The data making headlines
This week’s edition begins with an assessment of global futures markets, indicating that the “rate pause” is assumed around the world. We also chart US inflation and EU nations in recession. We correlate China’s exports with slumping business confidence in the West and create a dashboard to examine corporate debt using FactSet data.
This week’s edition begins with a special guest chart: a Macrobond user leveraged last week’s stock sentiment dashboard to compare historic bullishness and market breadth. Next comes a dashboard analysing the troubled Argentinian economy that awaits president-elect Javier Milei. We created a trilogy of charts using FactSet: we analyse countries with vulnerable stock markets after this tightening cycle, visualise how wheatfield conditions track a crop chemical maker’s share price, and break down the health of British banks versus their American and European counterparts. Sticking with the UK, we consider prospects for the pound after its recent rally. We then move on to US consumers, and a visualisation suggesting they might be tapped out. We conclude with the weaker-than-expected return of Chinese tourism to the rest of Asia.
This week’s charts begin with a barometer measuring bullish and bearish US stock investors. Turning to Europe, we examine how youth unemployment remains stubbornly high in Greece and remarkably low in the Netherlands. We focus two charts on Japan: with the highest inflation in decades, the central bank is expected to start raising interest rates next year. In Britain, we compare the recent heavy rainfall to the historic trend, discovering it’s above average but far from records. Finally, we examine the collapse in palladium prices and the metal’s link to a changing landscape for electric vehicles.
This week’s charts begin with a look at a daily time series for the Chinese economy, suggesting an upturn is underway. In the UK, we visualise month-by-month borrowing under Jeremy Hunt’s stewardship of the public finances. Turning to US debt, we show the record short position that has emerged for Treasuries as hedge funds pile into an arbitrage trade. In Europe, we examine the strong Swiss franc and cooling eurozone inflation. Finally, we demonstrate how the global balance of hiking and cutting central banks is shifting again, and show how a measure of geopolitical risk is reflecting the conflict in Gaza.
This week’s charts begin with GARP – “Growth at a reasonable price” – a methodology for choppy markets that identifies relatively undervalued stock sectors with earnings momentum. We also track global fund flows, which despite those unsettled markets are still reflecting investor inflows into both stocks and bonds. In the world of central banking, we apply the hawkish Taylor Rule analysis to recent Fed policy, and use futures for an overnight money-market rate to chart changing perceptions of ECB tightening. Finally, we contrast bullish signals in Asia – Japanese sentiment, Indonesian and Indian PMI – with the gloomy outlook in France and Germany.
This week’s charts begin with a historic look at US bond returns, comparing the disastrous post-inflation yields of recent years to previous decades. We also set the scene for a wave of upcoming central bank decisions: we check the futures market for clues about when the Federal Reserve might be done raising rates, and examine how a tight job market might influence the Bank of Japan. Speaking of employment, we show how US jobless claims skipped “seasonality” this fall, avoiding the usual upturn. We also examine the post-pandemic US savings cushion, breaking it down between rich and poor. Turning to emerging markets, we create a visualisation of inflation for 14 countries. And we conclude with Bitcoin’s recent rally as crypto enthusiasts get excited about an ETF.
This week’s charts include three inflation visualisations that span the globe: Australia’s CPI basket, continued upward revisions to the Fed’s preferred measure of PCE, and a set of speedometers tracking how much inflation has slowed (or not) in the different G7 countries. Then, we show how a measure of global trade is shrinking, which was correlated with US recessions in the past. Turning to Israel, we show how futures traders are pricing in a weaker shekel through 2025 amid concerns of a longer-lasting war. In China, we show how the Shenzhen stock index is headed for bottom-quartile returns. We conclude with a potential bright spot for Asia – air freight rates to Shanghai and Seoul are starting to rise, breaking the stagnant global trend since 2022.
This week’s charts begin with a barometer of leading indicators from the OECD, demonstrating a gloomy outlook for many nations but a somewhat brighter picture for China and the UK. Meanwhile, another international institution, the IMF, has reduced economic forecasts for much of the world. Turning to stock markets, we created a multi-decade visualisation of global highs and lows. As conflict returns to the Middle East, we chart how major geopolitical events have affected short-term oil prices. Moving to the US, we examine the data revisions that show Americans have more savings than expected, while demonstrating how radically the Treasury yield curve has evolved over five years. We conclude with two charts on inflation, showing the many months that different countries have been overshooting their targets as well as breaking down sticky price increases in the British CPI.
This week’s charts begin with a dashboard that helps us dissect Germany’s stagnant exports. For the US, we look at the “instantaneous” measure of price increases and consider Fed rate levels when inflation was this high in decades past. In the fixed-income markets, we show how unlikely bonds are to outperform equities over the long run, and consider how forecasters used to be wrong-footed by lower bond yields; that trend has gone into reverse. And when it comes to currencies, the dollar is back on a winning streak. Finally, we turn to China, where the yuan is weakening against the dollar amid rate differentials, and conclude with the mysterious shrinkage of the euro’s role in the SWIFT international payments system.
This week’s charts begin with an examination of why the Federal Reserve’s latest move is being dubbed a “hawkish pause”: the “dot plot” of rate forecasts is creeping higher. We show the historic divergence between gross domestic product (GDP) and gross domestic income (GDI), which might be giving the Fed pause as it ponders the true strength of the US economy. As the US yield curve stays inverted past 300 days, we show how this historic recession indicator is reaching early 1980s proportions. Amid this environment, we visualise how US investors are continuing to choose the high yields of money-market funds. In Germany, we track how the nation’s economy is lagging European peers. Finally, for China, we break down slumping exports by destination, and show how the nation’s air traffic rebound has been largely domestically driven, with much less international travel.
