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Mercedes brings five new EVs to IAA Mobility

Mercedes is coming to IAA Mobility with five new EVs: the Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS, the new EQB, the new EQE, the new Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+,…

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This article was originally published by Green Car Congress

Mercedes is coming to IAA Mobility with five new EVs: the Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS, the new EQB, the new EQE, the new Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+, and the Concept EQG.


Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS. With the Concept EQS, Mercedes-Maybach is providing a clear preview of the first fully electric series-production model for the luxury brand. The SUV concept vehicle is based on the modular architecture for luxury- and executive-class electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and takes the exclusivity of Maybach into a locally emission-free future.

A further all-electric model is also set to appear on this basis, the EQS SUV, which will go into series production in 2022, even before the Maybach. According to WLTP, ranges of around 600 kilometers (373 miles) are planned for the Mercedes EQS SUV architecture.

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The EQB. After the EQA, the EQB is the second all-electric compact car from Mercedes-EQ. It will be the first purely electrically powered production vehicle from the Kecskemét plant in Hungary. The vehicles for China are produced in Beijing.

The EQB offers five seats as standard and is optionally available as a seven-seater. The two seats in the third row can be used by people up to 1.65 meters tall (5' 5"), and child seats can also be fitted there.

The range initially includes the EQB 300 4MATIC (combined electrical consumption NEDC: 16.2 kWh/100 km) with 168 kW and the EQB 350 4MATIC (combined electrical consumption NEDC: 16.2 kWh/100 km) with 215 kW. A front-wheel drive model will follow. A long-range version is also planned.

An asynchronous motor is used at the front axle. The electric motor, a fixed-ratio transmission with differential, the cooling system and the power electronics form a highly integrated, very compact unit—the electric powertrain (eATS).

In addition, the EQB 300 4MATIC and EQB 350 4MATIC also have an eATS on the rear axle with a newly developed permanently excited synchronous motor. In a permanently excited synchronous motor, the rotor of the AC motor is fitted with permanent magnets. The magnets—and thus the rotor—follow the rotating alternating current field in the stator windings. The engine is referred to as synchronous because the rotor turns at the same rate as the magnetic field of the stator. The frequency is adapted to the speed demanded by the driver in the frequency inverters of the power electronics. The advantages of this design include high power density, high efficiency and high output consistency.

In the 4MATIC versions, the power demand between the front and rear axles is intelligently regulated 100 times per second, depending on the driving situation. The Mercedes-EQ philosophy is to optimize consumption by using the rear electric motor as often as possible, while the asynchronous motor at the front axle generates only minimal drag losses in partial-load operation.

The EQB is fitted with a lithium-ion battery with a high energy density. It has a maximum voltage of 420 V and, with a nominal capacity of around 190 Ah, has a usable energy content of 66.5 kWh. Range (WLTP) is 419 km (260 miles).

The battery is made up of five modules and is located underneath the passenger compartment in the middle of the vehicle. An aluminum housing as well as the body structure of the vehicle itself protect the component from potentially touching the ground and against loose chippings. The battery housing is part of the vehicle structure and thus an integral part of the crash concept.

The battery is part of the intelligent thermal management system of the EQB. To ensure that it is always kept within the optimum temperature range, it can be cooled or heated as required via a coolant-fed plate underneath the battery.

If Navigation with Electric Intelligence is activated, the battery may also be pre-heated or cooled while driving in order to ensure that it is within the ideal temperature window for a rapid charging station. On the other hand, if the battery is cold when the car reaches the rapid charging station, a considerable proportion of the charging capacity will initially be used simply to warm it up. The net effect is to optimize the charging time.

The EQB can be charged at up to 11 kW with alternating current (AC) using the onboard charger. The charging time required for a full charge depends on the available infrastructure and the country-specific vehicle equipment. Charging at a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox is considerably faster than at a domestic power socket.

Depending on the SoC (State of Charge) and the temperature of the high-voltage battery, the EQB charges at a fast charging station with a maximum power of up to 100 kW. The charging time is then 32 minutes from 10-80% SoC. For AC and DC charging, the EQB is equipped as standard in Europe and the USA with a CCS (Combined Charging Systems) connector in the right-hand side panel.

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The EQE. Just a few months after the launch of the EQS (earlier post), Mercedes-EQ is presenting the next model based on the electric architecture developed specifically for electric vehicles, the new EQE. The sporty business sedan offers all the essential functions of the EQS in a slightly more compact format.

At market launch, the model range initially comprises two variants: the EQE 350 (power consumption acc. to WLTP: 19.3-15.7 kWh/100 km) with 215 kW, as well as another model. Performance variants with around 500 kW are being planned. Range (WLTP) is 545-660 km (339-410 miles).

Production of the EQE takes place at two locations of the Mercedes-Benz Cars global production network: at the German Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen for the global market and at the German-Chinese joint venture BBAC in Beijing for the local market.

All EQE models have an electric drivetrain (eATS) on the rear axle. The later versions with 4MATIC are also equipped with an eATS at the front axle. The electric motors are permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM). The motor on the rear axle is particularly powerful due to its six-phase design: it has two windings with three phases each.

In the EQE, the lithium-ion battery consists of ten modules and has a usable energy content of 90 kWh. The battery management software, developed in-house, allows updates over the air (OTA). In this way, the energy management of the EQE remains up-to-date throughout the life cycle.

In the battery, the optimized active material consists of nickel, cobalt and manganese in a ratio of 8:1:1. This reduces the cobalt content to less than 10%. The continuous optimization of recyclability is part of Mercedes-Benz’s holistic battery strategy.

EQE’s drive includes a sophisticated thermal concept and several variants of energy recovery by means of recuperation. In this process, the high-voltage battery is charged by converting the mechanical rotary motion into electrical energy during overrun or braking mode. The driver can manually select the deceleration in three stages (D+, D, D-) as well as the gliding function via shift paddles behind the steering wheel; DAuto is also available.

ECO Assist also offers situation-optimized recuperation. If possible, recuperative deceleration is also used for vehicles detected ahead. This even occurs until they come to a standstill, for example at traffic lights.

Navigation with Electric Intelligence plans the fastest and most convenient route, including charging stops, based on numerous factors and reacts dynamically to traffic jams or a change in driving style, for example. This includes a visualization in the MBUX infotainment system as to whether the available battery capacity is sufficient to return to the starting point without charging.

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EQS 53 4MATIC+. The first battery-electric AMG production model (WLTP power consumption: 23.9-21.5 kWh/100 km) is based on the Mercedes EQ architecture for luxury and executive-class vehicles. The luxury sedan with an output of up to 560 kW has been newly developed or refined in Affalterbach in all performance-related areas.

At the heart of the new Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ is its performance-oriented drive concept with two motors. The electric powertrain with one motor each at the front and rear axles has fully-variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. The basic version achieves a maximum total output of 484 kW (658 hp), with a maximum motor torque of 950 N·m. With the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package, which is available as an option, the maximum output increases to up to 560 kW (761 hp) in RACE START mode with boost function. The maximum motor torque is then up to 1,020 N·m.

In this case the new Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds with a battery charge level of at least 80%. The top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) with the optional package. In the basic version the AMG EQS accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (minimum 80% battery charge). Its maximum speed is limited to 220 km/h (137 mph).

The AMG-specific electric motors at the front and rear axles are permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM). The Mercedes-AMG electric motors are characterized by a balance of enhanced power, efficiency and noise comfort. Among other things, this is ensured by new windings, stronger currents and new actuation via inverters with specially developed software. This allows higher rotational speeds and thus more power, seen especially in acceleration and top speed.

The electric motor at the rear axle of the EQS 53 4MATIC+ uses the six-phase design based on two windings with three phases each. The stators with move-in winding ensure a particularly powerful magnetic field.

Added to this is the highly resilient thermal concept, which allows repeated acceleration maneuvers with consistently high performance. The centerpiece of the design is the water lance in the shaft of the rotor, which cools it. Other AMG-specific cooling elements in the cooling circuit are special ribs on the stator and the needle-shaped pin-fin structure on the inverter, which is made of high-performance ceramics.

