Perspectives Blog

Finding the sweet spots in corporate spending

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | February 24, 2014

…this theme as increasingly, the level of automation determines competitive cost advantage rather than location in lower human labor cost geographies. This trend has now extended well beyond robotics in factory production. In mining, for example, where general capex has plunged on falling demand from China, spending is moving forward on items such as increasingly autonomous trucks, trains and even drilling machinery. Large scale agriculture is fo…

How bad is China’s credit crisis?

Weili Jasmine Huang, Senior Portfolio Manager | February 3, 2014

…how big is the issue? The troubled Rmb3 billion (US$496 million) trust product issued by China Credit Trust (CCT) and distributed by ICBC, China’s largest bank was on the brink of default as the funds were invested in a mining company that almost went bankrupt. Under government intervention, investors will receive principal in full with some haircut in interest payment. It is believed that the costs will be shared among CCT (issuer), ICBC (…

More light, less tunnel

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | October 31, 2013

…gage refinancing activity fell due to the rise in interest rates. Countering this somewhat, goods-producing industries saw above average gains in construction (both residential and non-residential sectors), manufacturing, and mining. More worrisome was the slide in consecutive quarterly payroll count with the Q3 monthly average at 143,000, versus Q2 at 182,000 Q1 at 207,000 and Q4 (last year) at 209,000. While Q3 is typically the weakest of the y…

A tale of two labor markets

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | November 11, 2013

…d revisions to prior months. Obviously there was a modest drag from government job cuts of 8K, all at the Federal level. However, gains in goods producing industries excelled with manufacturing (+19K), construction (+11K) and mining (+5K) all above trend. This is good news as these are higher wage industries. But the strongest gains were seen in the retail (+44K) and the leisure/hospitality (+53K) industries, noted for both lower wages and hours….