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U.S. Macro: A Catch-up Week for Domestic Data

A quick data flow management update here as it relates to the U.S.   

 

This week was a fairly heavy one for domestic macro data, but much of the flow consisted of delayed government sourced data releases playing catch-up post the government shutdown.

 

Immediately below is the summary list of delayed releases by period with this week’s releases highlighted in blue.  A more detailed highlight of the week’s data follows. 

 

Next week’s domestic macro calendar is equally heavy as we get ISM services for Oct, the latest read on Personal income and Spending, the advance 3Q13 GDP estimate, the 1st monthly read on confidence post the government shutdown resolution, and the BLS Employment data for October.  Plenty of speculative fodder for the Taper tea-leaf reading contingent.

 

U.S. Macro:  A Catch-up Week for Domestic Data - Delayed Release TableM

 

 

ISM:  Strongest Reading Since April 2011

Today’s ISM Manufacturingrelease – the 1st and most consequential private sector release of the month – showed domestic manufacturing activity remained healthy to start the fourth quarter. The composite indexed advanced 20bps MoM to its highest level since April 2011 with new orders holding >60 for a 3rd consecutive month. 

 

Manufacturing and consumption of goods has accelerated and helped to provide an offset to muted services consumption growth as real disposable personal income growth has remained constrained alongside (still) lackluster private sector wage inflation and the negative, furlough/sequestration impacts at the Federal level.

 

U.S. Macro:  A Catch-up Week for Domestic Data - ISM Table Oct

 

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION & RETAIL SALES:  Delayed, September IP and Retail Sales numbers reflect the same trend prevailing in the (leading) ISM data for October. 

 

  • Retail Sales:  Headline Retail Sales declined in September but that was mostly on the back of sequential weakness in auto sales as Retail Sales ex-Auto’s and ex-Autos & Gas both improved sequentially.  At the industry level Food and beverage gained against an easy comp and Electronics were strong with i-products and the Grand Theft Auto release helping support sales in the category.

 

  • Industrial Production:  Solid print as Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization hit their strongest levels since Feb. 2008 and July 2008, respectively.  Growth in Durables (6% weight) decelerated sequentially on a MoM basis but accelerated on a YoY and 2Y basis while growth in NonDurables (21% weight in Index) accelerated sequentially, moving back to positive growth after two consecutive months of decline.  

 

U.S. Macro:  A Catch-up Week for Domestic Data - Retail Sales

 

U.S. Macro:  A Catch-up Week for Domestic Data - IP Table Oct

 

Initial Claims: Inconclusive

Taking this week’s figures at face value, the labor market appears to be decelerating modestly.  However, it’s unclear whether the the distortive impact of the CA technology upgrade issue has fully resolved.

 

If California has, indeed, trued up its backlog of unprocessed claims in full than the observed deceleration in labor market improvement could be taken to accurately reflect deterioration in organic trends.  If, on the other hand, a residual drag from the computer upgrade persisted through the latest week, we would expect a return to trend line improvement (approx -10% YoY) over the next couple weeks.   The picture should be clearer next week when we get the state level data. 

 

Please see this weeks note: INITIAL CLAIMS: INCONCLUSIVE for detail.

 

U.S. Macro:  A Catch-up Week for Domestic Data - JS 1

 

U.S. Macro:  A Catch-up Week for Domestic Data - JS 2

 

Christian B. Drake

Associate

 

 



THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE?

Takeaway: Global CPI readings should trend higher in the short-term, but to low absolute levels before resuming their current disinflationary trend.

This note was originally published January 25, 2013 at 16:41 in Macro

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - INFLO

SUMMARY BULLETS:

  • After several meetings on the road with clients and prospective clients this week, it became clear to our team that a noteworthy competitor of ours is making noise about a demonstrable pickup in inflationary pressures that will slow inflation-adjusted GDP growth across the globe.
  • While we would agree that CPI readings are going to, on balance, trend higher here in 1Q and perhaps through 2Q as well, we completely disagree with the premise and conclusion of the aforementioned view.
  • Broadly speaking, we think reported CPI readings are poised to continue their rocky path lower over the next several quarters, fully equipped with a transient bounce(s) to demonstrably lower cycle peaks relative to their 2008 and 2011 highs.
  • Our call for reported inflation to broadly continue making a series of lower-highs is backed by our call for the DXY continue making a series of higher-lows while the global commodities basket (via CRB Index) continues to make a series of lower-highs.

 

At Hedgeye, we have developed a proprietary modeling process that allows us to front-run both consensus estimates of and the actual reported growth and inflation readings of any country, region or economic bloc (such as the world, on a GDP-weighted basis). In the note below, we walk through what this rigorous analytical process is signaling to us right now.

