.3%, after a 2.2% fall in August.
Even the most bullish estate agent in Britain would struggle to put a positive spin on the latest housing market news. The latest levels of the official, Nationwide, and Halifax measures of house prices all are below their peaks.
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.
Sterling jumped last week to its highest level against the dollar since last October in response to news that a general election will be held on June 8. Markets are betting that the Conservative Government will sharply increase its majority, enabling Theresa May to ignore Eurosceptic backbenchers when she strikes a deal with the EU.
Japan's manufacturing PMI rose to 53.3 in April, from 53.1 in March. The index weakened earlier this year, but remained at levels unjustified by the hard data.
Theresa May doubled down on her Brexit stance last week, despite European Council President Donald Tusk stating clearly that her proposed framework for economic cooperation "will not work" because it risks undermining the single market.
On the face of it, the potential for a tangible boost to GDP growth from a revival in business investment after a no-deal Brexit has been averted appears modest.
Broad-based inflation pressures in Brazil remain tame despite the sharp BRL depreciation this year, totalling about 7% in the last three months alone.
Japan's CPI inflation jumped to 1.3% in August, from 0.9% in July.
Korea's preliminary GDP report for Q3 will be released tomorrow.
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.
The participation rate--the proportion of people either in or looking for work--has held steady over the last decade, despite the ageing of the population and the rise in student numbers.
The ECB will not make any major changes to policy today.
The Prime Minister's announcement on Sunday that the meaningful vote in parliament on her Brexit deal will be delayed from this week, until March 12, came as no surprise after a series of prior postponements.
Data released yesterday confirmed that the Mexican economy ended Q4 poorly; policymakers will take note.
Nothing is done until it's done, and, in the case of Sino-U.S. trade talks, even if a deal is reached, the new normal is that tensions will be bubbling in the background.
November's interest rate rise, which took investors by surprise, was triggered in part by the MPC slashing its estimate of trend growth to 1.5%, from an implicit 2.0%.
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.
Yesterday's PMI reports repeated the message of a firm cyclical Eurozone recovery, despite investors' angst over deflation and the underwhelming Q3 GDP data earlier this month. The composite index in the zone rose to a 54-month high of 54.4 in November from 53.9 in October, lifted by strong output and solid new business growth. Our first chart shows the rise in the PMI points to slight upside risks in Q4 to the four quarter trend in real GDP growth of 0.4% per quarter.
The chances of our Brexit base case--a soft departure just before the current October 31 deadline--playing out have declined sharply over the last two weeks.
The second estimate of Q4 GDP, published on Thursday, probably will show that the economy slowed more abruptly last year than previously thought and that it has become very dependent on consumers for momentum.
This week's GDP figures showed that firms invested only sparingly in 2016, but their financial fortunes have been bolstered by a recovery in profits. The gross operating surplus of all firms rose by 4.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the biggest increase for 11 quarters. This pushed the share of GDP absorbed by profits up to 21.3%, just above its 60-year average of 21.2%.
Colombia's recently-released data signal that the economy started the year quite strongly, following a relatively poor end to Q4.
CPI inflation was steadfast at 1.9% in March, undershooting the consensus and our forecast for it to rise to 2.0%.
Eurozone investors will be drawing a sigh of relief after yesterday's PMI data. The alarming plunge in February and March made way for stabilisation, with the composite PMI in the euro area unchanged at 55.2 in April.
The BoJ voted by an 8-to-1 majority yesterday to keep the policy balance rate unchanged at -0.1%, with the 10-year yield curve target also unchanged at around zero.
Economic activity in Mexico during the past few months has been resilient, as external and domestic threats, particularly domestic political risks, appear to have diminished.
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.
Mexico's retail sector is finally improving, following a grim second half last year.
British politics remains a complete mess, with many outcomes, ranging from no-deal Brexit to revoking Article 50, possible in the second half of this year.
The apparent softness of business capex is worrying the Fed.
Advance Eurozone consumer sentiment fell disappointingly to -7.1 in July, from -5.6 in June, but it is consistent with a solid trend in retail sales growth. Household consumption in the zone has surged in the last four quarters, and a modest loss of momentum in Q3 and Q4 is a reasonable bet. But we see little risk of a sharp slowdown in the shor t run, and the trend in spending growth should stabilize at an annualised 1.5% this year.
Japanese data continue to come in strongly for the second quarter. The manufacturing PMI points to continued sturdy growth, despite the headline index dipping to 52.0 in June from 53.1 in May. The average for Q2 overall was 52.6, almost unchanged from Q1's 52.8, signalling that manufacturing output growth has maintained its recent rate of growth.
We were surprised to see Japan's services PMI edging up to 51.9 in June, from 51.7 in May. We attributed apparent service sector resilience in April and May to the abnormally long holiday this year.
China's Caixin services PMI picked up further in November to 51.9 from October's 51.2, but the rebound is merely a correction to the overshoot in September, when the headline dropped sharply.
Behind all the talk of slowdowns and Fed pauses, we see no sign that the labor market is loosening beyond a very modest uptick in jobless claims, and even that looks suspicious.
China's PMIs point to softening activity in Q3. The Caixin services PMI fell to 52.8 in July, from 53.9 in June.
Consumers' spending in the Eurozone slowed in the second half of 2017, providing a favourable base for growth in H1 2018.
Brazil heads to the polls on Sunday, followed by an expected run-off on October 28.
The CPI inflation rate for non-energy industrial goods--core goods, for short--has tracked past movements in trade-weighted sterling closely over the last ten years, because virtually all goods in this sector are imported.
The Caixin services PMI leapt to an eyebrow- raising 53.8 in November, from 50.8 in October.
Consumers' spending in the euro area weakened at the end of Q4, but we think households will continue to boost GDP growth in the first quarter. Data on Friday showed that retail sales fell 0.3% month-to-month in December, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 1.1%, from a revised 2.8% in November.
China's service sector slowed again in June, with the Caixin PMI falling to 51.6 from 52.8 in May. The Q2 average of 52.0 was only minimally lower than the 52.6 in Q1.
Yesterday's final May PMI data in the Eurozone confirmed the strength of the cyclical upturn. The composite PMI was unchanged at 56.8, in line with the initial estimate.
Yesterday's Brazilian industrial production data continue to tell a story of a slow business cycle upturn. Output rose 0.2% month-to-month in November, after a downwardly revised 1.2% plunge in October. The year-over-year rate, though, jumped to -1.1%, from -7.3% in October. The underlying trend is now on the mend, following weakness in Q3 and early Q4. Output rose in November three of the four major categories and in 13 of the 24 sectors.
We are not concerned by the very modest tightening in business lending standards reported in the Fed's quarterly survey of senior loan officers, published on Monday.
Mexico's latest hard data suggest things might not be as bad as we feared. Retail sales and manufacturing output were relatively strong at the end of last year, the Q4 preliminary GDP report was mostly upbeat, and the labor market was firing on all cylinders.
The latest PMIs indicate that the economy remained listless in Q3, undermining the case for a rate rise before the end of this year. The business activity index of the Markit/CIPS services survey rose trivially to 53.6 in September, from 53.2 in August.
Barclays hit the headlines yesterday with an announcement that it is bringing back no-deposit mortgages for first-time buyers and raising its maximum loan-to-income ratio for borrowers with an income of more than £50K to 5.5, from 4.4. With other lenders likely to follow suit and the supply of homes for sale still extremely low, house price inflation likely will remain brisk this year.
