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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Will China's Silk Road Become a Ghost Train?

Even though the official numbers from China's National Bureau of Statistics suggest consumption is moving steadily along, accounting for 51.2 percent of GDP, and following on the heels of the 12 percent boost in retail sales in 2014, there are questions these numbers may not reflect the reality on the ground.

It has been pointed out that "private surveys and results from consumer product companies" paint a different picture; one that draws the conclusion that consumer spending has been level or contracting.

Other data contributing to this as being the likely scenario are the PPI in April dropped for the 37th month in a row, and manufacturing in China, with a 49.2 reading in May (-4.6%, missing analysts expectations of -4.4%), confirms it is contracting faster than believed.

The point is the decisions and proposed spending actions and focus of Chinese economic leadership reinforces the strong probability China is struggling to not only grow its economy, but to keep it from contracting.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Canadian Recession Imminent As Manufacturing Sales Plunge

No matter how it is spun, Canada is edging close to a recession, as the latest manufacturing numbers from Statistics Canada confirm.

Sales in the latest quarter plummeted 2.1 percent to $49.8 billion during April, resulting in overall manufacturing sales down 7.3 percent from the same period in 2014.

Inventories also were up 80 basis points, reaching a record $72.3 billion. The Bank of Canada has suggested that a weaker Canadian dollar and lower operational costs in the oil and gas industry would drive the manufacturing base of Canada back up. I believe that's only wishful thinking.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Asian Currency War and Where it's Heading

There are a number of reason Asian currencies have been falling recently, with the most obvious being expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the latter part of 2015.

Other factors attributed to weaker Asian currencies include pressure from local businesses, demand for electronics gadgets fell, MERS, funds pulling money from emerging markets, Japanese yen, and a potential Greek default. I'll break down how these are having an effect country-by-country in a moment.

What's important is with the backdrop of rising interest rates in the U.S., Asia has several other factors to look at to get a view of the macro and micro elements causing the drop in currency value.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Central Banking Versus the Free Market: Who Wins?

One of the consequences or side effects of central banking monetary inflation (creating money out of thin air) is it masks over the benefit of the free market in lowering costs. That means the average person and investor doesn't understand how the battle between the free market and central banking is going, who is winning, and what is coming our way over the long term as a result.

As the size of the money supply continues to rise - which is what allows the faulty fractional reserve banking system to operate even while it's failing - it results in inflation. That is the reason the free market can be thriving, but the economy can have the appearance of struggling, because of the hidden costs associated with the monetary policies of central banks.

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