Perspectives Blog

Investing selectively in Asia

Soo Nam Ng, Head of Asian Equities | July 14, 2014

…ipe for growth opportunities as adaptive changes run their course and set investors up for prolonged harvesting. Asia ex Japan is still the fastest growing region in the world and its secular growth drivers remain intact. The consumption trend, for example, is still on an upward trajectory. However, one needs to be selective as to which sub-segments offer the greatest potential. While Swiss watches and Italian handbags are reeling from an anti-co…

Hanging in

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | September 20, 2013

…spending with interest rates leaping higher. Generally, spending trends remain in place with only some modest deceleration. Core retail sales (ex-autos, building materials and gas station sales) serves as a proxy for personal consumption in GDP, and this rose a puny 0.2% in August, the smallest gain in ten months and well below the usual 0.4% gain typically seen. In the last year, this is up 3.5% but only 1.6% after inflation. However, this does…

Inflation consternation

Martin Harvey, Fund Manager, Threadneedle International Ltd | November 5, 2013

…tral Bank (ECB) action on November 7 or the December meeting. Previously, ECB President Mario Draghi has said lower inflation due to factors such as energy prices is actually positive, as it boosts disposable income and hence consumption. For sure, some of the October decline comes from energy base effects given that annual energy inflation fell to -1.7% year over year. But this doesn’t explain all of it. From a country perspective, a lot of the…

Emerging Markets: Waiting on exports

Anwiti Bahuguna, Ph.D., Senior Portfolio Manager | March 31, 2014

…broken out of the 2%-3% range, the eurozone is no longer contracting but expectations are for growth of only about 1%, and there are questions regarding Japan’s ability to sustain any growth rebound with the advent of the new consumption tax. Global growth has simply not been strong enough to support high demand for EM exports. The question is whether a continuing gradual recovery will eventually translate into EM export acceleration or whether o…

Global Asset Allocation Outlook (as of May 13, 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | June 2, 2014

…positive. The first quarter was indeed a disappointment on the growth front, but we are beginning to see signs of improvement in the second quarter. Areas of stability include improvement in payroll data and stabilization in consumption trends on slight improvement in wage growth. Overall, the broad range of U.S. data continues to suggest a rebound in the second quarter. We expect equities to outperform bonds in this environment. The asset alloc…

Special report – Commodity markets outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 21, 2014

…ation of geopolitical events we expect global growth to improve. Given that the developed world is leading the global economy, we anticipate that the expansion will be more energy intensive, and less intensive in terms of its consumption of industrial-type commodities, than if it were led by the emerging economies. Could you elaborate on developments in the energy complex, including how the Iraqi conflict is affecting oil and how the situation in…

Slow growth: Why is it here and will it stay?

February 24, 2014

…al inflation to speak of in the United States. And so, by inference, the equilibrium real rate may well have fallen meaningfully. Exhibit 1 shows the three-year rolling real fed funds rate and three-year rolling core personal consumption expenditure deflation (the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation) over the past 30 years. Each cycle has experienced lower peaks and troughs in real rates but, despite this, inflation has been on a long-term decli…