The violent protests in France claimed their first victims over the weekend, providing sombre evidence of the severity of the situation for the government.
The Caixin services PMI ticked down to 53.6 in January, from 53.9 in December.
The relative strength of the investor and consumer confidence reports for March, released this week, signal a better outlook for the Mexican economy.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone edged higher last month, reversing weakness at the start of the year.
Corporate bonds will not be included in the ECB's monthly QE purchases until the end of Q2, but markets are already preparing. The sale of non-financial corporate debt jumped to €49.4B in March, from about €25B in February, within touching distance of the record set in Q1 last year.
Evidence that the U.K. economy has slowed significantly this year is starting to come in thick and fast. Following the Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI on Monday --which signalled that growth in production declined in March to its lowest rate since July--the construction PMI dropped to 52.2 in March, from 52.5 in February.
The Caixin services PMI jumped sharply to 53.9 in December from 51.9 in November. All the PMIs picked up significantly, but we find this hard to believe and suspect seasonality is to blame, though the adjustment is tricky.
The economic recovery disappointed in Chile during most of the first half of the year, despite relatively healthy fundamentals, including low interest rates, low inflation and stable financial metrics.
China's National People's Congress is set to convene its annual meeting next week.
The outlook for Argentina is gradually improving, after a long and painful recession.
The week started well for Brazil's President Bolsonaro.
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.
Youth unemployment remains a blemish on the Eurozone economy, despite an increasingly resilient cyclical recovery. The unemployment rate for young workers aged 15-to-24 years stood at 18.4% at the end of April, chiefly due to high joblessness in the periphery.
If 2017 really is the year of "reflation", somebody forgot to tell the gilt market. Among the G7 group, 10-year yields have fallen only in the U.K. during the last three months, as our first chart shows.
Chile's IMACEC economic activity index rose 2.4% year-over-year in January, down from 2.6% in December, and 3.3% on average in Q4, thanks mostly to weak mining production.
When trade-weighted sterling fell by 20% in 2016, it was widely expected that net trade would cushion GDP growth from the hit to households' real incomes.
Brazil's industrial sector is still struggling, despite recent signs of better economic and financial conditions.
Last week's news that output per hour jumped by 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in Q3--the biggest rise since Q2 2011--has fanned hopes that the underlying trend finally is improving.
In our Friday Monitor, we came to the conclusion that prescriptions arising from Modern Money Theory have been designed primarily with the U.S. in mind.
The Treasury has tried to dampen expectations for Tuesday's Spring Statement, which has replaced the Autumn Statement since the Budget was moved last year to November.
Demand in German manufacturing rebounded slightly at the end of Q1, though the overall picture for the sector remains grim.
The first round of trade talks between the U.S.and China kicked off in Beijing on Monday, marking the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping struck a "truce" in December.
China's official manufacturing PMI slipped in June, but the overall picture for Q2 is sound despite the uncertainty posed by rising trade tensions with the U.S.
China's trade data looked more normal in April. The trade balance rebounded to a surplus of $28.8B in April, from a deficit of $5.0B in March. Exports also bounced back, rising 12.9% year-over-year in April, after a 2.7% decline in March.
Britain's productivity problem has been building under the surface for years, but it is set to be more pertinent now that the economy is close to full employment.
Mr. Macron's victory in France answers two questions for markets, at least in the short run. Firstly, France will stay in the Eurozone, and Mr. Macron will not call a referendum on EU membership. Mr. Macron has come to power with a mandate to strengthen economic integration and co-operation between Eurozone economies.
The Prime Minister has argued repeatedly during the general election campaign that Britain will prosper under a "strong and stable" Conservative government with a large majority. "Division in Westminster," she argued when calling the election last month, "...will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country."
It is still premature to make fundamental changes to our core views for the global or LatAm economy, following President Trump's plan to slap hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, potentially escalating into a global trade war.
Deflation officially arrived in the Eurozone yesterday as a 6.3% plunge in energy prices pushed the overall rate of inflation to -0.2% year-over-year in December, down sharply from 0.3% in November.
The Mexican economy maintained its relatively strong momentum in Q2. The first estimate of Q2 GDP, released last week, confirmed that growth was resilient during the first half of this year, despite the confidence hit caused by domestic and external headwinds.
Recent market turmoil and concerns on the outlook for global growth have re-awakened talk of stimulus. For the BoJ, this inevitably raises the question of what could possibly be done, given that policy already appears to be on the excessively loose side of loose.
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
Japanese average cash earnings posted a surprise drop of 0.4% year-over-year in June, down from 0.6% in May and sharply below the consensus for a rise of 0.5%. The decline was driven by a fall in the June bonus, by 1.5%.
Labor demand appears to have remained strong through August, so we expect to see a robust ADP report today.
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.
Chile's economic outlook is still positive, but clouds have been gradually gathering since mid-year, due mostly to the slowdown in China, low copper prices and falling consumer and business confidence.
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.
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.
Officially, Japanese wages have been falling year- over-year since January, marking a break from the gradual acceleration over the past 18 or so months.
Upbeat PMIs, the MPC's abandonment of its easing bias and the High Court ruling that only a parliamentary vote--and not the Prime Minister--can trigger Article 50, all helped sterling to make up some lost ground last week.
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.
Japan's average year-over-year wage growth slowed sharply in May, but this mainly was a correction of the April spike.
China's Caixin manufacturing PMI edged down to 50.6 in August, from July's 50.8. This clashed with the increase in the official PMI, though the moves in both indexes were modest.
Japan's real GDP seems unlikely to have risen in Q3, and could even have edge down quarter-on- quarter, after the 0.7% leap in Q2.
Markets' expectations for official interest rates have shifted up over the last fortnight, and the consensus view now is that the MPC will hike rates before the end of this year. As our first chart shows, the implied probability of interest rates breaching 0.25% in December 2017 now slightly exceeds 50%.
Mexico's trade balance shrank slightly last year, to USD11B, from USD13B in 2016. The main driver was a big swing in the non- energy balance, to a record USD8.0B surplus, following a USD0.4B deficit in 2016.
Money supply data in the euro area are sending an increasingly upbeat signal on the economy. The increase in narrow money growth is the key variable here, now pointing to a noticeable acceleration in GDP growth later this year. Allowing for the usual lags between upturns in M1 and the economy, we should start to see this in the second and third quarter.
Six developments over the summer have increased the likelihood that the government will make concessions required to preserve unfettered access to the single market after formally leaving the EU in March 2019.
Friday's advance GDP data provided the first solid evidence of a Q1 slowdown in the euro area economy.
Japan's Q1 is coming more sharply into focus.
Volatile commodity prices make this week's inflation data in Germany and the Eurozone a wild card. Crude oil in euro terms is down about 20% month-to-month in July, which will weigh on energy prices. In Germany, though, we think higher core inflation offset the hit from oil, pushing inflation slightly higher to 0.4% year-over-year in July from 0.3% in June.
The Conservatives' opinion poll rating has fallen dramatically over the last 10 days or so, pushing sterling down and forcing investors to confront the possibility that Theresa May might not increase her majority much from the current paltry 17 MPs.
Yesterday's November inflation reports from Germany and Spain suggest that today's data for the Eurozone as a whole will undershoot the consensus.
We have witnessed a dramatic shift in just a few weeks in perceptions of Mexico as an investment destination.
