What to expect next week ? (July 15 – July 21, 2019)

Highlights


> The Chinese GDP growth number for the second quarter (July 15). During the first three months of the year growth was at 6.4% It should be lower as monthly date on industrial production and imports show a poor momentum.
> Retail sales and Industrial production in the US (July 16). They will show the strength of the US economy. These will be important benchmark that may influence the Fed’s strategy. Powell just mentioned this week that there was no improvement despite the strong labor market report.
Associated to these numbers, the Fed’s beige book (July 17) will highlight the Fed’s perception of the economy at a regional level.
> The NY Fed (July 15) and the Phylli Fed (July 18) indices on economic activity will also provide data on the business cycle strength.

> ZEW index in Germany (July 16). A weak number following weak numbers in recent months may force the government to adopt a more proactive economic policy.
> Employment numbers in the UK (July 16) and CPI in the UK (July 17)
Weaker numbers on employment are still to come and will be seen after this summer with the strong slowdown expected in the manufacturing sector.

The document is available here NextWeek-July15-July21-2019

On the GAFA tax and the hostile reaction of the Americans

The reaction of other European countries in this new context of US reaction will be interesting. The new global and multi-polar equilibrium, that is emerging, forces Europeans to be more autonomous. It has already been observed that on the issue of 5G some European countries were not indifferent to Chinese offers, thus taking a distance from the Americans.
Europe must find and define its place in this new multi-polar balance. The GAFA tax and the American reaction can make it possible to define a dynamic specific to Europe with a distance from China and the US. The stakes are high for Europe to exist on a political scale.

Macro 5 Pager – Macroeconomic Momentum – 8 July 2019

> The world economy’s slightly chaotic showings reflect the likely end to a world balance dominated by the US, as well as the hunt for a new world order. This multi-faceted balance would include the US, China and Europe.
> This quest for a new equilibrium can be witnessed first and foremost in the current less coordinated and cooperative context, where each country seeks to get the most out of a situation where the rules are changing. Border tariffs are just one example of this.
> In the short term, this leads to uncertainty that drags down economic activity, as well as investment. Growth is slightly more sluggish across the board, while inflation remains contained and is still a far cry from the central bank’s target, especially in the euro area.

> There is a tendency towards continued accommodative monetary policy. Going too fast when all the risks for the economy have not fully emerged means taking the risk of having an insufficient impact and running out of options when the situation becomes more tricky.
> This would be the case for the US, where interest rate cuts being made too quickly would mean a fresh surge in liquidity, promoting more real estate lending and corporate credit from non-banking institutions, so excesses already seen would become even more severe. This would also heighten risks on these markets and curb the Fed’s ability to act in the event of a future crisis.
> Another key point is that long-term rates are set to remain very low for a very long time, until such times as this new world balance emerges: this will force the financial sector to reinvent itself.

The document is available here Macro 5 Pager – Macroeconomic Momentum – 8 July 2019

Are US firms of today larger than US firms of yesterday ?

Philippon and Gutiérrez answer a clear no

Politicians and activists are warning that mega-companies like Facebook, Wal-mart, and Amazon are returning America to the Gilded Age. They point to record breaking profits and mergers the size of small countries.

On the other hand, many  economists and antitrust lawyers aren’t panicking. They say innovation and better management are driving these so-called superstar firms to unprecedented levels of efficiency. Their size and dominance is just a side effect.

However, both may be missing the bigger picture. 

Read this interesting analysis by Philippon and Gutiérrez

Dani Rodrik on Populism

Is it culture or economics? That question frames much of the debate about contemporary populism. Are Donald Trump’s presidency, Brexit, and the rise of right-wing nativist political parties in continental Europe the consequence of a deepening rift in values between social conservatives and social liberals, with the former having thrown their support behind xenophobic, ethno-nationalist, authoritarian politicians? Or do they reflect many voters’ economic anxiety and insecurity, fueled by financial crises, austerity, and globalization?

The document can be found here

Solid US job report in June

The #US June #employment report shows that the drop seen in May (72 000) was temporary. The June figure was 224 000 and 191 000 for the private sector. The average for both measure is close to figures observed in 2016 and 2017. No necessity for the Fed to act rapidly. In 2017, the Fed was tightening smoothly.

On the wage side, the deceleration is rapid at 3.14% on a year (3.4% in Feb.). Graph shows that the Fed rate can manage a plateau as long as wages do not drop rapidly. This would be caused by a strong growth slowdown. It’s not the case yet. Therefore, nothing is expected on the Fed’s side in July.

What to expect next week ? (July 8 – July 14, 2019)

Highlights

  • External trade for Germany is the statistics I will focus on this week (July 8). Since the beginning of the year, real exports are slowing down as a consequence of the trade war. Expectations are negative and this is a source of concern for the German growth momentum. The German government may have, in coming weeks, an opportunity to boost domestic demand to cushion this disruption.
  • The Chinese external trade will also be a major indicator (July 12) as a measure of the trade war impact.
  • The German industrial production index will also show a slowdown in May (July 8). This would be consistent with expectations on its external trade and with corporate surveys that reflect pessimism.
    The other point to mention here is that the UK industrial production will show a downward trend (July 11). This would be consistent with the Markit index for the manufacturing sector. In May the Markit synthetic index was at 49.4 (from 53.1 in April).
  • The US inflation rate for June (July 11) will slow as seen in European inflation rates for June (flash estimates) while the Chinese will remain strong (2.7% in May) as food price (pork price precisely) will continue to push up the price index.
  • Financial Stability Report by the Bank of England (July 11 at 1130 CET), Minutes of the last FOMC meeting (June 18-19) on July 10 (2000 CET)  and Minutes of the last ECB meeting (June 5-6) on monetary policy (July 11 at 1330 CET)

The document is available here NextWeek-July8-July14-2019