In addition, there is the additional transmission oil cooler which also increases efficiency during cold driving, as it warms the transmission oil as needed.

The recuperation output is up to 300 kW. The driver can adjust the level of recuperation in three stages via switches on the steering wheel, and receive situation-related support from the ECO Assistant. Combined braking can take place until standstill. With the help of the optional DRIVE PILOT, deceleration is automatic in response to detected vehicles ahead until they come to a standstill, for example at traffic lights.

The new Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ is equipped with a 400-volt battery using the optimized active material with nickel, cobalt and manganese in a ratio of 8:1:1.

The high-voltage battery has a usable energy content of 107.8 kWh. Range (WLTP) is 526-580 km (327-360- miles. One special technical feature is the AMG‑specific wiring, which is adapted to the high performance capacity. The battery management system is also configured specifically for AMG.

In the Sport and Sport+ driving modes the focus is on performance, in Comfort mode on operating range. The new generation of batteries is characterized by a significantly higher energy density compared to previous developments. It also has a higher charging capacity. Another new feature is the possibility to install updates for the battery management system over the air.

Another advantage of the new battery generation is the significantly shorter charging times. As with the sister model from Mercedes-EQ, the battery can be charged with up to 200 kW at quick-charging stations with direct current.

Like the EQS from Mercedes-EQ, the EQS 53 4MATIC+ from Mercedes-AMG achieves a drag coefficient from 0.23.

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Concept EQG. The Concept EQG previews the all-electric version of the legendary all-terrain model series. Visually, the concept car combines the look of the G-Class with selected design elements typical of all-electric models from Mercedes as contrasting highlights.

The EQG is also based on the robust ladder frame. The chassis design remains extremely off-road capable, as is typical of the G-Class: with independent suspension on the front axle and a rigid axle at the rear, newly developed for the integration of the electric drive.

With four electric motors close to the wheels and individually controllable, the vehicle will offer unique driving characteristics both on- and off-road. As with any real 4x4, the Concept EQG’s off-road reduction can be activated via a shiftable 2-speed gearbox in order to meet the high G-specific off-road requirements.

Equipped in this way, the fully electrically powered version of the G-Class will face the test track on the 1445-meter Schöckl mountain in Graz at the end of its development into a series model. With gradients of up to 60 degrees, the 5.6-kilometer route is regarded in the international off-road scene as one of the great challenges. After successfully conquering it, the electric G will earn the “Schöckl-proved” quality certificate that is obligatory for the 463 series.

The batteries integrated into the ladder frame ensure a low center of gravity. Since the electric motors provide their maximum torque practically with the first revolution, an all-electric off-road vehicle like the Concept EQG and the later production model boast enormous pulling power and controllability – which also proves to be an advantage on steep slopes and deep terrain.

Economics

US Hog Herd Hit By Largest Monthly Drop Since 1999

US Hog Herd Hit By Largest Monthly Drop Since 1999

US hog herds experienced the most significant monthly drop in two decades, according to…

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US Hog Herd Hit By Largest Monthly Drop Since 1999

US hog herds experienced the most significant monthly drop in two decades, according to new data from the USDA. The reason behind the drop is because farmers decreased hog-herd development over the last year due to labor disruptions at slaughterhouses plus high animal feed. 

USDA data showed the US hog herd was 3.9% lower in August than a year ago. It was the largest monthly drop since 1999 after analysts only expected a decline of about 1.7%, according to Bloomberg

On Monday, hog futures soared in Chicago after the news of tightening supply. Since contracts hit a seven-year high in June, they have plunged from $120 to $80 but have since recovered in recent days to $90. 

Supply chain woes at slaughterhouses, and declining cold pork storage in US warehouses, have pushed up pork consumer prices to record highs. 

Farmers are experiencing a challenging environment of skyrocketing feed prices and other commodity prices used to maintain and growing pig herds, along with the labor disruptions at slaughterhouses that sometimes force them to cull herds. 

