Personal Consumption

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Atlanta Fed Cuts Q3 GDP Forecast To A Paltry 1.2%





Earlier today, following the disappointing July personal spending data and yesterday's record surge in inventories as part of the spike in Q2 GDP, we predicted that the Atlanta Fed would cut its already painfully low Q3 GDP forecast of 1.4%. Moments ago, it did just that, when the Atlanta Fed GDPNow "nowcast" was revised lower to just a 1.2% annualized growth rate, more than two-thirds below the BEA's first revision of Q2 GDP.

 
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Fed Fails - American Spending Growth Is Weakest Since March 2011





Core personal consumption growth in July was just 1.2% - the weakest since March 2011. Whatever The Fed is doing to grow the middle class (yes, yes, we know: that's not in the mandate - only the "wealth effect" is) is not workingm and as the following chart suggests hasn't worked for the past 35 years.

 
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China Surge Continues, Futures Slide As Jittery Market Looks For Jackson Hole Valium





Overnight's start attraction was as usual China's stock market, where trading was generally less dramatic than Thursday's furious last hour engineered ramp, as stocks rose modestly off the open only to see a bout of buying throughout the entire afternoon session, closing 4.8% higher, and bringing the gain over the last two days to over 10%. This happens as China dumped a boatload of US paper to push the CNY higher the most since March, strengthening from 6.4053 to 6.3986, even as Chinese industrial profits tumbled 2.9% from last year: this in a country that still represents its GDP is rising by 7%. Expect much more Yuan devaluation in the coming weeks.

 
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September Rate Hike Back On Table: Q2 GDP Soars In Revision From 2.3% To 3.7% Driven By Record Inventory Build





Well, if the Fed is truly data-dependent, September is now squarely back on the table following the first revision of (double seasonally-adjusted) Q2 GDP data which soared from 2.3% to a whopping 3.7%, blowing out the Wall Street consensus estimate of 3.2%, and printing above the highest Wall Street forecast (the 3.6% from JPM). The reason for the surge was simple: from an inventory build of $124 in the first GDP estimate, the BEA now sees a total of $136.2 billion in inventory build in Q2. This is an all time record, and a number which suggests the upcoming inventory liquidation will be truly epic, not to mention recessionary.

 
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Aggressive Chinese Intervention Prevents Another Rout, Sends Stocks Soaring 5% In Last Trading Hour; US Futures Jump





After a 5 day tumbling streak, which saw Chinese stock plunge well over 20% and 17% in just the first three days of this week, overnight the Shanghai Composite was hanging by a thread (and threat) until the last hour of trading. In fact, this is what the SHCOMP looked like until the very end: Up 2.6%, up 1.2%, up 2.8%, up 0.6%, up 2%... down 0.2%. And then the cavalry came in: "Heavyweight stocks like banks and insurance companies helped pull up the index, and it’s possibly China Securities Finance entering the market again to shore up stocks," Central China Sec. strategist Zhang Gang told Bloomberg by phone. Net result: the Composite, having been red just shortly before the close, soared higher by 156 points or 5.4%, showing the US stock market just how it's down.

 
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The Tide Has Turned And These Charts Predict The Next Stop





Be prepared for the now imminent equity valuation reset.  It is true the Fed now has the ability to manipulate the market well beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.  However, it is also still true that when the bursting bubble achieves full momentum the Fed will be helpless to stop it.   While the Fed feels increasingly omnipotent they will once again learn, that while natural laws can be bent, they cannot be broken.

 
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The Fed's Bathtub Economics Brigade Blathers On, Part 1





Our monetary politburo is driving the US economy in the wrong direction. That is, toward dis-employment of its true, wealth-creating economic resources - human labor, entrepreneurial talent and market driven gains in economic factor efficiency. Contrary to this week’s self-congratulatory statement, all is not well and its not getting weller.

 
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Chinese Stocks Drop, End Worst Month Since August 2009; US Equity Futures Flat





In a repeat of Thursday's action, Chinese stocks which had opened about 1% lower, remained underwater for most of the session before attempting a feeble bounce which took the Shanghai Composite fractionally into the green, before the now traditional last hour action which this time failed to maintain the upward momentum and the last day of the month saw a surge in volume which dragged the market to its lows before closing roughly where it opened, -1.13% lower.  This caps the worst month for Chinese stocks since since August 2009, as the government struggles to rekindle investor interest amid a $3.5 trillion rout, one which has sent the Shanghai market lower by 15% - the biggest loss among 93 global benchmark gauges tracked by Bloomberg.

 
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This Is How The Much Anticipated "Second Seasonal Adjustment" Affected Q1 GDP





A look at the internals reveals a major surprise - while many said that the Q1 economy does not expose the true strength of the US consumer (instead of shopping in stores, they shopped online which wasn't captured or comparable), what actually happened was that Personal Consumption Expenditures as a % of GDP actually declined from 1.4% to 1.2% when netting out the harsh winter impact. As in the real economic driver was even weaker and this time you can't blame it on the weather!

 
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US Economy Grew Less Than Expected In Q2: Worst Economic Recovery Since WWII Revised Even Weaker





The worst "economic expansion" in history was even worse than previously expected.

 
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Chinese Stocks Tumble In Close Of Trading "Causing Panic", US GDP To Be Revised Higher On Seasonal Adjustments





We start off the overnight wrap up with the usual place, China, where in a mirror image of Wednesday's action, stocks once again started off uneventful, then gradually rose in the afternoon session and meandered near unchanged territory until the last half hour, when out of the blue they tumbled to close near the day's low, some 2.2% below yesterday's closing level.  What caused it?  One possible catalyst came from Reuters which reported that that Chinese banks were investigating their exposure to the stock market via wealth management products and loans backed by stock as collateral. 

 
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Key Events In The Coming Week





Last week was a complete dead zone for US macro, however with the peak of Q2 earnings season there was more than enough commotion for everyone. This week US macro starts to pick up again, with Durable Goods on Monday, followed by Case Shiller, Q2 GDP, the Chicago PMI, various consumer confidence indices, and of course, the July FOMC meeting on Wednesday.

 
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