The end of the year is a kind of a mess

December 16-22, 2023

Big news. There cannot be two opinions here – this is, in fact, the closure of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.

Рис. 1

Let us note that the Houthis allow Russian ships to pass without any obstacles. And that Britain benefits from this whole operation (it insures maritime transport), all oil exporters (the price of oil is rising) and, partly, the USA. But the biggest loser is the European Union. Whose opinion on this issue, however, no longer interests anyone.

Рис. 2

As for the United States, the fundamental issue for them is not so much the economy as political influence in the world. If they are not able to restore order on the most intensive sea route in the world (well, perhaps the Strait of Malacca can compare with it), then what kind of dominance in the world can we talk about? However, this issue clearly goes beyond macroeconomics.

Macroeconomics. Things in the European Union are getting worse and worse. Or perhaps the authorities of this entity are simply forced to reveal information that has been hidden from the public for some time.

Dutch GDP -0.3% per quarter, 3rd negative in a row:

Netherlands GDP Growth Rate
Рис. 3

And -0.8% per year, not counting Covid, this is the worst dynamics in 10 years:

Netherlands GDP Annual Growth Rate
Рис. 4

Industrial sales in Italy -1.7% per year, 7th negative in a row:

Italy Industrial Sales YoY
Рис. 5

The current assessment of the business climate in Germany (IFO survey) is the worst since August 2020, and before that – since March 2010:

Germany Ifo Current Conditions
Рис. 6

Business confidence in Italy is the weakest in 3 years, and minus the Covid collapse – in 10 years:

Italy Business Confidence
Рис. 7

The balance of industrial orders in Britain remains negative for 16 months in a row:

United Kingdom CBI Industrial Trends Orders
Рис. 8

And its balance of retail sales is 8 months:

United Kingdom CBI Distributive Trades
Рис. 9

The crisis in China continues: the dynamics of foreign direct investment in China (-10.0% per year) has almost reached Covid lows (-10.8%), and previously such numbers were only in 2009:

China Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
Рис. 10

In the United States, there was no increase in optimism by the end of the year: the New York and Philadelphia Fed indices deteriorated significantly in December:

United States NY Empire State Manufacturing Index
Рис. 11
United States Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index
Рис. 12

Leading indicators in the US have been declining monthly for 20 months in a row:

United States Leading Index MoM
Рис. 13

US existing home sales are only 0.8% away from last month’s 13-year low:

United States Existing Home Sales
Рис. 14

Sales of new buildings in the US -12.2% per month, 19-month bottom:

United States New Home Sales MoM
Рис. 15

Sales reached 6-year lows –

United States New Home Sales
Рис. 16

In terms of per 1000 population, this level is approximately equal to the lows of the 3rd PEC crisis of the 70s and the recessions of the 80s-90s:

New One Family Houses Sold: United States/Population*1000
Рис. 17

The Central Bank of Japan has not changed its ultra-loose monetary policy, as have the Central Bank of China and the Central Bank of Indonesia.

The Turkish Central Bank raised the rate by 2.5% to 42.5% hours. There is, as is clear, no effect and cannot be, if the state of the economy is taken as an effect.

Main conclusions. Catholic Christmas and New Year are coming soon, and taking into account these holidays, it can be noted that the main economies of the world are entering the holidays with extremely negative indicators. Economic life is at a standstill, although there will be another weekly review at the end of the year, it is unlikely to bring any unexpected news. Well, the Mikhail Khazin Foundation will prepare a traditional New Year’s review with the results of the year and a forecast for the next year, 2024!

We wish all our readers who are going on vacation this coming week successful days of rest, in everything else – with maximum courage to overcome the pre-holiday week with its cooperatives and trips!


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