The Day at a Glance | January 19 2023

*Industrial production in the US surprised markets by logging a greater than expected setback in December – it was its worst figure since September 2021.

*The Philadelphia FED´s business outlook survey, which follows regional conditions in the manufacturing sector, logged marginal improvement in January, with a -8.9 figure. It´s still in contractionary territory, although better than the previous -13.8. 

*Home construction in the US decreased in December and logged a 1.38 million figure. Additionally, construction permits fell for a third consecutive month and set at 1.33 million. Both figures set at 2 and a half year lows. 

*Unemployment claims surprised to the downside and recorded a 190 thousand figure in the week ending January 14th; the lowest level in the last 4 months. Recurring claims increased less than expected to 1.64 million up to January 7th. 

*James Bullard, President of the St. Louis FED (with no vote this year), stated that FED officials should take the interest rate above 5% as soon as possible. He added that 75 and 50bp increases have worked well, which is why he sees no reason to stop until the rate reaches its desired level.

Economic environment

Industrial production in the US continued decreasing in December and logged a -0.7% monthly setback. The most recent contraction was larger than the -0.1% that markets forecasted, which would have showed marginal improvement with respect to November´s -0.2%. Moreover, manufacturing production decreased -1.3% along with a downwards revision to November´s figure, which now set at -1.1%; this data was preceded by a much weaker figure in manufacturing activity in the state of New York at the beginning of January, and a negative surprise in December´s retail sales. With this, industrial production linked three consecutive months of contraction in manufacturing, which indicates weak economic activity in the US in the 4Q22. Next week will bring the fourth quarter´s GDP figure, which will give more clarity regarding the path that the US economy is on.

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