Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. While I do make mistakes, I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct (old habits die hard!) Also, don't ask me why I called it "Volewica". It's too late, now.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Surprise" ISM May slide

In the US, the ISM index (what used to be called the NAPM index) has had a very close correlation with economic activity over the last 75 years.  Even though manufacturing is now just 12% of GDP, still, it is well correlated.

It fell, surprising the markets, in May.  What's happening seems clear enough to me.  The economy had finally started to accelerate into a sustained economic recovery.  And then the "fiscal cliff" started to bite, and it slowed again.   This dynamic has played out again and again over the last 5 years, right across the world.  Fiscal tightening causes economic slowdown.  Is anybody listening?

QE is safe.  But the share market may not be -- the market is well correlated to economic "surprises" (i.e., what surprises the assembled gurus en masse)  And the surprises have all been negative over the recent period.

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