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A solid start to Q2; no sign of any hit from energy and food prices
The preliminary Homebase data for the payroll survey week signal an increase of about 250K.
Autos, gas prices and restaurants likely boosted April retail sales, but the core seems to have been softish.
Homebuilders’ sentiment will roll over, sooner or later, in the face of plunging mortgage demand.
Soft, but not a definitive guide to national manufacturing
Stocks down + gasoline up = people not happy
Retail and wholesale profit margins fell in April, in a sign of better inflation news ahead.
Progress will be uneven, but the ongoing inventory rebuild should push margins down over the next year.
Jobless claims seem to have stabilized at about 200K per week; nothing to worry about.
The April core CPI was lifted by a huge leap in airline fares; vehicle prices were disappointingly strong too…
…But the downshift in core-core price gains continued, and it has further to go as wage increases slow.
Inflation is likely to end the year higher than we previously thought, but the trend will be clearly falling.
Both headline and core inflation likely dropped sharp- ly in April, mostly due to base effects...
...But look out too for falling used vehicle prices, and a sequential slowing in the core-core index.
The net risk to the consensus probably is to the downside, but that’s a low-conviction call.
The falling saving rate has allowed people to spend more as real incomes have declined...
...Usually, that would be unsustainable, but house- holds have trillions of dollars of pandemic savings.
The NFIB index of small business sentiment likely fell again in April, but the details are more important.
Payroll growth remains solid, but has slowed from its peaks; signals for late spring and summer are mixed.
Surveys point to job gains at about 250K, but they ignore the huge post-Covid hiring backlog.
If the recent slowdown in wage growth is sustained, the Fed won’t have to keep hiking by 50bp for long.
Payrolls strong but moderating; more evidence of slowing wage gains
We think April payrolls rose by 300K, a bit below the 380K consensus...
...but it’s not yet clear if the softening is a temporary hit from the Ukraine war, or the start of a trend.
AHE likely rebounded after calendar quirks depressed the February and March readings.
Productivity noise swamps the signal
Two more 50bp hikes expected by Mr. Powell, but once inflation is falling, back to 25bp moves…
…This will happen sooner than markets expect; by the July meeting, inflation will have dropped sharply.
First quarter productivity likely fell sharply, but these data are wild; we remain medium-term optimists.
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