Perspectives Blog

Emerging Markets: Waiting on exports

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

…and overseas capital deployment as an asset to improve corporate productivity and margins. This evolution has continued with the discovery of cheaper sources of U.S. domestic energy adding to the competitive advantage of U.S. manufacturing. Despite its numerous challenges, the U.S. continues to maintain some significant and durable advantages over the rest of the world. The EM economies are not alone in facing concerns about sluggish exports. Sig…

Labor markets in the new digital age

Columbia Management, Investment Team | April 14, 2014

…to craft solutions, but governments can play an important role initiating re-training programs and refocusing our educational priorities. In the past, technology and innovation mainly impacted goods producing industries like manufacturing, which saw with widespread job losses during recessions and mediocre gains during recoveries. However, the impacts are now broadening to include many industries that were never before regarded as technology int…

Biotech’s beneficiaries: How outsourcing is improving the sector and spreading the wealth

Aaron Reames, Senior Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

…iotech companies to target drugs for specific sub-populations and ensure high efficacy for the drug when used with a companion diagnostic. As the number of trials is increasing, the complexity of each rising, and the value of manufacturing the drugs going up, tools companies are also providing more services to the industry. Tools companies are helping biotechs manufacture the drugs for both trials and commercialization at lower cost while achievi…

Hanging in

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

…As a result, real personal consumption expenditure (PCE) shows no sign of accelerating and will likely print close to recent trends of between 1.5% and 2.0%. On the plus side, auto sales is a continuing bright spot (+1%), and manufacturing activity is helping stabilize growth. In the details of the retail sales report, the housing-related sectors were mixed with weaker Building materials (-0.9%) but improved furniture (+0.9%) and electronics (0.8…

Rebalancing the U.S. economy

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | January 13, 2014

…dividends. This capital deepening can begin to close the output gap and is probably what the markets are counting on. We are beginning to see some lift in private sector construction spending on offices, commercial space and manufacturing plants (see chart 2). Private sector construction Source: Census Bureau, November 2013   Consumers (70% of growth) appear a bit hamstrung. Spending has picked up slightly in the last six months, but the c…

A tale of two labor markets

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

…crushed expectations, together with 60K upward 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) ind…

U.S. rates — play for growth

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | December 10, 2013

…k. The three-month moving average continued to hover around 200k (193k this month), and the payroll diffusion indexes pointed to a broadening of gains. We were also encouraged to see a further acceleration in construction and manufacturing employment. It bears mentioning that even the large rebound in household employment leaves the three-month average gain at just +72k. The participation rate also failed to recover all of last month’s large decl…