Kit Juckes, economist at Societe Generale, explained that the New York Times summed up the G20 communiqué as a message that markets worry too much.
“Don’t expect action soon. So do markets now calm down after an avuncular ticking-off, or do they worry that the G20 are either asleep at the wheel or unable to do anything even if they wanted to? There’s lots of concern about the state of the global economy but perhaps more among ‘market’ than real people. A non-market friend told me the economist at a conference he attended last week was so gloomy that many in the audience were looking at each other making throat-slitting gestures. The surprise of non-banking folk at how gloomy dismal scientists are partly reflects the divorce between Main Street and Wall Street. The post-08 recovery may be under par, but in the US and UK at least, unemployment is down and real wage growth has been helped by soft inflation.
We’ll get plenty on the subject of the US real economy next week, with the monthly Labor Report to liven things up on Friday. So far, a steady fall in unemployment and a steady 2%-ish pace of job creation have continued, while wage growth has been edging higher. The wage data get added spice from upside surprises both to US core CPI and core PCE deflators in January, which contrast significantly with a downside surprise to February data in Germany.
The markets’ problems are highlighted by an FT article today, citing Thompson Reuters Lipper, which show that investors pulled over USD 60bn from mutual funds globally in January the most since September 2008.
Cue more comparisons with 2008 but the key difference, of course, is the starting point. Markets, with the help of ‘unconventional monetary policies’, have done an awful lot better than then the global economy since 2009, and that creates its own vulnerability. For more on that, Mervyn, Lord King and ex BOE Governor has an article in the Telegraph and a book out – not perhaps everyone’s pick for Mother’s Day but I might have a pop at it on my flight to Boston.”
(Market News Provided by FXstreet)