Macro events & news for December 11, 2015

December 11, 2015

FX News Today

German Nov HICP inflation was confirmed at 0.3% y/y, as expected. The national rate was steady at 0.4% y/y and the CPI rate excluding energy fell back marginally to 1.3% y/y from 1.4% y/y. The sharp difference between headline inflation and the ex-energy figure highlights, however, once again that lower energy prices are the main driven behind the weak numbers, which also means the risk of a real deflationary spiral is limited.

Both BoE and SNB left policy unchanged at yesterday’s council meeting, as expected. The BoE is still eying a rate hike, but is clearly in no hurry, and if anything the statement was a tad more dovish than the November inflation report. The SNB meanwhile remains ready to intervene on currency markets if necessary. The BoE minutes, released at the same time, showed an 8-1 majority in favour of steady policy, with McCafferty continuing his dissent in favour of a rate hike. The vote to maintain the stock of purchased assets at GBP 375 bln was taken unanimously, as in the last meeting. The BoE’s November inflation report was already a tad more dovish and the MPC said today that the risks to the view back then that “if Bank Rate were to follow the gently rising path implied by the prevailing market yields then inflation would exceed slightly the 2% target in two years and then rise further above it”, lie a little to the downside in the first two years. This means under the implied gentle tightening path inflation may no longer exceed target in two years’ time, but not necessarily that it won’t reach the target.

US reports revealed the expected big trade price hits from commodity prices in November before likely bigger declines in December, with broad-based price drops beyond commodities, and particular weakness in export prices. We also saw a 13k initial claims rise to 282k in the first week of December that extended the 9k bounce to 269k in the Thanksgiving week of November. The sharp 22k two-week climb for claims raises the stakes for next week’s report, though for now the rise can be attributed to holiday volatility. We still expect a 200k December payroll rise that undershoots big recent gains of 211k in November and 298k i n October as well as the 210k average year-to-date gain for 2015, but that beats the 174k Q3 average monthly gain.

Main Macro Events Today

US Retail Sales: November retail sales are out today and should reveal a 0.3% (median 0.3%) headline with a 0.3% (median 0.3%) increase ex-autos. This follows October figures of 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. Despite the firm auto sales data for November, retail sales are facing headwinds from the decline in gasoline prices and a drop in construction hours worked as we discussed in Monday’s commentary.

US PPI: November PPI should reveal a 0.1% (median unchanged) headline with a 0.1% (median 0.1%) increase for the core. This should bring the y/y figure to -1.2% from -1.6% in October which set a new recent low. Declines in oil prices over the past year have acted to hold down most inflation measures.

US Business Inventories: October business inventories should come in unchanged (median 0.1%) headline for inventories with shipments for the month down 0.2%. This follows respective September figures of 0.3% for inventories and unchanged for September. Data in line with this forecast would leave the I/S ratio at 1.38, steady from September.

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