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.
The private economy and its millions of savers exist for the convenience of the apparatchiks who run the central bank. In their palpable fear and unrelieved arrogance, would they now throw millions of already ruined retirees and savers completely under the bus? Yes they would.
While the headline spending and income data consists of marginal moves, personal spending missed expectations by the largest amount since the dismal weather-strewn days of January. Consumption rose 0.3% in July, less than the 0.4% expectation and flat from the 0.3% June print. Income rose 0.4% - in line with expectations - ticking up YoY to 4.3% 0 juiced by a $13 billion government transfer receipts print - the most since March. The savings rate ticked up once again as those darned consumers refuse to spend as the elite demand.
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.
Over the weeks, months, and years ahead we’ll begin to understand more about the fallout from the death of the petrodollar and nowhere is it likely to be more apparent than in Saudi Arabia where widening fiscal and current account deficits have forced the Saudis to tap the bond market to mitigate the FX drawdown that's fueling speculation about the viability of the dollar peg. As Bloomberg reports, the current situation mirrors a "very scary moment" in Saudi Arabia’s history.
After a lukewarm start by the Chinese "market", which had dropped for the past 6 out of 7 days despite ever escalating measures by Beijing to manipulate stocks higher, finally the Shanghai Composite reacted favorably to Chinese micromanagement of stock prices and closed 3.7% higher as Chinese regulators stepped up their latest measures by adjusting rules on short-selling in order to reduce trading frequency and price volatility, resulting in several large brokerages suspending short sell operations. At this pace only buy orders will soon be legal which just may send the farce of what was once a "market" limit up.
The good news, personal income rose a better than expected 0.4% MoM (flat to the previous month's revised lower growth). The 'meh' news, personal spending rose just 0.2% - meeting expectations - but slowing its growth dramatically from the 0.7% revised May data. And the bad news, real personal spending was unchanged in June, its weakest growth (or lack of it) since February. This means the savings rate rose from 4.6% in May to 4.8% in June - its second lowest in 2015 (but increasing just as The Fed hopes for excape velocity consumption confirmed by their rate hikes in a circular logic fallacy).
Chinese Stocks Slide Again, Copper Tumbles To 6 Year Low; Greek Market Crashes After One Month Trading HaltSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/03/2015 06:57 -0400
If China had hoped it would root out intervention by eliminating Citadel's rigging algos, and unleash a buying spree it was wrong: the Shanghai Composite opened negative, and never managed to cross into the green, despite the usual last hour push higher, ending down -1.1% and down for 6 of the past 7 days. The real action, however, was not in Asia but in Europe, and specifically Greece, where the stock market finally reopened after a 1+ month "capital control" hiatus. Despite the attempt to micro manage the reopening, the result was not pretty, with stocks crashing 23% at the open and staging barely a rebound trading -17% as of this moment, even as banks promptly traded down to the -30% limit as the realization that an equity-eviscerating recapitalization (or bail-in) is now inevitable.
Hope, quite simply, just isn’t close to enough for a real recovery. There is an undeniable element of troubling prevarication in the whole attempt to coax unearned optimism, as taken to the extreme it means that policymakers will never quite be honest about especially realistic downsides. That may even mean, in their zeal to “fool” consumers, they fool themselves on the circular logic.
There is nothing incrementally new or different to what we revealed earlier in the leaked Greek proposal (i.e., no actionable pension cuts, no debt "reprofiling") and as Bloomberg makes it all too clear in flashing red headlines:
GREEK GOVT PROPOSAL SIMILAR TO EU COMMISSION'S JUNE 26 PROPOSAL
... or the one which 61% of the Greek people said no to.
What to expect next week.
Following yesterday's furious market drop in Chinese stocks, just before the overnight open, Morgan Stanley came out with a much distributed report urging investors "Not to buy this dip", and so they didn't. As a result, the Shanghai Composite imploded, at one point trading down 8% while the Chinext and Shenzhen markets crashed even more. This was the single biggest Shanghai Composite one-day drop since 2007, and with a close at 4192.87 the SHCOMP is now on the verge of a bear market, down 19% from its June 12 highs. China's second largest market, Shenzhen, is now officially in a bear market.
After 6 straight months of decline in annual spending growth, May saw YoY spending pop 3.6% (the most since Dec 2014). After an unchanged April, May expectations for spending were a 0.7% jump but the data blew that away, printing a 0.9% MoM jump - the biggest since August 2009 and biggest beat since Jan 2013. Personal Income only grew at 0.5% (still the highest MoM jump since March 2014) driving the savings rate down to 5.1% - the lowest since December. Before Steve Liesman and his buddies get too excited - spending was driven mainly by a 4.72% surge in spending on Energy goods & services - not exactly what the discretionary buying consumer-oriented society that is required to keep the dream alive was looking for. Spending Ex-Energy is the lowest since March 2011. Finally we note non-durable spending topped durables and this exuberant GDP-boosting spendfest (un-save-fest) provides more ammo for an earlier Fed rate hike.
Chaos reigns, with contradictory headlines pushing and pulling futures in any one direction, only for the next headline to undo the previous one. And only headline scanning frontrunning algos have any chance of trading any of this...
today is Friday taken to the nth degree, with the markets having already declared if not victory then the death of all Greek "contagion" leverage, following news that a new Greek proposal was sent yesterday (which as we summarized does not include any of the demanded by the Troika pension cuts), ignoring news that Greece had again sent Belgium the wrong proposal which the market has taken as a sign of capitulation by Tsipras, and as a result futures are surging higher by nearly 1%, the German DAX is up a whopping 3.1%, on track for the biggest one day gain in three years, Greek stocks up over 8%, German and US Treasurys sliding while Greek and peripheral bonds are surging.