Main Items:

  • ISM Mfg declined to 52.4 in Feb vs 54.5 exp and 54.1 prev.
  • US Initial Jobless Claims was unchanged at 351k last week vs 355k exp
  • US Core PCE increased to 1.9% in Jan vs 1.8% exp and prev.
  • US Personal Income and Spending were both weaker than expected, although income did outpace spending by 0.1%. Personal Income printed 0.3% MoM vs 0.5% exp and prev. Spending increased to 0.2% vs 0.4% exp and 0% prev.
  • Mexico PMI improved to 54.3 vs 53 exp and 51.8 prev
  • Brazil PMI improved to 51.4 vs 50.6 prev


  • Manufacturing PMI’s in Jan
  1. UK PMI declined to 51.2 vs 52 exp and 52.1 prev
  2. Italian PMI improved to 47.8 vs 47.1 exp and 46.8 prev
  3. Swiss PMI improved to 49 in Feb vs 48.5 exp and 47.3 prev

EU CPI Estimate for Feb was unchanged at 2.7% vs 2.6% exp

EU Unemployment jumped to 10.7% in Jan vs 10.4% exp and prev, driven by revisions to historical data


  • China Mfg PMI improved to 51.0 vs 50.9 exp and 50.5 prev. The HSBC measure improved to 49.6 vs 48.8 prev
  • AU PMI declined to 51.3 in Feb vs 51.6 prev

Upcoming Data:

  • EU HoSG summit, Global PMI’s, RBA, BoC


Good commentary on upcoming baby boomer behavior via microeconomic analysis from Ritholtz:
Note all the conclusions are accurate, but the amount of time average baby boomers need to postpone retirement suggests some substantial fixed income inflows over the next decade, along with deleveraging pressure in real estate.


7 thoughts on “Recap

  1. Interesting piece, thanks for citing. I’ve always found dissecting the property market from a demographic view to be incredibly challenging. A counter argument is that the share of ‘buying age’ population is increasing (Crescenzi spells this out in one of his books), although I’d venture to say this is probably at a less rapid pace than the exit of baby boomers from the market and their potential asset liquidation. Still, I usually end up back to the simplistic view that r.e. follows fairly consistent cycles and based on past experience, 3-5 years after the peak we generally see a trough (Rogoff and Reinhardt come in nicely here as well).
    When you throw the potential change in buying patterns due to psychological impacts from witnessing the crash (for that same, prime ‘buying age’ group) then the analysis gets even murkier.

  2. Anyone keeping track of the Long Beach/CA port activity?

    I know there have been a string of relatively positive economic data points but the decline in the port activity coupled with a soft durable goods and Feb ISM print should instill some caution in this no volume, no volatility melt-up that we have been witnessing for the past few months.

  3. Shal,

    I follow both the LA and LB ports as they are the 2 west coast ports that put out monthly data. Port traffic while useful is also extremely seasonal. Here are some stats for total volume at LA and LB

    All data is 12 month %ROC from 1995-now

    December Average (-4.40%) Dec-11=(-2.27%)
    January Average (-2.67%) Jan-12= .19%

    You can see that December while a decline was actually above average as was January. So while the total volume is definitely below peak numbers the year over year comparisons are actually quite good.

  4. Agreed w Dave on the seasonality and strength of the LA and LB port data. Not only is this a high % of overall US trade flows, but also gives a nice look into the export picture to Asia as well (empty containers). Not quite there yet, but the trend last couple years has been overall volumes at both ports slowing approaching pre crisis levels.
    I’ll be looking for a turn before levering up risk, but I’d rather not underestimate the strength of the ‘low volume’ rally.

  5. GMacTrading; time to update the SP500 to copper price correlation again? Copper gained a nice 15% since begin Jan to Mar from 7500 to 8600 $/mt , basis daily 3M on LME .

  6. Matt, you’re certainly right about how hard it is to forecast real estate prices. One reason I’ve been thinking more about deleveraging pressure is that prior the the great moderation / leveraging cycle, real estate as an asset class barely outpaced inflation. I note that mainly because it seems like people broadly expect the US housing market to continue to appreciate at a rate substantially in excess of inflation because that was the norm in our lifetimes. I’m not sure if that will continue in places like Texas where land availability isn’t a constraint. Why should real estate in most of the country trade in excess of the cost of replacement? Just some food for thought.

    PPK – I’ll update the chart for Friday’s post.

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