Thursday, October 10, 2013

Friday: Consumer Sentiment, DELAYED: Retail Sales, PPI

by Calculated Risk on 10/10/2013 07:43:00 PM

From Professor Menzie Chinn at Econbrowser: Flying Blind

The House Republicans' insistence on keeping the government closed means that it is likely that we will be conducting macroeconomic policymaking with increasingly sparse or mismeasured data. If one doesn’t believe in expertise and information, then this is not a problem. If one believes that knowledge should inform decisionmaking, it is.

So far, we have missed the employment situation, the international trade, wholesale trade, and import/export prices releases. As of Friday, we will have missed the PPI, retail sales, and business inventories releases. Assuming the shutdown continues through Wednesday (Monday is a holiday), the CPI and Treasury International Capital figures will be missed.

The Longer the Shutdown Goes on, the Blinder We Will Be

It’s well known that we don’t have a read on the September figures, although the underlying statistics are sitting in computers at the BLS. What is less well known is that surveys regarding the October employment situation begin the week of October 13. If the current trajectory is for sustained closure of the Federal government, then these surveys will be delayed, so as to distort the resulting output. ...

Now, it might be that the intent behind the government closure is to hobble information gathering, so that people can make the craziest statements (I can already hear “inflation is soaring – we just don’t know it!”). But I remain hopeful that ignorance is not the objective, and that the current data blackout is merely collateral damage.
CR: Dr. Chinn brings up a key point - data collection for the October employment report would normally start next week. If the government is still closed, the October report might not be useful.

I enjoyed the comment on inflation - some people (and politicians) have been wrong on inflation for years, and right now we can't refute their absurd claims.

• DELAYED: Retail sales for September. The consensus is for retail sales to be unchanged in September, and to increase 0.4% ex-autos.

• DELAYED: Producer Price Index for September. The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in producer prices (0.1% increase in core).

• At 9:55 AM ET, the Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (preliminary for October). The consensus is for a reading of 75.0, down from 77.5 in September. Other sentiment indicators have shown a sharp decline.

• DELAYED: Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales (business inventories) report for August. The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in inventories.