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- September's core CPI was flattered by unsustainable declines in airline fares, lodging and used car prices...
- ...But rents rose at the fastest pace in 15 years, so all eyes now will be on the October report.
- Stop Press: FOMC minutes confirm tapering to be announced at the November meeting.
- We expect a modest 0.2% increase in September's core CPI, but the net risk is to the upside.
- Used auto prices have rebounded at auction, and we're still waiting for rents to accelerate.
- The record quits rate in August signals that the Delta wave has not deterred job-switchers.
- Homebase data for the payroll survey week point to a 600K increase in September.
- It's too soon to expect to see big changes in participation due to benefit expiration and school reopening
- As the economy rebounds from Delta, rising partici- pation will facilitate a run of big payroll gains.
- Higher energy prices will squeeze low-income house- holds, but won't kill the overall consumer recovery.
- ADP likely will report about 400K private jobs in Sep- tember; the official data should be a bit better.
- The rebound in mortgage applications continues; home sales will rise in Q4.
- 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.
- China's manufacturing slowdown is not helpful to the U.S., but it is a long way from a hammer-blow.
- Consumers' spending likely rose a bit in August, but September won't be great; Q4 should be much better.
- The core PCE spike is over, but airline fares will lift the August reading relative to the core CPI.
- 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 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.
- Cross-currents in the core CPI suggest further volatility over the next few months…
- …But a repeat of the spring surge is unlikely, even as hotel room rates and airline fares rebound, post-Delta.
- The NFIB survey hints that small firms are responding to tight labor markets by increasing their capex
- The current inflation spike can only become a spiral if unit labor costs accelerate..
- ...Faster productivity growth can prevent that, and the signs are that business capex is stepping up.
- Stronger productivity growth would prevent runaway inflation but lift r-star; the Fed would still have to hike.
- The Covid Delta wave appears to have peaked; a steady decline in cases is a good bet.
- Most states now appear to have immunity rates above 70%; that's enough to limit future waves.
- The seasonals point to another drop in jobless claims today, but Delta is a wild card.
- A 400K payroll print today would confirm other evidence pointing to a clear Delta hit to growth.
- September payrolls likely will be depressed too; that's the last report before the November FOMC meeting.
- Delta damage to discretionary consumers' spending signals downside risk for ISM services today.
- The rate of increase of existing home prices is slowing sharply, but the Case-Shiller data are slow to respond.
- Downside risk for August consumer confidence, but we already know that Delta is scaring people.
- Boeing's recovery is supporting the Chicago PMI, but growth in national manufacturing is moderating.
- Chair Powell can't signal a tapering start date today because the Fed first needs to see fall labor data.
- Expect the usual themes instead; inflation will be "transitory", insufficient progress to taper, and Delta risk.
- Upside risk for both consumers' spending and the core PCE deflator in today's July data.
- FOMC splits and the Delta wave suggest the tapering announcement will be no sooner than November.
- The trend in jobless claims seems still to be falling, as the run of seasonally-distorted numbers ends.
- Downside risk for the Philly Fed today; the global manufacturing recovery is moderating.
Tapering is inching closer, but talk of rate hikes is de-ferred unless and until labor market signals flash red.
The economy likely expanded at an 8.0% rate in Q2, led by consumption and business investment.
Jobless claims look set to disappoint again today, and look for a big drop in pending home sales..
For most of the decade before the pandemic, core CPI inflation ran a few tenths higher than core PCE inflation, mostly because rents, which are twice as important in the core CPI, rose faster than broad inflation.
Chair Powell made it clear yesterday that the Fed's leadership is sticking to its view that the reopening surge in inflation is due mostly to "base effects… and production bottlenecks or other supply constraints", which will not last.
Fed Chair Powell will doubtless be quizzed in some detail today about the implications of yesterday's startling CPI numbers for June.
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.