"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

The Required Disclosures

The information presented in this blog and its individual articles is provided for informational use only and should not be considered investment advice or an offer for a particular security. The contents reflect the views and opinions of the individual writer as of the date the article was written and do not necessarily represent the views of the individual writer on the current date. They also do not in any way, shape, or form represent the views of the Firm Never-To-Be-Named. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and The Great Redoubt and its individual writers disclaim any responsibility to update such views. These views should not be relied on as investment advice, and because investment decisions for any security are based on numerous factors, may not be relied on as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any contributor to The Great Redoubt. Neither The Great Redoubt nor any individual author can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered. Please consult your tax or financial advisor for additional information concerning your specific situation.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Metrics: European And Canadian

Let's start with Europe, shall we? We've got economic data flowing in from Switzerland, Germany, France, and the EU as a whole.
In Switzerland, seasonally adjusted unemployment remains flat at 3.6% (missing expectations by 10 bps), while non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rises 20 bps to a level of 3.8% (also missing expectations by 10 bps).
Germany's got a ton of data coming out, and it's all bad. First off, their merchandise trade[1] surplus dropped E2.4 billion (brutally missing expectations, which anticipated an increase in the trade surplus to E15.0 billion) to a level of E11.8 billion in November. Imports jumped 380 bps for the month to a level of 4.1%, while exports rose 160 bps to a level of 0.5%. Retails sales fell 250 bps in November, dropping from a revised 0.1% (revised downward from the original 2.3% reported for October[2]) increase to decline 2.4% (also brutally missing expectations, which anticipated a decline to an increase of only 1.0%). Finally, to round out this trifecta of misery, industrial production fell 370 bps in November from a revised 3.0% increase to a 0.7% decline (missing expectations by 40 bps).
France is not experiencing much joy either. Their merchandise trade figures for November can be read in one of two ways: either as a E7.3 billion shift from a E3.43 billion trade surplus in October to a E3.87 billion trade deficit in November, or (using the revised October figures) as E0.16 billion shift from a E3.71 billion trade deficit to a E3.87 billion trade deficit. The first is an almost inexplicable single-month face-heel turn, and the second smacks of sheer incompetence amongst the offices of the French equivalent of the Department of Labor[3].
Do things get any better for the European Union as a whole? Well, their Q3 final revision for GDP cuts the quarter over quarter growth to 0.3% (down from the previous revision of 0.4%, and missing expectations that the final figure would remain 0.4%). Year over year GDP remains unchanged at 1.9%. the EU's unemployment rate remains unchanged at 10.1% in November, exactly meeting expectations.
On to Canada, where the Labor Force Survey shows things improving by at least a small amount. Employment rose 22,000 in December (up 6800) beating expectations by a small margin (analysts were expecting to see 20,300 new jobs). As a result, the unemployment rate for the year comes in at 7.6%, beating expectations by 10 bps.
Coming up next, we'll be looking at the US Employment Situation!
[1] Merchandise trade is imports and exports of tangible goods and services.
[2] There's no real explanation about how 0.1% was mistaken for 2.3% in the original data.
[3] I mean, really. How else do you look at the trade figures one month and say "Aha! We exported 3.43 billion more Euros worth of goods than we imported! Viva la France!" and then the next month say "Our bad. We made a 7.3 billion Euro mistake in our calculations"? Were they holding the balance sheet upside down?

No comments:

Post a Comment