The data making headlines
This week’s charts begin by breaking down trends in US bank lending as concerns about a credit crunch persist. Climate remains in focus; we show how drought in Kansas is hitting the wheat fields, with implications for global food prices. We examine China from several angles – using satellite data to reveal that the number of shoppers parked at shopping malls has stopped bouncing back; visualising the nation’s trade partners; and noting the local stock market’s disconnect from growth-value swings seen in the US. Moving to Europe, we show how wages are starting to catch up to inflation, and demonstrate an indicator of British economic resilience.
This week’s charts begin by revisiting our table of winners and losers in the S&P 500, showing the reversal in 2023 as tech rallies and energy stumbles. We also show how individual stock investors are staying in the market despite broad negativity amongst American consumers. With all eyes on the Fed’s attempt to engineer a “soft landing,” we examine previous recessions and historic examples of monetary tightening “pauses” by the central bank. In Europe, our “clock” of the business cycle shows consumers are a positive outlier as sectors like construction remain in the doldrums. In Russia, energy revenues are sliding, while in Asia, tourism is surging back to pre-pandemic levels. Finally, we generate a forecast for US house prices using our partnership with Indicio, a machine-learning platform.
This week’s charts begin by tracking the links between previous credit crunches and downturns in US manufacturing. Moving on to inflation, we show how French spending on food has plummeted in real terms, and then dissect the decades since the 1960s to show how inflation eroded the yield from bonds in different environments. As the euro rebounds against the greenback, we show the effect on the Dollar Index. In Thailand, we demonstrate how rainfall is far below its historic range due to El Nino, threatening rice crops. And finally, we examine a mystery of international trade: Italian exports to China are surging.
This week’s charts start with three visualisations focused on equities. In Europe, we break down large-cap EPS growth to discover the counterintuitive outperformance of banks. We create a dashboard examining how the traditional 60/40 stocks-bonds portfolio would have performed versus other asset mixes. And following this month’s (potentially final) Fed tightening, we look at history to see how stocks performed before and after interest-rate peaks. As observers mull prospects for a Fed “pivot,” we demonstrate how the central bank tends to cut rates soon after it stops raising them. In emerging markets, we show how foreign investors have fled Turkish debt; how international use of the Chinese yuan is growing; and Brazil’s projected debt burden under Lula’s looser fiscal policy. Finally, we show how betting on gold has resulted in different outcomes depending on your home currency.
This week’s charts begin with a visualisation of how the biggest stocks, mostly tech, have driven the S&P 500’s recent gains. Speaking of stocks, we analyse the “sell in May and go away” strategy. We offer up two “heat maps”: one showing how global growth has been surprisingly strong in 2023; another tracks the EU nation by nation, showing which ones have entered recession. We take an overview of inflation in the Gulf Cooperation Council, where price increases have been much less pronounced than in the US and Europe. We examine how more Americans are struggling with their credit-card bills. And finally, we take sweeping views of recent US history: we track a measure of policy uncertainty over 20 years of news headlines, and examine the relationship between rate hikes and unemployment.
This week’s charts begin with a visualisation of hedge funds’ bets that Treasuries will fall. Ahead of our webinar on Saudi Arabia, we show the oil producer’s progress in diversifying its economy. We wade into the “de-dollarisation” debate, showing that the greenback’s share of central bank reserves may be falling, but its importance to global trade remains crucial. In Europe, we show how year-on-year comparisons are likely to paint a positive picture for inflation, while the looming end of emergency ECB support may be stressful for banks. Finally, in China, we chart the biggest retail beneficiaries of the nation’s spending boom and the “positive surprises” for growth and inflation that have followed its great reopening.
This week’s charts begin with a survey of small-business sentiment in the US, showing how concern about tighter access to credit is correlated with higher bankruptcy rates down the road. We consider key energy resources – comparing oil prices to historic trends in the wake of OPEC+ production cuts, and a natural gas discovery in Turkey that may help the nation offset one of its most expensive import dependencies. Stockpiles of another key resource, copper, are at multi-year lows amid rising Chinese demand; China’s reopening is also resulting in a local services boom. On the inflation front, housing is a bright spot: US rent increases are broadly slowing across the nation, while easing shelter costs are the main reason why European inflation retreated from October’s peak.
This week’s charts alternate between pessimism and optimism: a contracting PMI figure prompts historic lessons on resilient stock sectors, the IMF is continuing a 13-year pattern of reducing its growth forecast, and European bank lending is shrinking – a historically recessionary sign. In emerging markets, funding burdens are climbing ever higher. On the brighter side, Spain’s rapidly cooling inflation might set the trend for the rest of Europe, and Norway's producer prices are experiencing outright deflation due to the plunging price of gas. In the US, the government’s petroleum reserve remains near a multi-decade low, while stocks are lagging historic electoral trends as Joe Biden’s presidency moves into its second half.
