OOPS, I spoke too soon!

Goodness! No sooner did I post my latest Collapse Update on May 30 than we were hit with a barrage of dire economic data two days later. Hey, not my fault. I don’t create it; I just report it.

This was the news on June 1st

Case –Shiller reported “U.S. home prices in double-dip recession after 0.8% March drop”. Home prices declined in 18 of the 20 metropolitan areas tracked by Case-Shiller in March compared with February. They’re now down another 3.6% for the year.

Market Watch reported “Australia’s economy contracts 1.2% in first quarter”. What? Australia? The resource power-house?
One reader, freestock, commented that “The important markets of China (the world’s 2nd largest economy), Japan (the world’s 3rd largest economy), Hong Kong, India, Brazil, and Russia are already down an average of 12% from their recent peaks, and have broken down through key support levels, including their long-term 200-day moving averages. Other important markets, including Mexico, Canada, Britain, France, and South Korea have already broken down through key intermediate-term support levels, including their 20-week moving averages.”

Not to be left out, The Financial Times of England reported, “UK consumer recovery set to be slowest in 180 years”.
“Of 18 major recessions since 1830, data from the Bank of England show that the UK is set to experience its slowest pick-up as inflation, tax rises and weak wage growth hit consumer spending.”

The Financial Times also reported, “Chinese manufacturing growth falters “
“Key gauge of Chinese manufacturing growth edges lower in May but remains stronger than many in the market had expected to suggest that the world’s second-largest economy is gliding towards a soft landing.”

And, then Greg Robb of Market Watch headlined, “U.S. private-sector payrolls expand by 38,000 in May” which sounds positive until you read the fine print. Analysts were expecting a gain of 175,000 so that was way off expectations. And, remember a normal U.S. economy needs about 150,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population increase. More fine print: manufacturing lost 10,000 jobs which means the service industry gained 48,000 jobs. More fine print: that includes the 62,000 that McDonalds hired last month so without Mickey D, even the service industry would have lost jobs.

And, just when I thought I’d seen the worst of it, Market Watch reported. “ISM’s gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity drops in May.”
“The Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday said its gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity fell to 53.5% last month from 60.4 in April.”

Not to be outdone in the gloom & doom department, CNBC, usually the cheeriest of cheerleaders, reported, “pending home sales have collapsed and existing home sales disappointed, the trend of improving jobless claims has arrested, first quarter GDP wasn’t revised upwards by the 0.4 percent forecast, durables goods orders shrank, manufacturing surveys from Philadelphia Fed, Richmond Fed and Chicago Fed were all very disappointing.”

So what do we have to look forward to? You guessed it: more stormy weather (no pun intended.) Discovery headlined, “Hurricane Season Begins Stormy Year Ahead”
Forecasts predict this season will surpass the average number of 11 tropical storms … NOAA predicts between three and six major hurricanes of Category 3 intensity or higher

So, is there any good news? Yeah, Winnipeg got their NHL hockey team. Other than that, not much.

Stay tuned.

Gerold

(FYI – just so you don’t think you’re seeing double, I also added this to the end of “Collapse Update – June 2011”)
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Disclaimer: I’m not an investment advisor and these articles are for commentary only. For specific financial advice you should consult your own investment professional.

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About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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