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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Asian Tiger Metric Stance!

First off we have New Zealand's CPI figures for Q4 2010.  Q3 saw a 1.1% increase, and the analysts were looking for Q4 to be up 1.9%.  In reality they were up 2.3%, missing expectations by 40 bps (which also caused CPI to be up 4.0% for the year).  Part of it the blame is pinned on a 250 bps increase in their goods and services tax that went into effect on October 1.  That's not the sole cause, however.  Transport was up 4.3%, food was up 2.1% (although, interestingly, vegetable costs were down 3.3%), housing & household utilities was up 1.6% and recreation & culture was up 2.9%.
And now, China.  You think your nation releases a bunch of economic data at once?  Your Economic Data Release Technique is pig dung before the power of their Five Simultaneous Metrics Style kung fu[1]!  We have CPI, GDP, Industrial Production, PPI, and Retail Sales.  And what happened?
  • November CPI was at 5.1%.  Analysts were predicting 4.4% for December.  China missed expectations, coming in at 4.6%, but that's still a 50 bps decline in the rate of increase of consumer costs.  Food prices were up 9.6% for the month, though, which hurt.  For the year, CPI finished off at a 3.3% increase.
  • GDP came in at 10.3% for the year, up 140 bps from 2009.
  • December Industrial Production was up 20 bps to a level of 13.5%, meeting expectations.  For the year, output was up 15.7%.
  • December PPI missed expectations by 30 bps, coming in at 5.9% (still down 20 bps from November, though).  For the year, PPI was up 5.5%.
  • Retail Sales were up 40 bps in December to a 19.1% increase, with the annual increase coming in at 18.4%.
So yeah.  Maybe President Hu has a point when he says that the value of the yuan isn't the primary problem with the US economy.
But anyway, let's move on to Europe.  German PPI has come in at 0.7% for the month, missing expectation by 20 bps and spiking 50 bps from November.  For the year, PPI comes in 20 bps over expectations as well to finish at 5.3%.
[1]  I've been watching a lot of Shaw Brothers movies recently.

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