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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The dip in first quarter GDP hides solid consumption and investment numbers; ignore the noise.
Growth likely will rebound strongly in the second quarter; 5% or better is a decent starting assumption.
A further moderation in ECI wage growth is a good bet for Q1, implying easing core-core inflation risk.
The trade deficit is rocketing again as inventory- rebuilding pulls in imports of consumer goods.
Expect a fifth straight drop in pending home sales in March, with more to come.
Core capex orders rose at a decent pace in the first quarter, but the second will be better.
The rapid, steady drop in mortgage applications signals falling new home sales for the foreseeable future.
Consumers’ confidence likely rebounded in April, as the gas price shock faded.
Seasonal quirks imply upside risk for core durable goods orders in March.
The BA.2 Omicron wave is more of a ripple, so far; has the bullet been dodged?
Near-real-time indicators mostly are strong, but housing demand is rolling over.
Homebase data point to a solid increase in April payrolls; perhaps a bit less than in March.
Both headline and core inflation peaked in March; base effect alone will trigger a clear drop in Q2.
The risks to the March core consensus are mostly to the downside, thanks to falling used vehicle prices.
The NFIB index likely dropped again in March; it’s sensitive to the stock market and gas prices.
High rent inflation does not preclude a return to 2% core CPI inflation next year…
…Retail margin compression, post-Covid, could easily drive negative inflation in some key components.
Vehicle inflation likely will be below zero by late summer, but margins are vulnerable elsewhere too.
Spending is stronger than the confidence numbers suggest, because households are cash-rich.
The rundown of savings accumulated during the pandemic has barely begun; it has a long, long way to go.
Jobless claims are now at an all-time low, as a share of payroll employment; they can’t fall much further.
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