Soaring supermarket meat prices have been devastating for working-poor families who allocate a high percentage of their incomes to basic and essential items. The Biden administration spent most of the year ignoring the dramatic increase in food prices and only addressed the issue earlier this month by blaming meatpackers. The administration even had the nerve to say that if meat prices are taken out of the equation, troubling grocery inflation would be lower. 

To sum up, shrinking hog herds means pork prices will stay high. 

Tyler Durden Tue, 09/28/2021 - 20:25
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Economics

Volatility Roars Back

The surging 10-Year Treasury yield spooks tech investors … watch out for Evergrande default volatility… another debt ceiling showdown

It’s like…

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The surging 10-Year Treasury yield spooks tech investors … watch out for Evergrande default volatility… another debt ceiling showdown

It’s like when you’re flying, feel a few jolts of turbulence, then see the “seatbelt” sign flash on.

Investors are experiencing some market turbulence – and buckling up is probably a good idea.

There are three things troubling markets right now. Let’s look at them to get a sense for how significant they might be.

As I write Tuesday morning, the markets are deep in the red thanks to the soaring 10-Year Treasury yield.

After falling under 1.2% in early August, the yield on the 10-Year Treasury has been pushing higher over the last two months.

That “push” turned into a full-blown “leap” last week, as the yield jumped from roughly 1.3% to over 1.5% as I write.

I’ve circled this one-week spike of about 18% on the chart below.

Source: MarketWatch.com

This is significant because the yield on the 10-Year Treasury is a major barometer for how traders are feeling about the market and inflation-risk.

A rising yield also serves as a major headwind for technology stocks. Given this, it’s no wonder that our hypergrowth tech expert, Luke Lango, has been monitoring this surge.

From Luke’s Early Stage Investor update yesterday:

The 10-year Treasury yield broke above 1.5% today, continuing its sharpest ascent since February.

Yields have now risen about 20 basis points since the Fed’s meeting last week, as investors are bracing for the Treasury market’s biggest buyer to become a seller before year-end.

This move makes sense, and more importantly, it’s nothing to worry about.

***Why Luke is urging a levelheaded response

Luke points out that while yields might have further to climb, they should return to lower levels due to a handful of reasons.

Back to Luke with those details:

The fact of the matter is that yields were too low, so now they’re correcting higher, but they won’t go much higher from here because there are structural forces in place that will keep them lower for longer.

For one, you have secular deflationary pressures via the expansion and improvement of productivity-boosting and cost-reducing technologies, like automation, artificial intelligence, and virtualization platforms.

For another, you have persistently strong demand for risk-free assets from risk-adverse funds like pension funds – in a market where “cash is trash” and valuations are a bit too stretched to attract major allocations from these risk-adverse funds.

You also have the fact that the labor market will face long-term headwinds from automation technology threatening to disrupt large swaths of the labor market. That will put a floor on how low the unemployment rate can go, which will keep the Fed on the sidelines.

Not to mention, the Fed serves the U.S. government, and the U.S. government has accumulated a lot of debt over the past few years (especially the past 24 months) … so, in order to keep interest payments low for its “boss,” the Fed is incentivized to keep rates lower for longer. Same with every other central bank in the world, for that matter.

Long story short, there are simply too many secular forces at play here for yields to rise much higher. Make no mistake. They will move higher. But at a very slow and gradual pace

The second reason why Luke isn’t alarmed by the yield spike is because he’s focusing on what matters – the long-term growth story, along with earnings.

Back to Luke:

Near-term movements in the yield curve will dictate near-term price action.

But the long-term value of our stocks will be driven by the long-term earnings growth trajectories of our companies.

So long as our companies produce lots of earnings over the next few years, our stocks will move higher – regardless of where yields end up.

Even though the long-term is what matters, for now, the short-term is volatile – and painful. But Luke stresses this is a temporary problem that’s actually an opportunity:

All in all, things look great.

Let the yield volatility resolve itself in the coming weeks. Let tech stocks chop around. Buy the dip when the volatility settles.

Let’s move on to the second source of today’s volatility.

