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Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: CPI, PPI, Retail Sales, ECB, China Data Dump, new iPhone, ARM IPO, UAW Strike And More

Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: CPI, PPI, Retail Sales, ECB, China Data Dump, new iPhone, ARM IPO, UAW Strike And More

If last week was…



Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: CPI, PPI, Retail Sales, ECB, China Data Dump, new iPhone, ARM IPO, UAW Strike And More

If last week was rather light on important data, you can't say the same about this week's high-impact extravaganza that will occur in a Fed (and buyback) blackout period as next week's FOMC lurks in the wings:

US CPI (Wednesday) will be the obvious standout but US PPI and retail sales (Thursday) are nearly as important given how some of the PPI subcomponents feed into the Fed's preferred core PCE, and for retail sales, we’ll see how much momentum has been lost after a phenomenally strong July print. If that's not enough, the ECB see their first "in the balance" meeting of this cycle on Thursday with markets now pricing in a 38% likelihood of a hike this morning. Elsewhere, the UK sees employment data (tomorrow) and monthly GDP (Wednesday) while Friday is a busy day as we get China's monthly suite of activity data, its latest 1-yr MLF fixing rate and US industrial production and the University of Michigan survey.

It's not just economic data: on Tuesday, the long-awaited Apple "Wonderlust" presentation will unveil the latest iPhone model, as well as a new Apple Watch, AirPods, iOS 17 and USB-C charging ports announcements, Wednesday we will get the pricing of the long-awaited ARM IPO (which is said to be six times oversubscribed), while the UAW union strike is scheduled to begin on Thursday, Sept 14, with potentially disastrous consequences for the US.

As DB's Jim Reid writes, there's no other place to start than US CPI: DB's US economists write that since gas prices have risen nearly 7% in August, headline CPI (+0.61% DB forecast vs. +0.17% previously) will see its largest monthly increase since June 2022. However, core (+0.22% vs. +0.16% last month) is likely to remain relatively becalmed. On these estimates, the year-on-year number for core CPI inflation should fall 0.4% to 4.3%, whereas headline would rise 0.4% to 3.7%, the highest for three months.

With core inflation still relatively subdued, the positive momentum should continue, with the three-month annualized rate falling by about 90bps to 2.2%, while the six-month annualized rate should fall by 50bps to 3.6%. In both cases that would be the lowest since early 2021. So for now the strong headline print should be offset by the positive news on core. However, the risk is always that the longer headline edges up, the more risk of second-round effects down the road.

Talking of components, Thursday's PPI will be nearly as important, as many categories feed into the Fed’s favored core PCE deflator. Health care is the main one and DB economists are concerned that wage growth in the sector could push this higher in the months ahead after recent falls. Airlines are another one to watch. They’ve surprisingly slumped in CPI recently, but risen in the PPI. So this will be an interesting one to get resolved: airfares are one reason why the “core services excluding housing” PCE inflation has been significantly stronger than that of the CPI core services excluding rent and medical care services. The Fed pays far closer attention to the PCE core services ex-housing series because this accounts for a little over half of core PCE inflation.

On Thursday, August’s retail sales will be a very important release after the strong July reading, so it’ll give us a much better idea of consumption trends and the direction of travel for Q3 GDP and beyond. Economists expect some payback across headline (0.1% vs. +0.7% in July), sales excluding autos (0.4% vs. +1.0%) and retail control (-0.1% vs. +1.0%). So don't underestimate how much a strong reading could impact the likelihood of another hike, or a bad reading impact the probabilities of a recession. The final highlight for the US will be the inflation expectations in the UoM sentiment survey. Will it edge up a bit with the recent rise in gas prices?

Over in Europe, all eyes will be on the ECB’s decision on Thursday. DB economists have nervously held their 3.75% terminal deposit rate call for many months now, and as such they think the ECB will stay on hold. However, even if they don't hike this week, don't expect any sign that the council are confident that this is the last hike. A lot of uncertainty remains over European inflation, whilst GDP has been in near-stagnation since last autumn. See our economists' preview note here. Elsewhere in Europe, we have the ZEW survey due for Germany tomorrow, as well as Eurozone-level industrial production on Wednesday.

