Highlights from May 2019 – Hot or cool global economy?

(Apologies for the delay in this being published, it should have been published almost a month ago.)

May 2019 was the quietest month (till date) for us due to unprecedented reasons. We had hoped April 2019 will be the quietest month but turns out this time it was (again) different. Hoping to write more going forward starting July but don’t want to promise that.

Anyway, the question for May 2019. Hot or cool global economy? About a month ago, the IMF cut global growth forecast and said that spring 2019 was a “delicate” moment for the global economy. Is the global economy cooling as they think it is or are things looking up? Well, the signals are very mixed, so you decide …

Firstly, global growth. The United States, the European Union, China and Japan combined are about 65% of the global economy. The U.S. grew an annualized 3.1% in Q1 (revised down from 3.2% from the initial estimate), the Eurozone (not the EU) grew a respectable 1.2%. Japan grew an unexpected annualized 2.1% against market expectations of a contraction. China’s 6.4% growth beat expectations too.

The job market globally is at least “officially” robust with unemployment rates in the U.S., the United Kingdom and the Eurozone being at multi-decade low levels.

But retail sale growth across major economies is stumbling. Businesses and consumers have slowed borrowing money which definitely talks a lot about confidence in the economy. And one lead indicator of a global recession in the form of new aircraft orders is flashing red.

Boeing’s net orders for the first quarter were negative 119 and Airbus posted a negative total of 58 net orders over the same period. The last time this happened was just before the global financial crisis.

So, hot or cold economy? You decide …

 

Here’s what we wrote about in May,

The U.S. unemployment rate hit a 50-year low but both the labour force participation rate and employment to population ratio remain low

Peak Amazon? Amazon revenue growth and employee additions have slowed significantly

UK Q1 2019 GDP growth estimated at 0.5% (QoQ) and 1.8% (YoY); Manufacturing output soars; Trade deficit widens

Four slightly different economic indicators for the U.S. economy

UK employment at highest ever level as wage growth lags; Unemployment lowest in 45 years; Self-employment at highest level

Is the U.S. yield curve inversion an economic warning?

 

 

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