High Impact Events – September 2021 Week 2

There is only one high impact event in September 2021 Week 2.

US producer prices likely accelerated further in August. The headline rate may rise from 7.8% to close to 8.5%, while the core rate could poke above 6.5% (from 6.2%). However, the month-over-month increase may slow from 1.0% (both the headline and core) in July to around half as much in August.  For the headline, it would be the smallest increase of the year. After trending lower in July and most of August oil prices over the past two weeks. With WTI pushed above $70  again, it is a timely reminder that higher oil prices are not inflationary but rather the opposite.  The past three US economic downturns were preceded by a doubling of the price of oil.

The Fed issues two reports in the coming days: the Beige Book, which few read, many talk about, and rarely contains surprises.  The general takeaway is likely that many businesses still cannot find the workers they desire at the pay they offer, supply chain disruptions persist, and the broad economic expansion may have slowed a bit in recent weeks.  The high-frequency economic data has mostly disappointed, including the nonfarm payroll jobs gain.  Consumer confidence has suffered. Most states have reported an increase in the number of covid cases. 

The other report that the Fed issues, which tends not to be discussed nearly as much but has new information is on consumer credit.  With households reportedly flush with transfer payments and supposedly less commuter-related expenses, one might be surprised to learn that consumer credit (excludes mortgages but includes auto, student loans, and credit cards) is at a record high.  It rose by $93.3 bln in Q2 20.  The previous quarterly record was Q1 16, when consumer credit rose by $64 bln. According to the Bloomberg survey, the median forecast calls for consumer credit growth to slow to about $28.5 bln in July after a record $37.7 bln increase in June, which followed the record $36.7 bln in May.  

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