Today's Economic Data Highlights
The preliminary take on fourth-quarter growth, employment costs, and consumer confidence….And just in case greater inventory accumulation for the GDP report is not sufficient to get stocks higher, there will be a $7-9 billion monetization of 02/15/2018 – 11/15/2020 bonds.
8:30: GDP for Q4 (prelim estimate)…stronger under the surface. Although we have one of the lowest estimates for this figure—at an annual rate of just 3%—that reflects a significant correction in inventory accumulation. Measures of final demand will be much firmer, ranging from about 3½% for final sales to domestic purchasers to about 5 ¼% for total final sales. Growth in real spending should be between 3½% and 4%.
On GDP, median forecast (of 85): +3.5%, ranging from +2.9% to +5.4%; last (Q3 third estimate) +2.6%.
On the GDP price index, GS: +1.4%; median forecast (of 40): +1.6%, ranging from +0.7% to +2.2%; last: +2.1%.
On the PCE core index: GS: +0.3%; median forecast (of 19): +0.4%, ranging from +0.3% to +0.5%; last: +0.5%.
8:30: Employment cost index for Q4…moderation? This index decelerated in the third quarter, to a rate of change equal to the four quarters of 2009. We expect more of the same for the fourth quarter, if not a bit further weakening.
Median forecast (of 51): +0.5%, ranging from +0.3% to +0.6%; last +0.4%.
10:00 (9:55 to subscribers): Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment for Jan (final)…recoup some of that loss? This index weakened unexpectedly in early January, and most forecasters appear to think this was a fluke. The median expectation for inflation five to ten years ahead held steady at 2.8%, where it was in the preceding three months.
Median forecast (of 67): 73.3, ranging from 71.8 to 76; last 72.7 (Jan prelim).
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