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Good gossip

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • The US Federal Reserve's Beige Book of economic gossip declared the economic expansion to be between "modest and moderate". Just because it is gossip, does not mean it cannot be precise. The strength of the labor market was reported (again) with more wage gains for more workers in the US.
  • The Beige Book continued to report a tightening in the US housing market. This may come to matter for inflation. Housing is over a third of the US consumer price inflation basket (over nine times the weighting of oil). If the wall is ever built, housing shortages may become more significant.
  • Japanese export data showed surprising strength as the seasonal distortions of the Lunar New Year fade (although seasonal distortions from Easter may still be about). The result was viewed as a positive for the Japanese economy, although any attention from the Trump Twitter feed would probably be unwelcome.
  • German producer price inflation is worth a glance, as the German inflation story is an important part of the Euro area outlook. Euro area consumer confidence is not worth a glance. The US Philly Fed business sentiment opinion poll may follow other regional surveys in moderating to reflect reality rather than hype.