Japanese retail sales were unchanged in October month-on-month, after a 0.8% rise in September.
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.
Markets expect the Fed will fail to follow through on its current intention to raise rates twice more this year and three times next year. Part of this skepticism reflects recent experience.
The BoJ kept policy unchanged last week, but made a significant change to its communication, dropping its previous explicit statement on the timing for hitting the inflation target.
China's official PMIs were little changed in August, with the manufacturing gauge up trivially to 51.3, from 51.2 in July and the non-manufacturing gauge up to 54.2, from 54.0.
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 forward-looking indices of China's Caixin manufacturing PMI for April attracted more attention than the headline, which was a bit of a non-event; it rose trivially 51.1, from 51.0 in March.
The sharp fall in China's manufacturing PMI in May makes clear that its recovery is nowhere near secured.
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.
We expect China's quarterly real GDP growth in the second quarter to edge down from Q1, but only because Q1 growth was unsustainable. The official data shows real GDP growth at 1.3% quarter-onquarter in Q1.
Last week's EU summit was an exercise in political pragmatism rather than the bold step forward on reforms that investors had been hoping for.
A robust April payroll number today is a good bet, but a gain in line with the 275K ADP reading probably is out of reach.
Modern Money Theory has come up at two consecutive BoJ press conferences.
Korean industrial production surprised to the upside in August, according to data released yesterday.
One of the more disheartening aspects of the Q2 national accounts, released last week, was the downward revision to business investment. Quarteron-quarter growth was revised to -0.7%, from +0.5% previously.
Manufacturing in the Eurozone remained a strong driver of GDP growth in the third quarter. The headline EZ manufacturing PMI rose to 58.1 in September, from 57.4 in August, only a tenth below the initial estimate 58.2.
Auto industry watchers at WardsAuto and JD Power are in agreement that today's September sales numbers will be little changed from a year ago, at around 17.5M.
The sharp and unexpected improvement in the Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey in October released on Monday raised hopes that the recession in the industrial sector might be over. A cool look at the evidence, however, suggests that this probably is just wishful thinking.
Advance data from Germany and Spain indicate that Eurozone inflation rebounded in October. We think inflation rose to 0.2% year-over-year from -0.2%, and German data suggest the main boost will come from both core and food inflation. Inflation in Germany rose to 0.3% year-over-year from 0.0% in September, lifted by an increase in inflation of leisure and entertainment, hotels and durable goods. Food inflation also rose to 1.6% from 1.1% in September, due to surging prices for fresh fruit and vegetables.
The headlines from Catalonia are as confusing as ever, but we are sticking to our view--see here--that regional elections are the only reasonable outcome of the chaos.
The Caixin manufacturing headline was unremarkable, but the input price index signals that PPI inflation is set to rise again in May, to 4.0%-plus, from 3.4% in April.
The most positive thing to say about the EZ manufacturing PMI at the moment is that it has stopped falling.
Expectations for a March rate hike have dipped since Fed Vice-Chair Clarida's CNBC interview last Friday.
Consumption remains an important source of economic growth in LatAm.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI for January was grim, indicating that China's start to the year wasn't as benign as the official surveys suggested.
BanRep accelerated the pace of easing last Friday, cutting Colombia's key interest rate by a bold 50 basis points, to 5.75%. Economic activity has been under severe pressure in recent months. The economy expanded by only 1.1% year-over-year in Q1, following an already weak 1.6% in Q4.
Economic prospects in the Andes have deteriorated significantly in recent weeks, due mainly to the escalation of the trade war.
Colombia's GDP growth hit a relatively solid 2.8% year-over-year in Q4, up from 2.7% in Q3, helped by improving domestic fundamentals, which offset the drag from weaker terms of trade.
The MPC surprised markets and ourselves yesterday by the extent to which it abandoned its previous stance and is now emphasising inflation over growth risks.
Today brings the first glimpse of the post-hurricane employment picture, in the form of the September ADP report.
The Eurozone enjoyed a strong start to 2017. Yesterday's advance data showed that real GDP rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, a similar pace to Q4, which was revised up by 0.1 percentage points. The year-over-year rate dipped to 1.7%, from an upwardly revised 1.8% in Q4.
Today's local elections are more important than usual, because they will enable investors to assess if the Conservatives really are on track for a landslide victory in the general election, as suggested by the opinion polls and priced-in by the forex market.
The Fed surprised no-one yesterday, leaving rates on hold, saying nothing new about the balance sheet, and making no substantive changes to its view on the economy. The statement was tweaked slightly, making it clear that policymakers are skeptical of the reported slowdown in GDP growth to just 0.7% in Q1: "The Committee views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory".
LatAm assets and currencies enjoyed a good start to the week, following the agreement between the U.S. and China to pause the trade war.
The 90-day truce in the trade wars between the U.S. and China, brokered on Saturday at the G20 meeting in Argentina, is a big deal for financial markets in the euro area, at least in the near term.
The upward trend in German inflation stalled temporarily in August, with an unchanged 0.4% year-over-year reading in August. A dip in core inflation likely offset a continued increase in energy price inflation. The detailed final report next month will give the full story, but state data suggest that the core rate was depressed by a dip in price increases of household appliances, restaurant services, as well as "other goods and services."
Today will be an incredibly busy day for EZ investors with no fewer than eight major economic reports. Overall, we think the data will tell a story of a stable business cycle upturn and rising inflation. Markets will focus on advance Q4 GDP data in France and in the euro area as a whole. Our mo dels, and survey data, indicate that the EZ economy strengthened at the end of 2016, and we expect the headline data to beat the consensus.
Yesterday's advance CPI data in Germany suggest that inflation fell slightly in August.
Today's advance CPI data will show that EZ inflation pressures rose further at the end of Q3. The headline number likely will exceed the consensus. We think inflation rose to 0.5% year-over-year in September from 0.2% in August, slightly higher than the 0.4% consensus.
Inflation pressures remain under control in most LatAm economies, allowing central banks to keep interest rates on hold, despite the challenging external environment.
Downside risks to our growth forecast for Brazil and Mexico for this year have diminished this week. In Brazil, concerns over the potential impact of the meat scandal on the economy have diminished. Some key global customers, including Hong Kong, have in recent days eased restrictions on imports from Brazil, and other counties have ended their bans.
The recent narrowing of the Conservatives' opinion poll lead suggests that investors, particularly in the gilt market, now must consider other parties' fiscal proposals.
Japan's services PMI edged down to 52.0 in March, from 52.3 in February, taking the Q1 average to 52.0, minimally up from Q4's 51.9.
Following the much-anticipated meeting between Presidents Xi and Trump over the weekend, the U.S. will now leave existing tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods at 10%, rather than increasing the rate to 25% in January, as previously slated.
Mexico's financial markets and risk metrics plunged early this week, following the AMLO government's decision to cancel the construction of the new airport in Mexico City, after a public consultation held in the previous four days.
Defaults by Chinese companies have been on the rise lately. Most recently, China Energy, an oil and gas producer with $1.8B of offshore notes outstanding, missed a bond payment earlier this week. We've highlighted the likelihood of a rise in defaults this year, for three main reasons.
Many investors probably glossed over yesterday's barrage of data in the Eurozone, for fear of being caught out by another swoon in Italian bond yields. Don't worry, we are here to help.
The manufacturing sector appears to have finished 2017 on a strong note. The Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI fell to 56.3 in December from 58.2 in November, but it remained above its 12-month average, 55.9.
Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively soft footing.
Data released yesterday support our view that the Brazilian retail sector has gathered strength in recent months, following a weak Q2, when activity was hit by the truckers' strike.
The Board of the Bank of Korea will meet again in less than a week's time for this year's penultimate meeting.
Our forecast for a 0.3% increase in the September core PPI, slightly above the underlying trend, is even more tentative than usual.
CPI data today in France and Germany will confirm that current inflation rates remain very low in the euro area. Inflation in Germany likely rose to 0.3% year-over-year from 0.0% in September, in line with the consensus and initial estimate. State data indicate that the rise was driven by surging fresh food prices and slightly higher services inflation, principally due to a jump in the volatile recreation and culture sector. Looking ahead, food prices will drop back, but energy inflation will rise rapidly as last year's plunge drops out of the year-over-year comparison, while upward core pressure is now emerging too.
Yesterday's industrial production numbers in Germany were similar to Friday's confusing new orders data.
Revisions to Japan's real GDP growth, on Monday, left Q2 blisteringly hot.
The key piece of evidence supporting our view that housing market activity has peaked for this cycle is the softening trend--until recently--in applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase.
Japan's PPI inflation edged up further in November to 3.5%, from October's 3.4%. Energy was the main driver, with petroleum and coal contributing 0.8 percentage points to the year-over-year rate, up from a 0.7pp contribution in October.
After seemingly endless speculation, the confidence vote in Theresa May's leadership of the Conservative party finally has been triggered following the submission of at least 48 letters by disgruntled MPs to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee.
Japan's GDP growth came roaring back in Q2, thanks to a strong rebound in private consumption, and an acceleration in business capex.
Mexico's February industrial production report was weaker than markets expected. Output expanded by 0.7% year-over-year, below the consensus, 1.2%, and slowing from 0.9% in January.
CPI inflation picked up to 0.5% in March, from 0.3% in February. The jump was entirely attributable to core inflation, which leapt to 1.5%--its highest rate since October 2014--from 1.2%. With core inflation on track to rise further over the next year, we continue to think that markets will be caught out by interest rate rises later this year.
Mrs. May looks set to lose the second "meaningful vote" on the Withdrawal Agreement-- WA--today, whether she decides on a straightforward vote or one asking MPs to b ack it if some hypothetical concessions are achieved.
Friday's industrial production headlines in the Eurozone were weak, but the details tell a more nuanced story.
The seasonally adjusted trade surplus in Germany slipped to €19.6B in July, from €21.2B in June, its lowest since April, and we are confident that it has peaked for this cycle.
The E.U.'s decision to grant the U.K. a Brexit extension until October 31 does not extinguish the possibility that the MPC will raise Bank Rate before the end of the year.
French industrial production data surprised to the upside yesterday. Output rose 0.1% month-to-month in September, a solid gain following an upwardly-revised 1.7% rise in August, and also higher than the consensus, forecast for a 0.4% fall. The details, however, were less upbeat than the headline. Transport equipment fell, as expected, following production being pushed forward ahead of the Summer holidays. But this story was overshadowed by a 22.5% month-to-month jump in oil refining-- included in manufacturing--as refineries resumed full production following maintenance over the summer.
The bad news in German manufacturing keeps coming thick and fast.
China's trade surplus has been trending down in the last two years.
Mexico's economy is not accelerating, but it is holding up very well in difficult circumstances, with rising domestic political risk and stifling interest rates.
Mexico's central bank continues to diverge from its regional peers, tightening monetary policy further.
Brazil's political situation is steadily improving, with the latest events proving a step in the right direction.
One critical point emerged from last week's otherwise uneventful BoJ meeting: Governor Kuroda said that the BoJ might "adjust" rates before hitting the 2% inflation target.
Mark Carney emphasised in his Mansion House speech last month that he wants wage growth to "begin to firm" from recent "anaemic" rates before voting to raise interest rates.
Economic data in the German economy have been record-breaking in the past 12 months, and yesterday's preliminary full-year GDP report for 2017 was no exception.
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.
French manufacturing cooled at the end of 2016. Industrial production slipped 0.9% month-to-month in December, partially reversing an upwardly revised 2.4% jump in November. The main hits came from declines in oil refining and manufacturing of cars and other transport equipment.
Jim Bullard, the St. Louis Fed president, said last week that Phillips Curve effects in the U.S. are "weak", and that nominal wage growth is not a good predictor of future inflation.
Many economists describe the EZ as the sick man of the global economy, thanks to its incomplete monetary union, low productivity growth and a rapidly ageing population.
Construction accounted for the entire 1.1% quarter-to- quarter expansion of the Korean economy in Q1, but the sector is now set to slow.
CPI inflation held steady at 3.0% in January, above the consensus by one tenth and thus pushing up the market-implied probability of a May rate hike to 65%, from 62% earlier this week.
Japanese headline PPI inflation will edge higher in coming months as last year's rise in oil prices feeds through. But inflation in manufacturing goods, excluding processing, is microscopic and should soon roll over as pipeline pressures wane.
After the drama of the last few days, Brexit developments now are set to proceed at a slower pace.
CPI inflation increased to 2.9% in May, from 2.7% in April, exceeding the no-change expectation of both the consensus and the MPC, as well as our own 2.8% forecast.
In a busy week in Brazil, ongoing signals of feeble economic activity have strengthened our forecast for GDP growth of just 1.0% this year, below the 1.3% consensus forecast.
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.
Chile and Peru faced similar growth trends in 2018, namely, a solid first half, followed by a poor second half, particularly Q3.
We expect today's consumer prices figures to show that CPI inflation picked up to 0.5% in May, from 0.3% in April, exceeding the 0.4% rate anticipated by both the consensus and the MPC, in last month's Inflation Report. We expect the increase to be driven by a jump in the core rate to 1.4%, from 1.2% in April.
Last week's evidence of still-strong wage growth in the EZ at the start of the year almost surely has gone unnoticed as markets focus on the prospect of rate cuts, not to mention more QE, by the ECB.
After the first round of voting by Tory MPs, Boris Johnson remains the clear favourite to be the next Prime Minister.
German inflation pressures were unchanged last month. The CPI index rose 0.8% year-over-year, matching the increase in October, and in line with the consensus and initial estimate. Energy deflation intensified marginally, as a result of lower prices for household utilities.
The chances of the first phase of the Brexit saga concluding soon declined sharply last week.
On all accounts, growth in France has been modest in the past six-to-12 months, but in relative terms, the French economy is slowly but surely asserting itself as one of the key engines of growth in the EZ.
The second presidency of Chile's conservative Sebastián Piñera, a billionaire turned politician, began on Sunday, March 11, in favourable economic circumstances.
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.
Yesterday's economic data in Brazil suggest that retailers suffered in the second quarter, hit by the effect of the truckers' strike, but private consumption remains somewhat resilient.
Over the last decade, the MPC has underestimated the extent and duration of departures of CPI inflation from the 2% target. Inflation exceeded the MPC's expectations in the early 2010s, as policymakers underestimated the impact of sterling's prior depreciation and overestimated the role that slack would play in stifling price pressures. Inflation also undershot the MPC's forecast between 2014 and 2016, when sterling's appreciation reduced import prices.
Last week's detailed GDP data in the Eurozone confirmed that the economy is benefiting from an investment cycle for the first time since before the financial crisis.
