Friday, June 5, 2009

World Economic Reports (May 29-June 5): looking hard at the bottom

The global economic reports are becoming saturated with signs of a forming bottom. Auto sales in Japan and the US are improving somewhat; exports are dangling in the double-digit loss rates; and GDP really couldn't get much worse (the inventory cycle alone will create some growth). Finally, money growth rates are slowing, perhaps an indication that policy makers feel that the worst is behind us.

The lagging information: Q1 GDP was just awful

Looking behind: Inflation still falling on seriously weak demand in Q4 2008 and Q1 2008, although recent oil swings might throw a wrench in the trend.


Some troubling news still: exports anemic..still. South Korea released its May data on exports (Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Thailand through April), which stumbled another 8.7% to -28.3% over the year. Not a good sign for May export reports across the rest of Asia.


Good news (possibly): Auto sales in Japan and the US may have troughed. The upward momentum is surely a good sign for consumer spending numbers, but notice sales are still down 19% and 20% over the year!


Finally, money supply growth rates are slowing. In the US and UK, I take this as a sign that central banks are slowing their easing strategies somewhat. However, in the EU, the lack of QE policy allowed M3 growth fall to its slowest annual pace since 2001, 4.9%.

It appears that the global economy has finally found the ripcord.

Rebecca Wilder

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