Good day. The Federal Reserve’s primary tool for controlling economic dynamism is ticking down again, increasing the possibility that officials may need to take technical measures to get it going again. Meanwhile, China’s service sector suffered an unexpectedly severe blow in August when a wave of coronavirus infections across the country triggered new lockdowns and sent an official measure of non-manufacturing activity to a contraction area.
Now for today’s news and analysis.
Covid-19 Delta variant beats up China’s service sector
China’s official non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, which tracks activity in construction and services, slumped to 47.5 in August from 53.3 in the previous month, according to data released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics. The value of 47.5 – which fell far short of what economists had forecast for a value comfortably above 50 – marks the measure’s first break into contracting territory since February 2020, at the height of the initial coronavirus explosion that led to the lockdown Hubei Province.
Derby’s Take: Funds rate is softening, adding to the specter of technical rate boosts
By Michael S. Derby
The effective key interest rate has been slipping since around mid-August after it was raised by the Fed at the beginning of summer following a technical rate hike. The key interest rate, which had been around 0.10% for most of the summer, fell to 0.9% on August 18 and again to 0.8% on Monday. If the key rate stays soft or softens and this shift proves to be sustained, the Fed may have to react by revoking the settings of its interest rate control toolkit. Continue reading.
Important developments around the world
Oil industry investigates damage after Hurricane Ida slam in Louisiana
Energy companies assessed the condition of refineries, pipelines, petrochemicals and offshore oil rigs along the central Gulf of Mexico on Monday, the day after Ida hit Louisiana as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
Unfinished tractors and pickup trucks pile up as components become scarce
Manufacturers stack unfinished goods on factory floors and park incomplete vehicles in airport parking lots while waiting for missing parts, made scarce by supply chain problems that disrupt multiple industries.
New life and work choices enliven exurbs and bring new strains with them
Extra-urban areas have grown nearly twice as fast as domestic over the past decade, and there are signs that growth is accelerating as Americans prepare for a landscape where increased work from home means the need to commute decreased.
EU recommends stopping non-essential travel from the USA
The European Union recommended stopping non-essential travel from the US due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, diplomats said on Monday, ending a summer vacation break for American tourists.
Summary of the Financial Regulation
SEC chair warns against payment for order flow
Robinhood Markets Inc.’s shares plunged Monday after the chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission signaled he was ready to ban payments on the order flow, which makes up most of the online brokerage’s revenue.
Members Exchange urges regulators to fix stock prices for half a penny
Investors could see shares of Apple Inc. and Bank of America Corp. for $ 152.005 or $ 42.115 per share if regulators sign a proposal presented this week. Members Exchange, a startup exchange backed by major Wall Street firms, said in a proposal that the Securities and Exchange Commission should allow some heavily traded stocks to be valued in half-cent increments.
So far, direct listings have paid off for investors
Eyewear maker Warby Parker Inc. is the latest to file with the SEC for direct listing, demonstrating the persistence of the alternative path to public markets for companies that don’t need to raise money.
Wednesday (all times ET)
9:30 p.m .: Bank of Japan’s Wakatabe speaks at a meeting with local leaders in Hiroshima
8:30 a.m .: US Department of Commerce releases international trade data for July
Goldman Sachs says evictions threaten
Around 750,000 American households are now threatened with eviction from rental apartments in the wake of the latest political changes that protect the financially needy, Goldman Sachs said in a message to customers. The investment bank estimates that between 2.5 million and 3.5 million households are behind on rents and owe landlords up to $ 17 billion, while state aid to tenants is slow. “The strength of the housing and rental market suggests that landlords will try to evict tenants who are behind on rent unless they receive government support,” the note said. According to analysts at Goldman Sachs, this should not have a very negative impact on the economy. They say in the note that “Our literature research shows that an eviction episode of this magnitude is a small burden on consumption and employment growth.”
– Michael S. Derby
Asking rents for homes rose nearly 13% year-to-date through July, the highest annual increase in five years, according to real estate data company Yardi Matrix.
US pending home sales declined for the second straight month in July, according to the National Association of Realtors, whose index of pending home sales fell 1.8% from June to 110.7. Pending home sales declined 8.5% year over year in July. (DJN)
Manufacturing output in Texas slowed in August, with the Dallas Fed’s Manufacturing Outlook Survey manufacturing index falling to 20.8 from July 31. The general business activity index, which rates general terms and conditions in the industry, fell from 27.3 to 9. (Dow Jones Newswires)
Aluminum forwards on the London Metal Exchange are up a third this year and prices are around 80% above their low in May 2020 when the pandemic restricted sales to the aerospace and transportation industries.
German inflation in August was 3.9% year-on-year, compared to 3.8% in July. (Dow Jones Newswires)
Business and household confidence in the euro zone fell slightly in August after hitting an all-time high in July, the European Commission said, noting that the economic sentiment indicator fell from 119.0 in July to 117.5. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expected an index of 118.0. (DJN)
Canada’s quarterly current account surplus rose to $ 3.58 billion or the equivalent of $ 2.84 billion in the second quarter as goods exports soared, Statistics Canada said. The data for the first quarter has been revised, Statistics Canada said, adding that the current account surplus for the first three months of the year was $ 1.82 billion, compared to an earlier estimate of $ 1.18 billion. (DJN)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Aug 31, 2021 9:35 AM ET (1:35 PM GMT)
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