201806.11
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There Are Two ‘L’s’ In China’s Wall

The global economy is not falling off a cliff. There isn’t even evidence it is about to or is nearing such a situation. The most alarming that might be said of how things appear right now is that conditions aren’t getting any better. It’s hardly the stuff of severe global unrest. This is why individual…

201806.06
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US Trade Settles Down Again

US trade is further leveling off after several months of artificial intrusions. On the import side, in particular, first was a very large and obvious boost following last year’s big hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. Starting in September 2017, for four months the value of imported goods jumped by an enormous 8.3% (revised, seasonally-adjusted). Most…

201805.09
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What China’s Trade Conditions Say About The Right Side Of ‘L’

Chinese exports rose 12.9% year-over-year in April 2018. Imports were up 20.9%. As always, both numbers sound impressive but they are far short of rates consistent with a growing global economy. China’s participation in global growth, synchronized or not, is a must. The lack of acceleration on the export side tells us a lot about…

201805.04
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Watching Imports

The US trade deficit, a sensitive political topic these days, declined sharply in March. It had expanded significantly (more deficit) in January and February, reaching nearly -$76 billion (seasonally adjusted) in the latter month, before posting -$68 billion in the latest figures. Exports rose while imports fell in March, making for the largest single month…

201804.13
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China’s Exports Are Interesting, But It’s Their Imports Where Reflation Lives or Dies

Last month Chinese trade statistics left us with several key questions. Export growth was a clear outlier, with outbound trade rising nearly 45% year-over-year in February 2018. There were the usual Golden Week distortions to consider, made more disruptive by the timing of it this year as different from last year. And then we have…

201804.10
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China, Hurricanes, Inflation; The Inventory Projection

Wholesale sales, seasonally adjusted, bounced back moderately in February 2018 after a sharp decline (revised even lower) in January. Sales in the latest monthly figures are left still lower than in December and only slightly more than in November. This is the familiar aftermath of Harvey and Irma’s aftermath. Unadjusted, year-over-year wholesale sales increased by…

201804.06
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US Imports Don’t Quite Match Chinese Exports

In early 2015, a contract dispute between dockworkers’ unions and 29 ports on the West Coast of the US escalated into what was a slowdown strike. Cargoes piled up especially at some of the largest facilities like those in Oakland, LA, and Long Beach, threatening substantial economic costs far and away from just those directly…

201803.09
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China Exports: Trump Tariffs, Booming Growth, or Tainted Trade?

China’s General Administration of Customs reported that Chinese exports to all other countries were in February 2018 an incredible 44.5% more than they were in February 2017. Such a massive growth rate coming now has served to intensify the economic boom narrative. A strengthening U.S. recovery is helping underpin China’s outlook as Asia’s biggest economy…

201803.07 9

A Trade War Off These Import Figures?

After an incredible run, up nearly 10% in just four months, imports took a break in January 2018. Year-over-year, not seasonally-adjusted, imports gained 9.5%, a rate that is better than experienced during the similar upturn in 2014 but still well short of what the rest of the world requires for global growth. The fact that…

201802.08
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CNY, Not Imports

In February 2013, the Chinese Golden Week fell late in the calendar. The year before, 2012, New Year was January 23rd, meaning that the entire Spring festival holiday was taken with the month of January. The following year, China’s New Year was placed on February 10, with the Golden Week taking up the entire middle…