College basketball fans eagerly await “March Madness” and its crescendo of action culminating with the NCAA championship team cutting down the nets. Euphoria seems to have taken hold in the U.S. economy as well; one would hardly suspect the most recent growth estimate showed a stalled economy, the unemployment rate remains elevated, and real disposable income is flat to down for a consumer spending-dominated economy. As of this writing the Dow Jones Industrial Average was enjoying an eight-session “winning” streak, closing at 14,405.06 – a new record. Explanations for the markets’ exuberance are legion, but one that is notably absent is a robust economy. At some point one would expect earnings to correspond with economic growth, and stock price to correspond with earnings. From our perspective, however, a review of recent U.S. and global economic data lends little support for the current level of excitement.
The global economy has definitely slowed (possibly stalled) and is perhaps headed towards recession (if not in one already). Even the “economic juggernaut” called China faltered in 2012 and the 2013 outlook remains murky. For the U.S. economy in particular:
Click here to read the entire March 2013 Macro Pulse recap.
The Macro Pulse blog is a commentary about recent economic developments affecting the forest products industry. The monthly Macro Pulse newsletter summarizes the previous 30 days of commentary available on this website.