Archive for November, 2011

European Recession? Look to Asia.

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

According to Fisher Investments analyst Brad Pyles (read more of his work here):

The European Union (27 countries including the UK ) represents roughly 26% of global GDP. This is similar to Asia at the end of 1997. As Asia went through its own solvency crisis (better known as the Asian Contagion), its GDP fell -0.6% in 1998 (see table below). While this caused Asia to underperform, it did not cause a global bear market. Furthermore, when you exclude China (whose GDP dropped near a two decade low but remained above 7% y/y), Asia’s GDP dropped -1.9% in 1998 while composing a slightly smaller percentage of global GDP than the current EU, but still a larger portion of global GDP than the current EMU.

This appears to show that a large portion of the global economy can modestly go negative for an extended period of time without causing a bear market, provided the global financial system remains intact and the rest of the world continues to grow. Consider that even the large 1998 correction did not occur until the Asian Contagion’s secondary effects took down Long Term Capital Management and threatened the global financial system.

Presented by Fisher Investments: Asia GDP vs. EU GDP from 1994-2010

Presented by Fisher Investments: Asia GDP vs. EU GDP from 1994-2010


Would a Euro Recession Sink the US Too?

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

With much hubbub about what a European recession might do to the US , particularly since exports are a significant portion of the economy, the analysts at Fisher Investments took a peek at US export exposure to the region (see below).

It’s pretty clear that—while there of course would be additional knock on effects to a recession in a region as big as the eurozone—the US is not headed for automatic economic doom as a result of its trade there. As of June, US exports to Italy were a little over 1% of total exports; Spain is even less, coming in at roughly 0.7% of total exports; even Germany (the healthiest of the bunch) is well under 4%.

Presented by Fisher Investments: US Exports to European Nations as a % of Total Exports Editorial

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Check out my editorial on, “The Economy Can Weather a Euro Storm”.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

LEI is Telling the Tale

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

US Leading Economic Indicators rose sharply, well more than expected in October. Why’s that important? Remember, just a few weeks ago, how recession not only seemed a foregone conclusion, but some experts even believed we were already in one? Through history, LEI generally needs to turn significantly negative in order to get a recession. That’s not where we are today.

Leading economic indicators for the US year over year % change vs. NBER recession

Graphic from Fisher Investments - Leading Economic Indicators Index - US

US Retail Sales – A New All-Time High

November 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Some simple facts:

  • October US Retail sales rose +0.5% m/m (+7.2% y/y) vs. expected +0.3% m/m
    • Retail ex-autos rose +0.6% m/m (+7.3% y/y) vs. expected +0.2% m/m
    • Retail ex-autos & gas rose +0.7% m/m (+6.1% y/y) vs. expected +0.2% m/m

We’re way into this expansion—long enough that we’ve had a full on (and typical) mid-cycle slowdown—and real US GDP along with US retail sales are at all-time highs. The recent retail sales gains are broad-based: increased electronics store sales (+3.7% m/m), internet retail (non-store retail +1.5% m/m), sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores also posted a strong gain (+1.3% m/m). All of this led to an acceleration of core (ex-autos & gas) retail and a solid reading for headline growth following a sharp jump from an auto rebound in September.

We’re past the point where economists can easily claim the unemployment rate will “one day” sink the economy. These things are sometimes slow to move, but indications so far are that the world is moving on to new highs.


US Retail Sales graphic presented by Fisher Investments

US Retail Sales reach new high - graphic presented by Fisher Investments



Fisher Investments’ Latest Stock Market Outlook

November 11, 2011 Leave a comment

For a cogent synopsis on the current market environment, check out Fisher Investments’ newest Stock Market Outlook. Click here.

Stocks and GDP Aren’t the Same

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment


Remember, stock investors should care greatly about the overall direction of the economy. But economic growth as measured by GDP is different than investing in the future profits of a company.



This blog has made this point often, but it can’t be repeated enough.



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