Central banks and economics

Posted by: Paul Donovan

03 May 2019
  • Investors and economists assume that the US employment report will continue to signal a strong labor market. With employment cost growth running near a decade high and anecdotal evidence of labor shortages, there is every reason to look for continued strength. This is supporting the consumer and the economy. But the US employment participation rate is still well below that of Europe.
  • US President Trump's non-nominee for the Fed, Moore, is now not a non-nominee. Markets had worried that Moore was better qualified politically than economically. However, there are still vacancies at the Fed, and future nominees may still be political. There is a global trend of political pressure on central banks – forgetting how costly inflation can be and how hard it was to control.
  • Eurozone producer price inflation is due, signaling pricing power from European corporations. Labor costs have been rising in Europe, but there has been relatively little evidence of these being passed on to customers.
  • The Bank of England governor was clear in signaling a desire to raise interest rates. The timing simply depends on the politics. Markets do not appear to be paying too much attention. Early UK local election results show both main parties losing support.

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