Construction Spending Growth Improved in October 2014? The 3 Month Rolling Averages Continue to Decelerate.

December 2nd, 2014
in aa syndication, construction spending

Written by

The headlines say construction spending improved this month - Econintersect sees the data moving around to the extent it would be wrong to take this month's data to the bank (and because last month's data was revised up, we see a deceleration this month in growth). The weakness over the last few months continues to be attributable to softness in the rate of growth of private sector construction.

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Stratfor: Taking the Strategic Intelligence Model to Moscow

December 2nd, 2014
in stratfor, russia

by George Friedman

I am going to visit Moscow next week. I was invited by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations to speak on strategic analysis, their term for what Stratfor calls strategic forecasting. Going to Moscow would give me pause under any circumstances. I am a product of the Cold War, and for me, at some level, Moscow is the city of the enemy. For my father, that city was Berlin. For my daughter, it was Fallujah. In every war there is an enemy and a city that embodies that enemy. I have spent too much of my life fixated on Moscow to lose the ingrained sense that it is a city of darkness and conspiracy.

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Last Line of Defense

December 2nd, 2014
in aa syndication

by Steve Ludlum, Economic Undertow

Figure 1: Continuous WTI futures (TFC Charts, click on for big). Price convergence results in a breakdown as customers are unwilling- or unable to bid prices higher. Absent the high prices there is insufficient cash flow to enable drillers to continue operations. Today’s marginal barrels are extracted from high cost deepwater offshore plays, from tight-oil shale formations and from ‘tar’ sands: without customer credit, drillers are more dependent upon junk bond leverage than ever.

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What You Need to Know about Investment in China in 8 Charts

December 1st, 2014
in aa syndication, china, macroeconomics

Written by

Jamil Anderlini, writing in the Financial Times, brought our attention to some Chinese government research about the debt in China and how it has been used for investment in that country. See China has ‘wasted’ $6.8tn in investment, warn Beijing researchers. Looking deeper into the subject, including looking at the paper Anderlini reported on (Inefficient and ineffective investment causing a huge waste by Xu Ce and Wang Yuan, Shanghai Securities News - in Chinese), we think the question of waste is more nuanced than the $6.8 trillion figure quoted would indicate.

Click for full and larger image by Reuters at the Financial Times.

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November 2014 ISM Manufacturing Survey Declines Insignificantly. Expansion Continues

December 1st, 2014
in aa syndication, ism surveys

Written by

The ISM Manufacturing survey continues to indicate manufacturing growth expansion with an insignificant decrease in the rate of growth. This survey should be considered good news as it reconfirms a rather strong report last month. Key internals improved.

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