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."

Friday, March 16, 2012

UBS: Recovery in world's largest economy continues to strengthen

UBS reports:

* US: The current activity index in the Empire State manufacturing survey jumped to 20.2 in Mar (cons 17.5, UBSe 17.0) from 19.5. ISM-equivalent data strengthened to 54.6 from 54.1 as gains in employment and inventories along with slower delivery times outweighed marginally slower growth in orders and shipments.

* US: The current activity index in the Philadelphia Fed survey also increased in March, to 12.5 (UBSe: 12.5, cons: 12.0) from 10.2...Data are a fairly strong first read, and manufacturing output has already been rising at close to a 10% annual rate in recent months.

* US: The downtrend in jobless claims corroborated broadening strength in the economy: claims fell to 351k (cons 357k UBSe 350k) in the week of March 10 - a four-year low - from a revised 365k (was 362k). The four-week average, 356k, was down from 366k a month earlier and 380k two months earlier. We continue to expect the unemployment rate to drop to 7 ¾% end-12, and 7 ¼% end-13.

* US: The PPI rose 0.4% (cons 0.5%, UBSe 0.6%, after 0.1%) in Feb, but core prices relented after a typically strong Jan reading, rising 0.2% (cons & UBSe 0.2%, after 0.4%)...core prices remain +3.0% y/y, well up from the 1.8% y/y a year earlier.