On the Verge of Disaster - Or a Miracle

January 9th, 2015
in aa syndication

by Worth Wray, Thoughts from the Frontline

Twenty years after the first divergence-induced currency crisis of the 1990s, commodity prices are tumbling, the US dollar is rallying, and externally fragile emerging markets are reliving the horrors of their not-so-distant past. Except, this time, major economies like the United States, the United Kingdom, the Eurozone, Japan, and the People’s Republic of China may not be able to side-step the ensuing contagion.

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Wholesale Sales and Inventory Data Was Absolutely Terrible in November 2014

January 9th, 2015
in aa syndication

Written by

The headlines say wholesale sales declined and inventories grew. This data series is very noisy, and continues on a roller coaster of good and bad data. Because of this noise, the best way to look at this series may be the unadjusted data three month rolling averages which decelerated for the fourth month in a row. The data for wholesale trade was terrible this month but it could have been caused by a changing seasonal demand.

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BLS Jobs Situation Was Again Strong in December 2014 for the Establishment Portion But the Household Portion Again Is Very Different

January 9th, 2015
in aa syndication, employment

Written by

The BLS jobs report headlines from the establishment survey were strong and above expectations. The unadjusted data shows very strong jobs growth. Year-over-year growth rates are improving. The household survey again says something different.

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January 9th, 2015
in aa syndication

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (58)

Written by , KeySignals.com

The debate between the Northern and Southern Europeans, over the direction of fiscal policy in the Eurozone, is beginning to follow default national stereotypical behaviour. The Northern Europeans are rational and the Southern Europeans are emotional. The Northern Europeans intend to exploit the emotions of their Southern neighbours, in order to provoke the kind of irrational behavior which leads to mistakes. 

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November 2014 Consumer Credit Growth Rises. Current Increase in Rate of Growth is Not Sustainable.

January 8th, 2015
in aa syndication, consumer credit

Written by

Consumer credit growth has been trending down since July - but grew this month. It is interesting that student loan growth has not been distorting one's view of the consumer credit growth as the rate of growth is now slightly decelerating. Overall, consumer credit is growing at roughly double GDP growth and repayment of consumer debt is taking a larger share of disposable income. The current trends are not sustainable unless there is a similar increase of growth in disposable income.

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