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US economy: encouraging signs of growth picking back up

The ISM manufacturing survey was published on Tuesday. The headline index bounced back further, climbing from 53.2 in February to 53.7 in March, slightly below consensus estimates (54.0). This was the second monthly increase in a row. However, the level reached in March remains well below December’s reading (56.5), and the index definitely fell sharply […]

US consumption slowed in January-February 2014

Real personal consumption expenditure increased by 0.2% m-o-m in February, in line with consensus expectations. However, January’s figure was downwardly revised from +0.3% to +0.1%. As a result, consumption grew by only a meagre 1.3% annualised between Q4 and January-February. This followed a strong q-o-q growth rate of 3.3% annualised in Q4 2014. Together with […]

United States: Fed short-term rates projections revised significantly up

The surprise came from Fed rate projections. They were revised significantly up, which contributed to pushing Treasury bond yields up. The FOMC statement and press conference confirmed that the Fed remains upbeat on the economy and that there would have to be a barrage of further economic setbacks before it decided to call a halt […]

Encouraging US manufacturing output in February

Encouragingly, US industrial output bounced back in February, following a substantial contraction in January. Total production rose by 0.6% m-o-m, above consensus expectations (+0.2%). Moreover, the fall recorded in January was revised to a slightly less marked decline. Manufacturing output regained what was lost in January Following a sharp increase in January, the production of […]

United States: job creation comes in above expectations in February

Non-farm payroll employment rose by 175,000 m-o-m in February 2014, above consensus expectations (+149,000). Moreover, January’s figure was revised up (from +113,000 to +129,000), as was the number for December (from +75,000 to +84,000). Net revisions therefore cumulated to a modest +25,000 (see chart below). The fact that February’s headline job creation number was above […]

United States: total net new credit to the private sector rose substantially in 2013

The Federal Reserve’s Financial Accounts of the United States (previously known as the Flow of Funds statistics) for Q4 2013 were published yesterday. The information provided in the report includes a relatively comprehensive overview of credit developments, i.e. not only credit from commercial banks but also lending from other sources (corporate bonds, commercial paper, government, […]

United States: household net worth rose impressively in 2013

The Federal Reserve’s Financial Accounts of the United States (previously known as the Flow of Funds statistics) for Q4 2013 were published yesterday. The information provided in the report includes a relatively comprehensive overview of household aggregate finances, i.e. developments in assets, liabilities and net worth. Household assets continued to climb rapidly in Q4 2013 […]

United States: personal consumption picks up encouragingly in January

Real personal consumption expenditure increased by a solid 0.3% m-o-m in January, well above consensus expectations (+0.0%). However, to make monthly data consistent with the Q4 quarterly numbers revised down last week (from +3.3% q-o-q annualised to +2.6%), December’s figure was revised down from +0.2% m-o-m to -0.1%. Nevertheless, between Q4 2013 and January 2014, […]

United States: core retail sales fell in January

Nominal total retail sales fell by a heavy 0.4% m-o-m in January, well below consensus expectations of a flat reading. Moreover, the figures for December and November were revised down substantially. January sales were negatively influenced by a 2.3% m-o-m contraction in nominal auto sales – actually a surprisingly marked fall as already published data […]

United States: job creation surprisingly soft once again in January

Non-farm payroll employment rose by only 113,000 m-o-m in January 2014, once again well below consensus expectations (+180,000). Moreover, it seems that, unlike in December 2013 (which was revised marginally up from 74,000 to 75,000), bad weather was not behind the softness of January’s number. However, these weak back-to-back months followed two strong months. October […]

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