Debt ceiling deal may only delay the inevitable

The entrenched positions of both sides suggest the deal to suspend the debt ceiling until December may only delay rather than avert a crisis. And in that scenario, we doubt that the Treasury minting a $1trn platinum coin would offer the easy way out.
Andrew Hunter Senior US Economist
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US Data Response

Industrial Production (Sep.)

The 1.3% fall in industrial production in September partly reflects a temporary hit to mining and chemicals output from Hurricane Ida and a drop in cooling demand, as the weather returned to seasonal norms. That said, most of the 0.7% drop in manufacturing output is due to worsening shortages, particularly of semiconductors, which will hold back production for some considerable time.

18 October 2021

US Economic Outlook

Whiff of stagflation gets stronger

The whiff of stagflation is getting stronger as shortages worsen, leading to surging prices and weaker real GDP growth. Shortages of goods and intermediate inputs will eventually ease, although not for at least six to 12 months. But the drop in the labour force appears to be more permanent, which suggests the pandemic could have a long-term scarring effect on potential GDP after all. We now expect GDP growth to be 2.7% in 2022 and 2.0% in 2023 and we expect CPI inflation to be around 3.0% in both years. We assume the Fed will focus on the weakness in the real economy rather than the sustained overshoot in inflation, however, and are forecasting only two interest rate hikes in 2023.

18 October 2021

US Economics Weekly

Labour force exodus shows no sign of reversing

This week brought more news that acute labour shortages and the resulting surge in wages are rapidly feeding through into the most cyclically sensitive components of the consumer price index.

15 October 2021

More from Andrew Hunter

US Data Response

US International Trade (Aug.)

We expect that the widening in the trade deficit to $73.3bn in August, from $70.3bn, will soon start to reverse, as exports catch up with imports. But there is a risk over the coming months that worsening supply chain disruptions weigh on trade in both directions.

5 October 2021

US Data Response

ISM Manufacturing Index (Sep.)

The small rise in the ISM manufacturing index to 61.1 in September, from 59.9, mostly reflects an artificial boost from lengthening supplier delivery times rather than any improvement in demand. Alongside the softening in manufacturing activity in Asia, ongoing supply disruptions suggest the manufacturing recovery will lose steam over the coming months.

1 October 2021

US Employment Report Preview

Delta continues to weigh on hiring

We forecast a stronger 500,000 gain in non-farm payrolls in September. That should qualify as “decent” enough for the Fed to announce a tapering of its asset purchases at the November FOMC meeting – assuming Congress reaches a deal to raise or suspend the debt ceiling.

30 September 2021
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