The key economic releases this week include industrial production on Monday, CPI on Tuesday, and housing starts on Wednesday. There are several scheduled speeches from Fed officials this week. The Beige Book for the November FOMC period will be released on Wednesday.
One day after a slump in Chinese trade sparked a global market selloff on concerns the world's second biggest economy had once again hit a downward inflection point, overnight China surprised once again, this time to the upside when the latest inflationary data printed hotter than expected, sending European and Asian stocks higher and pushing the yen lower after China’s producer price index rose for the first time since March 2012.
In addition to higher reimbursements, consumers are paying more out of their own pockets. A shift to high-deductible health insurance plans in recent years means that consumers are contributing more to the cost of health care. In August, medical care services prices in the South surged by 1.2% NSA, the biggest increase in any August since at least 1990.
The week ahead is striking in the sheer number of central bank speakers, but with the Fed on hold until December and the BoJ’s new framework now revealed, focus turns squarely from central banks to US politics. The first US presidential debate at the start of the week will be a key focus.
We are speaking, of course, of the Fed’s decision to punt yet again, and for a reason that is not mysterious at all. To wit, our financial rulers are petrified of a stock market hissy fit, and will go to any length of dissimulation and double-talk to avoid triggering a crash of the very bubbles their policies have inflated.
Currently no-one expects the Fed to hike today and it probably won’t. It is definitely possible though that the FOMC statement will contain a strong hint regarding a likely rate hike in November or December, since the Fed for some reason no longer wants to surprise markets. Such an announcement could well have the same effect on the markets as an actual hike though.
University of Michigan survey results show Current Economic Conditions plunged to 103.5 - the lowest since Oct 2015. The biggest driver of this weakness is tumbling inflation expectations (with 1Y outlook dropping to 2.3% - the lowest since Sept 2010).
"The Fed is increasingly F#ked," exclaimed one veteran market participant as Core CPI - among The Fed's favorite inflation indicators - surged to +2.3% YoY, the highest since Sept 2008. This is the 10th month in a row above the Fed's mandated 2% 'stable' growth as shelter and healthcare costs continue to surge.
The spotlight turns to US data and Fed speakers ahead of the Fed blackout period this week. The BoE and SNB meet to decide policy but consensus expect no change from either. Elsewhere we get inflation data from the US, UK, Sweden & EZ (F), Q2 GDP from NZ & SW and labor market data from the UK & AU.
"The only thing keeping the US out of recession is the US consumer (see chart below). It is difficult to say consumption is driving the economy forward ? rather it is like a woodwormridden crutch creaking under the strain of holding up a deadweight economy. This recovery ? the fourth longest in history ? is surely nearing its end."
After Friday's Jackson Hole repricing of Fed hike expectations, which made it clear that the fate of a September rate hike is now in the hands of the August payrolls number, the main risk event of the week is therefore this Friday's US NFPs for which consensus expects a reading of 180K, down from last month's 217K print. A number substantially above this will make a September hike virtually certain, and potentially risks roiling markets as good news will likely be bad news this time around.