The Economic Data calendar for the week of the 8th of October through the 12th is full of critical releases and events. Attached below is a snapshot of some (though far from all) of the headline numbers that we will be focused on.
They compete and demographics favor the cruise lines
Takeaway: Spain’s bailout is "Rumor Off" in a week of ECB rate inaction and continued weak fundamental data.
Positions in Europe: Short EUR/USD (FXE); Long German Bonds (BUNL)
Asset Class Performance:
The European Week Ahead:
Sunday – Sep. Germany Wholesale Price Index (Oct. 7-12)
Monday - Eurogroup Meeting in Luxembourg (Oct. 8-9); Oct. Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence; Aug. Germany Imports, Exports, Current Account, Trade Balance, Industrial Production; Sep. UK BRC Sales Like-For-Like, RICS House Price Balance; Sep. France BoF Business Sentiment
Tuesday – Aug. UK Industrial Production, Manufacturing Production, Visible Trade Balance, Total Trade Balance; Aug. France Central Government Balance, Trade Balance; Aug. Spain House Transactions; 2Q Italy Deficit to GDP; Sep. Greece Consumer Price Index
Wednesday – Aug. France Industrial Production, Manufacturing Production; Aug. Italy Industrial Production; Sep. Greece Industrial Production
Thursday – Oct. Bloomberg Economic Survey for the Eurozone, Germany, UK, France, Spain, Italy and Greece; ECB Publishes Monthly Report; Sep. Germany Consumer Price Index – Final; Sep. France Consumer Price Index; Sep. Spain Consumer Price Index – Final; Sep. Italy Consumer Price Index Jul. Greece Unemployment
Friday – Aug. Eurozone Industrial Production; Aug. France Current Account; Italy CPI - Final
Greece - Greek Prime Minister Samaras said in an interview with the German business daily Handelsblatt that Athens will run out of cash in November if the troika does not approve the next installment (~€31B) of its support package. Note that Athens and the troika have yet to even reach an agreement on a €13.5B package of spending cuts and tax measures over the next two years.
Germany - Germany's claims on the Eurosystem's Target2 system fell to €695.5B at the end of September from €751B at the end of August, the lowest level since April.
Germany - Is pushing the EU to improve proposals for a Eurozone banking supervisor so that countries outside of the EUR might be persuaded to join.
Spain - Bank of Spain Governor Luis Maria Linde said that the government's budget forecasts for the economy and tax income look optimistic, adding that deficit reduction targets (which Madrid reiterated just last week) may be missed. He told parliament that the economy would likely contract by -1.5% next year, while the government's budget is based on a -0.5% contraction.
Spain - Moody's said on Monday that Spanish banks face a capital shortfall of €70B-€105B (almost 2x the estimate from the stress test results on Friday). The test used a 6% core capital ratio under a stressed scenario, while the ratings firm assumed capital ratios of 8-10%.
Portugal - The government unveiled what it described as "enormous" tax increases to help keep the bailout program on track. The measures include an additional 4% tax on 2013 earnings, an increase in the average income tax rate to 11.8% from 9.8% and new taxes on capital income and homes worth more than €1M - will replace a "fiscal devaluation" program that the government was forced to scrap due to anti-austerity protests.
Portugal - Completed a €3.76B bond swap on Wednesday. It purchased bonds maturing in September 2013 and sold bonds maturing in October 2015. It was the country's first foray into the bond market since it requested a bailout last year. Recall that Portugal has to meet a September 2013 bond redemption of ~€10B without the support of its rescue program. In addition, the ECB has established the process of returning to the bond market as a condition for its new intervention program.
ECB and Banking Authority - ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said on Monday that the ECB will not rush through "half-baked" plans for a new pan-European supervisor.
Cyprus - Plans to seek an €11B bailout, or ~ 62% of the country's GDP. It added that the funds will be used to recapitalize its banks and pay its bills. Recall that when Cyprus became the fifth Eurozone country to seek aid in late-June, no amount was specified for the rescue.
