Independent Strategy

Macro Category

While the US added 559k jobs in May according to the non-farm payrolls report, this marked another downside surprise for the series where the median estimate was up at 650k.  There was a modest upward revision to the April numbers (278k vs. 266k initially reported) but that doesn’t move the needle.  Private payrolls growth came in at 492k while manufacturing payrolls added 23k job and government 67k.  The unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% from 6.1% but this was aided by a decline in participation (61.6% from 61.7%).

The latest Google mobility update (through to 29th May) continues to show strong progress towards normalisation of the global economy. Of our survey group only three (23% of sample) recorded a w/w decline in activity and all of this was in places that shouldn’t really be a cause for concern. And the most notable victim of the virus (India) has finally managed to bounce. We also saw upticks in Japan, where an increase in cases had also worried.

The latest Google activity figures (through to 22nd May) continue to support the strong global recovery narrative with the latest improvement being driven by ongoing gains in Europe.  Indeed France and Germany led the increase in activity last week, with Italy, Spain and the UK also in our top group (alongside Russia).  Mexico, Australia and the US recorded small gains too.

In the last 7 days: Global Daily Infections fell 19.6% and the RO/RE rate has fallen to 0.79 from 0.89 and 1.36 nearly a month ago.  This level of RO/RE indicates a waning pandemic.  Daily infections fell in all regions except Latin America and Asia.  In India daily case fell from 341k/day to 263k/day.

On a global basis the latest Google activity figures (to 15th May) show a further modest improvement in the recovery rate, maintaining the solid uptrend we’ve seen since the start of the year.  Obviously we’ve seen setbacks in certain places, the most extreme case being India, but this hasn’t been enough to move the global needle.

The headline non-farm payrolls jobs figure surprised on the downside in April, with 266k jobs created versus the median forecast of 978k.  And the March figure was also revised downward by 146k.  Obviously, it was private payrolls that disappointed (+218k vs. 893k survey) while manufacturing jobs contracted slightly (-18k).  Government couldn’t make up for that but did offer a +48k contribution.  The unemployment rate actually ticked back to 6.1%, a result of the 0.2% pt improvement in participation and the work week ticked up again.

Analysing the weekly vaccinations data some things stand out:

  1. Daily infections are falling everywhere except in South Asia (+18% on the week to 384k/day).
  2. EU daily infections are down 19% for last week (vs. previous seven days).
  3. Global vaccinations are up 14% on the week. Some signs of vaccine fatigue in the US (+8%) & UK (+6%).
  4. The EU crossed (what I think is a critical) threshold of 30 vaccinations per 100 population with 33. Share of the population with 1 shot or more is 24% up from 21%.

During lockdown people shopped online.  Not all needs could be met online.  So pent up saving grew to 4-8% of GDP most places.  Now it is expected some of the pent-up savings will be spent as Pandemic declines in rich countries.  It may be more in the EU than expected.  Because it is harder to shop online in the EU.  So pent up demand may be greater.

Post-Easter recovery has gathered pace with a substantial improvement in European mobility and economic activity over the past week (to 17th April).  The rebound was fairly even across Germany and Italy, with a more modest improvement in Spain, although that comes from a substantially better starting position.  France also saw a pick up in activity, but given higher Covid case loads this was modest in comparison.  And with the UK lockdowns easing France now carries the mantle of the weakest of our survey group, a position it looks set to retain for a while.

Attached are the vaccination figures for major areas. Global vaccinations rose 14.5% on the week. The EU is now at 25 (up from 21 last week) shots per 100 people — getting closer to the 30 level that may be the threshold at which vaccines may start to limit transmission. But still only 18% of the population has had at least one shot.  Still way behind the UK, US, Israel etc on both measures. But EU has faster vaccination rate, so the gap should close in about 6 weeks on shots per 100 pop basis.

Easter drag having an impact across most markets, leading to a drop in overall global economic activity over the past week (to 10th April).  This seasonal drag is mixed up with tighter restrictions in many European countries in reaction to the more recent increase in Covid cases and slower rollouts of vaccines.  But comparing the improving countries with the laggards still gives us some insights as to the severity of the drop here, with around half the decline in France Germany and Italy appearing to be a function of Easter, with the rest the virus.

March surprised mildly to the upside of consensus expectations, headline CPI hitting 2.6% yoy following a 0.6% mom increase.  The main driver was the transport component (i.e. gasoline prices).  These went from a net drag of -0.39%pts last year to a +0.96%pt driver of the yoy rate this time round, so a net swing of 1.35%pts, or half of overall yoy CPI rate.

Vaccinations rose 15% for the week to April 11. But.... What matters going forward for markets in the vaccination data is that the EU has reached a 20% vaccination rate (defined as % of population to receive at least one shot).  The rate at which there seems to be a market decline in infections is 30%. At current vaccination rates the EU will get there in 4 weeks and will approach the current UK and US rates in 8 weeks.

Despite the resurgence of Covid cases in certain places, the global economic recovery remains on track. That’s based on Google’s fast track data (through to March 27th).  Europe, which suffered last week, was on the up again with improvements in Germany, France and Spain.  The dip in Italy also looks to have based out, helped by a pick-up in the last couple of days.  The UK meanwhile continues on its improving streak.

Tags

ADP (7) Agriculturals (1) Asia crisis (1) Asset Allocation (1) Australia (2) Autos (1) Bank of Japan (1) Big Data (1) BoJ (1) Bonds (6) Brazil (1) Brexit (5) Canada (1) Capital Goods (2) Central Bank (8) Challenger (1) China (20) Claims (1) Climate change (2) Commodities (1) Copper (1) Coronavirus (4) Corporate Bonds (1) Corporate Debt (2) Covid (3) Covid-19 (50) CPI (8) Credit (45) Current Account (1) Debt (2) Debt Crisis (4) Democracy (4) Demographics (9) Deposits (1) Disruptive Technologies (4) Durable Goods (1) Earnings (1) ECB (10) Elections (2) Emerging Markets (4) Employment (21) Equities (1) Euro (3) Eurogroup (1) Europe (2) Eurozone (19) Exports (2) Factory Orders (6) Federal Reserve (8) Fixed Income (2) France (1) FX (2) GDP (12) Germany (15) Globalisation (8) Global Pandemic (3) Gold (2) Google Mobility (49) HICP (1) Hong Kong (1) Housing (5) IFO (3) Income (1) India (1) Industrial Production (9) Inflation (24) Interest Rates (11) Internet (1) Investment (5) IP (9) Iran (4) Ireland (1) ISM (2) Italy (6) Japan (5) Jobless Claims (1) Korea (3) Labour Market (11) Liquidity (8) Manufacturing (3) Monetary Policy (19) Money (4) Money Market (1) Money Supply (19) Myanmar (1) New Monetarism (6) New Zealand (1) Oil (6) Online (1) Payrolls (23) PCE (2) PMI (1) PMIs (1) Politics (10) Populism (6) Portugal (1) PPI (4) Production (1) Productivity (2) Profits (1) QE (5) Quantum economics (4) Real Estate (1) Redline Money (15) Reserves (3) Retail Sales (11) Russia (2) Services (3) Services PMI (1) Sovereign Bonds (3) Sovereign Debt (4) Spain (4) Sterling (1) Sweden (2) Technials (1) Technicals (115) TICS (1) Total Social Financing (13) Trade (10) TSF (4) Turkey (1) UK (18) Ukraine (1) Unemployment (21) US (35) USD (9) Vietnam (1) Wages (21)

In the Media