Mixed Signals on Inflation to Start Q2
- Survey data from businesses suggest that the labor market continues to tighten.
- Import and producer prices showed signs of acceleration this week, but another soft reading for the core CPI sends mixed signals to the Fed. On balance, the Fed remains positioned to hike rates in June while maintaining its slow and steady mentality.
- Retail sales were disappointing in April, but upward revisions to March’s initial reading may indicate personal consumption growth was likely a bit stronger in Q1 than initially reported.
French Elections, Canadian Housing, and More
- By early this week financial markets were breathing a big sigh of relief with the results from the French elections, which produced a lopsided victory for the establishment (for lack of a better term) candidate, Emmanuel Macron, versus the extreme right candidate, Marine Le Pen.
- Canadian housing starts came down as expected to a still relatively strong 214,100 unit pace from a slightly downwardly revised 252,300 unit pace in March. March’s increase in housing starts was the strongest print since early in 2012.
- Mexican industrial production remained flat in March.