The China bear story is overdone. Through most of this year and much of last year, it has been popular to write stories about how China’s real estate market is about to crash, and how there’s countless ghost cities, and how it will be such a struggle for China to shift to a domestic demand-led economy. Sure, there have been some interesting signals and data emerging, but in all, concerns about an imminent market crash are likely premature.
Central Bank News .info has just introduced the Global Central Bank Interest Rate Monitor - a listing of monetary policy interest rates of 75 Central Banks from around the world. The rate monitor provides a convenient collation of policy rates, and will be updated weekly. It is one of the most comprehensive listings of central bank interest rates online, and will also form the basis of a comprehensive global central bank interest data base. The Global Central Bank Interest Rate Monitor provides a strong complement to the regular updates on monetary policy actions that Central Bank News .info already provides.
Global Central Bank Interest Rate Monitor
This week we take a look at the December quarter economic growth statistics coming out of three very different developed economies. First up is US, with strongest growth of the three, then France, and New Zealand. We also take a look at the rising UK inflation figures and think about what they mean for the Bank of England. Finally we review some emerging market monetary policy tightening moves over the past week, which point to growing opportunities and risks for emerging market equities. [more]
The past week saw several emerging market economies review interest rates, with many making further policy tightening adjustments. Of those that lifted their monetary policy interest rates were: Nigeria +100bps to 7.50%, Kenya +25bps to 6.00%, Uruguay +100bps to 7.50%, and the Philippines +25bps to 4.25%. Meanwhile the other central banks held their rates: Turkey 6.25%, Russia 8.00%, South Africa 5.50%, and the Czech Republic 0.75%. [more]
New Zealand just saw the release of two key economic statistics: its current account and Gross Domestic Product. While both data points were mildy positive, due consideration needs to placed on the detail in order to understand the outlook and implications for investing. On GDP, the New Zealand economy grew 0.2% q/q in the December 2010 quarter (-0.2% 3Q10), placing it up 0.8% year on year (1.5% 3Q10). Meanwhile the current account came in as -2.3% of GDP (from -2.2% in 3Q2010).
Here's the Economic Calendar for the week commencing the 20th of March 2011. This week there's GDP results from New Zealand, France and the U.S. There's also further inflation data out from the UK and Japan. Elsewhere, in the EU there will be a further summit on tackling the debt problems. While the U.S. will also release some key housing market data and confidence indicators.
Leafing through reports from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and BIS (Bank for International Settlements), I came across a few interesting charts and comments on inflation. Not to over do the inflation theme, it's worth highlighting some of the trends in inflation around the world because of the significant importance it has on how global economic prospects will evolve. Perhaps more importantly, the course of inflation will have significant financial market and investing implications.
In the second installment of this two-part article on U.S. inflation (see first part, on CPI and PPI, here), we look at a few other data points -- specifically, commodities, TIPS, and import and export prices. The point of this wider look is to gain a better gauge of where inflation is coming through and to garner any clues as to the traction inflation has. This is important for investors, as inflation has a critical impact on wealth, valuations, and prices. A keen awareness of the key inflation trends can help investors position themselves appropriately to both gain protection as well as profits.
In this article we take a look at the key inflation metrics out of the U.S. over the past week. This article focuses on CPI and PPI, while a second installment looks at other data points to gain a fuller view of inflation in the U.S. In terms of the February results, both CPI and PPI were up (2.2% and 5.8%, respectively, on a year/year basis). Of course, both sets of statistics are on a headline basis.
Here's the Economic Calendar for the week commencing the 13th of March 2011. This week there's CPI inflation data from the Euro Zone, Canada, and the US, the US also has PPI data due out. In monetary policy there's the Bank of Japan, the US Fed, and Swiss National Bank meeting review their monetary policy settings. Elsewhere there's new loans and money supply data from China, and Industrial production figures from the EU, Japan, and US.
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results for China were just released, with the data coming in a little worse than the previous two quarters, but strong compared to recent years. Net hiring intentions fell to 29% from 38% in Q1 this year, and a high of 51% in Q4 last year. [more]