Global Economy Forecast for year 2014
By taking the economic conditions of all of the countries into consideration, we can get a clear picture of the global economy. Understanding the global economy and the shifts among countries allows businesses to better allocate capital to geographic regions that are experiencing growth.
Currently, the U.S. is the largest economy in the world, followed by China. Shifts among countries in their global economic ranking are the result of many criteria, including population growth and fiscal and monetary policies. Knowing which part of the world is growing economically and which part is shrinking is extremely important for businesses.
Regular readers of mine will know that I used to be bullish on China; I thought the Chinese economy offered a good contrarian investment opportunity. Now, I’m turning my sights to the eurozone for the top potential investment opportunity outside the U.S. Here’s why...
Chinese Economy in 2015 Losing SteamYou don't have to be behind the Great Wall of China to realize there are deeper issues brewing in the country of 1.3 billion people. Since assuming the role of the second-largest economy in the world, China’s economy has been caught in a downdraft, with weaker gross domestic product (GDP) growth and broad stalling across the board. There must be something about ... Read More
The NASDAQ may have passed 5,000, but investors shouldn’t get caught up in the excitement. A market correction may just be on the horizon, especially when you consider factors affecting the global economy.
NASDAQ, Stock Markets Near Highs, but Bull Market SlowingAfter the NASDAQ’s recent breach of the psychological 5,000 level, there was talk about a move to another record at above 5,104, last encountered 15 years ago. At that time, in 2000, for the stock market, it was both a period of excessive greed and jubilation. After the recent records by the DOW and S&P 500, I fully expect some pausing in the stock market. We are beginning to see that. Following a strong February, the major stock marke ... Read More
Eurozone Still Messy, but Economic Recovery Has BegunEurope is open for business. Well, kind of. The region—namely the 19-country eurozone—has recently been in the news with the Greece fiasco and its potential exit. Greece now has a four-month reprieve in the form of an extension to its current bailout loans and terms, but the distressed country still has to convince eurozone finance ministers that its revised bailout plan for austerity measures makes sense. For the time being, we are seeing some progress in the eurozone that points to growth. I had been worried about the negative impact from the Russian mess, but so far, it appears to be a non-issue. In the end, Germany, the s ... Read More
Well, that didn’t take long! Just a few weeks ago, I wrote an article stating that investors should begin to worry about the lofty level of the stock market. Since that time, the S&P 500 has dropped by more than five percent in less than two weeks. This market correction won’t be a surprise to my readers, as I have been suggesting investment strategies that can help prepare your portfolio for a large downswing in the market for some time now. When I wrote the article in late January, the S&P 500 was surging, even though the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment dropped month-over-mo ... Read More
Do you feel wealthier today compared to last year? According to the Federal Reserve, you should, as the household net worth of Americans rose 2.5% between the second and third quarters of 2013 for a total of $77.3 trillion. (Source: “Financial Accounts of the United States,” Federal Reserve, December 9, 2013.) The Federal Reserve calculates household net worth by looking at the value of stocks, homes, and other assets, minus mortgages and debts. In fact, the nominal total wealth is at a record high. Adjusted for inflation, the current level of net worth is approximately one percent below the peak prior to the Great Recession. On paper, it appears as though econom ... Read More
One of the more common themes that I keep reading about these days is the strength of U.S. economic growth. It’s important to get at least some understanding of the potential for economic growth, as this will impact your investment strategy. Recent data is definitely making me ask the question: just how strong is the level of economic growth in America? We all know that this holiday season was much weaker than expected for retail companies. Considering that consumer spending fuels the majority of economic growth in America, this is certainly not a positive environment for that sector—but that shouldn’t ... Read More
This past weekend, a friend of mine made a statement that there must be a large amount of economic growth coming shortly because of the booming stock market, driven by investor sentiment. As I told him, the two are not necessarily tied together. Over the past few months, we have heard about how economic growth is about to accelerate here in America, and this has helped drive investor sentiment in the stock market higher. However, I think there are many questions that need to be answered before we can assume economic growth will reach escape velocity, and investor sentiment is heavily contaminated with a large addictio ... Read More
Just the other day, I was talking to a friend of mine who seemed extremely cheerful. I asked why, and he said that his investments have performed well over the past few months and he saw no reasons to worry. This is a common problem with investor sentiment; people tend to become complacent and only look to the recent past as an indication of what tomorrow will bring. This is quite dangerous. Investor sentiment is often wrong and can be used as a contrary indicator, buying when others are dumping their stocks and taking profits when others are blissfully unaware of the changing land ... Read More
There is yet another Greek tragedy playing out across the Atlantic, where legendary poets, mathematicians, scientists, and thinkers once roamed. Fast-forward several thousand years and the country once known for its proud history is cracking at its foundation, burdened by tens of billions in debt and fiscal chaos. (There is a way investors can profit from Greece’s potential demise, but more on that later…)
Syriza Party to Negatively Change Economic Outlook in Eurozone?Making the situation even more uncertain for this poor cousin in the 19-country eurozone is the recent transformation in power with the left-wing Syriza party, under Prime Minister ... Read More
The money printing presses may be dry in the U.S., but they are just being inked up across the Atlantic in the eurozone, where they’re beginning to print easy money in the form of euros. While there are both pros and cons to this move, there is the potential for American investors to profit. Recall how the Federal Reserve’s three rounds of quantitative easing (QE1, QE2, and QE3) over the past six years helped the stock market and economy. Of course, there are the negatives with the booming $18.0-trillion national debt.
