Personal Consumption

Final Q1 GDP Rises 1.1% Despite Worst Personal Consumption In Two Years

And so the final, and largely irrelevant, estimate of Q1 GDP is in the history books. Moments ago the BEA reported that in the first quarter GDP rose a tepid 1.1%, higher than the first and second estimates of 0.5% and 0.8%, respecitvely, and also higher than consensus estimates of 1.0%. The bad news: the all important personal consumption expenditures component of GDP rose a modest 2.0% annualized and contributing just 1.02% to the bottom line GDP. This was the worst showing by the US consumer since Q1 of 2014.

Key Events In The Coming Week: All About Brexit

With global markets gyrating on every piece of news surrounding the Brexit drama, what’s the timetable for UK-related (and all other macro) events this week and beyond?

The Economy Is Not What It Seems

The last two-quarters of economic growth have been less than exciting, to say the least. However, these rather dismal quarters of growth come at a time when oil prices and gasoline prices have plummeted AND amidst one of the warmest winters in 65-plus years. Why is that important? Because falling oil and gas prices and warm weather are effective “tax credits” to consumers as they spend less on gasoline, heating oil and electricity. Combined, these “savings” account for more than $200 billion in additional spending power for the consumer. So, personal consumption expenditures should be rising, right?

Goldman's Internal Tracker Of The Economy Just Dropped To The Lowest Since 2009

Goldman's internal economic tracker, the Current Acticity Indicator, just dropped for one more month, from May's 1.3% print, to 1.2%, and contrary to expectations of a GDP rebound in Q2, this is the lowest economic "expansion" print since 2009. Perhaps not surprising is that this series has been declining in virtually a straight line since the end of QE3.

This Employment Trend Is Not Your Friend

Based on the historical correlation and the sharp growth in C&I loan delinquencies recently, it is conceivable employment drops abruptly over the next 6 months.

BofA Credit Analyst Loses It: "Central Banks Created A Fantasy Land"

"We fully recognize and appreciate that low global yields and the need to stay invested creates a positive technical that is difficult to fight against. But fight we do.... We find it incredible that 76% of the most important economic indicators from the
selloff are worse today but yields are about 200bp lower."

That Didn't Take Long: Fed's Brainard Goes Full Dove One Week After Yellen's Hawkstravaganza

Last Friday, stocks soared as Yellen dropped hawkish hints that The Fed would raise rates "because it was appropriate" implying everything is awesome. One week later - following a terrible Fed-narrative-imploding jobs print - Hillary Clinton-donor and Fed member Lael Brainard goes back to full dove-tard: BRAINARD: U.S. JOBS IN MAY REPORT SUGGESTS LABOR MKT HAS SLOWED, SEES BENEFITS TO FED WAITING FOR ADDITIONAL DATA. Nothing would surprise us less to see stock go green today on this dovish news - just as they did last Friday on hawkish sentiment. If (Fed speaks) THEN (Buy).

How The "Rest" Of America Lives: Wanting For Work, Buried In Debt

The flyover zones of America are wanting for work and buried in debt. That’s the legacy of three decades of Washington/Wall Street Bubble Finance. The latter has exported jobs, crushed the purchasing power of main street wages and showered the bicoastal elites with the windfalls of financialization. In short, Wall Street loves financial repression because it inflates financial asset values and fuels debt-funded gambling in the casinos. But it’s the opposite of what’s needed in flyover America.

Global Stocks, US Futures Slide On Mediocre Manufacturing Data, Yen Surge

Following the latest set of global economic news, most notably a mediocre set of Chinese Official and Caixin PMIs, coupled with a mix of lackluster European manufacturing reports and an abysmal Japanese PMI, European, Asian stocks and U.S. stock index futures have continued yesterday's losses. Oil slips for 4th day, heading for the longest run of declines since April, as OPEC ministers gather in Vienna ahead of a meeting on Thursday to discuss production policy. The biggest winner was the Yen, rising 1%, with the USDJPY tumbling overnight and pushing both the Nikkei 1.6% lower and weighing on US futures.

Losing Ground In Flyover America, Part 3

The Fed’s crusade to pump-up inflation toward its 2.00% target by hammering-down interest rates to the so-called zero bound is economically lethal. The former destroys the purchasing power of main street wages while the latter strip mines capital from business and channels it into Wall Street financial engineering and the inflation of stock prices.

First Quarter GDP Revised Higher To 0.8%, Misses Expectations

Following the terrible initial Q1 GDP print of 0.5% released one month ago, there was some hope that following some subsequent favorable inventory and trade data, the number would be revised substantially higher, with the whisper estimate rising as high as 1% or more, above the consensus estimate of 0.9%. Moments ago the BEA reported that in its first revision of Q1 growth, the US economy grew at only 0.8% annualized, a modest rebound from the original GDP report, however still missing consensus estimates.

All Eyes On Yellen: Global Markets Flat On Dreadful Volumes, Oil Slides

In a world where fundamentals don't matter, everyone's attention will be on Janet Yellen who speaks at 1:15pm today in Harvard, hoping to glean some more hints about the Fed's intentionas and next steps, including a possible rate hike in June or July. And with a long holiday in both the US and UK (US bond market closes at 2pm today), it is no surprise overnight trading volumes have been dreadful, helping keep global equities poised for the highest close in three weeks; this won't change unless Yellen says something that would disrupt the calm that’s settled over financial markets.

Everything Changed In 1980 - Why The Fed Is Wrong

Unfortunately, for Mr. Rosengren, since the average American was never allowed to actually deleverage following the financial crisis, and still living well beyond their means, economic growth will remain mired at lower levels as savings continue to be diverted from productive investment into debt service.  The issue, of course, is not just a central theme to the U.S. but to the global economy as well.  After seven years of excessive monetary interventions, global debt levels have yet to be resolved. If the Fed does proceed in hiking rates in the current environment, it will likely be a “policy error” which will be regretted in the not too distant future as debt service costs rise thereby further reducing consumers ability to “consume.”

Key Events In The Coming Week

Following last week's lull in global macro, it’s a busy start to the week in which we get the latest deluge of global flash PMIs, while the US economic calendar is loaded with New Home Sales data, Trade Balance, Initial Claims, UMichigan sentiment and the revised US Q1 GDP print on Friday. But perhaps the most expected event will be Yellen's speech on Friday at Harvard's Radcliffe, where the Fed chairman is expected to reveal some more hints on the upcoming rate hike.