Macroeconomics: The Day Ahead for 9 May

  • Very heavily frontloaded data run has China Trade, Japan Wages and Household Spending, UK BRC Retail Sales and French Trade to digest; US NFIB Small Business Optimism and Mexico CPI ahead; barrage of ECB and Fed speakers, US debt ceiling meeting; Austria, Germany and US debt auctions, more corporate earnings; focus on tomorrow’s US CPI
  • China Trade: slide in m/m export and import readings tell-tale of weak domestic and ebbing external demand, as y/y exports flattered by base effects
  • US NFIB Small Business Optimism seen edging down, continued bleak outlook seen outweighing more positive current assessments


The day’s statistical agenda is heavily frontloaded, with China Trade, Japan Household Spending and Wages (both weak), UK BRC Retail Sales (holding up reasonably well given the squeeze on household incomes), Australia Household Spending and French Trade data are digested ahead of US NFIB Small Business Optimism and Mexico’s CPI, though all eyes are very focussed on tomorrow’s US CPI. The events schedule is dominated by an onslaught of Fed and ECB speakers, and the meeting between President Biden and Congressional leaders on the debt ceiling impasse, while Poland’s NBP is expected to keep rates on hold at 6.75%. A busier day for govt debt auction has sales of 10 & 21-yr in Austria, 5-yr in Germany and 3-yr in USA, while Duke Energy, Liberty Global and Rivian Automotive are among the highlights in terms of corporate earnings. Market sentiment remains extraordinarily fickle and fluid, as economic data points remain mixed, and the global economic outlook foggy, along with very bifurcated views on central bank policy outlooks. U.S. NFIB Small Business Optimism is seen edging down to 89.8 from 90.1, despite a pick-up in unfilled job openings to 45% from 43%, and continued strength in compensation plans, with a dismal overall economic outlook still far outweighing other positives.

** China – April Trade Balance **

The sharp m/m falls in Exports and Imports are the real story of this month’s China Trade data, given that the 8.5% y/y rise in Exports are heavily flattered by base effects, after last year’s Shanghai Covid related shutdown. Imports were very weak at -9.8% m/m and -7.9% y/y, and attest to the weakness in domestic demand, even if annual maintenance shutdowns and higher oil prices in April accounted for some of the weakness along with a typical seasonal drop in Coal Imports, but accumulating inventories due to weak domestic demand are the real story, along with the anticipated fall in export demand.

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