Pantheon Macroeconomics

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U.S. Publications

Below is a list of our U.S. Publications for the last 6 months. If you are looking for reports older than 6 months please email info@pantheonmacro.com, or contact your account rep

Please use the filters on the right to search for a specific date or topic.

May

18 May 2022 Consumption off to a Flying Start in Q1, Despite the Inflation Shock

The strong retail sales numbers for April suggest second quarter consumption is on track for 5% or so.

People appear to be drawing down some of their pandemic savings, but trillions remain.

The housing market is now clearly rolling over; even the homebuilders are acknowledging the hit.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

17 May 2022 Homebase Data Suggest May Payrolls Rose by About 250K

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.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

16 May 2022 Mean-Reversion in Margins will Drive Inflation Down, Perhaps Quickly

  • The surge in inflation is largely a margin story; costs have jumped too, but margins are the bigger factor.
  • Absent structural change in markets, margins will mean-revert, pulling inflation down, but how quickly?
  • The Empire State survey looks primed for a correction after the inexplicably strong April reading.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

13 May 2022 The Dip in April PPI Margins is a Hint of Better Inflation News Ahead

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.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

12 May 2022 Behind the Noise, Core-Core Price Increases are Moderating

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.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

11 May 2022 CPI Base Effects Turn Favorable, but Look Out for Sequential Slowing too

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.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

10 May Don't Fret Over Falling Savings, People have Trillions in Excess Cash

 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.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

9 May 2022 Can Solid Wage Gains and Easing Wage Pressure Co-exist

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.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

6 May 2022 Payroll Gains Likely Moderated in April, a War Hit or a Slowing Trend

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.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

5 May 2022 Another 50bp Hike Likely in June, but then Bets are Off as Inflation Falls

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.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

4 May 2022 It's too Soon for Chair Powell to Sound Less Hawkish

The Fed will hike by 50bp today; it’s too soon for Chair Powell to sound less hawkish, despite falling stocks...

...But we’re keen to see how much emphasis he puts on the coming drop in inflation and housing activity.

Mobility data signal upside risk for ISM services, after Omicron; ADP due too, but it doesn’t matter at all.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

3 May 2022 Manufacturing is Set to Slow, but it is an Unreliable Guide to GDP Growth

The manufacturing sector is feeling the weight of China’s slowdown; the ISM is set to fall further.

Manufacturing is not GDP, but—like housing—it is has an outsized impact on perceptions of the economy.

The number of job openings has peaked, likely be- cause rapid hiring has reduced the Covid backlog.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

13 Apr 2022 One Better Month is not a Trend, but the March CPI Offers Real Hope

Plunging used vehicle prices explains the undershoot in the March core CPI; they have much further to fall.

Some other components rose by less than recent trends, but too soon to know if it's more than noise.

Rebounding airline fares and profit margins signal upside risk for the March core PPI.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

7 Apr 2022 A 2/10 Inversion is not a Reliable Signal of Impending Recession

Recessions follow sustained curve inversions, but the lag is long; other indicators are more useful.

The private sector is under no aggregate financial pressure; solid growth is a better bet than recession.

The Fed is set to hike by 50bp in May, but June remains an open question.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

29 Mar 2022 50bp is Priced-in for May, but Four Reports Could Keep the Fed at 25

  • Markets are convinced the Fed will hike by 50bp on May 4, but it's not yet a done deal…
  • Downside risks to payrolls, core CPI, GDP, and the ECI could yet persuade the Fed to tread cautiously.
  • Would the Fed hike by 50bp if the economy shrank in Q1, and March payrolls were zero?

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

28 Mar 2022 How to Think About U.S. Recession Risk: It's all About the Process

  • Recessions are the process by which the private sec- tor unwinds financial imbalances...
  • ...Absent financial imbalances, recessions happen only after large exogenous shocks.
  • The U.S. private sector is in good financial shape, so near-term recession is unlikely.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

23 Mar 2022 The BA.2 Omicron Covid Wave is Coming, it won't Break the Economy

  • The BA.2 Covid variant is about to trigger another wave of U.S. cases; expect a steep increase.
  • U.K. experience suggests that the hit to spending on services will be smaller than in the previous wave.
  • New home sales likely fell in February; either way, activity is set to drop over the next few months.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

17 Mar 2022 The Fed's Intent is Clear, but Risks Abound, in Both Directions

  • The Fed's plan to hike seven times this year is based on inflation forecasts which look too bearish…
  • …But longer-run rate forecasts look too optimistic; perhaps because no one now wants to talk about r*.
  • Retail sales data show consumers not fazed by Omicron; downside risk for February IP data today. 

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

15 Mar 2022 Energy is Driving Headline PPI, but the Core Rate will Soon Fall Rapidly

  • The February PPI likely was boosted by soaring energy and food prices, but the March hit will be bigger.
  • Core PPI inflation likely peaked in February; it looks set to fall sharply from the spring onwards.
  • Base effects will hugely depress year-over-year chainstore sales growth over the next few months.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

31 Jan 2022 If Wage Gains are Slowing, the Fed has More Room for Maneuver

  • The downshift in quarterly ECI wage growth reduces the risk that the Fed has to slam on the brakes...
  • ...But a further softening is needed, on the back of rising participation, to make policymakers comfortable.
  • The apparent leap in January auto sales, if sustained, reduces the risk of zero GDP growth in Q1.

Ian Shepherdson (Chief Economist and Founder)U.S.

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