 

STEP #1: QUANTITATIVE SIGNAL(S)

Unlike many researchers who impose their theses and theories upon the market – usually the “smartest guys in the room” types – our research process remains grounded in uncertainty. We use a proven, three-factor quantitative overlay to consistently guide us to the most appropriate places to “fish”.

 

Right now, those signals are suggesting the US Dollar Index is poised to continue making a series of higher-lows over the intermediate-to-long term. That view is underpinned by our uber-bullish bias on US housing, our street-leading expectations for US employment growth and our call for a currency crisis in Japan.

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - BOOM1

 

We have been vocal about our call for the domestic housing market and the yen in recent weeks/months, as culminated in our 1Q13 Macro Themes of #HousingsHammer and #Quadrill-yen. Our updated thoughts on the domestic labor market can be found in the notes below:

 

 

Moving along, we anticipate that the confluence of the domestic factors highlighted above will result in the FX market pulling forward its expectations of the culmination of QE (which, on the margin, would likely be functionally equivalent to a rate hike).

 

That’s explicitly bullish for America’s currency and bearish for commodities and international inflation hedges – which are broadly priced in and settled in US dollars internationally.

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - 2

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - 3

 

At least for now, domestic interest rates are confirming this view:

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - 4

 

STEP #2: GIP MODEL

Now that we know where to look from a quantitative perspective, we turn to our predictive tracking algorithms to guide us to hard numbers on the economic data front. With respect to Bloomberg’s GDP-weighted world CPI YoY index specifically, our algorithm backtests with an r² of 0.76 on the median estimate.

 

For background, the model is purposefully designed to produce a high, mid and low estimate and we use the respective market-based quantitative signals to guide our expectations to the higher or lower of the two economic data risk ranges.

 

Applying the same algorithm to a particular country, region or economic bloc’s GDP growth figures allows us to triangulate the associated sequential deltas and monetary/fiscal policy implications on our GIP chart. Currently, the world is entering Quad #2 on this analysis (i.e. Growth Accelerates as Inflation Accelerates).

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - WORLD

 

Taking a broader perspective of what the model is signaling to us, we can rest assured that any near-term pickup in reported inflation across the world (again, generally speaking) will be both transient and to absolute levels that we would consider not threatening to economic growth.

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - 6

 

As the chart above highlights, our model has been better than bad at calling for major inflection points and trends in global inflation readings for the past 4-5 years, so we feel comfortable with its summary outputs in the absence of disconfirming evidence.

 

STEP #3 THE SEARCH FOR CONFIRMING OR DISCONFIRMING EVIDENCE

It would be intellectually lazy to rest our call on the confluence of quantitative signals and the output of our modeling of economic data. Rather, the appropriate exercise – which is what we spend all day doing when not publishing research or engaging with clients – is to constantly vet confirming or disconfirming evidence.

 

With respect to commodities specifically – which we think holds a slightly leading relationship with reported CPI readings globally (varies by country based on index weights) – we are coming up with some particularly muted YoY gains when you streamline current prices throughout the year, which is in and of itself a generous assumption.

 

In fact, the current estimate of a JUN ’13 peak of +10% is well off the peak YoY growth rates of we saw in the summer of 2008 (+45.4%) and the summer of 2011 (+37.2%).

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - 7

 

Our Global Macro team continues to hold the view that commodities – particularly food and energy price inflation/deflation - have become the largest contributors to the direction and magnitude of global inflation readings in the post-crisis era of muted/nonexistent labor and income growth across the key developed markets. Slack capacity utilization also remains a headwind for the economic growth-driven inflation policymakers have been desperately searching for across much of the developed world.

 

You can see the obvious aforementioned relationship in the following chart of median YoY CPI readings of the US, Eurozone and China overlaid with our commodity price sample:

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - 8

 

Net-net-net, it’s really tough to get to anything more than +3% inflation in the world’s three largest economies on a median basis by mid-summer without some meaningful degree of commodity price inflation from here – which is precisely what we do not expect to happen. If anything, further weakness across key commodity markets should augment our call for lower-highs in global reported inflation readings throughout the year.

 

Looking to the previous chart, we don't find it at all ironic that the universal view of "price stability" across developed central banks anchors on +2% YoY CPI when considering that the same +2% happens to align with neither inflation nor deflation in international commodity markets. The deep simplicity of chaos theory strikes again...

 

On the disconfirming evidence side, both Oil and the EUR are outliers here; each looks good quantitatively at the current juncture and both stand completely counter to our call for strength in the DXY and weakness across the commodity complex (energy prices are a key driver) over the intermediate term.

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - 9

 

THE “GREAT INFLATION”: FROM WHERE? - 10

 

While it’s rather difficult for us to endorse a rock-solid fundamental call on either asset class at the current juncture, we think our non-consensus fundamental thesis regarding the USD and international commodities prices will ultimately prevail. For now, however, both crude oil and the EUR remain the two largest financial market-based risks to this view.

