Data update

Weak data from the US may be due to hurricane Sandy, but who knows to what extent.  Nevertheless, such weakness, at the present, should be considered a shock to the economy and may have further consequence.  Unemployment claims have moved up significantly and today’s income and expenditure figures were weak. 

According to recent data from the US BEA, real personal disposable income fell 0.1% on October and real personal consumption expenditures fell 0.3%.   In fact, real per capita personal disposable income is below the level it stood in October 2006, some 6 years ago: distribution of income has also become more skewed to the very wealthy since the crisis unfolded and this further impacts the ability of the average consumer to drive economic growth.

The Chicago PMI showed a mild improvement into positive territory for the first time in two month, but new orders fell to their lowest level since June 2009.  

Weak data also continues to stream out of Europe: today we have seen reported significant declines in German retail sales, moderate declines in French retail sales, and a further rise in European unemployment, while yesterday we saw yet another recessionary retail PMI and on Wednesday further weakness in credit growth.

Yesterday we saw weakness in the Japanese PMI, household spending and an uptick in industrial production that failed to match the prior month’s decline. Additionally recent data From South Korea, also suggests continuing weakness.

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