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- Markets have broken decisively from the Fed; inves- tors no longer believe in rate hike optionality.
- Core CPI inflation ex-rents is now just 2.0% and fall- ing, and the pace of rent increases will slow sharply.
- We’re sticking to our call for the first easing in March, but we doubt Chair Powell will quickly declare victory.
- October’s core CPI probably rose 0.4%, but the risks are biased to the downside.
- Hotel room rates, health insurance and new vehicle prices all seem likely to have pushed up the core.
- Our medium-term optimism remains, but disinflation won’t proceed in a neat straight line every month.
The jump in inflation expectations probably is temporary, but the Fed won't like it.
- House Republicans are yet to coalesce around a funding plan that could pass the Senate…
- …That might change, but right now a government shutdown starting at midnight Friday looks likely.
- The spike in inflation expectations will reverse, but Fed policymakers will be unhappy in the meantime.
Nudging back up, but no sustained increase visible on the near horizon
- Households’ debt service ratios have edged higher since the Fed starting raising rates, but remain low.
- Debt service costs will rise further, but are unlikely to trigger sudden cuts to discretionary spending.
- Consumers’ sentiment likely improved in November, and inflation expectations probably fell.
- Our base case forecast is immaculate disinflation; no recession but inflation heading back to the target.
- The net risk, though, is of a steeper downturn as businesses react to margin pressure with big layoffs.
- In that case, inflation will fall faster and the Fed will cut aggressively, but credit and some stocks will suffer.
- Inventories are noisy and can’t be forecast with confi- dence, but signs point to drag on Q4 GDP growth.
- Real personal incomes after tax fell outright in the third quarter, but will rebound in the fourth...
- ...Spending, though, likely will head in the opposite direction, we see few signs of an impending rollover.
- The Fed’s Senior Loan Officer Survey shows slightly fewer banks are still tightening lending standards…
- …But on one is easing lending standards, and tight credit will constrain growth for the foreseeable future.
- Consumer credit growth likely rebounded in September, but the trend is slowing.
- The gradual downshift in job growth continues, but labor demand is not collapsing.
- If unemployment hits 4%, the Fed will struggle to jus- tify sticking to the line that it could hike again.
- Wage growth is slowing, with a further softening in the pipeline; further policy tightening is unnecessary.
Signalling softer spending on services after the summer blowout.
The rebalancing continues; chance of a Dec hike dips further
- Homebase suggests modest downside risk to Octo- ber payrolls, but margins of error are wide.
- Unemployment is creeping higher as labor force growth surges, but the monthly data are wild cards.
- The ISM services index is holding up, but is trending sideways, and medium-term risk is to the downside.
Unit labor costs consistent with the inflation target, if sustained
Higher rates are putting the brakes on the recovery in manufacturing.
Ignore, it's useless
- The Fed preserves optionality, but two rounds of softer jobs and CPI data should keep them on hold.
- Unit labor costs growth is slowing sharply, signalling low inflation once the Covid echoes fade.
- Unexpectedly weak ISM manufacturing signals a renewed slowdown and an inventory correction.
Labor cost inflation is slowing; further progress likely, depressing core services PCE inflation.
Consumers' confidence likely to rebound from here; the manufacturing recovery is stalling.
- The Fed will stick to its position today that policy optionality is still required; inflation not yet beaten.
- ISM manufacturing has likely stalled; the modest uptick in the sector has run into the spike in rates.
- Auto sales probably rose marginally in October, but the overall trend is about flat.