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Fast Comment US — Payrolls increased by 228,000 in November

  1. Unemployment unchanged at 4.1 percent
  2. Wages increased by 0.2 percent, from a decline of 0.1 percent in October
  3. Fed hike in December is fully priced in by financial markets

Macro Comment US — Success has its price

After the Senate approval of a tax bill on Saturday, we have changed our view and now believe that tax reform will become reality. Presently, success seems more important than substance. In other words, Republicans, who are in desperate need of success ahead of next year's mid-term election, hope to sell a tax reform focused on corporate tax cuts, even though those cuts in reality are financed by their middle-class voters.

Macro Comment US — Tax reform now at the Senate floor

We do not believe that the Republicans are able to pass a tax reform, since the barriers are gigantic. Our view is that the Republicans in the Senate will fail to pass its tax bill this week. However, if we are wrong and the Senate would pass such a bill, we do not think that the House and the Senate could negotiate a common tax bill version that can pass both chambers.

Fast Comment US — Fed minutes confirm a rate hike in December

  1. Further tightening in the labour market
  2. The economy is operating at or above full employment
  3. Concerns about a potential build-up of financial imbalances

Macro Comment US — Republican tax reform toward defeat

We do not think the Republicans are able to pass a tax reform in Congress, but if they do, we expect a watered-down reform without the potential to lift growth sustainably. This article explains why the barriers to passing a tax reform bill are gigantic. One group's gain from the tax reform tends to be another group's loss. The rift goes between rich and poor, as well as between different regions. The slim Republican majority in the Senate reinforces the problems, as it makes it easy for small coalitions of Senators to block a decision.

Fast Comment US — Payrolls still affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma

  1. Strong payroll readings in October, although weaker than expected
  2. Earnings are also still affected by the hurricanes
  3. The Fed will look beyond the hurricane effects, likely to hike in December