Tools that have helped us the most #1
As part of a series of blog posts, we plan to share the best tools and principles that have helped us understand the business cycle. The first tool below is our US and China leading indicators - excerpt from the VP Cookbook, June 2021.
Leading indicators help us understand how data evolves. Data moves in a predictable sequence from leading (eg building permits) -> coincident (eg retail sales) -> lagging (eg inflation). Our US and China leading indicators together give the best read on global growth conditions. We select inputs (shown in the charts below) with long, unrevised time series to ensure our indicators are consistently useful through time.
We use leading indicators to find investment opportunities. Our US leading indicator leads revenue growth of S&P 500 companies. If markets assume the existing trend will continue but indicators are turning, this is an opportunity. China is the manufacturer and commodity consumer of the world. Chinese leading data is very important for commodity price movements and the share price performance of global cyclical companies.
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