Category Archives: US Economy - 38 posts found

Profit Margins to Head Lower, Equities to Suffer

Profit margins in the US have hit modern-day record levels, and this has been used to help justify high equity valuations.  Consensus estimates are for profit margins to remain steady, or even increase from current levels.  We disagree for ironclad…


Read more

Beware of small caps in the US; underperformance ahead

One of the points we have been emphasizing to clients in recent months is that US small caps are looking increasingly less attractive compared to large caps. Small caps have benefited from excess liquidity and a belief that as the US economy recovers, smaller companies, with their greater domestic focus, are the place to be. Yet price and valuations are making it more and more difficult to justify the trade.


Read more

Excess liquidity and money growth point to weaker second half of 2014

One of the themes we have been tracking in the past 6 months is the slowdown in global money growth and excess liquidity. The focus on the second derivative is important here. The level of growth in liquidity and money growth indicators is decent but the annual growth rate is rolling over.


Read more

Small business sentiment in the US recovers, but key components lagging

Small business confidence in the US has improved from the depth of the crisis in 2008/09, but has moved sideways in the past 12 months. A return of confidence to pre-crisis levels has been identified by many as one of the key missing components of the recovery to date. We are getting closer, but it seems that investors need to wait a bit longer.


Read more

Growth Outlook Starts to Cloud

Global growth has been well supported going into this year, and short-leading indicators had intimated this would continue into the latter part of the first quarter.  However, data has become more mixed with some releases giving cause for concern.  Some…


Read more

Thinking about retirement in the US

Gone are the days when financial advisory could boast the same professional stability as a well seated doctor or lawyer. Herding people through the door and offering them a standard 60/40 portfolio invested in the in-house equity and bond funds was a simple and lucrative business model but it does not work anymore. Competition and technical innovation have already changed the industry of professional personal investment advisory and it will be sure to effect radical change for years to come.


Read more

A closer look at the decline in the US labour force participation rate

A recent piece by Ellyn Terry, an economist at the Atlanta Fed, provides important evidence and information on the drivers of the decline in the US labour force participation rate. The interesting aspect of this small study is that it breaks down the drivers on age groups which allows us to get a much closer look at the recent trends in the US labour force participation rate


Read more

Variant Perception on the US labour market and the future course of Fed policy

simon white

Variant Perception’s editor Simon White spoke to BNN this morning about the future course of Fed policy and the US labour market. Highlights included the likelihood that the Fed will stay looser for longer as well as how the market may have overestimated the actual pace of tapering.


Read more

High bar for further improvement in US manufacturing

The last seven months have seen an impressive improvement in US manufacturing. Almost all components of US manufacturing have been growing strongly and the US ISM has staged an impressive comeback from sub-50 in May last year to 57 in December. However, our growth diffusion index now implies the potential for short-term disappointment.


Read more

The Fed and QE – An almost impossible balancing act

A nice series of articles from Bloomberg news alerts us to the fact that the Fed is anything but united when it comes to QE. There is consequently ongoing confusion, disagreement and general apprehension surrounding whether and how the Fed is supposed to end QE . Quite simply; the powers that be do not see eye to eye on this one and this is slightly worrying (if completely understandable).


Read more