Monday November 15, 2010 - 10:03:39 GMT
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Economics Weekly - US inflation to hit lowest since first man in space
Economics Weekly - 15 November 2010
US inflation to hit lowest since first man in space
It is a busy week in the UK with a number of important releases to keep the marketâ€™s attention. The Bank of England is set to publish the minutes of Novemberâ€™s MPC meeting where we look for another split in the vote, highlighting the differing opinions among policy makers. The minutes follow the November Inflation Report published last week, which means that they will be scrutinized not so much for what they say about the Committeeâ€™s central view, but rather any insight they provide on the opinions of the members at the periphery. In particular, the focus is likely to be on whether any member joined Adam Posen in voting for additional QE. In terms of data, key releases relate to inflation, retail sales and the labour market. We look for the annual CPI rate to have remained at 3.1% in October, which would trigger another quarterly exchange of letters between the BoE Governor and the Chancellor. Meanwhile, the retail sales figure is expected to show a modest rise in volumes after two consecutive monthly falls. However with confidence still fragile and this weekâ€™s
labour market data expected to confirm that income growth is subdued, the outlook for household spending after Januaryâ€™s VAT hike remains highly uncertain.
It is an important week for US data, with October retail sales and industrial production giving an early steer on Q4 GDP, while new starts, building permits and the November NAHB index will report on the latest state of the housing market. Meanwhile, Octoberâ€™s PPI and CPI data are expected to show that underlying price pressures remain subdued. The â€˜coreâ€™ CPI rate is predicted to ease to just 0.7% - matching the record 1961 low. Despite the gloom, US retail sales proved surprisingly resilient in Q3, underpinning the strongest growth in personal consumption since Q4 2006. While we look for a further gain last month, the risk appears skewed to a softer-than-consensus outturn. In contrast, after surprisingly declining for the first time in more than a year in September, industrial production could exceed market expectations during October. We also look for stronger readings from the November Fed Empire and Philly manufacturing surveys, at 16 and 4.5, indicating a firming trend. After falling to the lowest level since July, initial jobless claims are predicted to have risen modestly last week, though not preventing a further decline in the less volatile 4-week moving average.
By contrast, it is a quiet week for euro-zone data, with Germanyâ€™s ZEW survey and final euro-zone October CPI the main highlights. We look for a modest improvement in Novemberâ€™s ZEW economic sentiment index (which gauges confidence among financial market participants) to -6.0 from -7.2 previously. The German stock market has performed well during November to date (+2.0%), despite the recent bout of volatility in euro-zone government bond markets. If our forecast is realised, it will halt a 6-month trend of monthly declines in the ZEW survey. Beyond this, final euro area CPI data are expected to be left unrevised at 1.9% in the year to October.
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