Charts of the Week has reached its 100th edition and this milestone has given us a chance to reflect on where it all began. The first edition was published on October 1, 2021, during a time of global economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Half of the charts in that edition focused on the tourism and travel market, which was still struggling, while the other half focused on various long-term trends in the global economy. To other topics this week: hurricane occurrences in the US, the historical relationship between Federal Reserve hiking cycles and recessions, asset class valuations, the impact of rising energy costs on German industry and the steep decline in Indian foreign direct investment.
This week’s charts begin with futures markets’ take on ECB interest rates: yesterday’s “dovish hike” was probably the last one, and rate cuts will come in the spring. Turning to the tight US labour market, we visualise how few strikes there have been since 1990; as the UAW begins industrial action against the Big Three, times are changing. For China, we have a dashboard showing how futures traders are betting on industrial commodities and precious metals, as well as a visualisation of how property prices used to reliably go up month on month across the country. For Europe, we examine the seasonality in Citigroup’s index of economic surprises and show how French nuclear power is coming to the rescue of the electricity grid after last year’s ill-timed reactor maintenance. Finally, we compare the budget deficit blow-outs in the pandemic to nations’ (generally) much healthier public finances today.
This week’s charts begin with an examination of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which remains at a multi-decade low just as Russia and Saudi Arabia pare production to keep oil prices high. Two high-profile conferences are in focus for financial news flow: we examine how Jackson Hole Fed pronouncements affect markets, and ahead of the G20 in New Delhi, we examine India’s resilient economy. Turning to your investment portfolio, we take another look at the historic performance of momentum strategies versus a traditional 60/40 stock-bond split. In Europe, we show how the German business confidence clock is ticking towards gloom and create a model examining the Swedish currency’s valuation against the euro. Finally, in the US, we show the sectors that are hiring in the second half of 2023 after the high-profile tech layoffs earlier in the year.
As we move into the Northern Hemisphere autumn, this week’s charts begin with a visualisation of stocks in September – historically a month where equities have a habit of falling. We take a multi-pronged look at the US: the Atlanta Fed’s nowcast suggests bullish (perhaps too bullish) growth is taking place in the third quarter; a “soft landing” may be taking place in the job market; and Fed funds futures are on the move, predicting modest but steady rate cuts in 2024-25. Turning to Europe, we examine the shrinking money supply and parallels to (and differences with) 2009. Finally, we break down China’s construction slowdown between the office, industrial and residential sectors, and examine how HICP figures around the EU are showing persistent core inflation.
This week’s charts begin with a “traffic light” measurement of German business confidence. Turning to the euro-dollar exchange rate, we run a regression model aiming to correlate currency moves with the price of oil and interest-rate differentials. In the wake of Turkey’s surprisingly large rate increase, we chart the lira’s performance after similar episodes. We compare the likelihood of making money from a buy-and-hold strategy in various equity markets and show how this failed in Japan. For the inflation hawks, we visualise the M2 measure of money supply. In emerging markets, we track how Chinese construction starts have slowed and how the BRICS economies are, broadly, not converging – with the US or each other. Finally, we turn to Las Vegas, where the house is winning: casinos are raking in above-trend gambling revenue that evokes the pre-GFC good times in the American economy.
This week’s charts begin with a visualisation of how countries dominated by their capital city (the UK and France) compare to more regionally balanced economies like Germany and the US. Turning to the American consumer, we show how the stock of pandemic-era savings has dwindled and people are increasingly running up their credit-card balances. In Europe, the economy might have avoided recession, but the leading indicators are gloomy; in Britain, real wage increases have started to outpace inflation. And we conclude with a chart on China’s shrinking exports.
This week’s charts begin with a visualisation of “early hikers” – central banks, mostly in emerging markets, that moved most quickly when the current episode of inflation began. We revisit this month’s non-farm payrolls number, which was released alongside revisions of past NFP figures that suggest the US labour market is weakening. We created two charts that might be relevant to your investment portfolio: one shows the probability of making money in the S&P 500 over time, while the other models an aggressive asset-allocation strategy. We conclude with two visualisations on China, tracking a decline in foreign direct investment but a rebound in raw materials prices paid by manufacturers – and PPI.
This week’s charts begin with a new visualisation of European inflation: tracking the proportion of countries experiencing steeper or more limited price increases at a given moment. Moving on to manufacturing, we break down global PMI (the sentiment survey of factory managers) to show how 2023 is very different from 2022. Turning to an alternative dataset, we examine satellite image-derived activity at Amazon’s quieter-than-usual warehouses. For Britain, we chart the post-pandemic spike in bankruptcies. In Asia, we visualise the historic changes to Japan’s yield control policy and examine India’s stock market and its rich valuations. And finally, we use a political sentiment dataset to examine perceptions of polarisation in the US.
This week’s charts begin with a candlestick that shows how the current foreign-exchange volatility makes a massive difference to your equity returns. Speaking of volatility, we track Bitcoin’s ups and downs and visualise how commodity prices from wheat to oil tend to boom and crash frequently – and in unison. Revisiting one of our favourite themes, we show how expectations for Fed policy are changing as Jerome Powell tackles sticky inflation and the economy stays resilient. The stickiest inflation of all is arguably in Argentina, where we chart years of double-digit price increases and worse. Finally, we examine China’s youth unemployment, seven months into the economy’s great reopening.