Monthly Archives: March 2019

Book Bits | 30 March 2019

Consumer Expectations: Micro Foundations and Macro Impact
By Richard Thomas Curtin
Summary via publisher (Cambridge University Press)
Richard Curtin has directed the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment surveys for more than four decades. His analyses of recent trends in consumer expectations are regularly covered in the worldwide press. In this book, Curtin presents a new theory of expectations. Whereas conventional theories presume that consumers play a passive role in the macro economy, simply reacting to current trends in incomes, prices, and interest rates, Curtin proposes a new empirically consistent theory. He argues that expectations are formed by an automatic process that utilizes conscious and nonconscious processes, passion and reason, information from public and private sources, and social networks. Consumers ultimately reach a decision that serves both the micro decision needs of individuals and reflects the common influence of the macro environment. Drawing on empirical observations, Curtin not only demonstrates the importance of consumer sentiment, but also how it can foreshadow the cyclical turning points in the economy.
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Is This Year’s Rebound In Global Markets Overbought?

How do you define irrational exuberance? There’s no single answer, much less one that offers flawless signals for timing rallies and corrections in financial markets. But judging by the latest trend data for all the major asset classes (based on proxies via a set of exchange-traded funds) suggests that this year’s rally may be overextended for strategies that are globally diversified.
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Macro Briefing: 29 March 2019

Chinese and US negotiators working on agreement to end trade war: Bloomberg
UK was slated to leave EU today, but that’s not happening… at least not yet: CNN
German retail spending up more than expected in February: Reuters
Japanese industrial output rose in Feb–first gain in 4 months: NHK
The US economy may make (or break?) Trump’s re-election prospects: NY Times
US Q4 GDP growth revised down to moderate 2.2% gain from 2.6%: Reuters
Pending Home Sales Index for US fell in Feb despite lower mortgage rates: CNBC
KC Fed Mfg Index posts first uptick in growth in March in 4 months: KC Fed
US jobless claims fell last week, near 50-yr low, signaling strong labor market: MW

US Business Cycle Risk Report | 28 March 2019

The recent deceleration in US economic activity in last year’s second half is expected to spill over into 2019’s first quarter, but there are signs that the slowdown may be stabilizing. A fresh run of numbers for a broad range of indicators shows that the deterioration in the macro trend has ended, at least for now, based on analyzing the data published to date. Although it’s still touch and go for deciding if output will rebound, today’s economic profile suggests that a slower but stable pace of growth will prevail for the near term.
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Macro Briefing: 28 March 2019

Trump warns Russia to remove military presence from Venezuela: NY Times
US officials: China makes unprecedented offer to US in trade talks: Reuters
GOP senators tell Trump that trade war with China could lead to recession: Politico
Brexit mess continues to roil UK as May offers to quit: BBC
India successfully tests anti-missile capability, joining elite club of nations: CNN
Several Fed officials say it’s premature to consider cutting interest rates: WSJ
US trade deficit narrowed sharply in January but remains elevated: MW
Current account deficit for US reaches 10-year high in Q4: Reuters
10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.41% on Wed, lowest since Dec 2017: CNBC

Macro Briefing: 27 March 2019

Europe overhauls copyright rules that creates new challenges for big tech: CNN
Fed nominee Stephen Moore calls for immediate cut in interest rates: Reuters
Credit Suisse’s global CIO expects softer growth and ultimately a recession: CNBC
Richmond Fed Mfg Index: mfg activity posts modest gain in March: Richmond Fed
Housing prices in US rose at slowest pace in four years in January: CNBC
US Consumer Sentiment Index drops sharply in March: MW
1-year trend for US housing starts was negative for 5th straight month in Feb:

Macro Briefing: 26 March 2019

Trump administration ramping up efforts to eliminate Obamacare: Bloomberg
Gulf states reject US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty of Golan Heights: Reuters
UK Parliament takes control of Brexit: WSJ
Former Fed Chair Yellen: inverted yield curve suggests need for rate cut: CNBC
Apples rolls out plans for reinvention as services provider: Slate
Pentagon authorizes $1 billion for building US-Mexico border wall: CNN
Turkey to investigate JP Morgan for “misleading” investment advice: NY Times
Dalls Fed Mfg Index: output steady but demand appears to be slowing: HC
Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index’s 3-month avg fell to 28-month low in Feb: