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Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Analysis Topic: Economic Trends Analysis

The analysis published under this topic are as follows.

Economics

Monday, November 18, 2019

Venezuela’s Hyperinflation Drags On For A Near Record—36 Months / Economics / HyperInflation

By: Steve_H_Hanke

Venezuela is the only country in the world that is suffering from the ravages of hyperinflation. But, you wouldn’t know it from reading the press, where playing fast and loose with words is commonplace. Indeed, the word “hyperinflation” is thrown around carelessly and misused frequently, with claims that multiple countries are suffering from hyperinflation. The debasement of language in the popular press has gone to such lengths that the word “hyperinflation” has almost lost its meaning.

So, just what is the definition of this oft-misused word? The convention adopted in the scientific literature is to classify an inflation as a hyperinflation if the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50%. This definition was adopted in 1956, after Phillip Cagan published his seminal analysis of hyperinflation, which appeared in a book, edited by Milton Friedman, Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money.

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Economics

Monday, November 18, 2019

Intellectual Property as the New Guild System / Economics / Economic Theory

By: Frank_Hollenbeck

The standard justification for intellectual property — i.e., patents and copyrights and trademarks — is that the creative process would be significantly reduced if such protection did not exist. The underlying assumption is that the financial reward must be augmented by a grant of exclusivity enforced by the coercive power of government. Because we can freely copy an invention, innovation or other creative ideas, a financial reward is viewed as necessary for these intangible ideas unlike a tangible object sold in the marketplace.

But did inventors or artists starve before IP laws? The answer is no because they benefited from the first-to-market advantage. Boldrin and Levine  explain how during the 19th century British authors with IP protection in the UK would sometimes make more money off their non-IP protected US sales by reaching an agreement (a contract) with a US publisher and then flooding the US market with cheap original copies.1 Since any potential copycat will wait to see if an idea is successful, the gains of being first-to-market could be substantial. Many drug makers retain important market share on a drug even though their patent protection has expired and the market is awash with cheaper generic alternatives. There are also many other indirect ways to profit from creative ideas. Many artists make more money off concerts and other appearances than from the original digital sales of their song.

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Economics

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Why China is likely to remain the ‘world’s factory’ for some time to come / Economics / China Economy

By: Submissions

US tariffs have hit the manufacturing giant to the tune of $35 billion, says a recent UN report. But companies have found that China’s rivals are a poor replacement.

In December 2018, about five months after US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on China to correct the US trade deficit with Beijing that stood at $419 billion (2018), analysts at the Boston Consulting Group said that despite challenges such as rising wages and escalating trade tensions with its trading partners such as the US and Japan, “it is reasonable to assume that China will remain manufacturing’s center of gravity for the foreseeable future”.

It was easy to be sceptical of this assessment given the number of companies that announced plans to move manufacturing out of China following the imposition of Trump’s tariffs. One of them was the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer, Giant.  “We started moving before he [Trump] shut his mouth,” said its chairwoman in an interview to Bloomberg in June 2019.

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Economics

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Double 11 Record Sales Signal Strength of Chinese Consumption / Economics / China Economy

By: Dan_Steinbock

On Monday, Alibaba’s Single’s Day broke all records. Chinese consumption and ecommerce signal not just continued resilience but evident strength.

By 5 pm on Monday Alibaba Group had already broken last year’s record of $31 billion. And at midnight, the new record soared to $38.3 billion – 25 percent higher than last year.

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Economics

Monday, November 11, 2019

Towards a Diverging BRIC Future / Economics / Emerging Markets

By: Dan_Steinbock

Two decades ago, the BRIC economies were projected to surpass the advanced G6 economies by the early 2030s. Today, the huge potential of the BRICs prevails, but the pace has slowed and country trajectories have diverged. China and India are on track, Brazil and Russia are not, thanks to geopolitics.

In the early 2000s, Goldman Sachs projected that the four largest emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China, or the BRICs – would surpass the major advanced economies by the early 2030s.
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Economics

Thursday, November 07, 2019

China’s path from World’s Factory to World Market / Economics / China Economy

By: Dan_Steinbock

The rise of the Shanghai Import Expo reflects China’s huge transformation from world producer and cheap prices to world consumer and innovator.

Speaking at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, Chinese president Xi Jinping pledged China will stimulate increased imports, continue to broaden market access, foster a world-class business environment, explore new horizons of opening-up and promote international cooperation at multilateral and bilateral levels.  
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Economics

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Where Is That Confounded Recession? / Economics / Recession 2019

By: F_F_Wiley

“Ah, excuse me. Oh, will ya excuse me. I’m just trying to find the recession. Has anybody seen the recession?”

Ask that question in a roomful of forecasters, and you’ll hear plenty of reasons why the next recession is dead ahead: the inverted yield curve, the tariff war, weak PMIs, the global manufacturing downturn.

