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July retail sales likely were barely troubled by the Covid Delta wave; the risks to August are bigger...
...Mobility data suggest that retail footfall is declining in the hardest-hit Southeastern quadrant of the U.S.
Manufacturing output likely rebounded in July, but the rate of recovery in the sector is moderating.
The reopening spike in the core CPI has peaked, though food prices will keep rising strongly for a while.
The Delta variant continues to drive up Covid cases, but the rate of increase is slowing steadily.
People have responded to the surge by travelling less; airlines, restaurants, hotels all feeling the pain.
Fed Chair Powell will doubtless be quizzed in some detail today about the implications of yesterday's startling CPI numbers for June.
We're expecting the third straight outsized jump in the core CPI when the June report is released today.
The June auto sales numbers attracted very little attention last week, as the data came sandwiched between the ISM manufacturing survey and the payroll report.
The Dallas Fed last week published a short blog post—seehere—focused on the predictive power of their trimmed mean PCE inflation measure.
With Covid continuing to fade away at a rapid, steady pace, New York and New Jersey both dropped restrictions on indoor dining last Wednesday, allowing 100% capacity, provided six feet distancing is maintained between parties.
Why should we care about inflation expectations? After all, we don't care much about what people think about other aspects of the economy, because they tend to respond to events which have already happened, like prior movements in stock prices, gas prices, elections, and interest rates.
We argued in the Monitor yesterday that much of the surge in survey-based measures of inflation expectations likely can be blamed on higher prices for food and gasoline.
A year or so from now, if the economy is beset by stubbornly high inflation, and the Fed is hammering asset prices by aggressively tightening policy in order to stem a further upward twist of the spiral, it's a fair bet that we'll look back to last week's data and say: "That's when they should have thrown up their hands, admitted they underestimated the inflation pressures triggered by unprecedented policy easing, and signaled a shift in policy."
The April retail sales and industrial production numbers today are wild cards, with the former especially hard to predict after the stimulus-fuelled surge in spending in March.
It was easy for inflation doves to dismiss the 0.34% jump in the March core CPI as merely a correction, after three straight small increases, averaging just 0.06%.
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