This week’s charts begin by examining the Spanish population pyramid as an example of the challenge facing pension systems. We show how OPEC’s surprise cut was less unexpected when you consider pressures on oil producers’ budgets. Turning to the US, we check out commercial real estate exposure at small banks, track state-level layoffs to predict jobless claims, and build a model for non-farm payrolls. We break down German inflation trends, and show how the BRICS nations have steadily taken a bigger share of the world economy. Finally, with Easter here, we examine the extreme volatility in the egg market.
This week’s charts begin with bearish trends: the “Powell spread” the Fed chairman uses as a recession indicator is the most inverted in decades, while housing markets are deflating at different rates around the world. We take a deep dive into suffering Sweden: inflation is worse than the European average, unions’ wage gains will be wiped out by price increases, and home values are sinking simultaneously across the country. In the US, money market funds appear to be the beneficiaries as bank deposits shrink, while in China, optimism that a boom would follow the great reopening has been tempered by sluggish global demand for exports. And turning to geopolitics, we track NATO’s leaders and laggards in defense spending.
This week’s charts address the repercussions of banking crises on both sides of the Atlantic: the Fed expanded its balance sheet on an emergency basis, while AT1 yields jumped higher after the Credit Suisse rescue wiped out CoCo bondholders. We also created a dashboard to measure national banking risks, and show how equity and bond-market volatility are unusually disconnected. We examine several emerging markets: South Africa’s power crisis, Vietnam’s wider currency-trading range, and Latin America’s economic stagnation. And finally, we examine real estate performance during tightening cycles and invite you to watch our webinar with experts on the sector.
This week’s charts revisit the evolution of Fed funds futures as the US central bank heads into a potentially pivotal meeting; with yield curves inverted, investors are anticipating both a recession and a potential halt to interest-rate increases. A Fed “pivot” is seen as possible in the wake of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, which we examine through the prism of small lenders’ loan-to-deposit ratios and potential asset-liability mismatches. We finish with three charts on the UK: growth is projected to stay below trend, workers are striking, and the government recorded a surprise revenue windfall.
Has Europe stockpiled enough natural gas to counter Putin's plans to cripple its industry? Did Powell's testimony alter the market's outlook on future rate hikes? Will China's prudent growth target dampen the region's sentiment? What is the potential extent of the housing market crash predicted by two separate models in Sweden? With deaths exceeding births at an alarming rate, is Japan's demographic time bomb ticking closer to detonation? Lastly, how will the low water levels in the Rhine River impact the German economy and European trade?
This week’s charts visualise different effects of inflation: how high-inflation years are correlated with bad years for stocks and bonds, and how real wage growth is being wiped out in the US. We chart a survey of manufacturers that shows how shortages of labour and raw materials are constraining production. We created a model to measure Covid restrictions and reopening in China, and show how a PMI survey is a leading indicator of corporate profitability. We track deflating German house prices and the healthy labour market in Europe. Finally, as International Women’s Day approaches, we examine which nations combine innovation with female entrepreneurship.
This week’s charts provide historic comparisons of inflation and perceived geopolitical risks in different countries. Amid speculation Japan will change its monetary policy, we chart how its investors have been selling foreign bonds. We examine measures of over- and undervalued currencies, while showing how a weaker dollar is distorting perceptions of central banks’ balance sheets. China’s crowded roads are a bullish signal, though investors in Chinese stocks still want to see more earnings upgrades. And while most of the world’s economies keep growing, there are recessionary signals to watch.
This week’s charts offer insights into China’s great reopening from two angles: the aftermath of stock busts and tourism to Japan. Speaking of Japan, its yield control policy means liquidity is being added to the market on a global basis. For India, we offer a model to predict economic growth. We track which nations are showing positive PMIs and promoting the most women to the boardroom. Finally, we measure how globalisation has stalled, why the high-yield credit market might stay interesting, and note that fewer Americans than usual missed work due to bad weather.
This week’s charts ponder trends in multiple equity markets: the UK FTSE 100 is setting records again, China is luring overseas investors back into stocks, and there’s now a body of historic evidence that suggests US debt-ceiling showdowns impact certain shares. On the US economic front, employment strength persists, with more unfilled positions than job seekers, while other data are flashing recessionary signals. In Europe, the inflation heatmap is cooling, but structural dependence on Russian gas can’t be ignored. We also visualise Saudi Arabia’s trade balance and show how interest-rate policies have diverged substantially amongst emerging markets.
This week’s charts examine how China’s reopening is providing the global economy with a boost, from the IMF’s GDP estimates to prices for industrial metals. We examine Russia’s demographic challenge and a Brazilian trade surplus that is set to shrink. US politicians are in another showdown over the nation’s debt ceiling, while European economic indicators look healthier, even as projections of the near future show markets expect higher interest rates for longer from the ECB. And as the Nasdaq soars again, we show how US trend growth has deteriorated since the days of the first dot-com bubble.
This week’s charts kick off with an examination of national carbon emissions over time. In markets, things are rotating; the dollar has weakened, the tech selloff has paused and defensive stocks are performing less strongly than one might expect, given that analysts are slashing earnings estimates for US companies. We also offer different ways of looking at the timing and level of peak interest rates, and visualise surging UK public borrowing, disappointing Christmas retail sales and the persistent discount for Russian crude.