Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics

Introducing

Andrew Cates

Andy Cates joined Haver Analytics as a Senior Economist in 2020. Andy has more than 25 years of experience forecasting the global economic outlook and in assessing the implications for policy settings and financial markets. He has held various senior positions in London in a number of Investment Banks including as Head of Developed Markets Economics at Nomura and as Chief Eurozone Economist at RBS. These followed a spell of 21 years as Senior International Economist at UBS, 5 of which were spent in Singapore. Prior to his time in financial services Andy was a UK economist at HM Treasury in London holding positions in the domestic forecasting and macroeconomic modelling units.   He has a BA in Economics from the University of York and an MSc in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Southampton.

Publications by Andrew Cates

  • In the absence of top-tier economic data, corporate earnings reports, particularly from the technology sector, have played a crucial role in shaping financial market sentiment over the past few days. And some very impressive revenue gains for companies that are producing AI-friendly semiconductors certainly have some macroeconomic parallels, as we illustrate in our charts this week via the equally impressive growth in South Korea’s semiconductor exports (see chart 1). Another noteworthy trend this week is the recent sharp decline in measures of European policy uncertainty (see Chart 2), which may have contributed to the recent improvement in UK economic data (see Chart 3). The improving economic data and the series of positive surprises within the UK might have factored into the timing of the Prime Minister Sunak’s decision to call an election on 4th July. However, persistent UK service sector inflation remains a challenge, as highlighted by the latest CPI report for April (see Chart 4). Additionally this week, we note the sharp rise in copper prices in recent weeks, a trend potentially linked to the rollout of AI technology, though supply-side disruptions are an equally likely cause. The green energy transition could also be impacting copper demand, which chimes with some data on renewable energy sources in our final exhibit this week (see Chart 6).

  • A Fed easing narrative has been re-energized over the past few days largely thanks to a slightly weaker than expected US CPI report this week but, more generally, because of a battery of weaker-than-expected US data over the past couple of weeks. In our charts this week we examine the latest Blue Chip survey of economic forecasters and the corresponding signals suggesting that the light is now shining a little less brightly on the US economy (see chart 1). The same survey suggests the outlook is shining a bit more brightly on Europe’s economies, albeit from a position of relative darkness, and as equally indicated by the GDP growth outcomes for Q1 2024 (Chart 2). Germany, however, continues to be a notable underperformer, which prompts us to examine the latest data on industrial production across several major euro area economies and the persistent evidence of underperformance (Chart 3). Next, we turn our attention to this week's UK labour market data, which increasingly suggest that this market is loosening (Chart 4). We then shift focus back to the US economy, highlighting one of the reasons for its relative strength in recent months —namely, higher levels of immigration (Chart 5). Finally, we address inflation issues, and specifically the relatively rapid pace of global food price inflation in recent years (Chart 6).

  • Last week's softer-than-expected US data releases have sparked renewed hopes that the Federal Reserve may initiate an easing cycle in the coming months, and, in doing so, have reignited investors' appetite for risk. This week, our charts explore the messaging from some of those US data releases (see chart 1). We also examine the signals from this week’s final composite PMI data, and particularly how weaker US growth momentum currently contrasts with stronger growth momentum in many other major economies (chart 2). With inflation dynamics likely one of the drivers of this relative growth divergence, we next explore how a series of positive inflation surprises in the US recently contrasts with negative inflation surprises elsewhere (chart 3). Weaker oil prices in recent days may provide some relief to the US inflation outlook in the period ahead (chart 4), as could the further easing of global supply chain pressures that’s been signaled by latest data from the New York Fed (chart 5). Finally this week, and pivoting to Asia, we examine recent currency trends in some of the region's major economies (chart 6).

