Economics and markets: Meanwhile, in the rest of the world

Posted: July 1, 2016 in economy
Tags: , ,

IT HAS been easy to forget over the last week, but Britain is a relatively trivial 2.4% of the global economy. But even before the referendum, there were worries about global growth, particularly during the market wobble of January and February.The outlook has improved since then, but the picture is still mixed. American GDP growth, having been been very weak in the first quarter, looks set for a solid 0.7% gain in the second quarter (an annualised 2.7% on the Atlanta Fed indicator). Although the latest non-farm payrolls were disappointing, that may be because the employment market is tightening. There are tentative signs of a pick-up in wages; in the last three months, private sector wage growth has been more than 3%. Two of my favourite indicators show mixed results. Railroad freight traffic is down 3.9% over the last year in the latest week, although energy played a big part in this (the decline of fracking); trucking volume was up 5.7% year-on-year in May but there were monthly declines in March and April. Overall then, no sign of a recession, but not a boom either.China's latest purchasing managers' indices for manufacturers (the official measure and the unofficial Caixin indicator) both showed declines with the former at 50 and the latter 48.6. The services PMI was up, however. The consensus view of a modest, but not catastrophic slowdown seems in order. Japan …

via Economic Crisis


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