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Big Day for Brexit? CPI In-Line at +0.2%

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

It’s a big day in the world of Brexit today — the coming separation of the United Kingdom (UK) from the rest of the European Union (EU), which had been voted on by British citizens back in the summer of 2016 — where another vote on how to implement this separation comes up for a new vote mere hours from now. Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been trying to construct a “soft” Brexit to usher a smoother transition for the separation, has revised her proposal, which was soundly rejected last time around.

Stuck between pro-Brexiteers who are interested in seeing an emphatic separation from the EU and those in Parliament who want to Brexit at all, May currently looks to be in a position to face another loss in today’s vote. Some key members of the pro-Brexit ERG caucus is currently trying to arrange for a delay to the vote in order to better examine changes to the May proposal.

As Zacks Chief Strategist John Blank said yesterday in his Global Week Ahead segment, “Without fresh faces in power, it means there is no fresh momentum for the country. That’s a pity.” For more on Blank’s perspective, click here: “The Ides of March”

The UK appears to be in need of a new sea change — one that meets the sea change the pro-Brexit vote brought about in the first place. To many, that fateful vote brought about the biggest unforced error for the country since at least World War II; lack of progress on this matter — in either direction — threatens to stall economic developments in both the UK and its partners around the globe, including the U.S.

CPI for February

Finally, we are getting up to date with our new economic reads ahead of the opening bell: today, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February has hit the tape, with +0.2% in-line with estimates. Stripping out volatile food & energy prices, this figure recedes to 0.1%. Year over year, we see +1.5% CPI growth, with the core read year over year at +2.1%.

None of these sub-headline figures are shocking, but all are resonating somewhat cooler than projections had been. The key takeaway here is that last month’s CPI data does not recognize inflation as an issue for the U.S. economy.

737 MAX Update

More countries have decided to ground the Boeing (BA - Free Report) 737 MAX jet, which suffered its second fatal crash in 6 months over the past weekend. Singapore, Malaysia and Australia have now followed China, Indonesia and the Cayman’s lead in refusing to put the 737 MAX in the air as of today. This amounts to 25 airlines worldwide, and 40% of the 737 MAX fleet now grounded.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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