Indice dei Leading Indicators positivo - gzibordi
By: GZ on Giovedì 24 Gennaio 2002 12:24
mi basterebbe che oggi pomeriggio suonasse un poco più positivo e gli mando un presente con gli s&p che ho preso.
A parte gli scherzi questo è il commento serio su quello che sta succedendo agli indicatori economici americani.
Questo commento di Caroline Baum vale spesso soldi specialmente per fare obbligazioni, cambi e indici di borsa in termini di trend economici.
In questo momento è importante capire se i dati economici che usciranno saranno robusti come gli ultimi che sono usciti oppure hanno ragione quelli come Steven Roach che dicono che la recessione non è finita.
La sostanza è che l'indice dei leading indicators sta dando segnali molto buoni e la Baum cita Jim Bianco di Bianco Research
lo stesso tizio molto molto bravo che in settembre disse che la fiducia dei consumatori americana e la spesa per consumi sarebbe migliorata drammaticamente,
una delle chiamate migliori dell'anno che mi ha consentito di comprare molti titoli americani sensibili al ciclo che sono andati benissimo
Quindi farei attenzione al commento di oggi di Caroline Baum e di Jim Bianco
By Caroline Baum
New York, Jan. 23 (Bloomberg)
-- Three separate commentaries on the Index of Leading Economic Indicators arrived via e-mail today -- not a big surprise since the December report was released yesterday. Two of them used the LEI to ratify the notion that a recovery is underway. The other one dismissed everything that made a positive contribution -- eight of the 10 components -- as irrelevant.
Why is it folks refuse to accept something when it has the force of history behind it? The LEI wasn't put together by random dart throwing. The 10 components that make up the LEI were chosen because they stand up to rigorous statistical analysis: they lead the business cycle.
``Historically, the cyclical turning points in the leading index have occurred before those in aggregate economic activity,'' the Conference Board says in its press release every month for those who fail to get the point.
That's not hard to understand, is it? What happens is that analysts dismiss the LEI when it doesn't confirm their view of the world.
Eight of the ten components that make up the LEI rose in December. The two orders series -- for non-defense capital goods and consumer goods -- aren't available when the LEI is released each month and are estimated by the Conference Board, along with the personal consumption expenditure price index used to calculate real M2. Both orders series made negative contributions to the index last month, based on these estimates.
The LEI rose 1.2 percent in December, its third consecutive increase and the biggest since February 1996. Economists at the Conference Board, which inherited business-cycle indicators from the budget-constrained Commerce Department in the mid-1990s, don't advocate a three-month rule (three consecutive declines in the LEI signal a recession). Instead, they prefer using the six-month annualized growth rate in the LEI and six-month diffusion index, with 50 the dividing line between expansion and contraction, to evaluate the depth, duration and decline in economic activity.
Recessions are generally characterized by a sub-50 reading in the six-month diffusion index and a six-month annualized decline in the LEI of at least 3.5 percent, according to Michael Fort, manager of business-cycle indicators at the Conference Board. These guidelines ``have performed well,'' Fort says, even though the six-month annualized change never hit -3.5 percent this time (the low was -2.7 percent in December 2000).
That jibes with the National Bureau of Economic Research Dating Committee's comment that were it not for Sept. 11, it might not have declared a recession.
Recoveries seem to be presaged by a diffusion index above 50 and a six-month annualized growth rate of 3.8 percent, Fort says.
The six-month annualized growth rate in the LEI rose to 3.5 percent in December. The six-month diffusion index reached 40 in December from 20 in September and a low of 10 in July 2000. So, no signal yet but moving in the right direction.
By another measure, the economy has already emerged from its short slump. The December LEI rose above the previous peak of 110.9 set in January 2000. Jim Bianco, president of Bianco Research in Barrington, Illinois, looked at the 116 times since 1959 the LEI has eclipsed a previous high and found that ``the economy has never been in recession when the LEI set a new high.''
The good news didn't compute with Bob Prince, director of research and trading at Bridgewater Associates, a money management and advisory firm in Wilton, Connecticut. In today's report, Prince made short shrift of the data.
``The rise in the LEI is probably overestimating the bounce in the economy, as are the markets,'' Prince says.
Prince went through the checklist, taking issue with the drop in initial claims (improving after a post-9/11 jump but vulnerable to the squeeze in corporate profit margins); the rise in real M2 (a discredited indicator that's the result of Fed easing); the steepening of the yield curve (another Fed offshoot); the jump in building permits (good but housing never weakened and so it isn't likely to drive the recovery); the increase in stock prices (a ``hopeful'' response to Fed easing); the improvement in consumer expectations (not being matched by demand).
Not being matched by demand? Retail sales rose an annualized 11.3 percent in the fourth quarter. In real terms, the 16 percent increase was a record in the series dating back to 1967, according to Paul Kasriel, director of economic research at the Northern Trust Corp. in Chicago.
``Real retail sales have not been down in the three quarters of the current recession,'' Kasriel says. ``That hasn't happened in any recession since 1967.''
While incentive-driven auto sales accounted for all of the increase, non-auto sales excluding gasoline, the change in which tends to be price effect, rose 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Henry Willmore, senior economist at Barclays Capital Group.
Willmore looks for a 4.5 percent increase in real consumer spending and a 2.5 percent rise in real final sales in the fourth quarter.
Prince's beef is that the leading indicators of demand -- the intangibles such as the interest-rate spread, stock prices and M2 -- are stronger than actual measures of demand, ``and all of them are more positive than the actual sales activity in the marketplace.''
Intangibles lead the tangibles (this was the subject of Friday's column). The sales data don't seem to support Prince's view. And as for his point that the leading indicators aren't supported by actual demand, all I can say is they're called leaders for a reason.