Tag Archive: industrial production

Synchronized Not Coronavirus

There is an understandable tendency to just write off this weekend’s disastrous Chinese data as nothing more than pandemic politics. After all, it has been Emperor Xi’s harsh lockdowns spreading like wildfire across China rather than any disease (why it has been this way, that’s another Mao-tter).

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Industrial Synchronized Demand

Are the industrial commodities starting to get a whiff of demand side rejection? Short run trends suggest that this could be the case. From copper to iron and the highest (formerly) of the high flyers, aluminum, this particular group has been exhibiting a rather synchronized setback going back to the end of March, start of April.

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Euro$ #5 in Goods

Last Friday, S&P Global (the merged successor to IHS Markit) reported that its PMI for German manufacturing fell to 54.1. It hadn’t been that low for more than a year and a half. Worse than that, the index for New Orders dropped below 50 for the first time since the middle of 2020. The excuses are plentiful, as there’s COVID, supply problems, Russia, a drop in demand. Wait, what was that last one?

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Shanghai’s Current Plight Began in 2017

The first chapters to China’s new story now playing out in Shanghai were written down in October 2017. Planning for them had begun years earlier, their author Xi Jinping requiring more research before committing them to paper. Communist authorities there had grown increasingly concerned about the lack of growth potential for its political system by then utterly dependent for a quarter-century on the economy growing.

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I Told You It *Wasn’t* Money Printing; How The Fed Helped Cause, But Can’t Solve, Our Current ‘Inflation’

Trust the Fed. Ha! It’s one thing for money dealers to look upon Jay Powell’s stash of bank reserves with remarkable disdain, more immediately damning when effects of the same liquidity premiums in the real economy create serious frictions leaving the entire world exposed to the consequences. When all is said and done, the Federal Reserve has created its own doom-loop from which it won’t likely escape.

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White-Hot Cycles of Silence

We’re only ever given the two options: the economy is either in recession, or it isn’t. And if “not”, then we’re led to believe it must be in recovery if not outright booming already. These are what Economics says is the business cycle. A full absence of unit roots. No gray areas to explore the sudden arrival of only deeply unsatisfactory “booms.”

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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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Far Longer And Deeper Than Just The Past Few Months

Hurricane Ida swept up the Gulf of Mexico and slammed into the Louisiana coastline on August 29. The storm would continue to wreak havoc even as it weakened the further inland it traversed. By September 1 and 2, the system was still causing damage and disruption into the Northeast of the United States.

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Another Round of Transitory: US Retail Sales & (revised) IP

Same stuff, different month. We can basically reprint both what was described yesterday about supply curves not keeping up with exaggerated demand as well as the past two months of commentary on Retail Sales plus Industrial Production each for the US. Quite on the nose, US demand for goods, anyway, is eroding if still artificially very high.

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Spending Here, Production There, and What Autos Have To Do With It

While the global inflation picture remains fixed at firmly normal (as in, disinflationary), US retail sales by contrast have been highly abnormal. You’d think given that, the consumer price part of the economic equation would, well, equate eventually price-wise.

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Looking Past Gigantic Base Effects To China’s (Really) Struggling Economy

The Chinese were first to go down because they had been first to shut down, therefore one year further on they’ll be the first to skew all their economic results when being compared to it. These obvious base effects will, without further scrutiny, make analysis slightly more difficult.

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Consumers, Producers, and the Unsettled End of 2020

The months of November and December aren’t always easily comparable year to year when it comes to American shopping habits. For a retailer, these are the big ones. The Christmas shopping season and the amount of spending which takes place during it makes or breaks the typical year (though last year, there was that whole thing in March and April which has had a say in each’s final annual condition).

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Seizing The Dirt Shirt Title

In mid-December 2019, before the world had heard of COVID, China’s Central Economic Work Conference had released a rather startling statement for the world to consume. In the West, everything was said to be on the up. Central banks had responded, forcefully, many claimed, more than enough to deal with that year’s “unexpected” globally synchronized downturn.

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What Did Hamper Growth ‘In A Few Months’

Over here, on the other side of that ocean, the US economy can only dream of the low levels Chinese industry has been putting up this late into 2020. At least those in the East are back positive year-over-year. Here in America, manufacturing and industry can’t even manage anything like a plus sign.

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This Global Growth Stuff, China Still Wants A Word

Before there could be “globally synchronized growth”, it had been plain old “global growth.” The former from 2017 appended the term “synchronized” to its latter 2014 forerunner in order to jazz it up. And it needed the additional rhetorical flourish due to the simple fact that in 2015 for all the stated promise of “global growth” it ended up meaning next to nothing in reality.Oddly the same for 2017’s update heading into 2018 and...

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Extending the Summer Slowdown

A big splurge in September, and then not much more in October. While it would be consistent for many to focus on the former, instead there is much about the latter which, for once, is feeding growing concerns. Retail sales, American consumer spending on goods, has been the one (outside of economically insignificant housing) bright spot since summer

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Six Point Nine Times Two Equals What It Had In Twenty Fourteen

It was a shock, total disbelief given how everyone, and I mean everyone, had penciled China in as the world’s go-to growth engine. If the global economy was ever going to get off the ground again following GFC1 more than a half a decade before, the Chinese had to get back to their precrisis “normal.”

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The Prices And Costs Of What Xi Believes He’s Got To Do

It does seem, at first, a huge contradiction. On the one hand, what we know so far of China’s 14th 5-year plan apparently will lean heavily on new technologies not-yet invented to rescue the country’s economy from the pit of de-globalization the eurodollar system had thrown it into years ago.

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China’s Hole Puzzle

One day short of one year ago, on September 16, 2019, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported its updated monthly estimates for the Big 3 accounts. Industrial Production (IP) is a closely-watched indicator as it is relatively decent proxy for the entire goods economy around the world. Retail Sales in the post-Euro$ #2 context give us a sense of the Chinese economy’s persistent struggle to try to “rebalance” without the pre-2008 boost...

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