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Tag Archives: Retail sales

US IP: May Was A Good Month And It Was Still ‘Manufacturing Recession’

Whether or not a full-scale recession shows up in the US is an open question. There’s less of one in US industry. The “manufacturing recession” we last saw of Euro$ #3 is becoming clearer as a repeat property in Euro$ #4. According to the Federal Reserve, May was a relatively good month for industry – total output didn’t decline from April. No matter in the big picture. The trajectory is becoming very well established. As is consistent with economic and market data from all over the world,...

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China’s Wolf, Not Dragon

Much of the original thesis on economic decoupling surrounded myths of what were believed invulnerable economies. Emerging markets might see some slowing during 2008, but they weren’t supposed to drop off. China was right at the top of everyone’s list, the unstoppable force then transforming the world’s political as well as economic order. In the early months of the Global Financial Crisis (how was it global, again?), that was how it went. The US and much of Europe were in deep trouble. The...

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Retail Sales (US): Green Shoots Under the 3% Line?

Retail Sales rose just 3.46% year-over-year (unadjusted) in May 2019. The estimate for April was revised substantially higher, now suggesting growth of 5.6%. Altogether, however, consumer spending continues to be unusually weak. How unusual? The 6-month average, a better gauge of growth conditions given the noisy nature of the series, is now below 3% for the first time since late 2016. The 3% mark is historically more like recession than anything else. In more recent times, with the lack of...

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Dimmed Hopes In China Cars, Too

As noted earlier this week, the world’s two big hopes for the global economy in the second half are pinned on the US labor market continuing to exert its purported strength and Chinese authorities stimulating out of every possible (monetary) opening. Incoming data, however, continues to point to the fallacies embedded within each. The US labor market is a foundation of non-inflationary sand, and China’s “stimulus” is proving again to be little more than ad hoc deflection of an enormous...

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Global Doves Expire: China’s Big 3 Stats Put To Rest RRR Myths

The Fed has its pause. The ECB is going to conduct another T-LTRO. But of all the central bank responses to the “unexpected” global weakness of late 2018, the Chinese’s was supposed to be the leader. The most forceful pushback against a worldwide downturn was reported to have been the PBOC’s “powerful” RRR cuts. China’s central bank conducted two of them in January alone. China’s economic data in 2019, however, is putting to rest more than just the myth of RRR “stimulus.” There’s rebalancing....

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Global Doves Expire: Fed Pause Fizzles (US Retail Sales)

Before the stock market’s slide beginning in early October, for most people they heard the economy was booming, the labor market was unbelievably good, an inflationary breakout just over the horizon. Jay Powell did as much as anyone to foster this belief, chief caretaker to the narrative. He and his fellow central bankers couldn’t use the word “strong” enough. After the market slide through Christmas Eve, everything had changed. No inflation (“muted”) on top of far more uncertain economic...

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The Global Squeeze; US, Canada, China

Ever since the first major outbreaks of Euro$ #4 last year, the balance of data has tipped further and further toward the minuses. Yesterday was a big one. US income growth in 2019 is no longer growth. Not huge declines, but minus signs where, if the prior boom narrative had been valid, large plus signs should rule unchallenged. The business cycle used to be relatively easy and intuitive. A recession shows up, the economy quickly, violently plunges, and then just as fast back to normal. The...

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Canada Signals Japan For Bond Yields

Back in October, late October specifically, the Bank of Canada removed the word “gradual” from its policy statement. Inflation, staff Economists projected, was moving up as was the Canadian economy. It was finally time to become more aggressive. Freed from that one word, BoC officials could opt for a “rate hike” at every meeting. It was widely expected in December that’s what would happen – the first consecutive benchmark rate increases in the cycle. Canada was leading, way out in front of...

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Auto Sales Aren’t Nearly As Strong As Reported

Steve Goldstein recently reported for MarketWatch that closely watched auto sales were leading economists to be more confident in their economic outlook for the rest of the year. To wit: “Motor vehicle sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.45 million in March, up from 16.57 million in February, according to data from Autodata. That’s the highest reading in three months and represents a recovery from a downbeat start to the year. The MarketWatch-compiled consensus expectation...

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Easter Doesn’t Change Curve Crazy Retail Sales

Nothing will ever compare to China’s New Year Golden Week holiday for challenging economic statistics. Since the celebrations are not affixed to a specific point on the calendar, floating around back and forth some years between January and February, it makes making comparisons of those months particularly tricky. For the China’s Big 3 statistics, industrial production, retail sales, and fixed asset investment, Chinese authorities don’t bother trying. They wisely just combine the two months...

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