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Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Analysis Topic: Economic Trends Analysis

The analysis published under this topic are as follows.

Economics

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Trade Wars: Facts And Fallacies / Economics / Protectionism

By: Steve_H_Hanke

U.S. President Donald Trump, alongside many others, has a straightforward view on international trade, particularly the U.S. external balance. They believe an external deficit is a malady caused by foreigners who manipulate exchange rates, impose tariff and non-tariff barriers, steal intellectual property, and engage in unfair trade practices. The president and his followers feel the U.S. is victimized by foreigners, as reflected in the country’s negative external balance.

This mercantilist view of international trade and external accounts is wrongheaded. The negative external balance in the U.S. is not a “problem,” nor is it caused by foreigners engaging in nefarious activities. The U.S.’s negative external balance, which the country has registered every year since 1975, is “made in the USA”—a result of its savings deficiency.

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Economics

Friday, October 11, 2019

China Golden Week Sales Exceed Expectations / Economics / China Economy

By: Dan_Steinbock

In contrast to gloomy international projections, economic realities suggest that China’s Golden Week may have exceeded expectations.

I spent China’s 70-year National Day festivities in Shanghai, China's global financial hub, and Guangzhou, the global trade hub of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. In both, China’s massive transition toward consumption and innovation is now an increasing reality.

Due to US tariff wars, Chinese mass consumers – like their peers in the United States, Europe and Japan – are cost-conscious, increasingly discriminate and sophisticated in their spending. Indeed, sales of gold jewelry boomed during the holidays, fueled by gold prices, holiday festivities and the wedding season.
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Economics

Friday, October 04, 2019

Confidence Drives the Economy and Trump’s Trade War Is Killing It / Economics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

Economic growth isn’t random.

It comes from individual decisions to buy, sell, or do nothing. We all make dozens every day.

Corporate CEOs and CFOs make bigger decisions, like whether thousands of people get hired or a factory gets built.

That means, the economy generally does better when business leaders see growth opportunities, and worse when they don’t.

Right now, the latter is happening. We know why, too: President Trump’s erratic trade policies make long-term planning difficult, to say the least.

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Economics

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Economics Is Like Quantum Physics / Economics / Economic Theory

By: John_Mauldin

I often say a writer is nothing without readers. I am blessed to have some of the world’s greatest. Your feedback never fails to inspire and enlighten me.

My last week’s That Time Keynes Had a Point letter brought many more comments than usual. Apparently Keynes is still provocative 73 years after his death, no matter what you say about him.

But my real point was about the twisted economic thought that is having dangerous effects on us all. And we can’t blame it just on Keynes.

Today I want to share some of the feedback I received, add a few thoughts, and then show you some real-world consequences that are only getting worse. But first, let me wax philosophic for a minute.

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Economics

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Economics of Geopolitic - Why US Senate Targeted Philippines and Other Countries / Economics / Global Economy

By: Dan_Steinbock

The new Senate bill targeting the Philippines and some other countries – Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia - is fueled by controversial political and economic agendas that have caused turmoil since the 1980s.

For some time, US Senators Richard Durbin (Dem, Illinois) and Patrick Leahy (Dem, Vermont) had pushed for an amendment in the 2020 state and foreign operations appropriations bill by the US Senate appropriations committee. Essentially, the amendment would deny entry of Philippine government officials involved in the detention of Philippine opposition Senator Leila de Lima.

Last week, the US Senate panel approved the amendment. Durbin considers De Lima’s detention a “politically motivated imprisonment.” According to Philippine government, De Lima was arrested and detained in 2017 for allegedly asking money from drug convicts to fund her senatorial campaign and for allowing the drug trade to continue in the national penitentiary while she was the justice secretary. Despite evidence, she claims the cases against her are “politically motivated.”

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Economics

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Trade War - There Are Two Sides to Every Trade. And Both Sides Benefit / Economics / Global Economy

By: Frank_Hollenbeck

In a recent tweet, the US president said, “When you’re almost 800 Billion Dollars a year down on Trade, you can’t lose a Trade War! The U.S. has been ripped off by other countries for years on Trade.”

Trump continues to ratchet up tariffs on China claiming it is stealing billions of dollars by running large trade surpluses with the USA. If this view was held by a country bumpkin it would be irrelevant, but it becomes a serious problem when held by a man who can reduce the real incomes of billions of people, both American and Chinese.

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Economics

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Economist Mad Men in Authority - That Time Keynes Had a Point / Economics / Economic Theory

By: John_Mauldin

John Maynard Keynes once said:

“Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” 

While true, it doesn’t go far enough. The problem isn’t simply defunct economists or “scribblers of a few years back.”

