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Tag Archives: exports

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. IP absolutely plummeted in the final month of 2019. Compared to the prior December, the index was down an alarming 6.7%. Minus seven doesn’t sound too until look...

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US Trade In December Was Too Much Oil

After a stunningly bad October and November, the Census Bureau reports US imports rebounded in December 2019 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Having fallen below $200 billion for the first time since October 2017, total imports of goods rose to $205.8 billion in the final month of last year. However, most of that increase, two-thirds of it, was due to “industrial supplies” meaning crude oil. The benchmark WT price had been, on average, $59.82 in December compared to $56.97 in November and...

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Three Straight Quarters of 2%, And Yet Each One Very Different

Headline GDP growth during the fourth quarter of 2019 was 2.05849% (continuously compounded annual rate), slightly lower than the (revised) 2.08169% during Q3. For the year, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) puts total real output at $19.07 trillion, or annual growth of 2.33% and down from 2.93% in 2018. Last year was weaker than 2017, the second lowest out of the six since 2013. And that’s where the good news ends. Underneath the headline, not all that far into the details is a...

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The Big And Small of Leading Japan

In the middle of 2018, Japan, they said, was riding so high. Gliding along on the tidal wave of globally synchronized growth, Haruhiko’s courage and more so patience had finally delivered the long-promised recovery. The Japanese economy had healed to a point that its central bank officials believed it time to wean the thing off decades of monetary “stimulus.” They even publicly speculated on just when QQE would be terminated. At least that was the story, one which was widely accepted without...

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Clarida Picks Up Some Data

I should know better than to make declarative all-or-none statements like this. I said there isn’t any data which comports with the idea of a global turnaround, this shakeup in sentiment which since early September has gone right from one extreme to the other. Recession fears predominated in summer only to be (rather easily) replaced by near euphoria (again). Narrative yes, sentiment maybe, data nope. The vast majority of the economic accounts, anyway. There are a few which might suggest...

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The Word Is: Prolongada

You don’t have to tell Mexico the bad news about how US auto sales ended 2019. They already know; in fact, knew ahead of time. Production workers who should be busy building more and more new cars for sale outside of Mexico, particularly for prospective American owners, must instead be worried if they’ll still have a job if things go on like this. The global economy is on the mend, they say. Yet, there are so many signs that it isn’t. In a lot of important places, getting worse sometimes...

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More Trends That Ended 2019 The Wrong Way

Auto sales in 2019 ended on a skid. Still, the year as a whole wasn’t nearly as bad as many had feared. Last year got off on the wrong foot in the aftermath of 2018’s landmine, with auto sales like consumer spending down pretty sharply to begin it. Spending did rebound in mid-year if only somewhat, enough, though, to add a little more to the worst-is-behind-us narrative which finished off 2019. That’s the version that is being described, Jay Powell’s underlying labor market strength...

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The Real Trade Dilemma

When I write that there are no winners around the world, what I mean is more comprehensive than just the trade wars. On that one narrow account, of course there are winners and losers. The Chinese are big losers, as the Census Bureau numbers plainly show (as well as China’s own). But even the winners of the trade wars find themselves wondering where all the spoils are. They may be winners because of it but somehow they all still end up in the losing column. Late in 2018, in response to the...

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Out Of The Onion Wars, Why Are There Only Losers?

Whereas China is embroiled in pig wars, its neighbor India is waging one against onions. African swine fever has decimated the former’s stock of hogs, leading to rapidly rising food prices at maybe the worst possible time. On the Indian subcontinent, same result as far as prices only in this case late monsoons have swamped the onion harvest. The shortage has been so bad it led the Modi government to halt exports of the vegetable in order to keep enough supply in-country; therefore, prices...

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If Trade Wars Couldn’t, Might Pig Wars Change Xi’s Mind?

Forget about trade wars, or even the eurodollar’s ever-present squeeze on China’s monetary system. For the Communist Chinese government, its first priority has been changed by unforeseen circumstances. At the worst possible time, food prices are skyrocketing. A country’s population will sit still for a great many injustices. From economic decay to corruption and rising authoritarianism, the line between back alley grumbling and open rebellion is usually a thick one. But you put food problems...

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