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Tag Archives: 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. The turmoil in the crypto space has gotten noticed even by those not involved. Asia Pacific bourses fell, led by Hong Kong, and Europe’s Stoxx 600 is off for a second day. US equity futures are slightly firmer. US and...

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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. The short end of the yield curve (USTs and elsewhere) is plotting like FOMC dots, whenever oil and crude...

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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. It only does so, however, via its own rate of change; the second derivative for specifically the difference....

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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%. Balancing those were the prices for main food staples, especially pork, the latter having declined an rather large 9.3% last month from the month before. Keeping energy but removing...

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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. And now those inventories have been revised upward. While so, the more...

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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. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow tracker now has Q4 growth all the way down to 5% from the 6.8% rate expected just a week ago (a result of a less than expected retail sales report). That’s still a...

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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. According to these figures, industrial output fell an unsightly 5.4%…from August 2021, meaning month-over-month not year-over-year. Altogether, IP in Japan is down just over 10% since June, nearly 11% since...

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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. Yet here we are. I’m not saying, nor have I ever alleged, the government is cheating, cooking the...

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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. However, the United States’ Census Bureau’s tallies of China-made goods entering this country used to track very closely...

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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”). The worse the shipping snafus, the more was ordered and piled into it – if for no...

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