Stagflationary disaster looms. As prognosticators ohh and aah over the soaring consumer price index (up 2.5% YoY - the most since March 2012), driven by a 14.2% YoY spike in gasoline prices, it appears they missed the fact that real average weekly earnings plunged by 0.6% YoY - the biggest wage collapse since November 2011.
The global "risk on" melt-up continues. After a modestly hawkish Yellen warned that every meeting is live, and refused to take March off the table, sending the dollar and yield higher and the S&P to fresh record highs, world stocks rose hitting a 21-month high on Wednesday with the dollar rising for the 11th straight day, the longest positive streak since July 2015.
Germans got another price shock today when the Federal Statistics Office reported that Wholesale Prices rose a China-like 0.8% MOM in January, and advancing 4% year-on-year in January, up from the "mere" 2.8 percent increase in December, and the fastest growth since October 2011, when prices gained 4.1%.
The key economic releases this week are CPI, retail sales, and industrial production on Wednesday. In addition, there are several scheduled speaking engagements from Fed officials this week, including Chair Yellen’s semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday (Humphrey-Hawkins).
The Central Bank of Mexico hiked rates 50bps to 6.25% (as expected) and sent the peso rallying modestly. As Bloomberg notes, Banxico appears more concerned at inflationary pressures than growth slowdown.
Today, the war against BAT fired its first salvo, when the previously profiled Senator David Perdue of Georgia, former CEO of discount retailer Dollar General, emerged as the top Republican critic of the House GOP plan to adjust business taxes at the border, threatening the divisive proposal's legislative prospects.
Mexico's consumer confidence index fell to its lowest level on record in January, amid soaring inflation , an uncertain economic outlook after Trump became president and rapidly deteriorating public sentiment.
Bank of England kept its key interest rate at 0.25%, gilt purchase program at GBP435b, corporate-bond plan at GBP10b as it reiterated that it has limited tolerance to above-target CPI, and some Monetary Policy Committee members had “moved closer to those limits.”
The Trump administration just fired the first shot in the US-European currency, and thus trade, wars when Trump's top trade advisor Peter Navarro accused Germany of using a “grossly undervalued” euro to "exploit the US and its EU partners", the FT reported noting the comments are "likely to trigger alarm in Europe’s largest economy."
European bonds fell and stocks rose led by banks and retailers as surging inflation data prompted investors to switch into reflationary assets even as speculation about ECB tapering has returned. Asian stocks and US equity futures declined. The Yen and gold advanced after Trump’s firing of the U.S. acting attorney general added to concern over the unpredictability of decisions in the new administration.
German consumer prices accelerated at the fastest pace in three and a half years in January, surging 1.9% YoY, leaving the ECB running out of excuses to maintain (or even extend) its stimulus measures.