 

CONCLUSION

All told, our models, signals and the data all suggest global inflation readings should trend higher in the short-term, but to low absolute levels relative to their prior peaks. As such, the current disinflationary trend across the world economy is very much intact.

 

Have a wonderful weekend,

 

Darius Dale

Senior Analyst


Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.64%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.61%

GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT?

Takeaway: We continue to hold a directionally positive outlook for global growth and a dovish outlook for global inflation (TREND duration).

This note was originally published May 20, 2013 at 15:23 in Macro

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - yum

SUMMARY BULLETS:

  • Our proprietary GIP (short for “Growth, Inflation and Policy”) model continues to signal further nirvana for global economy. Specifically, the world is projected to remain in Quad #1 – which is a state denoted by real GDP growth accelerating as CPI decelerates – for the second-straight quarter here in 2Q13E.
  • Incorrectly interpreting YTD commodity price declines – which we have repeatedly identified as a stimulus to the global economy, rather than harbinger of souring economic trends – the bears missed the turn from Quad #3 in 4Q12 to Quad #1 in 1Q13 and we think they are missing the staying power we see at the current juncture as well.
  • A counter-consensus acceleration in global growth is something we think super-sovereign bond markets are starting to focus on. If US Treasuries, German Bunds and JGBs all have one thing in common, it’s that they are allergic to economic growth (review HERE and HERE for more details).
  • Jumping over to our outlook for global inflation, we continue to view the inverse relationship between the USD and the prices of international commodities as a casual factor for the slope of reported inflation readings across the globe (on various lags, due to cross-country variance in CPI basket weightings). That relationship continues to underpin our dovish outlook for global inflation – which is perhaps the most counter-consensus economic call we have [correctly] made all year (review HERE and HERE for more details).
  • We continue to sing the praises of #StrongDollar and the associated leeway incremental commodity deflation is creating for economic growth to surprise to the upside over the intermediate term. Insomuch as #StrongDollar has been a bearish signal for regressive assets like Gold, it has become a bullish signal for pro-growth assets like equities.
  • To that tune, the US Dollar Index holds positive correlations of +0.90 and +0.80 with the S&P 500 and MSCI World Equity Index, respectively, on our immediate-term duration. That contrasts with the -0.86 and -0.61 inverse correlations it holds with Gold and the VIX, respectively, on that same duration. While these statistical relationships are more intense in recent weeks, those directional signals are consistent across the trailing six months of our cross-asset class regression analyses.

 

THE MODEL

A decade-plus of research and remodeling has helped our macro team develop a predictive tracking algorithm that keeps us 1-2 quarters ahead of the Street on any country or region’s growth and inflation trends. The model isn’t designed with the intent of playing “pin-the-tail-on-the-sell-side-donkey” from a forecasting perspective, but rather designed to proactively signal accelerations, decelerations and inflections in the rates of change (i.e. 2nd derivative) for both growth and inflation. Using the US as an example, the model backtests with an r² of 0.82 for growth and an r² of 0.69 for inflation.

 

Our macro forecasting model, which is as differentiated as anything you’ll find on the Street, has been [accurately] modeling “countries like companies” for a past ~5 years. As an aside, this practitioner’s approach to macro investing was most recently made popular by Dan Loeb at this year’s SALT conference.

 

Jumping back into it, our proprietary GIP (short for “Growth, Inflation and Policy”) model continues to signal further nirvana for global economy. Specifically, the world is projected to remain in Quad #1 – which is a state denoted by real GDP growth accelerating as CPI decelerates – for the second-straight quarter here in 2Q13E.

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - dale1

 

Incorrectly interpreting YTD commodity price declines – which we have repeatedly identified as a stimulus to the global economy, rather than harbinger of souring economic trends – the bears missed the turn from Quad #3 in 4Q12 to Quad #1 in 1Q13 and we think they are missing the staying power we see at the current juncture as well.

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - CRB

 

THE SEARCH FOR CONFIRMING AND DISCONFIRMING EVIDENCE

At Hedgeye, we don’t think it’s enough to just rest on the conclusions of any model(s); rather, it ultimately pays to vet any research assumptions with confirming and/or disconfirming evidence. In this vein, the evidence continues to affirm the conclusions laid out above.

 

Looking to global growth, APR PMI data continues to signal positive sequential growth – albeit at a slightly slower rate. Specifically, the median of our 39-index sample of PMI data from all of the key countries and economic blocks was essentially flat MoM, dropping a mere -10bps to 50.8.


 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - PMI Scatter

 

Sequential gains (i.e. positive 1st derivative growth) from larger numbers bodes well for continued acceleration in the YoY real GDP growth figures (i.e. positive 2nd derivate growth), which our model is currently predicting – especially in the context of easier 1Y comps as highlighted in the aforementioned GIP chart and in the chart below. Students of Bayesian statistics understand full well that the base rate is just as important to determining the direction and magnitude of growth figures as the most recent sequential deltas.

