What to expect this week – 18 November – 24 November 2019

Highlights

> —Minutes of the last Fed’s meeting (Nov. 20) and of the last ECB’s meeting (Nov.21)
The Fed’s minutes will reveal the discussions on the drop of the Fed’s benchmark rate but the most useful part will be on the commitment to stop, at least temporarily, the downside trend on the benchmark rate.
In the ECB minutes, the focus will be on the discussions related to the important disagreements between governing council members after September decisions —

> Markit flash estimates for November in the Euro Area, Japan and the US (Nov.22)
In October a rebound in the US for the manufacturing sector was a surprise reflecting mainly the spike in the New export Orders index. The divergence with the eurozone and Japan was astonishing. The November survey will highlight the possibility for the US to remain strong while Japan and the EA are still weak.  —

> The French Climat des Affaires for November (Nov. 21)
The French index has been above its historical average for months. This is consistent with the stronger momentum of the French growth when compared with the Euro Area. This is linked to the specificity of the French economic policy that feed domestic demand in order to cushion a possible external shock. This strategy limits the possibility of a downturn.

> Eurozone Current Account for September (Nov.19)
The Euro Area current account shows a large surplus. It is circa 3% of GDP. This means that there is an excess saving in the Euro Area and that we have means to invest in order to improve the autonomy of our growth process. Because accumulating surplus is just useless.

> Existing homes sales in the US for October (Nov. 21) and Housing Starts (Nov.19)
Existing home sales indicator is a measure of a wealth effect on consumption expenditures. Its recent profile suggests a slowdown in expenditures during the last quarter of this year before a mild rebound at the beginning of 2020. —

> Productivity in the third quarter for the United Kingdom (Nov. 20)
The strong slowdown in the UK productivity suggests an extended period of low growth except if investment rebounds strongly. This will not be the case whatever the Brexit agreement because Brexit will continue to provide large uncertainty. —

> The Phylli Fed index will be release on November the 21st. The Japanese trade balance on November the 20th, the Japanese CPI for October on November the 22nd and the German Consumer Confidence index on November the 21st  

What to expect this week – 4 November – 10 November 2019

Highlights

> The ISM global index (5) will be the major data this week. It is consistent with the GDP growth momentum and was particularly weak in September compared to what was seen last summer. A weak number may trigger a change in what the Fed could do in a foreseeable future.

> The Services Markit indices will be released on November 5. But the Euro Area data on manufacturing (4) and on services (6) will be released a little later this month as November 1 is off in most continental Europe countries.
The world markit index for the manufacturng sector will be available on Monday
> The Monetary policy Committee of the Bank of England will meet on November 7. Nothing is expected on its monetary policy stance but extension of the Brexit may imply comments on the impact for the UK economy.
> In the US, we look systematically at details on the labor market. The global employment index of the ISM survey and the JOLTS survey will bring these information. The ISM global index on the labor market was below the 50 threshold in September and maybe a source of concern in case a continuous weakness.

> The Chinese external trade (8) will provide new information on the impact of the trade war on the Chinese economy.


> In Germany, there is a string of data with the industrial orders (6) the industrial production index (7) and the trade balance (8). All of them will highlight the impact of the negative environment on the German short term momentum. Will they increase the risk of a long recession ?
> Japanese households’ expenditures in September at the eve of a VAT rate hike (October). In March 2014 they spend a lot just before the higher VAT rate in April 2014. Have we had the same behavior ?
> General elections in Spain (10) – The probability of a strong majority is low

Recession risks in the Euro Area, not yet in the US

Markit surveys for September show a slow momentum in the Euro area and in the US.
The synthetic index for the Euro Area (weighted average of the manufacturing and non manufacturing synthetic indices) is now close to 50 leading to weaker expectations for the Q3 GDP growth. This reinforces me that GDP growth for 2019 will be circa 1.1%. The impact of the new ECB monetary policy will not lead to an impulse on the upside.

In the US, the synthetic Markit index for the whole economy shows a meager rebound in September despite a stronger manufacturing index. The non manufacturing index has been quite weak in September at 50.9 after 50.7 in August. The services sector doesn’t counterbalance the lack of impulse of the manufacturing sector.The global index is now way below the level seen until last spring and is consistent with a slowdown in the US GDP growth as it was seen in 2016. The more accommodative US monetary policy will not change the picture.

In the short term, the main risk remains in the manufacturing sector. European indices are weak, notably in Germany. This may lead to a recession in this country with a contagion risk to the rest of the euro area. Nevertheless, in the case of a deep recession in Germany, the government would be more active on its fiscal policy, limiting therefore the risk of a recession for the whole zone. This would be the chance for the Eurozone.
Inb September, the US is weak but stabilized. The risk of recession is still low at this moment.

