What really drives crude oil prices?

November 21, 2018 | Articles

Like any global commodity, oil price changes are a consequence of shifting supply and demand conditions. Sudden movements – like November’s steep declines – receive ample media coverage, with industry observers providing controversial explanations for their underlying cause (consider President Trump’s recent tweet on oil prices, OPEC and the role of supply).
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Global retail sales rise 4.6% in 2017 as cyclical deviations widen; headline inflation at 3.8% in Q4

February 28, 2018 | Articles

Global retail spending slowed down somewhat in December, falling 0.1% from its November level. As a result, retail volumes closed the year up 4.6% from 2016, exceeding the rate of growth implied by fundamentals (+4.4%). Transitory income shocks have now pushed private consumption 0.5% above its stable growth path, adding to inflationary pressures. Global CPI inflation accelerated in the fourth quarter, rising 3.8% SAAR. Considering PPI inflation is currently well above its steady-state level (4.1% versus 1.7%), we expect consumer prices – and in particular retail prices – to accelerate in 2018, increasing the likelihood of monetary tightening.

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Manufacturing grew 4% in 2017, exceeding potential; strong inflationary pressures, PPI inflation up 4.1%

February 28, 2018 | Articles

Global manufacturing surged last December, rising 7.4% SAAR (+4.9%y-o-y) to close the year up 4.0%. The gap between actual and potential output widened by some 20 basis points to 1.5%, the largest cyclical deviation since mid-2008. As expected, PPI inflation weakened somewhat in December (+0.3%) held back by sluggish growth in raw material prices. Global producer prices rose 4.1% in 2017, fully recovering the losses from the two previous years. Given the delayed pass-through from producer to consumer prices, tight operating conditions should drive up CPI inflation in 2018 even if the cyclical momentum dissipates.

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Industrial activity surges to strongest result since the Great Recession

February 28, 2018 | Articles

Global industrial production accelerated further in December, this time rising at an annualized rate of 7.7% (+4.1%year-over-year). Production was up 3.5% for the year as a whole, a significant improvement from the 1.8% increase recorded in 2016. Underlying the headline figure was a 4.0% increase in manufacturing activity, facilitated by a noticeable pick-up in private sector investment. In OECD countries, demand for fixed capital (structures, equipment) grew 3.5% last year, compared to 1.6% in2016. Unsurprisingly, output growth stemmed primarily from durable goods industries.

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Strong cyclical conditions drive up global inflation in November; retail spending up 4.5% year-to-date

February 1, 2018 | Articles

Global retail spending rose markedly in November, exceeding 5% growth for the first time in the post-crisis period. Strong growth was both a reflection of permanent and transitory factors. About two-thirds of the overall increase reflected strong equilibrium consumption (+4.7% year-on-year). Positive demand shocks accounted for the remaining third, with the consumption gap rising three basis points to 0.6%. Rapid growth in demand, alongside rising inflation expectations, supported global CPI inflation, up 5.1% SAAR in November.

To view the complete analysis, contact us and enroll in a free 3-month trial of Numera’s Global Retail Sales Report.

Global industrial production is up 3.5% in November after 11 months; gap between factory and mining output widens

January 25, 2018 | Articles

Industrial activity continued to grow steadily in November, this time rising 4.9% annualized (3.5% year-on-year). The November result reflected strong demand for manufactured goods (+7.7% SAAR), which compensated for sluggish mining production in emerging markets. The divergence between factory and mining output is especially prevalent in Latin America, where extractive industries have underperformed the overall industrial sector for 19 consecutive months.

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PPI inflation remained elevated in November as the manufacturing output gap hits a 68-month high

January 25, 2018 | Articles

Global manufacturing expanded 4.4% year-over-year in November, and at 3.9% after 11 months is on track to record its strongest year of growth since 2011. As was the case in previous months, steady growth in productive capacity (+3.2%) was amplified by increasingly favourable cyclical conditions. Production volumes have now outpaced potential output for 13 months, the longest period of above-trend growth in the post-recession period.  At 1.3% in November, the manufacturing output gap was at its highest level since March 2012. Tight operating conditions continued to exert upward pressure on producer prices, which rose 0.5% for the fourth consecutive month.

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Global Forces – The Missing Piece to the Inflation Puzzle

November 3, 2017 | Articles

Claims that US inflation no longer responds to cyclical unemployment are misguided. New research by Numera Analytics shows job market gains have so far been offset by weak global conditions, an increasingly important driver of consumer prices in advanced economies. As global headwinds dissipate, rising import prices and strong aggregate demand will drive up headline inflation.

In our view, the current debate is much too focused on simple correlations between inflation and the unemployment rate. A weaker correlation has led many observers to declare the “death” of the Phillips curve. But correlations are just the outcome of complex shifts in underlying drivers. We find globalization has made US CPI inflation more responsive to the international environment, amplifying the effect of global macro shocks on consumer prices. Our findings have major implications for monetary policy. If inflation is less sensitive to domestic conditions, stabilizing inflation may come at the cost of higher debt burdens or larger output fluctuations. For macro investors, the results also imply anticipating future changes in interest rates and asset prices requires a better grasp of global economic conditions.

This special research note was written by Joaquin Kritz Lara, head of Macro Research and Senior Economist at Numera Analytics.

Is Global Inflation Finally Awakening?

October 18, 2017 | Articles

October Reports Uncover Rising Inflationary Pressures

With the International Monetary Fund bumping up its forecast for global economic growth and the markets continuing to experience a ‘Goldilocks’ rally – synchronized expansion with limited inflation – global conditions call for cautious optimism. But what do the fundamentals for global production and manufacturing tell us about future price developments?

Our Industrial Production report, which is the timeliest release for global production figures, supports the positive notions. Global industrial production grew 3.6% year-on-year in August in a further sign of the dynamism of the global economy. Additionally, production growth is being experienced in 19 out of 25 of the world’s largest economies. These are positive signs which support the upbeat mood of central bankers during the recent IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington.

Global manufacturing treads a similar path with factory output climbing 4.1% year-on-year, again supported by strong growth rates in both advanced and emerging markets. Based on our output gap analysis, tight operating conditions have started to exert upward pressure on producer prices.  As the September results roll in, we expect global PPI inflation to come in at 0.5%, an increase of 4% year-over-year. This begs the question, are the three bears finally coming to awaken Goldilocks?

These findings are part of Numera Analytics’ G2H Macro Series. These reports provide up-to-date information and analysis on the world economy, offering subscribers a comprehensive view of world business cycles and evolving inflationary pressures. Send us an email to begin your free 3-Month trial and gain access to the complete series.

World retail sales up 4.7% y-o-y in July, exceeding their equilibrium rate; global inflation picking up

September 29, 2017 | Articles

Real retail sales grew 4.7% year-over-year in July worldwide, maintaining the strong momentum of recent months. Retail volumes exceeded equilibrium consumption (the level of spending consistent with stable inflation) by about 0.5%, continuing to exert upward pressure on consumer prices. As expected, global inflation accelerated in July (+3.4% annualized), and in most major economies is now approaching long-term inflation expectations.

The full Global Retail Sales report from our new G2H Macro Series can be read here.