Eurozone Unemployment Rate 11.4% AUG vs 11.4% JUL (revised from 11.3%)
Eurozone Retail Sales -1.3% AUG Y/Y (exp. -1.9%) vs -1.4% JUL [0.1% AUG M/M (exp. -0.1%) vs 0.1% JUL]
Eurozone PPI 2.7% AUG Y/Y vs 1.6% JUL [0.9% AUG M/M vs 0.3% JUL]
German Factory Orders -4.8% AUG Y/Y (exp.-4.3%) vs -4.6% JUL [-1.3% AUG M/M (exp. -0.5%) vs 0.3% JUL]
German Machinery Orders (VDMA) -11.0% AUG Y/Y vs -2.0% JUL
Germany VDIK New Passenger Car Registrations -11.0% SEPT Y/Y
French Car & Light Vehicle Registrations -17% SEPT Y/Y to 166,891
Italy Unemployment Rate 10.7% AUG vs 10.7% JUL
Spain Jobless +1.7% SEPT Y/Y to 4.7M vs August +0.83%
Spain Industrial Output WDA -3.2% AUG Y/Y vs -5.5% JUL (down for 12th straight month)
UK New Car Registrations 8.2% SEPT Y/Y vs 0.1% AUG
UK M4 Money Supply-4.1% AUG Y/Y vs -4.6% JUL
UK Nationwide House Prices -1.4% SEPT Y/Y (exp. -0.7%) vs -0.7% AUG [-0.4% SEPT M/M vs 1.1% AUG]
UK Halifax House Prices -1.2% SEPT Y/Y vs -0.9% AUG
UK PMI Construction 49.5 SEPT (exp. 49.9) vs 49 AUG
Switzerland Retail Sales 5.9% AUG Y/Y vs 2.9% JUL
Ireland Unemployment Rate 14.8% SEPT vs 14.8% AUG
Ireland Consumer Confidence 60.2 SEPT vs 70 AUG
Netherlands CPI 2.5% SEPT Y/Y vs 2.5% AUG
Belgium Unemployment Rate 7.4% AUG vs 7.5% JUL
Ireland Industrial Production -0.6% AUG Y/Y vs -4.2% JUL
Denmark Industrial Production -2.3% AUG M/M vs 4.4% JUL
Norway Industrial Production WDA 5.6% AUG Y/Y vs 7.6% JUL
Romania Producer Prices 7.2% AUG Y/Y vs 5.7% JUL
Romania Retail Sales 4.7% AUG Y/Y vs 4.4% JUL
Russia CPI 6.6% SEPT Y/Y vs 5.9% AUG
Estonia CPI 3.8% SEPT Y/Y vs 3.8% AUG
Czech Republic Retail Sales -0.8% AUG Y/Y vs 0.3% JUL
Hungary Industrial Production (Preliminary) 1.4% AUG Y/Y vs -2.2% JUL
Romania Q2 GDP Final 0.5% Q/Q [UNCH vs previous estimate]; 1.1% Y/Y [vs 1.2% initial]
Romania Industrial Sales 4.7% AUG Y/Y vs 5.0% JUL
Turkey CPI 9.19% SEPT Y/Y vs 8.88% AUG
Turkey PPI 4.03% SEPT Y/Y vs 4.56% AUG
Interest Rate Decisions:
(10/3) Poland Base Rate Announcement UNCH at 4.75 [consensus expected 25bps cut]
(10/3) Iceland Sedlabanki Interest Rate UNCH at 5.75%
(10/4) BOE UNCH at 0.50% and asset purchase program UNCH at 375 B GBP
(10/4) ECB UNCH at 0.75% (Deposit Facility UNCH at 0.00%)
(10/5) Russia Refinancing Rate UNCH at 8.25% [as expected]
(10/5) Russia Overnight Deposit Rate UNCH at 4.25%
(10/5) Russia Overnight Auction-Based Repo UNCH at 5.50%
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Takeaway: Nike's Converse division lost Dwayne Wade in a huge win for Chinese footwear brand Li Ning.
Nike's Converse division lost Dwayne Wade in a huge win for Chinese footwear brand Li Ning.
An important distinction is that if Nike really wanted to keep Wade, it would have kept him. They have the deepest pockets.
But this one is really surprising. Wade is what's known as a 'crossover athlete' in that he can be on the cover of GQ and SI in the same month. He appeals to most target groups -- white, black, hispanic, tall, and short (height is a factor in endorsements).
