Monday, January 24, 2011

How Is The Patient

The global economy, time to take its temperature. It has been a difficult patient, let's see if his troubled parts are getting any better:

US - Beige Book report for 4Q 2010, US economic activity expanding moderately

FOMC - Meeting indicates no premature unwinding of QE2

US Housing - November figures showed sales rose but recovery is still muted

India - Stocks there are likely to be volatile as inflationary fears will trigger an aggressive response in rate hikes 1H2011

France - Consumer confidence declines and unemployment stays stubborn at 9.7%, still industrial output grew 2.3% in November

Germany - Retail sales fell 2.4% but outlook is OK, factory orders grew 5.2% in November, business confidence reached record highs in December

UK - GDP for Q1, Q2 and Q3 all revised downwards, still very sluggish, while inflation rose 3.7% yoy, looking like stagflation to me - reclining or no growth and depreciating currency

Singapore - Inflation jumped 3.8% in November, worrying signs of overheating in certain sectors


China's tightening moves recently caused markets to take the opportunity for a bit of correction but underlying strength is still very firm. There are sparks of optimism in Europe, in particular Germany but the rest of EU and UK are still struggling. US has indicated no withdrawal of QE2 signifying still dormant interest rates.

In Malaysia and Indonesia, foreign funds are parked there to reflect their optimistic outlook for 1Q 2011. Both currencies are among those favoured for strength in 1Q, can expect hectic bullish activity in 1Q.

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