Monday, July 9, 2018

Quote of the Day: Latest Data Deserve A Bit of Skepticism

Last week we cautioned that the threat of a trade war could be skewing the latest data a bit positive:
"The currently very strong economic data (impressive job growth in the manufacturing sector reported in today’s employment report, for example) may be somewhat punctuated by some pulling forward of activity. I.e., there’s evidence that production ramped up recently in an effort to get business done ahead of looming tariffs. That increased production likely required a pickup in hiring (today’s report), which simply means that we’ll need to be watchful for more evidence of such, as it could explain what may turn out to be a greater future lull than we might’ve otherwise experienced as a result of newly implemented hurdles to trade."
In today's morning message, the team at Bespoke Investment Group echoed our concern:   emphasis mine...
"....when the Trump Administration introduced new quotas and tariffs on washing machines, imports surged in the months ahead of the new tariffs, then crashed. While not all goods can follow the same pattern (because of inventory coverage by overseas suppliers, manufacturing times, spoilage, etc), keep the “surge then crash” data in mind when interpreting economic data with possible implications for trade activity over the next several months or so. That could be working in both directions, too; last Friday’s smaller-than-forecast trade balance is a good example."

No comments:

Post a Comment