The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Global economic data prints positively again, but inflation rearing its ugly face too...

None of this would be a surprise to regular readers here. From UBS:

* US: The Conference Board consumer confidence index surged to 70.8 in February (cons: 63) from 61.5 in Jan (was 61.1) – the highest since February 2011, led by expectations (88.0 after 76.7); current conditions also rose, to 45.0 from 38.8. Labor market perceptions improved.

* US: Richmond Fed manufacturing index improved, rising to 20 (cons: 12) from 12 in January, lending support to our above-consensus ISM forecast (UBSe: 55.0, consensus: 54.5).

* GE: German CPI (Feb, p) surprised on the upside, rising 0.7% m/m (consensus 0.5%), after -0.4% in Jan. The y/y pace edged up to 2.3% from 2.1%.

* EU: Italy held a successful bond auction overnight, selling a total of E6.25bn of 10yr bonds (yield 5.5%) and 5yr notes (4.19%) at the lowest yields in 6-8 months.