Monthly Archives: January 2019

Is Housing The Spoiler For The US Economy In 2019?

Yesterday’s scheduled release of US gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter is still a mystery, courtesy of lingering effects of the partial government shutdown that ended last week. The good news is that whenever the Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes the data (the date remains “to be determined”) the results are likely to show that the expected slowdown in Q4 growth was moderate. The question is whether the trend will continue to decelerate this year? The jury’s still out, due to limited 2019 data published so far.
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Macro Briefing: 31 January 2019

Fed holds interest rates steady, hints at pausing for near term: Reuters
Investors increasingly focused on Fed’s quantitative tightening policy: NY Times
Fed’s pause eases pressure on emerging markets: Bloomberg
PMI survey: China’s mfg sector contracted for 2nd month in Jan: CNBC
Italy’s economy contracted for 2nd quarter in Q4: Reuters
Senate leader focused on avoiding another gov’t shutdown: Politico
US pending home sales fell 9.8% yoy in Dec–12th straigh annual decline: CNBC
ADP: companies in US expanded payrolls by a strong 213,000 jobs in Jan: MW

ADP: Private US Payrolls Post “Significant Growth” In January

US companies added 213,000 workers to payrolls this month, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Although the monthly increase is below December’s strong 263,000 gain, the latest number still reflect a healthy expansion for the labor market. The release goes a long way in dismissing concern that a new recession is imminent. Today’s report (and Monday’s encouraging data from the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for December) follows the cautious but upbeat analysis of the US business cycle published earlier this month.
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Macro Briefing: 30 January 2019

Fed will likely leave interest rates unchanged in today’s announcement: Reuters
Temperatures drop to ‘historic lows’ in Midwest: NBC
Foreign policy is dividing the Republican establishment: NY Times
With clock ticking, UK focuses on renegotiating Brexit; EU says no: Reuters
French economy grew faster than expected in Q4: FT
Economists are skeptical of White House’s rosy growth outlook: NY Times
Hedge fund assets in Q4 fell for first time in 10 quarters: P&I
Annual growth of US home prices falls to four-year low for annual change: MW 
US Consumer Confidence Index slumps to 18-month low in Dec: MW

Treasury Inflation Forecasts Resume Slide Ahead Of Fed Meeting

A worrisome decline in the Treasury market’s implied inflation forecasts that began last October appeared to stabilize in the new year. But over the last week the downside bias has returned, raising questions about monetary policy ahead of tomorrow’s Federal Reserve’s policy meeting (Jan. 30), which will unveil new forecasts, a possible but unlikely change in interest rates and a press conference by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
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Macro Briefing: 29 January 2019

US filed criminal charges against Huawei, China’s tech giant: Bloomberg
White House announces sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company: CNBC
Republicans considering blocking a future gov’t shutdown: Politico
Liability from California wildfires forces PG&E to file for bankruptcy: WSJ
Fed’s ongoing asset-shedding operation is a policy challenge: Reuters
US Bureau of Economic Analysis: key economic reports will be delayed: BEA
Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index (3-mo avg) indicates moderate US growth in Dec:

Macro Briefing: 28 January 2019

US economy will likely return to steady growth now that gov’t has reopened: CBS
Trump says another shutdown is possible: The Hill
NABE survey of economists: US recession is unlikely this year: AP
Venezuela’s opposition leader warns of another massive rally: CNN
US Treasury set to borrow $1 trillion for a second year: Bloomberg
The risk of low growth, low inflation and low interest rates is still lurking: NY Times
German business confidence slumps to 3-year low: RTT
Gold closed at a seven-month high on Friday:

Book Bits | 26 January 2019

Retail Therapy: Why the Retail Industry is Broken–and What Can Be Done to Fix It
By Mark Pilkington
Review via The Times
If you feel mildly guilty that your Amazon habit has helped to turn many high streets and shopping centres from vibrant places of commerce and human contact into wastelands, Retail Therapy risks turning your discomfort into a source of deep shame and anxiety.
Mark Pilkington’s book, based on evidence from the UK and the US, will force you to confront the awkward truth that buying stuff online from your sofa or office desk threatens not only town centres, but also the jobs of the seven million people who work in shops and the industries that depend on them. Worldwide, about 192 million jobs — most of them held by women — may be in jeopardy. Retail Therapy bristles with alarming numbers.
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