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October 28, 2013
"We are open for business"
The week in review...
UK: Driving to recovery The latest evidence of economic revival: auto production was up 9% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Sep, with rolling 12-month production reaching 1.5mn, the highest level since Oct 2008. Domestic demand was the driver, up 12.1% for the year, vs. a 9.3% rise in export sales. Some attribute the economy's newfound vitality to the Bank of England's encouragement of bank lending – especially its "Help-to-Buy" and "Funding-for-Lending" programs which target home-buying.
Spain: Still waiting The economy expanded 0.1% in 3Q2013 vs. the previous quarter, formally ending its two-year recession. But growth was still 1.2% below year-ago levels. Overseas sales more than made up for still-declining domestic demand, and a full-fledged economic recovery has yet to surface. The government did manage to successfully issue its first 30-year bond since 2008.
Germany: Paying up The federal government and its sixteen states all reported strong gains in tax revenue, up 7.8% y-o-y in September – a fairly direct expression of economic growth in one of the world's more tax-compliant nations.
US: In a rut Economic reports delayed by the government shutdown showed measurable but unexciting growth. Sales of existing homes dropped by 1.9% in Sep, possibly due to rising prices. Rightly or wrongly, many attribute increasing demand for housing to private equity firms looking to capitalize on the booming market for rental homes. Employment growth was also weak, with the unemployment rate for Sept declining only slightly to 7.2%. But the number of workers voluntarily quitting, though still well below pre-recession levels, was up slightly – the fourth increase in the past five months, and 10.5% above the year-ago level.
China: Centrifugal finance As the central government attempts to rein in the rapidly-growing housing market, one of the largest issues is the ability of municipalities to raise their own capital to fund real estate development – making it that much harder to avoid a real estate bubble by throttling back growth. It also means the creation of less-than-completely creditworthy debt. With China's large banks looking at more write-offs of this poor quality debt, their ability to finance other sources of growth could become restrained. One symptom: the surprising prospect of a regional Chinese bank planning to raise capital via a stock offering in Hong Kong.
Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Xinhua, China Daily, Deutsche Welle, Spiegel Online
Signs of the times:
China Seeks Clearer View of Government Debt Mountain – Wall Street Journal
Philippines Holds Key Interest Rate as Growth Exceeds 7% – Bloomberg
Euro-Area Consumer Confidence Rose for 11th Month in October – Bloomberg
U.S. Construction Spending near 4.5 year High – Reuters
...And the week ahead:
GLOBAL ECONOMIC CALENDAR: October 27 – November 2
Europe, UK, Africa, Mideast
Japan, Asia Ex Japan & Pac Rim
South Korea: consumer confidence
Industrial production, capacity utilization, pending home sales, Dallas Fed manufacturing survey
Argentina: industrial production
Italy: business confidence
UK: Distributive trades survey
South Korea: current account
Producer prices, weekly retail sales, consumer confidence, investor confidence, home prices
Canada: producer prices
Brazil: bank lending
Chile: retail sales, manufacturing production
Germany: consumer climate
France: consumer confidence
Spain: retail sales
UK: consumer credit, mortgage approvals, mortgage lending, money supply
South Africa: unemployment rate
Japan: Industrial production
India: interest rate decision
South Korea: manufacturing survey, industrial production, service sector output
GDP, consumer prices, Cleveland Fed median CPI, mortgage applications, private sector employment, interest rate & QE decision
Chile: unemployment rate
Eurozone: consumer confidence, industrial sentiment, business climate, business & consumer survey
Germany: consumer prices, unemployment rate, unemployment change
Switzerland: leading indicators, consumption indicator
Norway: retail sales
UK: consumer confidence
Japan: Manufacturing sector survey
India: money supply
Singapore: bank lending, unemployment rate
Australia: building approvals, export & import prices, private sector credit
New Zealand: building consents, interest rate decision, business confidence
Initial jobless claims, layoffs, personal income, personal spending, Core PCE inflation, employment costs, Chicago PMI, farm prices, Fed balance sheet, money supply
Brazil: debt to GDP ratio
Eurozone: unemployment rate
France: consumer spending, producer prices
Italy: unemployment rate, consumer prices, producer prices
Spain: current account
Russia: reserve fund
South Africa: producer prices, trade balance
Japan: Construction orders, housing starts
China: manufacturing sector survey
Hong Kong: retail sales
Indonesia: consumer prices, trade balance
South Korea: consumer prices, trade balance
Singapore: business expectations
Thailand: trade balance, private consumption
Australia: producer prices
ISM manufacturing survey, auto sales, construction spending
Canada: manufacturing sector survey
Brazil: industrial production, trade balance
Switzerland: manufacturing sector survey
Norway: unemployment rate, manufacturing sector survey
Russia: house prices
UK: manufacturing sector survey
South Africa: manufacturing sector survey
India: manufacturing sector survey, bank loan growth
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) is an association of purchasing and supply management professionals, which conducts regular surveys of its membership to determine industry trends.