We are in the grip of economists who, far from being defunct, hold great power. Whether they hear voices in the air (or Twitter), I can’t say, but they are indeed madmen in authority.

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Economics

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

To Fix the Economy, Fix Healthcare / Economics / US Economy

By: Patrick_Watson

If you are American and you have health insurance, you probably get it from either your employer or some kind of government program. Or possibly both, if the government is your employer.

Almost no one in the US gets health insurance on their own. We can’t afford to buy it and insurers can’t afford to sell it, thanks to our crazy patchwork system. As a result, people fall through the gaps and millions remain uninsured.

Even many who are insured might as well not be, since exorbitant deductibles leave them practically uncovered.

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Economics

Monday, September 23, 2019

Zimbabwe's New Currency Collapses and Inflation Surges / Economics / Inflation

By: Steve_H_Hanke

The most important price in an economy is the exchange rate between the local currency and the world’s reserve currency — the U.S. dollar. As long as there is an active black‐market (read: free market) for currency and the data are available, changes in the black‐market exchange rate can be reliably transformed into accurate estimates of countrywide inflation rates—if the annual inflation rates exceed 25%. The economic principle of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) allows for this transformation.

I compute the implied annual inflation rates with high‐frequency data and report them on a daily basis. PPP is used to translate changes in the black‐market exchange rates into annual inflation rates. For the countries that I follow each day, the table below shows the annual rates for the six countries with the highest inflation rates.

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Economics

Monday, September 16, 2019

These Indicators Point to an Early 2020 Economic Downturn / Economics / Recession 2020

By: Harry_Dent

The yield curve first flirted with inversion earlier this year. That occurred clearly recently when the 2-year Treasury bond yield crossed below the 10-year, and it has done that further more recently.

But that indicator can lead by nine months to 22 months. And Treasury bond yields have been so manipulated in the last decade of QE that who knows how meaningful that is anyway…

But certainly, this indicator is more of a warning of falling growth, as the real trend is that long-term bond yields are plummeting as the bond market sees slowing U.S. and global growth. That has been a big part of the recent correction in stocks.
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Economics

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment / Economics / Recession 2020

By: Dan_Amerman

There is a very good chance that there will be a recession within the next 1-2 years, and this could even occur within the next few months.

As explored in this analysis, if there is a recession, the means by which that recession will be contained and exited will necessarily be an unprecedented experiment. This means that there is an unusually high risk that it will not be a normal recession - which could knock the foundations out from underneath many conventional retirement investment strategies that blithely make the assumption that we can somehow know in advance that a "normal" mild and short recession is the downside scenario.

Once we accept the reality of the "grand experiment" - that means that we are likely to see investment prices changing in ways that are also quite unusual. Indeed, we are likely to see amplified profits to go along with the new risks. Crucially, what we also know right now (based upon the Federal Reserve's public plans) is that some of these profits will not be in the usual places or from the usual sources.

Many people believe that we have returned to normal times from an economic and investment perspective - and therefore, if there is a recession, it will be "normal" (by the standards of the last half of the 20th century), with "normal" investment results.

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Economics

Monday, September 09, 2019

Government Spending - The High Price of a "Free Lunch" / Economics / Economic Theory

By: Frank_Hollenbeck

One of the Ten Commandments is “thou shalt not steal,” and theft is generally condemned in most religions, yet our religious leaders and followers have essentially turned a blind eye to government theft.

Based on a policy of envy, Bernie Sanders, for example, has bluntly stated he intends to tax the rich to fund his programs, as though the word rich itself justifies theft. The current crop of other democratic candidates is offering a beehive of free programs without any real discussion on how to pay for them.

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Economics

Monday, September 09, 2019

Don't Worry About a Recession / Economics / US Economy

By: Steve_H_Hanke

Everyone seems to be wringing their hands about what they fear is an oncoming recession. Indeed, as a sign of the level of the public’s angst, The Economist magazine reports that Google searches related to the word “recession” have surged.

If that wasn’t enough evidence of the hand wringing, the Chairman of President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, the respected Tomas Philipson, recently indicated that he was worried about the steady negative drumbeat in the press: that a recession might be just around the corner. Philipson put his finger on the problem when he said, “The way the media reports the weather won’t impact whether the sun shines tomorrow. But the way the media reports on our economy weighs on consumer sentiment, which feeds into consumer purchases and investments.”

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Economics

Friday, September 06, 2019

Globalization Hits a Brick Wall Named Trump / Economics / Global Economy

By: Patrick_Watson

Until about 50 years ago, people paid attention to the area where they lived. They read local papers, shopped at local merchants, and socialized at local events.

