US Housing starts back to 2007 levels
US: Housing starts (Dec.): 1608k vs 1380k expected (prior: 1375k revised from 1365k)
- Building permits: 1416 k after 1474 k past month (1460 k (expected).
- Single and multi-family houses have finished the year at top levels (2007 levels for housing starts!).
- Permits have moderated but remained at highest levels since 2008. Non-start permits and houses under construction remained high and suggested that trend in housing could stay sustained over the coming months, even if monthly data eased somewhat.
US: Industrial production (Dec.): -0.3% m/m vs -0.2% expected (prior: 0.8% revised from 1.1%)
- Activity was mixed and globally weak across sectors; auto production fell back (-4.6% m/m) after prior month rebound (12.8% m/m) and production in utility sector has also decreased by 5.6% m/m. Production was more sustained in information, defense and construction sectors.
- Production ex autos was up by 0.5% m/m, after 0.1% m/m the prior month.
- Activity in manufacturing remained fragile, but sentiment has slightly improved in some districts and the signature of the trade agreement between US and China should bring orders and exports on a recovery.
US: Consumer confidence (Michigan) (Jan.): 99.1 vs 99.3 expected (prior: 99.3)
- Sentiment has slightly eroded from the prior month, on lower expectations while sentiment on current conditions has increased further, reaching new high (same level as in Q1-18).
- Inflation expectations have increased to 2.5% y/y for both 1y and 5-10y horizon (from 2.3% y/y and 2.2% y/y respectively).
- Opinions have eroded on personal financial situation, but sentiment on economy has regained and trend in labour is expected to remain healthy.
- Willingness to buy large items remained strong, notably for houses.
US: JOLTS Job Openings (Nov.): 6800 vs 7250 expected (prior: 7361 revised from 7267)
- Following disappointing non-farm payrolls, jobs openings have decreased from high levels. The fall was broad-based across sectors, but more pronounced in the trade and transport sector.
Eurozone: CPI (Dec.): 0.3% m/m as expected (prior: -0.3%)
- Inflation has recovered as expected due to food and energy prices.
- As a result of higher energy, yearly trend in headline inflation has increased from 1% y/y the previous month to 1.3% y/y; core inflation stayed on a stable 1.3% y/y trend.
UK: Retail sales (Dec.): -0.6% m/m vs 0.6% expected (prior: -0.8% revised from -0.6%)
- Sales were depressed in all sectors, except internet sales.
- It seems that uncertainties around general election weighted down on consumers sentiment.
- These weak data could argue one more in favour of a BoE's rate cut.
Switzerland: PPI-import prices (Dec.): 0.1% m/m (prior: -0.4%)
- Producer prices were up by 0.1% m/m and import prices were up by 0.2% m/m; yearly trend has turned less negative, from -2.5% y/y the prior month to -1.7% y/y.