Brazilian inflation has been well under control in the past few months, still laying the ground for rates to remain on hold for the foreseeable future.
Now that the run of unfavorable base effects in the core CPI--triggered by five straight soft numbers last year--is over, we're expecting little change in the year- over-year rate through the remainder of this year.
Japanese PPI inflation continues to be driven mainly by imported metals and energy price inflation. Metals, energy, power and water utilities, and related items, account for nearly 30% of the PPI.
The underlying health of the construction sector isn't as poor as today's official output figures likely will imply. Nonetheless, growth in construction output, which accounts for 6% of GDP, probably won't return to the stellar rates seen in 2013 and 2014, and the sector can't be relied upon to provide much support to overall growth.
The U.S. pulled the trigger on Friday, following through on President Donald Trump's tweeted threat to raise the tariffs on $200B-worth of Chinese goods, under the so-called "List 3", to 25% from 10%.
Recent economic indicators in Mexico have been relatively positive.
Core PPI inflation has risen relentlessly, though not rapidly, over the past two-and-a-half years.
Eurozone inflation eased slightly to 0.2% year-over- year in June, down from 0.3% in May, according to the advance data but we continue to think that the trend has turned up. A 5.1% fall in energy prices, accelerating from a 4.8% in May, was partly to blame for the fall in June. But the key driver was the sharp drop in services inflation to 1.0% from 1.3% in May, likely due to volatility in package holiday prices.
Yesterday's advance EZ CPI report bolstered the ECB doves' case for only marginal adjustments to the language on forward guidance at next week's meeting. Inflation in the euro area fell to 1.4% in May, from 1.9% in April, constrained by almost all the key components.
It's probably safe to assume that Q1's 0.5% quarter-on-quarter increase in GDP will be as good as it gets this year.
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.
Wednesday's first estimate of full-year 2018 GDP in Mexico indicates that growth lost momentum in Q4.
April's money and credit figures suggest that GDP growth has remained sluggish in Q2. Households' broad money holdings increased by just 0.3% month-to-month in April.
Data released on Wednesday confirmed that the Brazilian economy was relatively resilient in Q1. Leading indicators suggest that it will do well in Q2 and Q3, but downside risks are rising.
The latest official data show that net migration to the U.K. hasn't fallen much, despite all the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote.
Yesterday's first estimate of Q1 GDP in Mexico confirmed that growth was resilient at the start of the year, despite the lingering hit to confidence from domestic and external threats.
Brazil's GDP growth slowed to just 0.1% quarter- on-quarter in Q4, from a downwardly-revised 0.5% in Q3.
Strong fundamentals have supported private consumption in Mexico recently, but we now expect a slowdown. Spending will not collapse, though, because consumer credit growth, formal employment, real wage income and remittances will continue to underpin consumption for the next three-to-six months.
Money supply data in the euro area disappointed yesterday. Growth in M3 fell to 4.6% year-over-year in April, from 5.0% in March, due to an accelerated fall in the pace of narrow money growth. M1 rose 9.7% year-over-year, down from 10.1% in March. It was hit by lower growth in both overnight deposits and currency in circulation.
Yesterday's advance Q4 GDP data in the Eurozone confirmed that growth slowed significantly in the second half of 2018.
Headline inflation in the Eurozone eased at the start of the year, but leading indicators suggest that the dip will be short-lived.
The revival in the construction sector is slowing on all fronts as the fiscal squeeze intensifies, business confidence fades and the recovery in housebuilding loses momentum. These headwinds are likely to ensure that construction output only holds steady this year, thereby contributing to the broader economic slowdown.
Markets were on the right side of the argument with economists about the outlook for monetary policy in 2015, but we doubt history will repeat itself this year. The consensus among economists a year ago was for interest rates to rise to 0.75% from 0.5% by the end of 2015, in contrast to the markets' view that an increase was unlikely.
Distinguishing between the structural and cyclical story is crucial to understanding the inflation picture in the Eurozone. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman recently lamented--New York Times, March 1st--that the Eurozone economy appears to be stalling. We doubt the outlook for GDP growth this year is that dire.
Chile's weak indicators in January confirm that the economy is struggling. Mining output plunged 12.6% year-over-year, down from a modest 0.6% contraction during Q4, due mostly to falling copper production and an unfavourable base effect. This will reverse in February but we still look for a 5% drop.
Unemployment in the Eurozone fell to a 22-month low of 10.3% in January, from 10.4% in December, helped by a continued fall in Spain but underpinned by low unemployment in Germany.
Disappointing inflation data remain a critical dark spot in the context of otherwise solid evidence of a firming cyclical recovery. Advance data indicate that inflation was unchanged at a mere 0.2% year-over-year in December, with falling food inflation and a dip in services inflation offsetting easing deflation in energy prices. Headline inflation likely will be volatile in coming months. Base effects will push up the year-over-year rate in energy price inflation further in Q1, but we are wary that continued declines in food inflation could offset this effect.
The Chancellor announced to great fanfare last July that a new National Living Wage-- NLW--would be introduced in April 2016 at 7.5% above the existing legal minimum for most workers. Companies can and will take a variety of actions to mitigate the impact on their costs.
Yesterday's first estimate of Q2 GDP in Mexico confirmed that the economy lost momentum in recent months.
Yesterday was a good day for headline EZ economic data. GDP growth accelerated, inflation rose and unemployment fell further. Advance Q4 data showed that real GDP in the Eurozone rose 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, marginally faster than the upwardly revised 0.4% in Q3. Full-year growth in 2016 slowed slightly to 1.7% from 2.0% in 2015.
The Prime Minister is in a position on Brexit all chess players dread: zugzwang.
Chile's central bank left its policy rate on hold last Friday at 3.0%, in line with market expectations, amid easing inflationary pressures and a struggling economy.
Friday's economic data added to the evidence of a Q1 rebound in EZ consumption growth.
Industrial output in Chile struggled late in the third quarter, falling 1.3% month-to-month in September. The year-over-year rate, calendar and seasonally adjusted, rose 2.4% in September, down from a revised 5.3% in August.
The ECB will be satisfied, and a bit relieved, with yesterday's economic data in the Eurozone.
The Mexican economy's brightest spot continues to be private consumption.
Normal service appears to have resumed in August, with payrolls rising by 201K, very close to the 196K average over the previous year.
We wrote last month about how the Caixin services PMI appeared to be missing the deterioration in several key services subsectors.
Brazil's economy remains mired in a renewed slowdown, and low--albeit temporarily rising-- inflation, which is allowing the BCB to keep interest rates on hold, at historic lows.
Unsurprisingly, cross-party Brexit talks are not going well.
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 16-page document--see here--detailing the agreement allowing the EU and the U.K. to move forward in the Brexit negotiations is predictably tedious.
The government remains on course to lose next Tuesday's Commons vote on the Withdrawal Agreement--WA--by a huge margin.
China's PPI inflation rose again in June, to 4.7%, from 4.1% in May.
Momentum in French manufacturing eased slightly in November, but the setback was modest. Industrial production dipped 0.5% month-to-month, only partially reversing the revised 1.7% jump in October.
Brazil's consumer recession finally eased in November. Retail sales jumped 2.0% month-to- month, following an upwardly-revised 0.3% drop in October, and the year-over-year rate rose to -3.5% from -8.1%. November's astonishing performance probably reflects seasonal adjustment problems related to Black Friday discounting. Sales have climbed in the last four Novembers, suggesting that consumers' pre-Christmas spending patterns have shifted permanently.
