Independent Strategy

Macro Matters

September 2020

Independent Strategy Blog: Macro Matters
US

30th September, 2020 » US September ADP

ADP reporting a further strong month of job gains (or jobs recovery) with the749k increase and net 53k upward revision to August quite a bit ahead of expectations, although consensus estimates should be taken with more of a pinch of salt than usual given the variables in play.  It was mid-sized firms that drove the increase, alongside small businesses.  There was actually a deceleration in job creation at larger firms, although they still added workers.

These indices measure the level of activity as measured against the pre-pandemic level using the Google Mobility Indexes as adjusted by Independent Strategy.  Activity is an average of the economic and mobility measures.  The data are weighted and averaged over seven days to define the trend.  The data runs through to 11 September.  The current deviation from where things stood pre-crisis is shown in Figure 1.

China

7th September, 2020 » China August FX Reserves

Slight increase in Chinese FX reserves in August, the $10.2bn m/m gain taking total holdings to $3.165trn.  But the build should have been far greater based on exchange rate changes and balance of payment flows.  Indeed, adjusting for FX valuation changes reserves actually fell again slightly (for the third consecutive month).

US

4th September, 2020 » US August Non-farm Payrolls

August’s non-farm payrolls report came out basically in line with expectations (+1.371mn vs +1.400mn consensus).  While we saw a modest downward revision to the July release, the report reinforces the overall “repairs underway” story for the labour market.  Part of this was due to further strong growth in government payrolls (+344k), private payrolls (1.027mn) were rather further from the markets more confident expectations.

We’ve been honing high-frequency indicators to follow the pace of recovery in major economies from the depths of the Covid pandemic lockdowns. Our indicators, entitled mobility and economic activity indexes, measure the level of activity against the pre-pandemic level using the Google Mobility Indices and the Dallas Fed’s Mobility Engagement measure. We adjust these to obtain a smoothed and comparable index of near-time activity.

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