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- The enthusiasm among some FOMC members for a rapid balance sheet runoff is misplaced.
- If the FOMC wants to tighten more aggressively, faster rate hikes are less risky and send a clearer signal.
- We think the runoff will begin in the fall, slowly; market conditions will not allow the Fed to move quickly.
- Our final December jobs forecast is 850K; we expect the initial print to be revised up up to about 1M.
- Forecasting payrolls during Covid is a nightmare, but the risk to the 424K December consensus is clear.
- We now expect the first Fed hike in March, with two further hikes later in the year, and a steeper curve.
- Faster productivity growth means higher real neutral rates, but can the private sector cope?
- Households and firms are in good shape, with low debt service ratios and transformed balance sheets.
- Markets don't believe the Fed's dotplot, but it's more likely that the markets will have to move up.
The Fed will announce faster tapering today, opening the door to a rate hike in the spring.
The dotplot likely will show two rate hikes in 2022, triggered by the run of upside inflation surprises.
Core retail sales likely undershot consensus in November, but the trend is still strong.
- The debt ceiling deal means that net Treasury issu- ance is set to rebound, just as the Fed steps back.
- Wholesalers are rapidly rebuilding their inventory, but they have a long way to go.
- Jobless claims will be seasonally afflicted until late January, but we look for a dip today.
- The Fed faces serious challenges to the "transitory" story over the next few months...
- ...On top of surging wages, the core CPI is set to surge, and economic growth is likely to rebound.
- With the Fed set to taper, just as issuance rebounds after the debt ceiling is fixed, expect yields to jump.
- Consumer credit growth has surged; are people using stimulus checks as loan down-payments?
- ADP suggests modest upside risk to our 500K payroll forecast, but not enough to change it.
- Jobless claims have been lifted by seasonal factors and Hurricane Ida; have they now peaked?
- Shutdown averted, but action on the debt ceiling, infrastructure and social spending will take a while.
- Households are still adding to their huge pile of sav- ings; post-pandemic firepower is enormous.
- Homebase data signal a solid increase in payrolls; the St. Louis Fed model tracks only household jobs.
- We expect a government shutdown will be averted by a continuing resolution, with no debt ceiling fix.
- Activity in the discretionary consumer services sector is beginning to re-rebound as Delta cases plunge.
- Home sales are nudging back up; pending sales likely rose in August, outperforming the mortgage data.
- Fiscal policy for next year could be a great deal clearer by the end of this week...
- ...The "tightening" as the deficit drops in fiscal 2022 is not what it seems; the private sector is cash-rich..
- The trade deficit likely dropped sharply in August; imports were slowed by China's port closure.
- Core capital goods orders are the best immediate proxy for business capex; strong growth continues.
- The rebound in mortgage applications and home sales continues after the H1 slump...
- Covid fear, lower rates, and easier lending standards are all helping to push up activity; more to come?
- The FOMC is on course to taper in November, provid- ed markets aren't in turmoil over the debt ceiling.
- The Fed's new economic forecasts are much more realistic, but FOMC opinions are spread widely.
- Chair Powell remains confident that inflation will be contained; upward forecast revisions are no big deal.
- The FOMC and Chair Powell appear prepared to signal that tapering will start in December.
- Expect more dots for a 2022 rate hike, but the median forecast likely will still be for the first move in 2023.
- Existing home sales are falling slowly, while inventory is rising; price gains are slowing.
The macro case for tapering now is strong, but it ig- nores the wider, and more problematic, context.
We expect the Fed to signal that tapering likely will start in November, Delta/debt ceiling permitting.
Homebuilders are responding to weaker demand after the fading of the Covid-driven flight to the suburbs.
- Delta waves are brutal but relatively short; U.S. daily Covid cases should peak by the end of August.
- The interruption to the economic recovery should not last beyond September; behavior will lag the data.
- Home price gains are slowing sharply as inventory rises and demand returns to pre-Covid levels.
We find ourselves at odds with a couple of ideas gaining currency among the commentariat, namely, that markets are becoming less worried about inflation risk, and that the rise in oil prices will materially slow the rate of U.S. economic growth.