Speaking of central banks, DB Research has just changed its call on the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy outlook; their economists now expects yield curve control to be removed in October (previously April 2024), and for negative interest rate policy to end in January 2024 (previously December 2024). That follows the interview that BoJ Governor Ueda gave with the Yomiuri newspaper, where he said an end to negative interest rates was possible if they were confident that wages and prices were rising sustainably, and that they could have enough information on the wage outlook by the end of the year.

Courtesy of DB, here is a day-by-day calendar of events

Monday September 11

  • Data: Japan August M2, M3, machine tool orders, Italy July industrial production
  • Central banks: BoE's Pill speaks
  • Earnings: Oracle

Tuesday September 12

  • Data: US August NFIB small business optimism, UK July average weekly earnings, unemployment rate, August jobless claims change, Germany September ZEW survey, July current account balance, Eurozone September ZEW survey
  • Central banks: BoE's Mann speaks

Wednesday September 13

  • Data: US August CPI, monthly budget statement, UK July monthly GDP, trade balance, industrial production, index of services, construction output, Japan August PPI, Italy Q2 unemployment rate, Eurozone July industrial production
  • Earnings: Inditex

Thursday September 14

  • Data: US August PPI, retail sales, July business inventories, initial jobless claims, Japan July core machine orders, capacity utilization
  • Central banks: ECB decision
  • Earnings: Adobe, Lennar

Friday September 15

  • Data: US September University of Michigan survey, Empire manufacturing survey, August industrial production, import and export price index, capacity utilization, China August industrial production, retail sales, new home prices, property investment, Japan July Tertiary industry index, Italy July trade balance, general government debt, Eurozone Q2 labour costs, July trade balance, Canada August existing home sales, July manufacturing sales, international securities transactions
  • Central banks: Bank of England Inflation Attitudes Survey, China 1-year MLF rate

* * *

Turning to just the US, Goldman writes that the key economic data releases this week are the CPI report on Wednesday, and the retail sales and PPI reports on Thursday. Fed officials are not expected to comment on monetary policy this week, reflecting the FOMC blackout period in advance of the September 19-20 meeting.

Monday, September 11

  • 11:00 AM New York Fed 1-year inflation expectations, August (last 3.6%)

Tuesday, September 12

  • 06:00 AM NFIB small business optimism, August (consensus 91.5, last 91.9)

Wednesday, September 13

  • 08:30 AM CPI (mom), August (GS +0.63%, consensus +0.6%, last +0.2%); Core CPI (mom), August (GS +0.24%, consensus +0.2%, last +0.2%); CPI (yoy), August (GS +3.58%, consensus +3.6%, last +3.2%); Core CPI (yoy), August (GS +4.30%, consensus +4.3%, last +4.7%): We estimate a 0.24% increase in August core CPI (mom sa), which would lower the year-on-year rate by four tenths to 4.30%. Our forecast reflects a pullback in auto prices (used -3.1%, new -0.2%, mom sa) reflecting declines in used car auction prices and the further rebound in new car inventories and incentives. However, we expect a boost from residual seasonality in the transportation services categories, in particular for airlines (we assume +6% mom sa; webfares also increased sequentially). We also expect another gain in the car insurance category (we assume +1.6%), as carriers continue to offset higher repair and replacement costs. We forecast shelter inflation to remain roughly at its current pace (we estimate +0.40% for rent and +0.48% for OER). We estimate a 0.63% rise in headline CPI, reflecting higher energy (+5.8%) and food (+0.3%) prices.

