It is rather irritating to those that try to see a brighter life out there, but there is no doubt about it, the evidence from many economies has gotten worse again this past week, especially in the US. Friday’s payrolls, especially after yet another false signal from the ADP report, disappointed notably. And, coming after a much weaker-than-expected manufacturing ISM report earlier in the week, the US appears to be stuck back in a very low growth mode. Those that like to make comparisons with post-bubble Japan will be feeling rather self congratulatory and one looks – yet again – to the Fed to see whether their monetary toolbox can do much to change matters. Given the steepness of the drop in the new orders index of the ISM survey, we may have to take another look at our own GDP forecast for 2012, even though we lowered it already to “consensus” a month or so back.
The news from elsewhere around the world was not much better either, although the real story of the week is perhaps the idea that the US is the best in an unhealthy (developed country) global neighbourhood, doesn’t quite ring so true anymore, at least for now.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t suggest which country may actually be the best. Perhaps there are none.
This change in sentiment isn’t out of the blue. Months ago, O’Neill noted that jobless claims were one of the most reliable economic indicators in the world. When Business Insider spoke to him in April, he acknowledged that it was signaling cracks in the U.S. economy and that it would be worth watching.