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union established in 1993 after the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty by members of the European Community and since expanded to include numerous Central and Eastern European nations.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the average change in U.S. consumer prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Quantitative easing (QE) refers to a monetary policy implemented by a central bank in which it increases the excess reserves of the banking system through the direct purchase of debt securities.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is an economic statistic which measures the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time.
The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index is a measure of price changes in consumer goods and services; the measure includes data pertaining to durables, non-durables and services. This index takes consumers' changing consumption due to prices into account, whereas the Consumer Price Index uses a fixed basket of goods with weightings that do not change over time.
Purchasing Managers Indexes (PMI) measure the manufacturing and services sectors in an economy, based on survey data collected from a representative panel of manufacturing and services firms. PMI greater than 50 indicated economic expansion; below 50, contraction.
The opinions and views expressed herein are not intended to be relied upon as a prediction or forecast of actual future events or performance, or a guarantee of future results, or investment advice.
Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
All investments involve risk, including possible loss of principal.
Foreign securities are subject to the additional risks of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in political and economic conditions, foreign taxation, and differences in auditing and financial standards. These risks are magnified in the case of investments in emerging markets.
This document is for information only and does not constitute an invitation to the public to invest. You should be aware that the investment opportunities described should normally be regarded as longer term investments and they may not be suitable for everyone. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested, and can be affected by changes in interest rates, in exchange rates, general market conditions, political, social and economic developments and other variable factors. Past performance is no guide to future returns and may not be repeated. Investment involves risks including but not limited to, possible delays in payments and loss of income or capital. Neither Legg Mason nor any of its affiliates guarantees any rate of return or the return of capital invested. Please note that an investor cannot invest directly in an index. Forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties that could cause actual developments and results to differ materially from the expectations expressed. This information has been prepared from sources believed reliable but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data. Individual securities mentioned are intended as examples of portfolio holdings and are not intended as buy or sell recommendations. Information and opinions expressed by either Legg Mason or its affiliates are current as at the date indicated, are subject to change without notice, and do not take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs of individual investors. The information in this document is confidential and proprietary and may not be used other than by the intended user. Neither Legg Mason nor any officer or employee of Legg Mason accepts any liability whatsoever for any loss arising from any use of this document or its contents. This document may not be reproduced, distributed or published without prior written permission from Legg Mason. Distribution of this document may be restricted in certain jurisdictions. Any persons coming into possession of this document should seek advice for details of, and observe such restrictions (if any).
This document may have been prepared by an advisor or entity affiliated with an entity mentioned below through common control and ownership by Legg Mason, Inc.
This material is only for distribution in the jurisdictions listed.
Investors in Europe:
Issued and approved by Legg Mason Investments (Europe) Limited, registered office 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AB. Registered in England and Wales, Company No. 1732037. Authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Client Services +44 (0)207 070 7444. This document is for use by Professional Clients and Eligible Counterparties in EU and EEA countries. In Switzerland this document is only for use by Qualified Investors. It is not aimed at, or for use by, Retail Clients in any European jurisdictions.
Investors in Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore:
This document is provided by Legg Mason Asset Management Hong Kong Limited in Hong Kong and Korea, Legg Mason Asset Management Singapore Pte. Limited (Registration Number (UEN): 200007942R) in Singapore and Legg Mason Investments (Taiwan) Limited (Registration Number: (98) Jin Guan Tou Gu Xin Zi Di 001; Address: Suite E, 55F, Taipei 101 Tower, 7, Xin Yi Road, Section 5, Taipei 110, Taiwan, R.O.C.; Tel: (886) 2-8722 1666) in Taiwan. Legg Mason Investments (Taiwan) Limited operates and manages its business independently. It is intended for distributors use only in respectively Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. It is not intended for, nor should it be distributed to, any member of the public in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
Investors in the Americas:
This document is provided by Legg Mason Investor Services LLC, a U.S. registered Broker-Dealer, which may include Legg Mason International - Americas Offshore. Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, and all entities mentioned are subsidiaries of Legg Mason, Inc.
Investors in Canada:
This document is provided by Legg Mason Canada Inc. Address: 220 Bay Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON M5J 2W4. Legg Mason Canada Inc. is affiliated with the Legg Mason companies mentioned above through common control and ownership by Legg Mason, Inc.
Investors in Australia:
This document is issued by Legg Mason Asset Management Australia Limited (ABN 76 004 835 839, AFSL 204827) ("Legg Mason"). The contents are proprietary and confidential and intended solely for the use of Legg Mason and the clients or prospective clients to whom it has been delivered. It is not to be reproduced or distributed to any other person except to the client's professional advisers.
THIS MATERIAL IS NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.