What to expect next week ? (September 23 – September 29, 2019)

Highlights

> Corporate surveys will highlight the business cycle foreseeable future. The IFO will be released on Tuesday 24 as will be the French Climat des Affaires. The French momentum is currently higher than in Germany as this latter is more exposed to the international backdrop. The Italian survey on corporate confidence will be out on September the 27th and may show the impact of a pro-European government on corporate confidence.

> Markit surveys, flash estimates, will be released on Monday the 23rd for the Euro Area, France, Germany and the US. The Japanese release will be done on September the 24th. These surveys are important but I will carefully look at the New Export Order indices in the Euro Area, US and Japan. Its average is clearly consistent with the world trade profile. In August it was as low as 46.6 giving a signal of continuous contraction in trade. September date will be important.

> Consumer confidence in the US (24 for the conference board and 27 for the Michigan), in France (25), Germany(26) and Italy (27). The US conference board will give us relevant signals on the US labor market dynamics. France index will remain above its average, way above the level it has a year ago when the yellow vests demonstrations started.

> Consumption expenditures in the US (27) and Fed’s preferred measure for inflation for August will be released on August the 27th. Consumers’ behavior is the strongest support of the current US growth momentum. Nevertheless it can be very volatile. We expect that it will be strong in August, consistently with retail sales. No strong expectations on inflation. The July core inflation rate is 1.6%.

> Inflation for September in France and Spain.
> New Home sales in August in the US. The real estate market has been stronger recently. A confirmation is expected as interest rates were low in August.

The document is available here
NextWeek-September 23- September 29-2019

What to expect next week ? (July 1 – July 7, 2019)

Highlights

  • The ISM index for the manufacturing sector (July 1) will be the main indicator in the coming week. The slowdown in the US business cycle may be confirmed in June. 
  • The US labor market is the other main indicator (July 7). Its dynamics has recently changed as it adjusts to the new business cycle shape.
  • The Markit indices for the manufacturing sector (July 1) and for the services sector (July 3) will show the risk of a global recession for the manufacturing sector. The hope for the Eurozone is a strong services sector index that will allow an extension of the growth momentum.
    The Tankan survey in Japan will be out on July 1.
  • Employment in Germany for June (July 1) and retail sales for May (July 3) will show the possibility of maintaining a robust domestic demand or if it is necessary to have a stronger economic policy to cushion the impact of world trade negative shock on the German economy.
  • Retail sales in the Euro Area (July 4) for May will be a good proxy on the strength of the internal demand for the Euro zone.

    The document is here NextWeek-July1-July7-2019

What to expect next week ?

What do I expect as being important next week: 7 points at least
Markit and ISM indices in the manufacturing sector (June 3)
German Industrial Orders for April (June 6)
US employment for May (June 7)
Euro Area inflation rate for May (June 4)
 ECB meeting (June 6)
Trade war (no specific date)
Inversion of the US yield curve
The document is available here What to expect Next Week June 3 – June 7 2019

The Euro zone slows sharply in March

The publication March’s Markit indices confirms the downward pressure on activity in the manufacturing sector. The leading indices published for the Euro zone, Germany and France, on March 22, have been revised downward. This is never a very good signal as to the strength of the activity. This revision was marginal in the Euro zone (from 47.6 to 47.5) and in France (49.8 to 49.7) but more marked in Germany from 44.7 to 44.1. This latter has not been so low since July 2012.
For the Euro zone, the index has not been as low since June 2013 but at the time the movement was bullish while here it reflects a deterioration of the activity.
For the other two major countries, Spain and Italy, there is a slight rebound in Spain from 49.9 in February to 50.9 in March, but the Italian situation continues to deteriorate, from 47.7 to 47.4.

A good explanation is the pace of international trade. Germany is frankly penalized by the contraction of trade due to an openness rate higher than 44% of GDP. Any shock on world trade has an immediate impact on it.
More generally, because of the intensive trade between countries of the zone, any external shock is amplified by a contagion effect and penalizes the activity of all. This had been a very positive uptrend in 2017 but is declining today.
Germany saw its export orders revised downwards compared to the March estimate (38.9 vs. 39.5 initially). For France, the figure is unchanged.

The proactive economic policy of the Eurozone can only be seen on monetary side with a very accommodative policy but it cannot go further in that direction to limit the impact and the spillover effect of the shock. Except for a sudden and unexpected reversal of world trade, the trend in the Euro zone is here to stay. It should be possible to support domestic demand for this through budgetary means. This is not the current mood at the European level even if France plays constrained by the social unrest