Thursday, September 14

  • 08:30 AM Retail sales, August (GS -0.1%, consensus +0.1%, last +0.7%); Retail sales ex-auto, August (GS +0.3%, consensus +0.4%, last +1.0%); Retail sales ex-auto & gas, August (GS -0.2%, consensus -0.1%, last +1.0%); Core retail sales, August (GS -0.2%, consensus -0.1%, last +1.0%): We estimate core retail sales fell 0.2% in August (ex-autos, gasoline, and building materials; mom sa). Our forecast reflects solid back-to-school shopping trends in the brick-and-mortar segment but a pullback in the nonstore category following record sales on Amazon Prime Day. We estimate a 0.1% drop in headline retail sales.
  • 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended September 9 (GS 225k, consensus 227k, last 216k): Continuing jobless claims, week ended September 2 (consensus 1,695k, last 1,679k)
  • 08:30 AM PPI final demand, August (GS +0.3%, consensus +0.4%, last +0.3%); PPI ex-food and energy, August (GS +0.1%, consensus +0.2%, last +0.3%); PPI ex-food, energy, and trade, August (GS +0.2%, consensus +0.2%, last +0.2%)
  • 10:00 AM Business inventories, July (consensus +0.1%, last flat)

Friday, September 15

  • 08:30 AM Import price index, August (consensus +0.3%, last +0.4%); Export price index, August (consensus +0.3%, last +0.7%)
  • 08:30 AM Empire State manufacturing survey, September (consensus -10.0, last -19.0)
  • 09:15 AM Industrial production, August (GS +0.1%, consensus +0.1%, last +1.0%): Manufacturing production, August (GS -0.1%, consensus +0.1%, last +0.5%); Capacity utilization, August (GS 79.2%, consensus 79.3%, last 79.3%): We estimate industrial production increased 0.1%, as strong oil and gas production and electric utilities outweigh weak mining production. We estimate capacity utilization edged down to 79.2%.
  • 10:00 AM University of Michigan consumer sentiment, September preliminary (GS 69.2, consensus 69.2, last 69.5): University of Michigan 5-10-year inflation expectations, September preliminary (GS 3.0%, consensus 3.0%, last 3.0%)

Source: DB, Goldman, BofA

Tyler Durden Mon, 09/11/2023 - 10:20

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Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super…



Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super Tuesday primaries have got it right. Barring cataclysmic changes, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will be the Republican and Democratic nominees for president in 2024.

(Left) President Joe Biden delivers remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library in Culver City, Calif., on Feb. 21, 2024. (Right) Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump stands on stage during a campaign event at Big League Dreams Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jan. 27, 2024. (Mario Tama/Getty Images; David Becker/Getty Images)

With Nikki Haley’s withdrawal, there will be no more significantly contested primaries or caucuses—the earliest both parties’ races have been over since something like the current primary-dominated system was put in place in 1972.

The primary results have spotlighted some of both nominees’ weaknesses.

Donald Trump lost high-income, high-educated constituencies, including the entire metro area—aka the Swamp. Many but by no means all Haley votes there were cast by Biden Democrats. Mr. Trump can’t afford to lose too many of the others in target states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Majorities and large minorities of voters in overwhelmingly Latino counties in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and some in Houston voted against Joe Biden, and even more against Senate nominee Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas).

Returns from Hispanic precincts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts show the same thing. Mr. Biden can’t afford to lose too many Latino votes in target states like Arizona and Georgia.

When Mr. Trump rode down that escalator in 2015, commentators assumed he’d repel Latinos. Instead, Latino voters nationally, and especially the closest eyewitnesses of Biden’s open-border policy, have been trending heavily Republican.

High-income liberal Democrats may sport lawn signs proclaiming, “In this house, we believe ... no human is illegal.” The logical consequence of that belief is an open border. But modest-income folks in border counties know that flows of illegal immigrants result in disorder, disease, and crime.

There is plenty of impatience with increased disorder in election returns below the presidential level. Consider Los Angeles County, America’s largest county, with nearly 10 million people, more people than 40 of the 50 states. It voted 71 percent for Mr. Biden in 2020.

Current returns show county District Attorney George Gascon winning only 21 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan primary. He’ll apparently face Republican Nathan Hochman, a critic of his liberal policies, in November.

Gascon, elected after the May 2020 death of counterfeit-passing suspect George Floyd in Minneapolis, is one of many county prosecutors supported by billionaire George Soros. His policies include not charging juveniles as adults, not seeking higher penalties for gang membership or use of firearms, and bringing fewer misdemeanor cases.

