While markets focused on the Draghi show, and for good reasons, the US released a big bulk of data. And the data has not been that good.
Durable goods orders came out at 0.7% for March, much lower than 1.5% expected. It came alongside an upwards revision from 1.7%, which did not compensate. Core orders slipped by 0.2%, worse than a rise of 0.4% predicted and after an upwards revised 0.5% for February.
Pending home sales fell by 0.8%, worse than a dip 0.6% predicted. This housing figure contrasts other ones, which were more solid.
GDP worries – contraction cannot be dismissed
Inventories fell short of expectations. The preliminary number dropped by 0.1% against 0.3% expected. While that may imply replenishing of those inventories down the line, it does not bode well for Q1 GDP.
And speaking of Q1 GDP, we will get that figure tomorrow at 12:30. The Atlanta Fed Nowcast for this release has been downgraded once again. They estimate an annualized growth rate of only 0.2%. Quarter over quarter, this is a rate of less than 0.1%.
The divergence between the hard and soft data remains wide. While consumer and business surveys point to robust growth, the actual figures of investment, consumer spending, and output remain mediocre.
An outright contraction in the US economy in the first quarter of 2017 cannot be dismissed.
Trouble from Trump taxes – what about Trump-care?
The Trump Administration is rushing to get some achievements as the self-imposed 100-day mark gets closer. They created hype about a big tax reform. Indeed, the ideas that were presented on April 26th sounded bold. A 15% tax rate was the jewel in the crown.
However, the one-page document easily lacked details that markets were waiting for. In addition, it is unclear if Congress will pass any tax reform anytime soon.
In the meantime, the extremist Freedom Caucus reached an agreement about a new healthcare bill. However, it is still unclear if other Republicans will go along with a plan that is highly unpopular.
The political issues will arrive at the limelight after the GDP release.Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs