A week is a long time in politics

Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s quip that “a week is a long time in politics”, which he made during one of the UK’s seemingly never-ending crises in the 1960s, aptly describes the Democratic Party’s implosion.
Paul Ashworth Chief North America Economist
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US Economics Weekly

Powell gets the nod; GDP growth rebounding

The announcement on Monday morning that President Biden would nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Fed Chair was largely as expected, although the unexplained delays in making it official may have persuaded some in the markets that Biden was leaning toward picking Lael Brainard instead. As far as monetary policy goes, Powell and Brainard hold very similar, largely dovish, views. Elsewhere, as a result of the flurry of economic data releases ahead of the Thanksgiving Holiday we have raised our fourth-quarter GDP growth forecast to 6.5% annualised, from 4.0%.

24 November 2021

US Data Response

Durable Goods, Adv. Trade (Oct.), GDP (Q3 2nd Est.)

The 0.5% fall in durable goods orders was not as bad as it looked, given that it was entirely due to a fall in volatile aircraft orders. But the bigger news this morning was the huge 10.7% m/m surge in exports in October, which is why we now estimate that GDP growth will accelerate from 2.1% annualised in the third quarter to more than 5% in the fourth, well above our previous forecast of a rise to 4%.

24 November 2021

US Employment Report Preview

Slowdown ahead

We expect non-farm payrolls to have risen by a solid 500,000 in November, but the growing risk of a winter COVID wave and a dwindling supply of available workers look set to weigh on employment growth soon.

24 November 2021

More from Paul Ashworth

US Economics Weekly

Debt ceiling could still delay QE taper

This week the focus was on the Fed, which appears intent on announcing a QE taper at the next FOMC meeting in early November. Next week the focus will shift to fiscal policy, with the Democrat’s plans to boost infrastructure and social welfare spending balanced on a knife edge. A debt ceiling crisis in late-October could even delay the Fed’s taper plans.

24 September 2021

US Economics Update

Taper to begin in November

Fed officials gave a heavy hint today that the QE taper will be formally announced in November and, presumably in response to concerns that the surge in inflation won't be as transitory as they originally hoped, there were notable increases in the median interest rate projections.

22 September 2021

US Chart Book

Data provide mixed signals on Delta impact

The latest data provide mixed signals on the impact that the Delta variant is having on the economy. The high frequency indicators for high contact services suggest that activity levelled out in August and weakened a little in early September. Last month’s retail sales report also revealed that spending on food services was broadly flat, but control group sales nevertheless rebounded strongly, as households refocused their spending online and in favour of goods consumption. Elsewhere, leisure and hospitality employment was unchanged in August which, because that sector had been such an important contributor to the strength of the gains in earlier months, helps to explain why payroll employment increased by little more than 200,000 last month. Finally, even though activity only stagnated, the prices for some high contact service activity like hotels and air fares fell quite sharply. The good news is that, with Delta variant infections having now peaked, we should see some rebound in affected activity and employment soon, although the downside is that could contribute to a renewed pick-up in inflation linked to reopening.

21 September 2021
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