The predictable result has been increased car thefts, burglaries, and personal robberies. Some 120 assistant district attorneys have left the office, and there’s a backlog of 10,000 unprosecuted cases.

More than a dozen other Soros-backed and similarly liberal prosecutors have faced strong opposition or have left office.

St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner resigned last May amid lawsuits seeking her removal, Milwaukee’s John Chisholm retired in January, and Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby was defeated in July 2022 and convicted of perjury in September 2023. Last November, Loudoun County, Virginia, voters (62 percent Biden) ousted liberal Buta Biberaj, who declined to prosecute a transgender student for assault, and in June 2022 voters in San Francisco (85 percent Biden) recalled famed radical Chesa Boudin.

Similarly, this Tuesday, voters in San Francisco passed ballot measures strengthening police powers and requiring treatment of drug-addicted welfare recipients.

In retrospect, it appears the Floyd video, appearing after three months of COVID-19 confinement, sparked a frenzied, even crazed reaction, especially among the highly educated and articulate. One fatal incident was seen as proof that America’s “systemic racism” was worse than ever and that police forces should be defunded and perhaps abolished.

2020 was “the year America went crazy,” I wrote in January 2021, a year in which police funding was actually cut by Democrats in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. A year in which young New York Times (NYT) staffers claimed they were endangered by the publication of Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) opinion article advocating calling in military forces if necessary to stop rioting, as had been done in Detroit in 1967 and Los Angeles in 1992. A craven NYT publisher even fired the editorial page editor for running the article.

Evidence of visible and tangible discontent with increasing violence and its consequences—barren and locked shelves in Manhattan chain drugstores, skyrocketing carjackings in Washington, D.C.—is as unmistakable in polls and election results as it is in daily life in large metropolitan areas. Maybe 2024 will turn out to be the year even liberal America stopped acting crazy.

Chaos and disorder work against incumbents, as they did in 1968 when Democrats saw their party’s popular vote fall from 61 percent to 43 percent.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or ZeroHedge.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 23:20

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Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),




Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reviewed no data when deciding in 2023 to keep its COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place.

Doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington in a file image. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

VA Secretary Denis McDonough said on May 1, 2023, that the end of many other federal mandates “will not impact current policies at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

He said the mandate was remaining for VA health care personnel “to ensure the safety of veterans and our colleagues.”

Mr. McDonough did not cite any studies or other data. A VA spokesperson declined to provide any data that was reviewed when deciding not to rescind the mandate. The Epoch Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act for “all documents outlining which data was relied upon when establishing the mandate when deciding to keep the mandate in place.”

The agency searched for such data and did not find any.

The VA does not even attempt to justify its policies with science, because it can’t,” Leslie Manookian, president and founder of the Health Freedom Defense Fund, told The Epoch Times.

“The VA just trusts that the process and cost of challenging its unfounded policies is so onerous, most people are dissuaded from even trying,” she added.

The VA’s mandate remains in place to this day.

The VA’s website claims that vaccines “help protect you from getting severe illness” and “offer good protection against most COVID-19 variants,” pointing in part to observational data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimate the vaccines provide poor protection against symptomatic infection and transient shielding against hospitalization.

There have also been increasing concerns among outside scientists about confirmed side effects like heart inflammation—the VA hid a safety signal it detected for the inflammation—and possible side effects such as tinnitus, which shift the benefit-risk calculus.

President Joe Biden imposed a slate of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in 2021. The VA was the first federal agency to implement a mandate.

President Biden rescinded the mandates in May 2023, citing a drop in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. His administration maintains the choice to require vaccines was the right one and saved lives.

“Our administration’s vaccination requirements helped ensure the safety of workers in critical workforces including those in the healthcare and education sectors, protecting themselves and the populations they serve, and strengthening their ability to provide services without disruptions to operations,” the White House said.

Some experts said requiring vaccination meant many younger people were forced to get a vaccine despite the risks potentially outweighing the benefits, leaving fewer doses for older adults.

By mandating the vaccines to younger people and those with natural immunity from having had COVID, older people in the U.S. and other countries did not have access to them, and many people might have died because of that,” Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine on leave from Harvard Medical School, told The Epoch Times previously.

