Solid retail sales in the US, ECB: Draghi still on the dovish side
US: Retail sales (May): 0.8% m/m vs 0.4% expected (prior: 0.4% revised from 0.3%)
- Strength in retail sales was broad-based, with the notable exception of furniture (-2.4% in May vs. +2.7% in April) and sporting goods (-1.1% vs -0.2%). The value of motor vehicle sales rose by 0.05% m/m and higher gasoline prices translated into a 2% m/m increase in the value of gasoline station sales. Building materials sales rebounded by a strong 2.4% m/m and restaurant sales increased by 1.3% m/m, which reflects the slightly later start to spring in the northeast this year.
US: Import price index (May): 0.6% m/m vs 0.5% expected (prior: 0.6% revised from 0.3%)
- On a y/y basis: 4.3% vs 3.9% expected (prior: 3.6% revised from 3.3%)
- Petroleum prices rose by 5.9% m/m, while capital goods declined by 0.1% m/m.
US: Initial jobless claims (Jun 9): 218k vs 223k expected (prior: 222k)
- Continuing claims: 1697k vs 1732k expected (prior: 1746k revised from 1741k)
- By state, jobless claims fell by 4k in California and 2k in Florida while filings rose by 2k in Pennsylvania.
- Overall, today’s report suggests that the pace of layoffs remains low.
ECB Meeting: key points
- The ECB made two important announcements today.
- First, the ECB will continue to make net purchases at the current monthly pace of EUR 30 billion until the end of September 2018. Then, the Governing Council that, after September 2018 and subject to incoming data confirming the its medium-term inflation outlook, it will reduce the monthly pace of the net asset purchases to EUR 15 billion until the end of December 2018, which will mark the end net purchases. Moreover, they reiterated that their intention to maintain reinvestments of the principal payments from maturing securities for an extended period of time after the end of net asset purchases.
- Perhaps more importantly, on forward guidance about interest rates, the ECB expects them to remain at their present levels "at least through the summer of 2019 and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure that the evolution of inflation remains aligned with the current expectations of a sustained adjustment path".
- About Italy, Draghi mentioned that redenomination risk has not re-emerged and contagion from Italy to other member states has been limited. In our view, as long as the problem remains largely contained to Italy, the ECB will probably stay on the sidelines.
- The Government Council finally took the decision to give the details about the end of the net purchase today, rather than in July as was expected by most observers until last week. This does not make much difference and the path is in line with expectations. The surprise came from the pledge on rates – no rate hike at least until summer 2019 -, which highlights the huge dichotomy between the ECB and the Fed and explains the sharp fall in the EUR.
Germany: CPI (May F): 0.6% m/m as expected (prior: -0.1%)
- On a y/y basis: 2.2% as expected (prior: 1.4%)
- Food prices rose by 0.2% m/m, while transport prices increased by 1.2% m/m.
France: CPI (May F): 0.5% m/m vs 0.4% expected (prior: 0.4%)
- On a y/y basis: 2.3% as expected (prior: 1.8%)
- Food prices rose by 0.9% m/m, while energy prices increased by 2% m/m.
UK: Retail sales (May): 1.3% m/m vs 0.3% expected (prior: 1.4% revised from 1.3%)
- Retail sales rebounded strongly in May with the ONS pointing to warm weather and the royal wedding celebrations as the main drivers.