China's trade surplus appears modestly to be rebuilding, edging up to $34.0B in November, on our adjustment, from $33.3B in October. The recent trough was $24.B, in March.
We have been rigorous in using the word nascent whenever referring to Japan's wage-price spiral.
Amid the intensifying debate about the pros and cons of E.U. membership, higher immigration from the rest of Europe often is blamed for the disappointing weakness of wage growth over the last couple of years. But we see little evidence to support that hypothesis.
Brazil's economic activity data have disappointed in recent months, firming expectations that the Q1 GDP report will show another relatively meagre expansion.
Fed Chair Yellen today needs to strike a balance between addressing investors' concerns over the state of the stock market and the risks posed by slower growth in Asia, and the tightening domestic labor market.
Yesterday's aggregate economic data for the euro area showed that inflation rose slightly in August. The headline rate rose to a four-month high of 1.5% in August from 1.3% in July. The rate was lifted mainly by energy inflation, rising to 4.6% from 2.2% in July, but we think the rebound will be short-lived.
A firmer picture is emerging of how Japan's economy fared in Q3, in light of the latest slew of data for August.
Economic survey data have been upbeat recently, but key Eurozone data releases yesterday suggest the ECB will be under pressure to increase monetary policy stimulus further this month. The advance inflation estimate showed that the euro area slipped back into deflation in September, as inflation fell to -0.1% year-over- year, from +0.1% in August. The fall was mainly due to a 8.9% collapse in energy prices, though, and we are very confident the relapse is temporary.
Survey data have been signalling a stronger German economy in the last few months, and hard data are beginning to confirm this story. Data yesterday showed that industrial production rose 0.4% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 2.2%, from an upwardly-revised 1.6% in October. The headline was boosted mainly by a 1.5% month-to-month jump in construction and a 0.9% rise in intermediate goods production.
Japan's wage growth surprised us with a jump to 2.0% year-over-year in December, up from 1.5% in November.
Germany's external balance was virtually stable at the beginning of the second quarter. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose marginally to €23.9B in April from a revised €23.7B in March, mainly due to weakness in imports. Demand for goods abroad fell 0.2% month-to-month, which pushed up the surplus despite amid unchanged exports. Imports fell 1.5% year-over-year in April, up slightly from a 2.5% decline in March.
Brazil's interim government has been trying to put the kibosh on the vicious circle of recession, capital outflows, and political pandering that has dogged the country for so long. In his first few weeks at the helm, despite the political turmoil, Mr. Temer has started to tackle Brazil's fiscal mess, the country's biggest headache.
Interest rate expectations continued to fall sharply last week.
Inflation pressures are gradually easing in Mexico, opening the door for rate cuts as early as next month. The June CPI report, released yesterday, showed that prices rose 0.1% month-to-month unadjusted in June, in line with market expectations.
Sterling weakened yesterday, to $1.31 from $1.32, following news that 40 Conservative MPs have agreed to sign a letter of no-confidence in the Prime Minister.
While we were away, the advance Q2 GDP report in the Eurozone confirmed our expectations of a strong first half of the year for the economy. Real GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, the same pace as in Q1, lifting the year-over-year rate to a cyclical high of 2.1%.
Chile's Q4 GDP report, released yesterday, confirmed that the economy accelerated at the end of last year, supported by rising capex and solid consumption.
Retail sales volumes jumped by 2.3% month-to-month in April, exceeding the 1.0% consensus and even our 2.0% forecast. It would be a big mistake to conclude, however, that households' spending will propel the economy forward this year like it did between 2013 and 2016.
Argentina's Recovery Continues, but the Rebound is Facing Setbacks
China's official GDP data, published on Monday, showed year-over-year growth edging down to 6.7% in Q2, from 6.8% in Q1.
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.
Sterling took another pounding last week. Resignations from the Cabinet, protests by the DUP, and the public submission of letters by 21 MPs calling for a confidence vote in Mrs. May's leadership, imply that parliament won't ratify the current versions of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on the future relationship with the E.U. next month.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea yesterday left its benchmark base rate unchanged, at 1.50%.
Mexico's election results are not available as we go to press, but we're expecting a comfortable win for the left-wing populist candidate, AMLO.
Yesterday's economic data in the Eurozone were soft.
China's official PMIs paint a picture of robust momentum going into 2018 but we find this difficult to reconcile with the other data.
The bulk of China's PMIs were published over the weekend and yesterday, leaving only the Caixin services PMI on Wednesday.
Mr. Trump laid out plans yesterday to impose a new 10% tariff on a further $200B-worth of imports from China, to be levied from next week.
We remain confident--see here--that today's Q3 GDP report in Germany will be a shocker, but this already is priced-in by markets.
Yesterday's final CPI report confirmed that inflation in the euro area increased slightly last month. The headline rate rose to 1.5%, from 1.4% in October, lifted by a 1.7 percentage point increase in energy inflation to 4.9%.
Markets currently see a 50/50 chance that the MPC will raise Bank Rate in August and will be looking for a strong signal on Thursday that the next meeting is "in play".
Colombia has been one of LatAm's outperformers this year.
The long-awaited decisive upturn in wage growth still hasn't emerged. Year-over-year growth in average weekly wages, excluding bonuses, held steady at 2.6% in May.
Data released over the weekend confirm that the Peruvian economy enjoyed a strong second quarter. The economic activity index rose 6.4% year-over-year in May, well above market expectations, and up from 3.2% in Q1.
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.
The rate of growth of wages has been the single best guide to Fed policy for many years.
Brazil's monetary authority adopted a neutral tone and kept its main rate on hold at 6.5% at its monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, surprising investors.
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.
Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement that Parliament will vote today on holding a general election on June 8 shocked markets and even her own party's MPs. Betting markets were pricing in only a 20% chance of a 2017 election before yesterday's news.
Yesterday's final CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that headline inflation was unchanged at 1.5% in September.
October's colossal 1.9% month-to-month jump in retail sales volumes greatly exceeded the 0.5% consensus and even our own top-of-the- range 1.0% forecast.
CPI inflation surprised to the downside in April, falling to 0.3% from 0.5% in March. Both the consensus and ourselves expected the rate to hold steady. Nearly all of the surprise, however, was in airfares and clothing inflation, which were depressed, to a greater extent than we anticipated, by the shift in the timing of Easter and bad weather, respectively.
The French presidential election campaign remains chaotic. Republican candidate François Fillon had to defend himself again yesterday as investigations into his potential misuse of public funds deepened. Mr. Fillon and his wife have now been summoned to court to explain themselves. Markets expected Mr. Fillon to resign as the Republican front-runner. Instead, he used his unscheduled media address to defiantly declare that he is staying in the race.
China's manufacturing PMI posted a surprise, albeit trivial, increase in February, to 51.6 up from 51.5 in January.
It's hard to have much conviction in any forecast for September retail sales, as the relationship between the official data and the surveys has weakened considerably.
Construction in the Eurozone had a decent start in the third quarter. Output rose 0.5% month-to- month in July, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 1.9% from 2.8% in June.
As we write, 25 Conservative MPs have confirmed publicly that they have submitted no-confidence letters to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee. That's 23 short of the 48 required to trigger a leadership contest, though some MPs might have submitted letters without making it public.
