Photo: Goldman Sachs
In his latest weekly note, Goldman Sachs Asset Management chief Jim O’Neill presents more evidence that the economy is getting better.Since I last wrote a Viewpoint, we have seen considerable evidence of improving cyclical economic fortunes all over the world, especially the most up-to-date useful indicators. These include:
1. China’s “flash” January PMI at 51.5
2. The Euro Area “flash” PMI at 48.2, up from 47.2. I await the final one, as the flash implies some
further improvement in the periphery.
3. A further nice bounce in the German IFO to 104.2 with both current conditions and expectations
4. The US “Markit” PMI rising sharply to 56.1 in January, too.
5. A drop in US weekly job claims to a five-year low to 330k, against expectations for a rise after the
previous week’s sharp drop.
6. All of China’s official December data and its Q4 showing more evidence that the improving surveys
are having an impact. (Chinese GDP is now $8.2-8.3tr in size, with just another $900bn added last
7. Japan’s latest Tankan survey showed a sharp improvement, with evidence that just the
announcement effect of Abe’s policies are helping.
Not all data points have been better, so one should not get overly carried away, and of note, the January US
Philly Fed was surprisingly soft, so the PMI at the end of the month will be very important to watch to see whether the Philly release was one of its occasional “rogues”. This discussion, of course, has to acknowledge that the UK isn’t part of the same world as the rest of us…
But what is coming through is what one might expect, based on the lead and leading lead indicators that talked about in December, adding to my suspicion – UK excepted – that the world will positively surprise this year.