***The threat of a broader fallout from Evergrande is also worrying investors

Let’s begin with yesterday’s update from our Strategic Trader team of John Jagerson and Wade Hansen:

The Evergrande situation in China is continuing to put traders on edge.

A default seems very likely, and most of the world’s major financial institutions have material direct or indirect exposure to that risk.

To make sure we’re all on the same page, Evergrande is an enormous Chinese real estate company that is failing to meet its debt payments.

Last Thursday, the troubled company missed an $84 million payment. It owes another $47.5 million tomorrow.

The broader fear is that this could be a “Lehman Brothers” meltdown for China. Real estate makes up roughly 30% of the Chinese GDP, so a collapse would have a very real impact on their broader economy. It’s reported that Evergrande alone helps sustain more than 3.8 million jobs each year (directly employing about 200,000).

Yesterday, legendary investor, Louis Navellier, also updated his Accelerated Profits subscribers on this situation. Here he is speaking to this broader fear:

A housing bust would have a pretty big impact on the Chinese economy.

Some economists are even predicting that if Evergrande fails, it could cause China to slip into a recession — and, of course, these fears are part of the reason why the stock market sold off hard last Monday.

The good news is neither Louis nor our Strategic Trader team believe significant economic contagion from a default will reach the U.S. However, we could be in for market volatility. Given this, it’s impacting where John and Wade will be looking for trade set-ups.

Back to their update on this note:

We should be cleareyed about the risks and potential for volatility as we get closer to 3rd quarter earnings season in October.

We expect volatility to rise, and we don’t plan on targeting any trades in energy or basic materials, but we also don’t see much risk of a major drawdown yet.

As I write Tuesday, the latest news is that Beijing is urging government-owned property developers to buy up some of Evergrande’s assets. So, it’s not a direct bailout, though it’s a bailout.

From Reuters:

Authorities are hoping, however, that asset purchases will ward off or at least mitigate any social unrest that could occur if Evergrande were to suffer a messy collapse, they said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

We’ll update you as events unfold here, but don’t be surprised if markets suffer another mini-panic if we get bad news from China.

***Finally, partisan politics could upset markets

The debt ceiling deadline is this Friday.

Last night, Senate Republicans voted against a House-backed bill that would have suspended the debt limit. They objected to how the bill was attached to a broader spending bill pushed by Democrats.

From Bloomberg:

Without a shift in position by one of the two parties, the decision to combine the temporary funding measure and the debt ceiling leaves the U.S. on course for a government shutdown and defaults on federal payments as soon as next month.

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, without a suspension or raising of the ceiling, there will be a risk of default between Oct. 15 and Nov. 4.

Moody’s Analytics suggests that a prolonged shutdown, were it to happen, would cause another recession, destroying approximately $15 trillion in household wealth and 6 million jobs.

Our politicians are aware of this and don’t want to be responsible, so what we’re seeing is partisan brinksmanship. However, the closer we get to Friday without that solution, the greater the risk of more market volatility.

But remember, we saw this in 2011, when the debt ceiling showdown led to a downgrade in U.S. AAA sovereign credit, and again in 2018 as U.S./China trade tensions were growing. Both times brought plenty of anxious hand-wringing, yet both times we moved past it.

Bottom-line, fasten your seatbelt as these three issues work themselves out. It could get worse before it gets better – but it will get better.

Have a good evening,

Jeff Remsburg

The post Volatility Roars Back appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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Economics

Owner-Equivalent Rent Shock On Deck As Actual Rents Surge By Most On Record

Owner-Equivalent Rent Shock On Deck As Actual Rents Surge By Most On Record

Another month, another record surge in US rents to a new all time…

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Owner-Equivalent Rent Shock On Deck As Actual Rents Surge By Most On Record

Another month, another record surge in US rents to a new all time high.

According to the Apartment List national index, US rents increased by 2.1% from August to September, and although month-over-month growth has slowed slightly from its July peak when the sequential growth rate was 2.6%, rents are still growing much faster than the pre-pandemic trend. Since January of this year, the national median rent has increased by a staggering 16.4%. To put that in context, rent growth from January to September averaged just 3.4% in the pre-pandemic years from 2017-2019.

