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Tag Archives: consumer goods

Nastier Number Four: A Broader Industrial Base On The Wrong Side

There’s always weakness even in the most booming of economies. Even in the real booms, not the 2017 hysteria kind, not all cylinders will be firing. What makes them real, however, is when the vast majority are. The concept behind globally synchronized growth was a valid one, it just never came out in practice. The impression has been incorporated into various data points over the years. These are quantitative measures designed to relay information about this idea of broadness. If so many...

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US IP: May Was A Good Month And It Was Still ‘Manufacturing Recession’

Whether or not a full-scale recession shows up in the US is an open question. There’s less of one in US industry. The “manufacturing recession” we last saw of Euro$ #3 is becoming clearer as a repeat property in Euro$ #4. According to the Federal Reserve, May was a relatively good month for industry – total output didn’t decline from April. No matter in the big picture. The trajectory is becoming very well established. As is consistent with economic and market data from all over the world,...

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Global Doves Expire: A Hundred Years of US IP Give Bond Market Another Win

The Federal Reserve has been maintaining statistics on American industry for nearly as long as there has been a Federal Reserve. The first entry in the data series on Industrial Production is for the month of January ’19. Not 2019 but 1919. With over a hundred years of relatively consistent data, matching up very well with overall trends in the US economy over an unusually long period, it’s no wonder IP is at the top of the list of key indicators. The NBER cites it as one narrow economy...

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Insight: Aluminum costs push Japan’s brewers to put new beer in new bottles

From relatively traditional roots, the Japanese beer industry became a hotbed of innovation in 2018 — giving rise to new and esoteric brews, and causing brewers to think again about the use of costly aluminum as a packaging material. For over 100 years, legislation dictated that beer had to contain 67% malt, with the balance of 33% strictly water, hops, yeast, corn, rice, or more malt. But a revision of the country’s alcohol laws – or “Shuzei ho” – which went into effect April 2018, allowed...

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Just The One More Boom Month For IP

The calendar last month hadn’t yet run out on US Industrial Production as it had for US Retail Sales. The hurricane interruption of 2017 for industry unlike consumer spending extended into last September. Therefore, the base comparison for 2018 is against that artificial low. As such, US IP rose by 5.1% year-over-year last month. That’s the largest gain since 2010. While that may be, over the last five months American industry has slowed precipitously from its prior pace. It doesn’t show up...

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There Isn’t Supposed To Be The Two Directions of IP

US Industrial Production dipped in May 2018. It was the first monthly drop since January. Year-over-year, IP was up just 3.5% from May 2017, down from 3.6% in each of prior three months. The reason for the soft spot was that American industry is being pulled in different directions by the two most important sectors: crude oil and autos. In the middle is the middling performance of manufacturing especially for consumer goods. Demonstrating the hurricane effect, IP for consumer goods was flat...

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US Industry Experiences The Full 2014 Again in February

In February 2018, it was like old times for the US industrial sectors. Prior to the 2015-16 downturn, the otherwise moribund economy did produce two genuine booms. The first in the auto sector, the other in energy. Without them, who knows what the no-recovery recovery would have looked like. They were for the longest time the only bright spots. The oil sector has roared back on the flight of oil prices off the February 2016 lows. Even before the Federal Reserve’s latest estimates on...

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Is Un-Humming A Word? It Might Need To Become One

Industrial Production in the US was up 3.6% year-over-year in December 2017. That’s the best for American industry since November 2014 when annual IP growth was 3.7%. That’s ultimately the problem, though, given all that has happened this year. In other words, despite a clear boost the past few months from storm effects, as well as huge contributions from the mining (crude oil) sector, American production at its best can only manage to reflect 2014. There are, of course, three main components...

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IP Weathers Storms But Not Cars

In late August 2006, ABC News asked more than a dozen prominent economists to evaluate the impacts of hurricane Katrina on the US economy. The cataclysmic storm made landfall on August 29, 2005, devastating the city of New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf coast. The cost in human terms was unthinkable, and many were concerned, as people always are, that in economic terms the country might end up in similar devastation. One year later, however, though New Orleans itself was far from back to...

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Defying Labels

Last month US Industrial Production rose rather quickly. Gaining more than 1.1% month-over-month, it might have appeared that the US economy once dragged into downturn by manufacturing and industry was finally about to experience its belated upturn. But frustration is how it has always gone, not just in this latest phase but for all phases since around 2011. Each good month is followed immediately by a disappointing one. What should be uninterrupted positivity is left instead as going...

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