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 18, 2011

Meanwhile, the US economy continues its slow march to recovery

With the rider being extreme global uncertainty (witness the price of Brent spike back up to $115.50 overnight from a low of $109.45). Here is UBS's summary of the latest US data (note, in particular, the inflation data, which I have been harping on about for ages):

"* US: CPI rose 0.5% in Feb (consensus 0.4%), after a 0.4% rise in Jan. Core CPI rose 0.2% (cons & UBSe: 0.1%) after 0.2% - the first back-to-back gain since Sep-Oct 2009, accelerating to 1.1% from 1.0% y/y. Data suggest some upside risk to our inflation forecast.

* US: New jobless claims fell 16k to 385k, in line with expectations. The four-week average fell to 386k from 393k in the prior week.

* US: The index of leading economic indicators (LEI) jumped 0.8% m/m after a 0.1% gain in Jan.

* US: IP fell 0.1% in Feb (cons: +0.6%, UBS: +0.7%) after a 0.3% gain in Jan (was -0.1%). However, the drop reflected a plunge in utility output due to unseasonably warm weather. Factory output rose a solid 0.4%, after +0.9%.

* US: The Philly Fed current activity index rose to a 'booming' level of 43.4 in March from 35.9 in February."