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Monday, October 22, 2012

"The US bright spot"

by Calculated Risk on 10/22/2012 09:13:00 AM

From Kate Mackenzie at FT Alphaville: The US bright spot

It seems odd — and it may well be short-lived — but the US is beginning to shape up as a rare bright spot in the world economy. Or indeed almost the only bright spot in the world’s economy, except for the Gulf petro-states. That is, if you were to base such an assessment solely on Japan’s September export data, released on Monday.

Japan’s preliminary September trade data tell a story not dissimilar to China’s — exports to Europe are slowing (unsurprisingly) by a lot, down 26 per cent for the month, year-on-year. Asian exports also fell, by 8.3 per cent. But US exports rose 0.9 per cent. The six months between April and September show a more striking contrast: exports to North America rose 16.6 per cent; while for Asia they fell 4.7 per cent and for Western Europe, there was a 20.8 per cent decline.
Actually it isn't that "odd" as Mackenzie mentions in a note at the bottom: "The FT’s Martin Wolf made a comment along these lines in Sydney last week. Plus, Cardiff has been looking at (very) tentative signs of an upturn in housing and construction for some time now, and that was before Jamie Dimon picked up on it."

This is another reminder that Europe and China pose downside risks, but right now the US is doing better than most other areas.