leading economic indicators

Contingency planning is essential in 2020 as “synchronised slowdown” continues

The IMF has now confirmed that the world economy has moved into the synchronised slowdown that I forecast here a year ago. Its analysis also confirms the importance of the issues highlighted then, including “rising trade barriers and increasing geopolitical tensions”, a sharp decline in manufacturing, contraction in the auto industry and structural forces such

Markets remain “volatile and challenging” says BASF chairman

Nothing has really changed over the past year.  That seems to be the key conclusion from the blog’s quarterly summary of company results for Q1. A year ago, BASF noted that “achieving our earnings target is significantly more challenging today than we had expected”.  This month, chairman Kurt Bock “warned the markets will remain volatile and […]

Policymakers’ faith in US Confidence Index badly misplaced

There was an interesting discussion at our annual conference last week about the relevance of correlation statistics.  The general view was that anything less than 90% wasn’t really worth bothering about, as the number of errors would be too great. Thus the blog was very amused to see Neil Irwin in the Washington Post writing […]