  • Lingering concerns about the US Fed's inclination to lower interest rates in coming months have continued to unsettle financial markets over the past few days. That said, comments from Fed Chair Powell after this week’s FOMC meeting have calmed some of those nerves. In our charts this week we delve into the latest Blue Chip consensus on policy rates across the world’s major economies (chart 1). We also compare market expectations for US policy rates, inferred from 2-year Treasury yields, with a trend toward more negative US data surprises in recent days (chart 2). In addition we contrast that more negative US growth trend with the relative resilience of the euro area dataflow and some recent downward pressure on the EUR/USD exchange rate (chart 3). Turning to Asia, we assess Japan's economy with a focus on some recent disappointing retail sales data (chart 4), and provide insights into China's economic activity through aircraft movements at Beijing Airport (chart 5). Finally, and with a nod to climate change and its impact, we look at reduced water levels on the Panama Canal and how these contrast with above-average land and sea temperatures over the past few years (chart 6).

  • Following a week in which the risks to the global economic outlook suddenly skewed to the downside, the pendulum has swung back again over the past few days. Confidence in a soft landing for the world economy has instead now re-surfaced partly thanks to firmer-than-expected global economic data, together with some solid corporate earnings reports from the United States. Additionally - and at the root of last week’s concerns - geopolitical tensions between Israel and Iran have eased, further bolstering investors' risk appetite. In our charts this week we delve into key insights from April's flash purchasing managers' (PMI) surveys (see chart 1). We also examine the recent rise in copper prices—often a reliable indicator of global economic activity—and now echoing the messages from those PMI surveys (chart 2). An additional echo (and indeed reason for) both improving global growth momentum and higher copper prices can also be found in the impressive growth in South Korea’s exports of semiconductors (see chart 3). Next, we explore monetary policy issues, particularly how traditional Phillips curve models have struggled to accurately predict the relationship between inflation and unemployment in recent years (chart 4). We conclude with an analysis of financial balances in the US and euro area, which offers some reasons for those struggles (charts 5 and 6).

  • Investors have grown increasingly cautious about the economic outlook in recent days, partly thanks to heightened geopolitical instability in the Middle East. That Fed Chair Powell has also expressed greater concern about the US inflation outlook has not helped, not least as higher oil prices (and the resilience of the US economy) had already been unsettling investors’ inflation expectations. The timing of this week’s publication of a more optimistic economic outlook from the IMF (see chart 1) also appears a little unfortunate. The extent to which those forecasts may be jeopardized will arguably now hinge on the interplay between geopolitical instability, oil prices, inflation and monetary policy (see charts 2, 3, 4 and 5). It is noteworthy, nevertheless, and against these considerations, that China’s economy has also been punching more positively according to some additional data that were published this week (see chart 6).

  • This week’s stronger-than-expected US inflation data have further dampened hopes that the Fed would swiftly lower interest rates in coming months. And this has led to increased anxiety in financial markets about the outlook for the US and broader world economy. In our charts this week we explore recent shifts in the consensus view toward global growth and inflation as revealed by the latest Blue Chip survey of Economic Forecasters (charts 1 and 2). Then, staying with inflation, we assess the big role that higher oil prices may have played in igniting interest rate concerns over the past few weeks (charts 3 and 4). One of the possible reasons for the recent run-up in oil prices is an improving global economy, some survey evidence for which we examine next (chart 5). Finally, and ahead of this week’s ECB meeting, we delve into some of the key messages from the latest bank lending survey from the euro area (chart 6).

  • Renewed concerns about the US Fed's inclination to lower interest rates in coming months have triggered broader anxiety in financial markets over the past few days. This week additionally revealed some data that have possibly tilted the balance of risks to the global economic outlook to the downside again. For example, latest trade data from South Korea offered tentative evidence to suggest the recent upswing in global trade is losing momentum (see chart 1). This week’s euro area flash CPI data, meanwhile, revealed stubbornly high levels of service sector inflation, raising doubts about the European Central Bank's willingness to lower interest rates in the immediate weeks ahead (chart 2). Latest data for US money market inflows also suggest a big role for liquidity in driving financial markets in recent months (chart 3). That potentially exposes those markets to some vulnerability should financial conditions tighten again in the near future. Still, not all of the global macro dataflow has been negative. On a more positive note, indicators of economic policy uncertainty have lately decreased to multi-month lows (see chart 4). US business formation has also been showing robust growth over the past few months, which has coincided with a big pickup in productivity (see chart 5). And finally, China's economy has unexpectedly accelerated over the past few weeks, possibly due to an increased pace of credit formation (see chart 6).