Mr. Draghi's speech to the European Banking Congress on Friday--see here--was a timely reminder to markets that the ECB is in no hurry to make any changes to its policy setting.
Friday's CPI data for April provided the final piece of evidence for the significant Easter distortions in this year's data.
The FOMC won't raise rates today, but we expect that the announcement of the start of balance sheet reduction will not be interrupted by Harvey and Irma.
Yesterday's report on October private spending in Mexico was downbeat, suggesting that consumption started the fourth quarter on a weak footing.
February's consumer price figures, released yesterday, put more pressure on the MPC to stick to its plans for an "ongoing" tightening of monetary policy, despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit chaos.
China reportedly has offered President Trump a $200B reduction in its annual trade surplus with the U.S., engineered by increasing imports of American products, among other steps.
Speculators who have sold sterling over the last six months have been frustrated. Investors have been overwhelmingly net short sterling, but the pound has hovered between $1.20 and $1.25, as our first chart shows. Undeterred, investors increased their net short positions last week to 107K contracts-- the most since records began in 1992--from 81K a week earlier.
Abenomics has had its successes in changing the structure of Japan. Notably, large numbers of women have gone back to work and corporations have started paying dividends. These are by no means small victories. But overall, the macroeconomy is essentially the same as when Shinzo Abe became prime minister.
Politics are once again encroaching on the economic story in the Eurozone. At the ECB, this week has so far been a tumultuous one.
Sterling soared yesterday following news that Britain and the EU have agreed the terms of the transition period from March 2019, which will ensure that goods, services, capital and people continue to move freely, until December 2020.
The vote in the House of Commons today on whether MPs should effectively take control of Brexit negotiations, if Theresa May can't strike a deal by mid-January, looks finely balanced.
Banxico left its benchmark interest rate on hold at 7.0% at last Thursday's policy meeting.
Friday's inflation data in the Eurozone added a dovish twist to the story ahead of the key ECB meeting later this month.
It's probably just a coincidence that "Super Thursday" coincides with Guy Fawkes night, when Britons launch fireworks to commemorate an attempt to blow up parliament in 1605. Nonetheless, the Monetary Policy Committee looks likely to light the touch-paper for a big rise in market interest rates and sterling, by signalling that it intends to raise Bank Rate in the Spring, about six months earlier than investors currently expect.
The Fed will do nothing and say little that's new after its meeting today. The data on economic activity have been mixed since the March meeting, when rates were hiked and the economic forecasts were upgraded, largely as a result of the fiscal stimulus.
Brazil's GDP growth slowed to just 0.1% quarter- on-quarter in Q4, from an upwardly-revised 0.2% in Q3. This pushed the year-over-year rate up to 2.1%, from 1.4%, but this was weaker than market expectations.
China's September PMIs, most of which were released over the weekend, mark out a clear downtrend in activity since late last year.
Yesterday's surprising decline in the Eurozone unemployment rate adds further evidence to the story of a slowly healing economy. The rate of joblessness fell to 10.9% in July from 11.1% in June, the lowest since the beginning of 2012, mainly driven by a 0.5 percentage point fall in Italy, and improvement in Spain, where unemployment fell 0.2 pp to 22.2%.
Economic data released in recent weeks underscore that Brazil emerged from recession in Q1, but the recovery is fragile and further rate cuts are badly needed. The political crisis has damaged the reform agenda, and political uncertainty lingers.
We continue to see signs of a strengthening upturn in Eurozone construction. Output in construction rose 0.3% month-to-month in April, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 3.2%, from an upwardly revised 3.8% in March.
Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, has set out the first points of his austerity plan, two weeks after his overwhelming victory at the polls.
Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively soft footing. The IBC-Br index, a monthly proxy for GDP, fell 0.3% month-to-month, though the year-over-year rate rose to -1.8%, from -2.2% in November.
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.
NAFTA-related news has been mixed over the last few weeks.
Politics remain centre-stage in Brazil, despite positive news on the economic front. President Michel Temer's government continues to advance pension reform, despite the tight calendar and concerns about his political capital. But volatility is on the rise.
Yesterday's second estimate of GDP confirmed that Eurozone growth slowed significantly in Q3.
The Chinese activity data published yesterday were a mixed bag, with headline retail sales and production weakening, while FAI growth was stable. We compile our own indices for all three, to crosscheck the official versions.
The German economy fired on all cylinders at the beginning of the year. Advance data on Friday showed that real GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, accelerating from a 0.4% increase in Q4.
Inflation data in Germany remain up in the air following recent revisions and restatements of the underlying indices.
Today's retail sales figures for August likely will rebut the widespread view that spendthrift consumers will prevent a sharp economic slowdown. We look for a 1% month-to-month decline in retail sales volumes in August, well below the -0.4% consensus forecast.
Friday's economic data confirmed that inflation in Germany rebounded last month, and leading indicators suggest that it is headed higher in coming months.
The MPC almost certainly will keep interest rates on hold today and likely won't give a strong steer on the outlook for policy in the minutes of its meeting, which are released at mid-day. On the whole, surveys of economic activity have been weak, indicating that GDP growth has slowed sharply in the second quarter.
Colombia's economy defied rising political uncertainty at the start of the year. Retail sales growth jumped to plus 6.2% year-over-year in January, up from -3.8% in December and -1.8% in Q4.
Sterling received a shot in the arm yesterday following the release of the minutes of the MPC's meeting, which revealed that three members voted to raise interest rates to 0.50%, from 0.25% currently. Markets and economists--including ourselves--had expected another 7-1 split, but Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders switched sides and joined Kristin Forbes in seeking higher rates.
Financial markets and economic data don't always go hand-in-hand, but it is rare to find the divergence presently on display in Italy.
Brazil's consumer sluggishness in Q3 and early Q4 eased in November.
The headlines of China's main activity gauges paint a dreary picture of the start of the year, implying a slowdown.
CPI inflation has undershot the consensus forecast six times this year, but surprised to the upside only twice.
January's CPI inflation of 1.8%, up from 1.6% in December, was one-tenth lower than anticipated by the consensus, the Bank of England and ourselves. The undershoot, however, was entirely due to a pull-back in clothing inflation which is unlikely to be sustained. Price pressures across the rest of the economy have continued to intensify, suggesting that CPI inflation still is on course greatly to exceed the 2% target later this year.
The EZ Q4 GDP data narrowly avoided a downward revision in yesterday's second estimate.
The MPC chose not to rock the boat yesterday, deferring any reappraisal of the economic outlook until its next meeting in early February.
Japan's PPI inflation was unchanged, at 3.0%, in August.
Yesterday's final CPI report in Germany confirmed the initial estimate that inflation was unchanged at 0.4% year-over-year in August. Deflation in energy prices eased further, but the headline was pegged back by a small fall in the core rate to 1.2% year-over- year, from 1.3% in July.
Industrial data released this week showed that the Mexican economy stumbled during the second quarter. Private consumption, however, continues to rise, albeit at a more modest pace than in recent months. The ANTAD same store sales survey rose 5.3% year-over-year in June, up from 2.8% in May, but this is misleading.
China's industrial production grew at an annualised 7.2% rate by volume in Q1, according to our estimates, up from an average 5.9% rate in the six quar ters through mid-2016.
The slowdown in households' income growth since the referendum has not pushed up mortgage default rates, so far. Employment grew by just 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 and 0.1% in Q4, well below the 0.5% average rate seen in the three years before the referendum.
