For a while there it looked like the US and its main trading partners had finally achieved escape velocity. Growth was up, inflation was poking through the Fed’s 2% target, and most measures of consumer sentiment were bordering on euphoric. Then it all started to evaporate. Lackluster manufacturing and consumer spending reports sent the Atlanta […]
It’s just about official: With corporate sales and profits shrinking and consumer spending flatlining, the US economy will grow hardly at all this year while the rest of the world will probably drop back into recession. The result: Massive policy changes here and abroad, with major implications for stocks, bonds, precious metals and real estate.
Talk about diminished expectations. This morning’s estimate of 1.4% Q4 GDP growth is being hailed as a pleasant surprise. Which is odd, considering that for most of the past century a number this low would have been seen as weak enough to require emergency action. And that’s just the headline number. Dig a little deeper […]
Another Monday, another set of “surprisingly” bad economic numbers. A few representative headlines: China manufacturing prices decline for 18th straight month Oil prices fall 5% on bad China data, OPEC uncertainty Global factories parched for demand, need stimulus Junk bonds suffer a rare negative return in January US consumer spending softens, savings hit 3-year high […]