Technology ended all that. Now we get our news from the internet. We buy imported goods. We converse on social media with friends thousands of miles away.

This “globalization” process changed the world, sometimes for the better but with significant side effects. Hence, today’s dissatisfaction.

Now, technology is swinging the pendulum back. Globalization is going in reverse. And again, the process will hurt some people.

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Economics

Saturday, August 31, 2019

What Do Crashing RV Sales Tell Us About 2020? / Economics / Auto Sector

By: Rodney_Johnson

RV sales are crashing at a year-over-year rate of 20% below sales for the same period last year. 2017 was the peak thus far and 2018 sales were 4% lower. Hence, this year’s crash is making this look like a clear top.

RVs are one of our mid-life-to-retirement sectors for Boomers. Sales used to peak at age 63, but the most recent updates to the Consumer Expenditure Survey show them peaking a bit earlier, at age 59-60. That still makes it a strong growth industry into 2020-2021 for aging Boomers.

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Economics

Friday, August 30, 2019

The Key to a Sustainable Economy Is 5,000 Years Old / Economics / Economic Theory

By: Ellen_Brown

We are again reaching the point in the business cycle known as “peak debt,” when debts have compounded to the point that their cumulative total cannot be paid. Student debt, credit card debt, auto loans, business debt and sovereign debt are all higher than they have ever been. As economist Michael Hudson writes in his provocative 2018 book, “…and forgive them their debts,” debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid. The question, he says, is how they won’t be paid.

Mainstream economic models leave this problem to “the invisible hand of the market,” assuming trends will self-correct over time. But while the market may indeed correct, it does so at the expense of the debtors, who become progressively poorer as the rich become richer. Borrowers go bankrupt and banks foreclose on the collateral, dispossessing the debtors of their homes and their livelihoods. The houses are bought by the rich at distress prices and are rented back at inflated prices to the debtors, who are then forced into wage peonage to survive. When the banks themselves go bankrupt, the government bails them out. Thus the market corrects, but not without government intervention. That intervention just comes at the end of the cycle to rescue the creditors, whose ability to buy politicians gives them the upper hand. According to free-market apologists, this is a natural cycle akin to the weather, which dates all the way back to the birth of modern economics in ancient Greece and Rome.

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Economics

Friday, August 23, 2019

Modern Monetary Theory Could Destroy America / Economics / US Debt

By: John_Mauldin

I am back from my 14th annual Maine fishing camp.

The private event at Leen’s Lodge is generally called Camp Kotok in honor of David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors who started these outings many years ago.

CNBC and others began calling it the “Shadow Fed,” but it is really just a meeting of wickedly smart people focused on economics and markets. (I am allowed to attend for comic relief.)

We discussed the world’s problems and the general mood was that many of those problems are beginning to catch up.

Among other topics, there was an open “debate” about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and US fiscal strategy.

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Economics

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Nuts and Bolts: Yield Inversion Says Recession is Coming But it May take 24 months / Economics / Recession

By: QUANTO

Consumers continue to power economic growth, as retail sales rose 0.7% in July, after a 0.3% increase in June, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Excluding autos, sales soared 1.0%, after a 0.7% climb in June. Economists polled by IFR Markets expected a 0.3% rise in the headline number and 0.4% excluding autos. Auto sales were down 0.6% in July, after 0.3% growth the prior month.

Preliminary second quarter productivity figures also were positive news for the economy, as non-farm productivity grew a healthy 2.3% on an annualized basis in the second quarter, albeit down from the first quarter’s 3.5% growth, the Labor Department reported. Unit labor costs grew 2.4% in the period, after a revised 5.5% jump in the first quarter, previously reported as a 1.6% decline.

Economists projected a 1.5% gain in productivity and a 1.8% rise in labor costs.

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Economics

Monday, August 05, 2019

FOURTH TURNING ECONOMICS / Economics / US Economy

By: James_Quinn

If you feel you’ve recei“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

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Economics

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Trade Tariff Economic Damage Spreading in US, China within Target in H2 2019 / Economics / China US Conflict

By: Dan_Steinbock

In the second half of 2019, US economic prospects will soften, despite the Fed rate cut, whereas Chinese growth target is likely to prevail. It’s time to prepare for diminished global economic prospects in 2019-20.

After an important meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), participants said that China seeks to make its fiscal policy more effective and to maintain “reasonably ample” liquidity.

Instead of resorting to a stimulus in the real estate market, the emphasis will be on “proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy.” It is a challenging balancing act, but the right stance in the right time.
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