The VA was one of just a handful of agencies to keep its mandate in place following the removal of many federal mandates.

“At this time, the vaccine requirement will remain in effect for VA health care personnel, including VA psychologists, pharmacists, social workers, nursing assistants, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, peer specialists, medical support assistants, engineers, housekeepers, and other clinical, administrative, and infrastructure support employees,” Mr. McDonough wrote to VA employees at the time.

This also includes VA volunteers and contractors. Effectively, this means that any Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee, volunteer, or contractor who works in VHA facilities, visits VHA facilities, or provides direct care to those we serve will still be subject to the vaccine requirement at this time,” he said. “We continue to monitor and discuss this requirement, and we will provide more information about the vaccination requirements for VA health care employees soon. As always, we will process requests for vaccination exceptions in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.”

The version of the shots cleared in the fall of 2022, and available through the fall of 2023, did not have any clinical trial data supporting them.

A new version was approved in the fall of 2023 because there were indications that the shots not only offered temporary protection but also that the level of protection was lower than what was observed during earlier stages of the pandemic.

Ms. Manookian, whose group has challenged several of the federal mandates, said that the mandate “illustrates the dangers of the administrative state and how these federal agencies have become a law unto themselves.”

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 22:10

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Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate…



Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate iron levels in their blood due to a COVID-19 infection could be at greater risk of long COVID.


A new study indicates that problems with iron levels in the bloodstream likely trigger chronic inflammation and other conditions associated with the post-COVID phenomenon. The findings, published on March 1 in Nature Immunology, could offer new ways to treat or prevent the condition.

Long COVID Patients Have Low Iron Levels

Researchers at the University of Cambridge pinpointed low iron as a potential link to long-COVID symptoms thanks to a study they initiated shortly after the start of the pandemic. They recruited people who tested positive for the virus to provide blood samples for analysis over a year, which allowed the researchers to look for post-infection changes in the blood. The researchers looked at 214 samples and found that 45 percent of patients reported symptoms of long COVID that lasted between three and 10 months.

In analyzing the blood samples, the research team noticed that people experiencing long COVID had low iron levels, contributing to anemia and low red blood cell production, just two weeks after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. This was true for patients regardless of age, sex, or the initial severity of their infection.

According to one of the study co-authors, the removal of iron from the bloodstream is a natural process and defense mechanism of the body.

But it can jeopardize a person’s recovery.

When the body has an infection, it responds by removing iron from the bloodstream. This protects us from potentially lethal bacteria that capture the iron in the bloodstream and grow rapidly. It’s an evolutionary response that redistributes iron in the body, and the blood plasma becomes an iron desert,” University of Oxford professor Hal Drakesmith said in a press release. “However, if this goes on for a long time, there is less iron for red blood cells, so oxygen is transported less efficiently affecting metabolism and energy production, and for white blood cells, which need iron to work properly. The protective mechanism ends up becoming a problem.”

The research team believes that consistently low iron levels could explain why individuals with long COVID continue to experience fatigue and difficulty exercising. As such, the researchers suggested iron supplementation to help regulate and prevent the often debilitating symptoms associated with long COVID.

It isn’t necessarily the case that individuals don’t have enough iron in their body, it’s just that it’s trapped in the wrong place,” Aimee Hanson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge who worked on the study, said in the press release. “What we need is a way to remobilize the iron and pull it back into the bloodstream, where it becomes more useful to the red blood cells.”

The research team pointed out that iron supplementation isn’t always straightforward. Achieving the right level of iron varies from person to person. Too much iron can cause stomach issues, ranging from constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain to gastritis and gastric lesions.

1 in 5 Still Affected by Long COVID

COVID-19 has affected nearly 40 percent of Americans, with one in five of those still suffering from symptoms of long COVID, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Long COVID is marked by health issues that continue at least four weeks after an individual was initially diagnosed with COVID-19. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, months, or years and may include fatigue, cough or chest pain, headache, brain fog, depression or anxiety, digestive issues, and joint or muscle pain.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 12:50

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