ECB Introduces Easy Money Printing ProgramLooking to avoid a hard landing, so to speak, the European Central Bank (ECB) did just as it was expected to do ... Read More
Oil may be holding above $40.00 per barrel, but investors shouldn’t get too comfortable. The chart foreshadows oil prices could falter and maybe even drop below $40.00. It’s true that speculation has influenced the direction of oil to some degree, but much of the negative sentiment has to do with a declining global economy that shows some despair. And while gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the U.S. is pretty decent, what we are witnessing in the global economy cannot be saved by what is happening domestically. That suggests weaker oil prices ahead—along with weaker commodity prices overall.
How Stalling in Global Economy, China Will Affect CommoditiesThe World ... Read More
The U.S. economy has been showing some positive growth that has helped to propel the stock market higher, but be careful: there appears to be some cracks forming in the global economy to which the U.S. economy will not be immune. Japan reported that its economy fell back into a recession after contracting an annualized 1.6% in the third quarter, representing the second straight quarter of contraction. Part of the blame will squarely lie with Prime Minister Abe and his controversial decision to raise the country’s sales tax from five percent to eight percent in April. I consider the decision to raise the sales tax wrong, as it largely impacts the middle cla ... Read More
Remember what happened in the U.S. economy when the financial system was about to collapse? The banks weren’t lending to each other, businesses, or even consumers. The U.S. economy was in a deep economic slowdown. Investment banks like the Lehman Brothers had already collapsed and more would follow. Something had to be done or else it would be a disaster situation. When all of this was happening, the Federal Reserve stepped in to save the U.S. economy. It started to use a monetary policy tool called quantitative easing. The idea was simple: print money out of thin air and then buy back bad debt from the ba ... Read More
By now, you have probably noticed one phenomenon: the speculations regarding China’s growth are increasing each day. Turning on the TV or flipping through the pages of the newspaper, you’ll likely hear and read all about how the second-biggest economic hub in the global economy will tumble. No doubt, the arguments backing this argument are very credible. The Chinese economy is seeing an economic slowdown and troubles in that country continue to gain strength. For example, the Chinese manufacturing sector is stalling. In March, the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Mangers’ Index (PMI) declined to its lowest level in eight months. The output index declined to an ... Read More
Problems in the Canadian economy are growing and whispers of an economic slowdown are looming in the air. If an economic slowdown does occur, the Canadian dollar will be the primary victim—and investors can profit heavily from this scenario. The central bank of the country isn’t very optimistic about the growth. Commenting on the country’s first-quarter growth, the governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, said, “What we have seen is that the numbers in the first quarter have been a little shy of what we were expecting.” He added, “It’s easy to point to the weather as a qualitative explain ... Read More
As the investing adage of the day goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get eating, smoking, and drinking.” And there’s plenty of tough economic data out there to send people into the arms of their favorite vices and sin stocks. In a nutshell, U.S. unemployment has improved year-over-year to 6.7%, but the improved numbers are the result of an increase in low-wage-paying part-time retail jobs. The underemployment rate remains high near 13%, as does the long-term unemployed at 2.3%. And despite the soaring S&P 500, wages haven’t really budged in y ... Read More