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - JPM PMI

 

A counter-consensus acceleration in global growth is something we think super-sovereign bond markets are starting to focus on. If US Treasuries, German Bunds and JGBs all have one thing in common, it’s that they are allergic to economic growth (review HERE and HERE for more details).

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - 10 2

 

Jumping over to our outlook for global inflation, we continue to view the inverse relationship between the USD and the prices of international commodities as a casual factor for the slope of reported inflation readings across the globe (on various lags, due to cross-country variance in CPI basket weightings). That relationship continues to underpin our dovish outlook for global inflation – which is perhaps the most counter-consensus economic call we have [correctly] made all year (review HERE and HERE for more details).

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - DXY YoY vs. CRB YoY

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - CRB YoY vs. CPI YoY

 

Our dovish outlook for global inflation continues to be both perpetuated and confirmed by our quantitative risk management signals:

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - DXY

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - OIL

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - GOLD

 

THE INVESTMENT CONCLUSIONS

All told, 2013 has been quite a year for top-calling and anchoring on mini-crises of non-epic proportions, which tells us one thing: there are large pockets of the investment community that continue to stare at the tree(s) in lieu of the forest. This is inclusive of this latest global growth scare of the past 4-6 weeks, as indicated by plummeting economic surprise indices.

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - Econ Surprise

 

That being said, however, we continue to sing the praises of #StrongDollar and the associated leeway incremental commodity deflation is creating for economic growth to surprise to the upside over the intermediate term. Insomuch as #StrongDollar has been a bearish signal for regressive assets like Gold, it has become a bullish signal for pro-growth assets like equities.

 

 GROWTH & INFLATION: WHAT NEXT? - Oil 3M

 

To that tune, the US Dollar Index holds positive correlations of +0.90 and +0.80 with the S&P 500 and MSCI World Equity Index, respectively, on our immediate-term duration. That contrasts with the -0.86 and -0.61 inverse correlations it holds with Gold and the VIX, respectively, on that same duration. While these statistical relationships are more intense in recent weeks, those directional signals are consistent across the trailing six months of our cross-asset class regression analyses.

 

Focus on the forest, not the trees.

 

Darius Dale

Senior Analyst


XRAY MEETS #EUROBULLS

Takeaway: XRAY likely to continue working on improving European trends and sentiment cycling higher.

Editor's note: Below is a brief excerpt from a report issued earlier this morning by Hedgeye Healthcare Sector Head Tom Tobin. For more information on how you can subscribe to Hedgeye research click here.

 

XRAY MEETS #EUROBULLS - dent1

Conclusion: Q313 Inline, Staying Long

Q313 came in as we expected for DENTSPLY International Inc. (XRAY), although management threw up a few warning signs for Q413, but nothing that will generate a miss. Despite closing the relative performance gap since our initial position,and a rapidly expanding multiple, we'll stick with the long here.

Thesis:  Revision Cycle

Our original thesis on XRAY shares came from confidence in our outlook for the US Dental Market.  At the time, XRAY shares were under-performing, sellside sentiment was on a multi-year low, short interest was falling, and European trends appeared to be stabilizing. 

 

Our view was that as the European region recovered economically, so to should the internal growth rates for XRAY's EU business, driving a significant part of XRAY's revenue, and subsequently, sentiment higher.  Similar to the US, growth for XRAY overseas business is driven by the changes in employment and GDP related factors.  Unlike most names in HC, sellside ratings and short interest matter to XRAY's price performance.

 

>>> CLICK HERE to watch Hedgeye's #1 Q4 Macro Theme: #EuroBulls <<<


XRAY MEETS #EUROBULLS - tobin1


Toppy? SP500 Levels, Refreshed

Takeaway: If The USD and rates fail here, this market has plenty of downside risks.

POSITION: 8 LONGS, 6 SHORTS @Hedgeye

 

I’m buying Gold and Treasuries for the 1st time in a year (today) as the SP500 signals lower-highs and the VIX signals higher-lows. If The USD and rates fail here, this market has plenty of downside risks.

 

Across our core risk management durations, here are the lines that matter to me most:

 

  1. Immediate-term TRADE resistance = 1771
  2. Immediate-term TRADE support = 1744
  3. Intermediate-term TREND support = 1683

 

In other words, with the all-time closing high (1771) registering as resistance, there’s plenty of mean reversion downside. If the market stops me out of these thoughts, so be it. But sentiment (II Bull/Bear Spread) is tracking at its YTD high now too.

 

KM

 

Keith McCullough

Chief Executive Officer

 

Toppy? SP500 Levels, Refreshed - SPX


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