Neither accurate nor precise

Posted by: Paul Donovan

07 Nov 2019
  • US productivity fell. US hours worked data is getting better at capturing self-employed workers. US GDP data is not getting better at capturing what self-employed workers do. Thus, productivity data is dodgy data. It does suggest that there may be more growth than has officially been reported. Economic numbers are neither accurate nor precise. Economists use decimal points in their forecasts to demonstrate a sense of humor.
  • The European Commission is publishing its economic forecasts. Will markets care? No.
  • There are reports that Chinese President Xi and US President Trump will not be meeting this month to share chocolate cake and sign trade deals. A phase one deal would be good news, economically. It would be fairly limited good news, however. The uncertainty surrounding medium-term trends is likely to stay in place and continue to weigh on investment. A delay of a few weeks to signing an agreement should not change much in economic terms.
  • The Bank of England meets, but with the erratic election campaign now formally under way it seems very unlikely that there will be anything new in terms of policy, or much new in terms of commentary.