201711.08
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Full(er) Appreciation of the Geographical ‘Dollar’ Dimension

The American view of the “rising dollar” period is one of truly understated appreciation. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us didn’t realize there was ever a downturn to begin with, let alone one that flirted with proportions reaching recession. After all, the most widely felt effects didn’t manifest and really sting until the…

201711.03
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Synchronized Global Not Quite Growth

Going back to 2014, it was common for whenever whatever economic data point disappointed that whomever optimistic economist or policymaker would overrule it by pointing to “global growth.” It was the equivalent of shutting down an uncomfortable debate with ad hominem attacks. You can’t falsify “global growth” because you can’t really define what it is. Japan…

201710.13
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Enforcing A Global Speed Limit

Chinese imports rose 18.7% in September 2017 year-over-year. That’s up from 13.5% growth in August. While near-20% expansion sounds good if not exhilarating, it isn’t materially different from 13.5% or 8% for that matter. In addition, Chinese trade statistics tend to vary month to month. What is becoming very clear is that China’s economy is…

201710.05
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Factory Orders, Too

It stands to reason that if US demand for foreign goods is weak because of high inventory levels, then demand for domestic goods will be, too. As noted earlier, US imports are down this year after being substantially higher during the last half of last year. The same pattern to a varying degree is unsurprisingly…

201710.05
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The Damage Started Months Before Harvey And Irma

Ahead of tomorrow’s payroll report the narrative is being set that it will be weak because of Harvey and Irma. Historically, major storms have had a negative effect on the labor market. Just as auto sales were up sharply in September very likely because of the hurricane(s) and could remain that way for several months,…

201709.06
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‘Something’ Is Still Out There

In January 2016, just as the wave of “global turmoil” was cresting on domestic as well as foreign shores, retired Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was giving a series of lectures for the IMF. His topic wasn’t really the so-called taper tantrum of 2013 but it really was. Even ideologically blinded economists like Bernanke could…

201708.14
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Losing Economic ‘Reflation’

If “reflation” was born last year in Japan, and I think it was, it was surely given its most tangible dimensions in China. The idea that the Bank of Japan was going to do something magnificent was perhaps always a longshot, but enough given the times for people to hope (sentiment) they might try (helicopter)….

201708.14
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Losing Economic Trade

The oil effect continued to recede in late spring for more than just WTI prices or inflation rates. US trade on both sides, inbound and outbound, while still positive has stalled since the winter. Exports grew by just 6.2% year-over-year (NSA) in June 2017, about the same pace as estimated in December 2016. After contracting…

201708.08
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Textbook

China’s export growth disappointed in July, only we don’t really know by how much. According to that country’s Customs Bureau, exports last month were 7.2% above (in US$ terms) exports in July 2016. That’s down from 11.3% growth in June, which as usual had been taken in the mainstream as evidence of “strong” or “robust”…

201707.25
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Copper And The Upside

Copper prices are up very sharply today, igniting across markets a reborn “reflation.” Treasuries along with eurodollar futures have been stuck in anti-“reflation” for quite some time. Copper, on the other hand, is not just now breaking from the pack. Going back to May 9, this important economic indication has been so far steadily bucking…