The increasingly obvious trend reversal in inflation, amid softening growth, indicates the long predicted arrival of stagflation. While not unexpected, this is likely to propel the gold price higher.
After two violently volatile days in which the market soared (Monday) then promptly retraced all gains (Tuesday), the overnight session has been relatively calm with futures and oil both unchanged even as the BBG dollar index rose to the highest level since April 4. This took place despite a substantial amount of macro data from both Japan, where the GDP came well above the expected 0.3%, instead printing 1.7% annualized, which pushed stocks lower as it meant the probability of more BOJ interventions or a delay of the sales tax hike both dropped. Meanwhile, in China we got proof of the ongoing housing bubble when new property prices were reproted to have soared 12.4% Y/Y in April, which in turn pushed the local stock market to two month lows amid concerns the rampant housing bubble sector could divert funds from stocks. Yes, China is trading on the "risk" one bubble will burst another bubble.
After last week's key event, the retail sales number, which the market discounted as being too unrealistic (and overly seasonally adjusted) after printing at a 13 month high and attempting to refute the reality observed by countless retailers, this week has a quiet start today with no data of note due out of Europe and just Empire manufacturing (which moments ago missed badly) and the NAHB housing market index of note in the US session this morning.
While the 1998 Viagra "spike" came and went, in recent years, pharmaceutical preparation, i.e., drug prices have been soaring higher with every passing year, and according to today's PPI report, at the wholesale level, drug prices in April surged by 9.6% over the past year, the biggest increase since 1982 when excluding the Viagra outlier, and certainly the most in the 21st century.
The establishment (and its mainstream media mouthpieces) proclaim that "confidence" is being threatened because Donald Trump has told the truth that the Federal debt is on a track toward unmanageability and default. Yes, Uncle Sam’s credit standing is in deep trouble and the Fed is heading for a monetary calamity. But these untoward prospects have nothing to do with a couple of alleged wild pitches from Donald Trump. Upon closer examination, it is evident that the Donald was actually right on the money.
For seven years now we’ve been told the US is in a recovery. However, if this were the case, the Fed would have started raising rates years ago (likely in 2012). No other recovery on record saw the Fed maintaining ZIRP for so long.
Interestingly, the BoJ’s attempts to achieve its price inflation target continue to end in failure with unwavering regularity. While the central bank’s astonishing ineptness in this respect is a blessing for Japan’s citizens (at least for the moment, their cost of living doesn’t increase further), it harbors the danger that even crazier monetary experiments will eventually be tried.
"We expect $/JPY to move higher again in the near term and continue to forecast $/JPY at 130 a year from now.... by making the fiscal expansion permanent and funded through money creation (a politically correct phrase for a form of 'helicopter money'), expectations of future inflation should increase and real rates fall"
Why Stocks Rebounded Overnight: Goldman Expects BOJ To Double Its Equity Purchases As Soon As Next WeekSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2016 09:54 -0400
"We think the BOJ is most likely to ease mainly via the qualitative measure, with increasing ETF purchasing the central pillar, with a view to improving business confidence. We think the market is already factoring in an increase in annual purchasing from ¥3.3 tn to ¥5-6 tn, and we thus think the BOJ may look to slightly more than double its current figure to around ¥7 tn." - Goldman
The Fed cannot claim the economy is strong while maintaining "emergency" policies for seven years straight. We're heading for stagflation.
Having surged to its highest since 2008 in February, Core CPI's YoY gain inched back from 2.3% to 2.2% YoY in March hovering at post-crisis highs. The food index declined in March, as did the cost of 'shelter' and medical care, but used cars and truck prices declined, as we noted previously.
While the market is still enjoying the post-NFP weekly data lull, economic data starts to pick up again in the coming days, alongside the start of the reporting season. Below are this week's key events.
Despite risk assets enjoying a few weeks in the sun our failsafe recession indicator has stopped flashing amber and turned to red. Newly released US whole economy profits data show a gut wrenching slump. Whole economy profits never normally fall this deeply without a recession unfolding. Historically all recessions are effectively caused by slumps in business investment driven by a profits downturn.
The longer the Fed perpetuates today’s massive 24X bubble with soporific open mouth interventions like Yellen’s pathetic speech last week, the more violent and traumatic the risk asset implosion will ultimately be. You would think our monetary politburo might at least notice that after trading in no man’s land between 1870 and 2130 on the S&P 500 for the past 700 days, the casino is positioned exactly where it stood in 2007 and 2000. Simple Janet has attained a new milestone as a public menace with her speech to the Economic Club of New York. It amounted to yelling “stay” in a burning theater!