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…

201803.22
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If Powell Is Angry And Disgusted, That’s A Small Positive

According to one research company, new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was disgusted and angry at his press conference yesterday. The firm, Prattle, employed facial recognition software to track Powell’s expressions throughout his inaugural press conference. By their count, he was disgusted 36 times, angry 41 times, and expressed contempt another five. Powell conveyed joy…

201802.28
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Data Distortions One Way Or Another

Back in October, we noted the likely coming of two important distortions in global economic data. The first was here at home in the form of Mother Nature. The other was over in China where Communist officials were gathering as they always do in their five-year intervals. That meant, potentially: In the US our economic…

201802.22
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Blaming The Boom Basis

Once the sick man of the global economy, Europe’s system had roared back in 2017. According to the narrative, everything is right right now on the Continent. Manufacturing couldn’t possibly be any better, and the ECB forced into “emergency” monetary measures for longer than almost anyone else (except, as always, Japan) is talking confidently about…

201802.01
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How Global And Synchronized Is A Boom Without China?

According to China’s official PMI’s, those looking for a boom to begin worldwide in 2018 after it failed to materialize in 2017 are still to be disappointed. If there is going to be globally synchronized growth, it will have to happen without China’s participation in it. Of course, things could change next month or the…

201801.24 3

The Dismal Boom

There is a fundamental assumption behind any purchasing manager index, or PMI. These are often but not always normalized to the number 50. That’s done simply for comparison purposes and the ease of understanding in the general public. That level at least in the literature and in theory is supposed to easily and clearly define…

201801.02
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The Chinese Appear To Be Rushed

While the Western world was off for Christmas and New Year’s, the Chinese appeared to have taken advantage of what was a pretty clear buildup of “dollars” in Hong Kong. Going back to early November, HKD had resumed its downward trend indicative of (strained) funding moving again in that direction (if it was more normal…

201712.15
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After Failed ‘Reflation’ For 2017’s Economy, What Might Be In Store For 2018?

The Federal Reserve’s Empire State Manufacturing Index fell slightly in its December 2017 estimate. At +18, that’s down from 19.4 in November and a high of +30.2 in October. It’s also nowhere near the low for the year, a -1.0 recorded back in May. This particular PMI is potentially noteworthy for what appears to be…

201712.04
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Three Years Ago QE, Last Year It Was China, Now It’s Taxes

China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported last week that the official manufacturing PMI for that country rose from 51.6 in October to 51.8 in November. Since “analysts” were expecting 51.4 (Reuters poll of Economists) it was taken as a positive sign. The same was largely true for the official non-manufacturing PMI, rising like its counterpart…

201710.31
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Bonds And Soft Chinese Data

Back in June, China’s federal bond yield curve inverted. Ahead of mid-year bank checks, short-term govvies sold off as longer bonds continued to be bought. It was for some a rotation, for others a reflection of money rates threatening to spiral out of control. On June 19, for example, the 6-month federal security yielded 3.87%…