Events might eventually prove those recession forecasts to be correct, although I would say not until mid-2020 at the earliest, and a recession at that time remains just a possibility. I say that because we haven’t yet seen enough cause for alarm in the three areas that most reliably predict recessions. Before every recession, we see at least one, usually two and often every one of the following three precursors:

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Economics

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

These Indicators Aren’t Putting to an Economic Resurgence / Economics / US Economy

By: Harry_Dent

When David Stockman spoke at our IES conference in October, he had a whole slew of charts that showed that the main street economy had nothing to do with the Wall Street one – and that there were more signs of weakening growth than strengthening.

He recently showed some updates and these were the two that most caught my eye. Both of these are from the more cyclical sectors that most often cause recessions.
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Economics

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Lifting the Entitlement Burden Through Increased Infrastructure Spending / Economics / Infrastructure

By: Richard_Mills

On Wednesday the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the third time this year, amid continued weak growth both domestically and globally. 

The federal funds rate, the baseline for credit card and mortgage borrowing, dropped 25 basis points and is now between 1.5 and 1.75%.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell says the current interest rate levels are “likely to remain appropriate” (ie. on hold for the time being) to meet the Fed’s goal of 2% inflation.

Chairman Powell has been pressured for months by President Trump to continue slashing interest rates to help goose the American economy and keep North American stock markets on the boil.  

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Economics

Thursday, October 31, 2019

How Trump Tariff Trade Wars Worsen US Trade Deficit / Economics / Protectionism

By: Dan_Steinbock

Since 2018, Trump's trade wars have made US trade deficit only worse, while hurting the poorest economies the most and penalizing global prospects.

According to the new IMF outlook, global growth is forecast at 3.0% for 2019. That’s the lowest since the global crisis of 2008-9. The decline is largely due to the US tariff wars, which have contributed to the projected slowdown in the US and China.

Due to the global slowdown, world growth prospects now hover at levels where they were last amid the darkest moments of 2008/9.

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Economics

Thursday, October 31, 2019

BEA Reports US Economy Grew by 1.93% GDP Q3 2019 / Economics / US Economy

By: CMI

In their first (preliminary) estimate of the US GDP for the third quarter of 2019, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the US economy was growing at a +1.93% annual rate, down -0.08 percentage points (pp) from the prior quarter.

The minor change in the headline masked a material weakening in the growth of consumer spending. The growth rate for aggregate consumer spending on goods and services was reported to be over 1% lower (-1.10pp) than in the prior quarter. The growth of governmental spending (Federal, state and local) also weakened by about half of that amount. But largely offsetting those negative impacts on the headline number were soaring inventories and exports.

Annualized household disposable income was reported to be $253 higher than in the prior quarter, and the household savings rate was reported to be 8.1%, up 0.1pp from the prior quarter.

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Economics

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

2 %: A Magic Number or an Obsession? / Economics / Inflation

By: Submissions

Arf Badeckandy writes: Inflation Targeting (IT) was first adopted in New Zealand in 1990 with a primary goal of price stability. They were going through years of high inflation and slow growth. Initially, they set a target of between 0 to 2 percent. In 1991, the Inflation rate was down to 2.60% from 6.10%. Although there is a cost of disinflation and the Real GDP fell, it recovered. As of August 2019, there are about 71 Central Banks which has adopted an IT Monetary Policy. It can be seen that the authorities are most likely to adopt this policy when their inflation rate is high – to bring it down. Argentina adopted IT in 2016 while the inflation rate was 35.5%, Uganda in 2011 with an inflation rate between 16%-17 %.

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Economics

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Mystery of China’s Third-Quarter Growth - Resilience or Gloom? / Economics / China Economy

By: Dan_Steinbock

Despite trade wars and geopolitics, Chinese economic growth shows resilience. So why is there a deep gap between the third-quarter data and gloomy international headlines?

After the release of third-quarter data, The Wall Street Journal headline sounded a warning: “China’s economic growth slowest in decades.” CNN seconded: “China’s economic growth drops to lowest level since 1992.” Reuters extended the timeline: “China’s GDP growth grinds to near 30-year low as tariffs hit production.”

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Economics

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

U-Turn or Perfect Storm? Globalization at Crossroads / Economics / Global Economy

By: Dan_Steinbock

Only 12 years ago, globalization peaked. Today, it is in the doldrums and the Trump trade wars have nullified the recovery. We are at a crossroads, where globalization may further stagnate or fall apart.

According to the new IMF outlook, global growth is forecast at 3.0% for 2019. That’s the lowest since the global crisis of 2008-9. It is largely due to the US tariff wars, which have contributed to the projected slowdown in the US and China.

The IMF projects growth to pick up to 3.4% in 2020. That, however, is predicated on improvements in a number of emerging economies in Latin America, the Middle East and developing Europe, which, in turn, would require a trade recovery. Thanks to the global slowdown, world growth prospects now hover at levels where they were last in the darkest moments of 2008/9.
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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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