Taken at face value, six of the eight opinion polls conducted over the seven days indicate that the U.K. will vote for Brexit on June 23. Our daily updated Chart of the Week, on page 3, shows the current state of play.
Brazil's retail sales improved at the start of the second quarter, increasing 0.5% month-to-month in April, partially reversing the 0.9% contraction in March. But the details were less upbeat than the headline.
Today's MPC meeting and minutes are the first opportunity for Committee members to speak out in over a month, now that election "purdah" rules have lifted.
Governor Kuroda dropped further hints in speeches earlier this week that interest rates will be going up. He discussed methods of exit, in loose terms.
The Prime Minister is threatening to bring back her Brexit deal to the Commons for a third time before March 20, in a final bid to win over the rebels within the Tory party who want a harder Brexit.
Last week's comments by Mr. Draghi--see here-- indicate that the ECB is increasingly confident that core inflation will continue to move slowly towards the target of "below, but close to 2%", despite elevated external risks, and marginally tighter monetary policy.
One of the most eye-catching features of the U.K.'s economic recovery has been the strength of job creation. It took seven-to-eight years for employment to return to its pre-recession peaks after the recessions of the early 1980s and 1990s. By contrast, employment rescaled its 2008 peak in mid-2012, and it has risen by a further 6% since.
Evidence of slowing growth in Brazil consumers' spending continues to mount.
The MPC's forecast in August, which predicted that inflation would overshoot its 2% target over the next two years only modestly--giving it the green light to ease policy--assumed that inflation in sectors insensitive to swings in import prices would remain low. We doubt, however, that domestically generated inflation will remain benign.
The consensus for a modest 0.5% month-to- month rise in retail sales volumes in October looks too timid; we expect today's data to show a 1% increase.
The February activity report in Colombia showed a modest pick-up in manufacturing activity and strength in the retail sales numbers.
Today's economic data will add to the evidence that construction in the Eurozone slowed in the first quarter.
New home price growth in China has held up longer than we expected.
Economic data released yesterday underscored that Brazil emerged from recession in the first quarter, but further rate cuts are needed. Indeed, the monthly economic activity index--the IBC-Br--fell 0.4% monthto- month in March, though this followed a strong 1.4% gain in February.
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%.
The incidence of the phrase "since the early nineties" has increased sharply in our Japan reports this year.
Inflation data are known to defy economists' forecasts, but it should in principle b e straightforward to predict the cyclical path of EZ core inflation. It is the longest lagging indicator in the economy, and leading indicators currently signal that core inflation pressures are rising.
Japan's economic data have been very volatile in the last 18 months.
Colombian activity data released this week were relatively strong, but mostly driven by the primary sectors; consumption remains sluggish compared to previous standards.
Even if the Prime Minister fends off an emerging leadership challenge--as we write, the rebels still are short of the 48 signatures required to trigger a confidence vote--her chances of getting parliament to back the Withdrawal Agreement in its current form are slim.
German 10-year government bond yields jumped at the end of 2016, but have since been locked in a tight range around 0.4%, despite a steady inflow of strong economic data.
Banxico hiked its policy rate by 25bp to a cyclical-high of 8.0% yesterday, in line with market expectations.
The consensus view that today's retail sales data will show volumes increased by 0.2% month-to-month in October is too sanguine.
Yesterday's data in the EZ provided a little more evidence on what happened in Q1.
Former Chancellor George Osborne famously quipped after last year's general election that Theresa May was "a dead woman walking and the only question is how long she remains on death row".
External conditions are becoming more demanding for LatAm economies, with global trade tensions intensifying in recent weeks.
Economic data released on Wednesday underscored that Brazil was struggling at the end of the first quarter, strengthening our case that Q1 GDP fell 0.2% quarter-on-quarter, the first contraction since Q4 2016.
Core CPI inflation is heading for 2½% by the end of this year, and perhaps sooner. The trend in the monthly numbers is now a solid 0.2%, and that's before the weaker dollar arrests the decline in goods prices. Goods account for only a quarter of the core CPI, and right now they are the only part of the index under downward pressure. If--when--that changes, core inflation could rise quite rapidly.
Final German inflation data for May confirm that price pressures are gradually recovering in the Eurozone. Inflation rose to 0.7% in May, up from 0.5% in April, in line with the initial estimate. Headline inflation continues to move higher, a trend which will continue in the second half of the year as base effects push up energy inflation.
May's activity data underline the gradual recovery in Colombia's economic growth, following signs of weakness at the start of the year.
The outlook for growth in the EZ economy is currently both stable and relatively uncomplicated, at least based on the most widely-watched leading indicators.
Japan's unemployment rate returned unexpectedly to its 26-year low of 2.3% in February, falling from 2.5% in January.
Dr Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says that while US rates will rise by 0.25% on 14th December, the central bank needs to continue to move rates up or wages will spiral up out of control.
The resolution of tensions in Italy and aboveconsensus U.K. PMIs for May last week persuaded investors that the MPC likely will press on and raise interest rates soon.
Japan's unemployment rate edged back up to 2.5% in February after the drop in January to 2.4%.
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.
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" .
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.
The Eurozone labour market is slowly healing following two severe recessions since 2008. Unemployment fell to a two-year low of 10.3% in January, and yesterday's quarterly labour force survey was upbeat. Fourth quarter employment rose 1.2% year-over-year, up from 1.1% in Q3, pushing total EZ employment to a new post-crisis high of 152 million.
Yesterday's labour market data gave sterling a shot in the arm on t wo counts. First, the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate fell to just 4.5% in May, from 4.6% in April.
A powerful cocktail of cheap money, labour and commodities, allowed to infuse by a hiatus in the government's austerity programme, has reinvigorated the U.K. economy over the last three years. But these supports are now weakening while new headwinds are emerging. The U.K. economy is heading for a pronounced slowdown, one that is under-appreciated by most forecasters and under-priced by markets.
Markets' judgement that the Monetary Policy Committee--which meets today--will wait until 2017 to raise interest rates overestimates the role that the drop in oil prices and slower GDP growth will play in its decision-making. The inflation risks emanating from the increasingly tight labour market still could motivate a tightening before the summer.
Yesterday's retail sales data in Brazil surprised to the downside. Consumers are still being squeezed by high interest rates and a deteriorating labour market. Retail sales declined 0.6% month-to-month in August, leaving the year-over-year rate little changed at -5.5%.
February's money and credit figures supported recent labour market and retail sales data suggesting that consumers are increasingly financially strained. Households' broad money holdings increased by just 0.2% month-to-month in February, half the average pace of the previous six months.
Financial markets in Brazil and Argentina have been under pressure this week, following negative news, both domestic and external. In Brazil, the Ibovespa index tumbled nearly 1.8% on Tuesday after a Senate Committee rejected the Government's labour reform bill.
Data this week look set to emphasise that heat is returning to the housing market, again. The Financial Policy Committee--FPC--still has additional tools it could deploy to cool housing demand. But the root cause of surging house prices remains very cheap debt. Alongside the inflation risk posed by the labour market, the case for the MPC to begin to raise interest rates to prevent a widespread debt problem is becoming compelling.
The U.S. and Eurozone economies differ in many ways, but for economists, the biggest contrast is between the two regions' labour market data.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Labour Market data for May
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the latest U.K. Labour Market Data
In one line: The Brexit extension brings some relief.
Ian Shepherdson on strong non-farm payroll numbers for February
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