Our sense is that he wasnt getting the love he wanted at Converse, which is a division that Nike lets operate on its own. It does not have access to all the same technology as Nike or Jordan. That could have changed for Wade, but Li Ning likely came on too hard and heavy for Nike to react.
It's a tough loss. Hey, at least they've still got LeBron and Bosch.
Takeaway: The unemployment rate is down to 7.8% driven by participation, or lack thereof.
As many of you know, my colleagues and I at Hedgeye are fans of the legendary actor Clint Eastwood. We say this despite his less than stellar performance at the Republican convention. One of his most well known movies is The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In terms of film genre, this movie is in the category of Spaghetti Western.
The title of the movie itself is likely the best description of the employment data today – which we will touch on in more detail shortly – but the genre of the movie probably best describes the manic commentary around this report. Republicans from Jack Welch on down are claiming there is some grandiose manipulation of the numbers ahead of the election.
Meanwhile, Democrats are using this as a data point that validates the Obama economic plan and justifies his re-election. Just as we should be a little reticent letting Italians make Westerns (or Canadians make operas for that matter), let’s take a look at this report outside of the partisan lens.
The headline unemployment is positive for Obama and perhaps positive on the margin for confidence (very marginally). This comes despite consensus misses across the board on month-over-month non-farm, private and manufacturing payrolls, but because the focus for much of the punditry is on the actual rate. On the positive, total employed did rise by 873,000 which is the first meaningful increase in three months (although 600,000 of these were part-time jobs).
At 7.8%, the unemployment rate is now the same as when Obama took office and down from the 8.1% rate of August. It also deflates, at least partially, a key refrain from Romney’s debate strategy which is to highlight that unemployment has been above 8% for the duration of the Obama Presidency. The political analysis from the manic media on the jobs report is as simplistic as can be expected with the headline on USA Today currently being a prime example:
“Political analysis: Jobs report boosts Obama”
We will go into detail shortly as to why this employment number is actually far from stellar, but the sentiment is what it is and this will marginally benefit Obama. This is already being reflected on Intrade where the Obama contract has rallied about four points from 65 to 69.
In the bad category, there are a number of favorable items that were one time in nature that may have made this number look better than reality. Specifically, the government uses a seasonal adjustment that we have touched on numerous times. As our Financials Sector Head Josh Steiner wrote last week:
“We've harped on seasonality a lot, but to again reiterate, we think the two charts below speak for themselves. They illustrate quite plainly that in the last three years, ALL improvement in both initial jobless claims and nonfarm payrolls occurs in the September through February period while March through August stagnates or deteriorates. This seasonality distortion will again be present this year and next year.”
The point is that there is some manipulation in these numbers. This isn’t a partisan fact, but simply something we’ve observed based on looking at this data for the past three years. So, this “positive” report shouldn’t surprise anyone or be considered a panacea of economic recovery. The chart below outlines this seasonality.
The ugly is related to not just this jobs report but the economic environment in the U.S. that has Americans leaving the workforce in mass. In the chart below we’ve adjusted today’s labor report for the 10-year average labor force participation rate (LFPR). Given this analysis, the unemployment rate in September would have been 10.8%. This would have been a decent improvement over the adjusted August number of 11.3%, but is still very elevated.
Interestingly, if you adjust the headline figure for the LFPR on Obama’s first day in office, the SEP unemployment rate would have been 11.1% – substantially elevated from the comparable 7.8% figure he inherited from Bush. What this suggests is that, over the last four years, President Obama has seen the U.S. unemployment rate tick up +330bps when accounting for all the disgruntled civilians who’ve completely given up looking for work since the president took over the leadership reigns of the U.S. economy. The first chart below shows the trend of the participation rate over the past decade, which is down and to the right.
In the short run, this report will likely be positive, at least for the President’s re-election chances. In the long run, U.S. employment remains solidly in the bad to ugly category.
Daryl G. Jones
Director of Research
The chart essentially speaks for itself: Earlier this year, when Brent Crude oil was busy ripping to the upside, it had the edge over the broader Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE). As the dollar got crushed by Bernanke heading into the late summer and fall, diversifcation became essential; the XLE performed better and as we've seen this week, oil continues to get crushed.