Economy

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Oil prices have risen since the December lows on hopes the Russians cut production,despite Russia at new production highs and despite promises in the past. Sanctions are biting and even official unemployment rates are rising, Russia needs income to sate it's huge poor population.

The US trade deficit in November came in 11% lower than estimates, following the October blowout, the largest since 2008. The US had a $49.3 billion deficit upown from $55.7 billion in October with imports falling. The deficit with China fell $2.8 billion to $35.4 Billion.

The U.S. jobs report for January a robust 304,000 new NFP jobs following revised December  non farm payrolls of 222,000 new jobs with unemployment rising to 4.0% off 48 year lows. The best four month stretch of gains since 2014.

The trade balance for Japan in December came in as a much bigger deficit than expected at Y-55.3bn versus an expected Y-42.3bn, exports fell sharply as the trade wars bit, exports to China fell 7% y/y while they rose 1.6% to the U.S.

US existing home sales tumbled 4.99M v 5.24M expected, down -6.4% v -1.5%. Mortgage data has been stronger in 2019 so perhaps housing numbers pick up in the coming months with the Fed being flexible on rates. 

China GDP growth of 6.4% in Q4,  lowest since the global financial crisis, full year 6.6% GDP matches consensus also. Economists expect Beijing to increase stimulus measures ahead. December Industrial production and retail sales came in better, employment worse.

The monthly Reuters tankan survey indicates Japanese manufacturer's sentiment falling to a 2 year low in January with the sentiment index at +18 from December's +23. This was third consecutive monthly fall for the manufacturers' sentiment index to a 2 year low. 

Industrial production continues to slide Eurostat reports, falling 1.7% more than the 1.5% fall expected, this is prior to the market turmoil of December and just at the start of Gilets Jaunes protests which are now in their ninth week. Last month was +0.1%; revised from +0.1%.

The U.S. jobs report for December a robust 312,000 new NFP jobs following revised November non farm payrolls of 161,000 new jobs with unemployment rising to 3.9% off 48 year lows. We are still digesting the effect trade wars on jobs with tensions affecting employers.

It is clear the collapse in oil prices has had unintended consequences. In Texas the Dallas Fed manufacturing index for December slid a massive 22.5 points to -5.1 from +17.6 in November. Texas buinesses are also being negatively impacted by the trade war.

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