  • Recent weeks have seen heightened optimism in financial markets that the global economy is on course for a soft landing. This optimism is rooted in a number of factors including stronger-than-expected economic data, dovish communications from several central banks alongside tame inflation outcomes in Europe and Asia. Putting this a little differently, the supply side shocks that drove inflation sharply higher in recent years may now be unwinding more quickly than had been expected. But there could equally – although far more contentiously – be greater optimism among investors that technological innovations (e.g. in Artificial Intelligence) are ramping up productivity growth.

    Some of our charts this week offer some fresh perspective on this soft landing narrative. We look, for instance, at the decoupling that’s unfolded between global equity markets and broad measures of the money supply (in chart 1). We then review this week’s data for US durable goods orders and the specific evidence they reveal for still-solid US capital spending activity (chart 2). Additionally, we examine a recent survey from the euro area that indicates a slight decrease in consumer inflation expectations (chart 3). We next investigate evidence from last week's flash PMI surveys, which suggests that supply chain bottlenecks in Europe might be easing. Lastly, and turning to Asia, we assess the renewed interest from overseas investors in the region's equity markets (chart 5) and consider one of the structural factors behind this interest namely the potential for catch-up growth in India's economy (chart 6).

  • The decisions from several central banks this week have, on the whole, amplified hopes that the world economy remains on course for a soft landing. Equity investors were certainly reassured by the absence of big changes to the Fed's interest rate outlook, despite some concerns following last week’s US inflation surprises. This week’s unexpected decision by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to cut interest rates by 25bps, in the meantime, chimed with the idea that a global easing cycle has now commenced. In the other direction, moreover, the Bank of Japan’s cautious move toward policy normalization met with a muted financial market response, possibly because it was softened by some dovish communications. In our charts this week we assess some of these financial market reactions (in charts 1 and 2), we review recent global inflation trends (in chart 3), and we then examine China's credit growth (chart 4), and its possible impact on other Asian economies (in chart 5). Finally, we assess 2023's equity market inflows in a selection of major economies, as a prelude to a forthcoming webinar with EPFR.

  • With little to destabilise financial markets over the past few days, soft landing narratives have remained in vogue. While this week’s US CPI report was certainly a little stronger-than-anticipated, other indicators, including the latest UK labour market report, were more benign. In our first two charts this week we look in more depth at, respectively, those US CPI and UK labour market numbers (charts 1 and 2). We then shift our focus to Asia and, in light of this week’s more positive GDP report for Q4, shed some light on the contribution that productivity growth has been making to Japan’s economic performance. We look next at China and specifically at its status as a leader in the production and sales of electric vehicles (chart 4). Finally we take a step back and review shifts in consensus growth and inflation forecasts for several major countries over the past few months and what those adjustments reveal about the nature of their economic and policy challenges (charts 5 and 6).

  • The equity market rally that kicked off in late October has recently taken a breather. Nonetheless, an abundance of optimistic narratives continue to support the rally’s rationale and prospects for an extension in the near term. This week’s charts provide some insights into some of these narratives. They include, for example, a renaissance in US manufacturing investment (chart 1), optimism about AI and its impact on the semiconductor sector, (chart 2), positive global growth surprises (chart 3), and receding inflationary pressures (chart 4). A more favourable backdrop for equities is another factor that has supported Japan’s stock market in recent weeks (chart 5). Finally, recent rallies in other assets, including cryptocurrencies and gold, hint at robust financial market liquidity potentially driving these gains as well (chart 6).