While even the smallest cooldown in rent growth is a welcome change for renters, Apartment List's Chris Salviati notes that it’s important to bear in mind that prior to this year, the national index never increased by more than 0.9 percent in a single month, going back to 2017. "Furthermore, we have now entered the time of year when rents are normally declining due to seasonality in the market. In September of 2018 and 2019, for example, rents fell by 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively."

That said, we have a ways to go before US rent - where the median just rose above $1,300 for the first time ever - decline; and with rents rising virtually everywhere, only a few cities still remain cheaper than they were pre-pandemic, and even these remaining discounts are unlikely to persist much longer. At the other end of the spectrum, Apartment List finds 22 cities among the 100 largest where rents have increased by more than 25 percent since the start of the pandemic. That said, there are some early signals that tightness in the market may be beginning to ease: the vacancy index ticked up this month for the first time since last April. And in Boise, ID, which has seen the nation’s biggest price increase since the start of the pandemic, rents finally dipped slightly this month.

The chart below visualizes monthly rent changes in each of the nation’s 100 largest cities from January 2018 to September 2021. The color in each cell represents the extent to which prices went up (red) or down (blue) in a given city in a given month. Bands of dark blue in 2020 represent the large urban centers where rent prices cratered (e.g., New York, San Francisco, Boston), but those bands have quickly turned red as ubiquitous rent growth sweeps the nation in 2021. In 2020, 60 of these cities saw rent prices rise from August to September, but this year, 97 cities got more expensive in September.

In a glimmer of hope for Americans locked out of not only the housing but the rental market, one of the few markets where rents did not increase this month was Boise, ID. Since last March, rents in Boise are up by a staggering 39%, making the city the archetype for rental market disruption amid the pandemic. This month, however, the median rent in Boise fell by 0.1%. While such a small dip certainly doesn’t offer much relief to Boise renters, it may at least signal that the market is finally starting to stabilize. Spokane, WA, another city that has experienced skyrocketing rent growth this year, saw an even more notable decline this month, with rents down 1.8 percent.

Unfortunately, Boise and Spokane represent the exception rather than the rule -- in most of the cities where rents had been growing quickly, that growth is continuing. Tampa, for example, saw rents jump by another 3.9% this month, and the city now ranks 2nd for cumulative rent growth since the start of the pandemic at 36%. Excluding Boise and Spokane, the other eight cities in the chart above experienced rent growth of 3.5%, on average, from August to September, as affordable Sunbelt markets continue to boom. Of particular note, four of the ten cities with the fastest rent growth since last March are suburbs of Phoenix.

A more tangible indicator that demand destruction may be setting in, is that vacancy rates have posted their first increase since March. Indeed, as Apartment List notes, much of this year’s boom in rent prices can be attributed to a tight market in which more and more households are competing for fewer and fewer vacant units. The vacancy index spiked from 6.2% to 7.1% last April, as many Americans moved in with family or friends amid the uncertainty and economic disruption of the pandemic’s onset. Since then, however, vacancies have been steadily declining. For the past several months, the vacancy index has been hovering just below 4%, significantly lower than the 6% rate that was typical pre-pandemic.

This month, however, the vacancy index ticked up slightly, from 3.8 percent to 3.9 percent. Although this is a very minor increase, it represents the first increase of any magnitude since last April. While a few more months of data would be needed to confirm an inflection point, if vacancies are back on the rise again, it would signal that tightness in the rental market is finally beginning to ease and that rent growth will also continue to cool.

Finally, where there may be light at the end of the tunnel in real-time data, we have yet to see the pig even enter the python when it comes to the CPI's Owner Equivalent Rent data series. As shown below, the Apartment List data normally has a 4 month lead to the OER series, which means that as actual rents soar by over 15% Y/Y, OER is either going to skyrocket in the coming quarters or the BLS will have to come up with some very fancy hedonic adjustments why rental inflation should exclude, well, rental inflation.

Tyler Durden Tue, 09/28/2021 - 18:25
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