Tag Archive: exports

High Anxiety: China’s Covid and US Inflation

Overview: Anxiety is running high. Rather than ease its Covid restrictions, a surge in cases is seeing more areas in China come under restrictions. The US reports CPI and of the ten reports this year, seven of them have been stronger than expected.

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Curve Inversion 101: US CPI Politics Up Front, China PPI Down(ing) The Back

While the world fixated on the US CPI, it was other “inflation” data from across the Pacific that is telling the real economic story. Having conflated the former with a red-hot economy, the fact American consumer prices aren’t tied to the actual economic situation has been lost in the shuffle of the FOMC’s hawkishness, with markets obliged to price wrong-way Jay.

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T-bills Targeted Target

Yesterday’s market “volatility” spilled (way) over into this morning’s trading. It ended up being a very striking example, perhaps the clearest and most alarming yet, of a scramble for collateral. The 4-week T-bill, well, the chart speaks for itself:During past scrambles, such as those last year, they didn’t look like this. They would hit, stick around for an hour, maybe a bit longer, and then clear up as collateral books get balanced in repo like...

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Is It Recession?

According to today’s advance estimate for first quarter 2022 US real GDP, the third highest (inflation-adjusted) inventory build on record subtracted nearly a point off the quarter-over-quarter annual rate. Yes, you read that right; deducted from growth, as in lowered it. This might seem counterintuitive since by GDP accounting inventory adds to output.

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China More and More Beyond ‘Inflation’

If only the rest of the world could have such problems. Chinese consumer prices were flat from February 2022 to March, even though gasoline and energy costs predictably skyrocketed. According to China’s NBS, gas was up 7.2% month-over-month while diesel costs on average gained 7.8%.

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Briefing Even More Inventory

Retail sales stumbled in December, contributing some to the explosion in inventory across the US supply chain – but not all. Inventories were going to spike even if sales had been better. In fact, retail inventories rose at such a record pace beyond anything seen before, had sales been far improved the monthly increase in inventories still would’ve unlike anything in the data series.

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Weekly Market Pulse: A Very Contrarian View

What is the consensus about the economy today? Will 2022 growth be better or worse than 2021? Actually, that probably isn’t the right question because the economy slowed significantly in the second half of 2021. The real question is whether growth will improve from that reduced pace.

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The ‘Growth Scare’ Keeps Growing Out Of The Macro (Money) Illusion

When Japan’s Ministry of Trade, Economy, and Industry (METI) reported earlier in November that Japanese Industrial Production (IP) had plunged again during the month of September 2021, it was so easy to just dismiss the decline as a product of delta COVID.

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The Enormously Important Reasons To Revisit The Revisions Already Several Times Revisited

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary commitment. I never set out nor imagined that a quarter century after embarking on what I thought would be a career managing portfolios, researching markets, and picking investments, I’d instead have to spend a good amount of my time in the future taking apart how raw economic data is collected, tabulated, and then disseminated.

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Inflating Chinese Trade

There was never really any answer given by the Chinese Communists for why their own export data diverged so much from other import estimates gathered by its largest trading partners. Ostensibly different sides of the same thing, it’s not like anyone asked Xi Jinping to weigh in; they report what numbers they have and consider them authoritative.

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More About Less New Orders

The inventory saga, planetary in its reach. As you’ve heard, American demand for goods supercharged by the federal government’s helicopter combined with a much more limited capacity to rebound in the logistics of the goods economy left a nightmare for supply chains. As we’ve been writing lately, a highly unusual maybe unprecedented inventory cycle resulted (creating “inflation”).

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What’s Real Behind Commodities

Inflation is sustained monetary debasement – money printing, if you prefer – that wrecks consumer prices. It is the other of the evil monetary diseases, the one which is far more visible therefore visceral to the consumers pounded by spiraling costs of bare living. Yet, it is the lesser evil by comparison to deflation which insidiously destroys the labor market from the inside out.

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A Real Example Of Price Imbalance

It’s not just the trade data from individual countries. Take the WTO’s estimates which are derived from exports and imports going into or out of nearly all of them. These figures show that for all that recovery glory being printed up out of Uncle Sam’s checkbook, the American West Coast might be the only place where we can find anything resembling Warren Buffett’s red-hot claim.

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Real Dollar ‘Privilege’ On Display (again)

Twenty-fifteen was an important yet completely misunderstood year. The Fed was going to have to become hawkish, according to its models, yet oil prices crashed and the dollar continued to rise. Both of those things were described as “transitory” by Janet Yellen, and that they were helpful or positive (rising dollar means cleanest dirty shirt!), but domestically American policymakers’ clear lack of conviction and courage about that rate hike regime...

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Shoe V arning

It’s no wonder we’re obsessed with shoes these days. Even the V-people, as I’ll call them, keep one wary eye glued looking behind them. Survivor’s euphoria means a lot of potentially bad things, only beginning with a false sense of survivor-hood.

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A Japanese Stall?

In sharp contrast to the sentimental deference towards central bank stimulus exhibited by Germany’s ZEW, for example, similar Japanese surveys are starting to describe potential trouble developing. Like Germany, Japan is a bellwether country and a pretty reliable indicator of global economy performance.

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Second Wave Global Trade

Unlike some sentiment indicators, the ISM Non-manufacturing, in particular, actual trade in goods continued to contract in May 2020. Both exports and imports fell further, though the rate of descent has improved. In fact, that’s all the other, more subdued PMI’s like Markit’s have been suggesting.

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Someone’s Giving Us The (Trade) Business

The NBER has made its formal declaration. Surprising no one, as usual this group of mainstream academic Economists wishes to tell us what we already know. At least this time their determination of recession is noticeably closer to the beginning of the actual event. The Great “Recession”, you might recall, wasn’t even classified as an “official” contraction until December 2008 – a full year after the NBER figured the thing had begun.

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The Real Diseased Body

Another day, another new Federal Reserve “bailout.” As these things go by, quickly, the details become less important. What is the central bank doing today? Does it really matter?For me, twice was enough. All the way back in 2010 I had expected other people to react as I did to QE2. If you have to do it twice, it doesn’t work.

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Two Years And Now It’s Getting Serious

We knew German Industrial Production for December 2019 was going to be ugly given what deStatis had reported for factory orders yesterday. In all likelihood, Germany’s industrial economy ended last year sinking and maybe too quickly. What was actually reported, however, exceeded every pessimistic guess and expectation – by a lot.

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