It is funny to hear the talking heads preface virtually every bullish statement with “the US economic data is getting better.” It’s funny because it’s wrong. We have been tracking economic data based on our universe of indicators and as of today we have seen a miss rate of about 80%. And now, Deutsche Bank has joined us in keeping track of economic beats and misses, with their own universe of 31 Economic Indicators. The results are shown below and the verdict is in: the US economy has officially turned the corner… lower, now that the seasonally adjusted boost from a record warm winter fades and becomes an actual drag (not to mention the fading of the $2 trillion in central bank liquidity).
As can be seen in the chart above, using this basket the beat:miss ratio for January was a fairly solid 55%:42% (3% in line) before improving to a strong 65%:35% in February. March, however, is seeing a rise in misses with the ratio now running at 37%:56% (7% in line) with 27 out of 31 releases now in. Regional manufacturing surveys and some housing related data are leading the misses in March. Indeed in February we saw all regional surveys (NY, Philly, Richmond, Chicago Fed, Kansas, Dallas, Chicago PMI) better relative to market consensus. We will get the Kansas Fed data today and Chicago PMI tomorrow, but we have so far seen misses in Richmond, Chicago and Dallas Fed surveys this month. In terms of the housing market, existing home sales, the house price index, pending home sales, and new home sales all disappointed in March while all of these (except for new home sales) were better than expected in February…
Remember: we have been saying since December that 2012 is a carbon copy of 2011. As a reminder the market peaked in April 2011 after a virtually identical diagonal ramp higher, only to be followed by the August debt ceiling fiasco which sent stocks to their lows. And as we Showed Yesterday, this year we expect the debt ceiling to be breached in mid to late September. Just in time for the elections.