201807.17
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Sentimental Inflationary Reflation

Sentiment surveys such as the ISM’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index are not strictly about current levels of production. Even if they were, they still wouldn’t be as straightforward as is presented. Rather, the ISM index or any PMI for that matter is an amalgam of variables ostensibly displaying how economic agents feel these variables are…

201807.03 9

The Dreaded Vote of Confidence

Chinese officials are getting nervous. Everyone knows that whenever your favorite sports team struggles and fans are calling for the head coach’s head, any owner or general manager who then issues the dreaded (from the coach’s perspective) vote of confidence is essentially sealing his fate. PBOC Governor Yi Gang issued a similar sort of statement…

201806.15
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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:…

201805.23
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The Currency of PMI’s

Today is PMI day. Markit Economics released the flash results from several of its key surveys. Included is manufacturing in Japan (lower), as well as composites (manufacturing plus services) for the United States and Europe. Within the EU, Markit offers details for France and Germany. Given the nature of sentiment surveys, we tend to ignore…

201805.16
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Globally Synchronized Asynchronous Growth

Industrial Production in the United States rose 3.5% year-over-year in April 2018, down slightly from a revised 3.7% rise in March. Since accelerating to 3.4% growth back in November 2017, US industry has failed to experience much beyond that clear hurricane-related boost. IP for prior months, particularly February and March 2018, were revised significantly lower….

201804.18
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Why The Last One Still Matters (IP Revisions)

Beginning with its very first issue in May 1915, the Federal Reserve’s Bulletin was the place to find a growing body of statistics on US economic performance. Four years later, monthly data was being put together on the physical volumes of trade. From these, in 1922, the precursor to what we know today as Industrial…

201804.17
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No Suggestion of Growth, Only L

In 1979, Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping designated four areas as Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Three were located in Guangdong Province, the southeastern region that wraps around the city of Hong Kong. One of those, situated just on the other side of the water from the then-British controlled jurisdiction, Shenzhen would be transformed from a sleepy…

201804.02 6

The Best ‘Reflation’ Indicator May Be Japanese

Japanese industrial production dropped sharply in January 2018, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry reported last month. Seasonally-adjusted, the IP index fell 6.8% month-over-month from December 2017. Since the country has very little mining sector to speak of, and Japan’s IP doesn’t include utility output, this was entirely manufacturing in nature (99.79% of the…

201803.16
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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…

201803.02 2

Auto Sales Sink Again Without Harvey and Irma

I can’t help but wonder what the CNBC author was going to write. It’s not a sentence I ever thought I would put down, but in this case the omission might have meant something. In reporting on auto sales yesterday, the article started out with the ultimate cliffhanger: Major automakers reported lower U.S. new vehicle…