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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.
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.
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..
Fed Chair Powell will doubtless be quizzed in some detail today about the implications of yesterday's startling CPI numbers for June.
We have never taken much notice of the quits rate from the JOLTS report, on the grounds that it’s usually just a proxy for the unemployment rate, released with a lag and prone to odd jumps and dips which turn out not to be significant.
The early signs are that the June payroll numbers will be materially stronger than May's.
The FOMC statement yesterday changed only trivially from April, just noting that the Covid picture is improving, easing the pressure on the economy, and that inflation is no longer below the target.
Since the late April FOMC meeting, policymakers have seen two huge core CPI prints, alongside copious evidence that surging labor demand has collided with constrained supply, limiting the pace of payroll gains and—probably—pushing up wage growth.
Most of the action in the May CPI was in the Covid- sensitive components, again.
The May CPI is released tomorrow, but interest in the numbers is so high that we want to set out our forecast today, ahead of the rush.
In 2015, key labor market indicators from the NFIB small business survey returned to levels last seen at the peak of the cycle in 2007, and unemployment hit the Fed's then-estimate of the Nairu.
The May employment report did not resolve any of the key labor market issues keeping the Fed awake at night. The 559K increase in payrolls was welcome, and it marked a clear improvement on April's revised 278K gain, but it left the economy still 7.6M jobs down from the pre-Covid level, and nearly 11M short of the level we would have expected if the pandemic hadn't happened.
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