I found an interesting contrast between this outlook, from Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, and this one from Peter Morici. What I find interesting is the divergence; two guys who from my reading of them are both in the conservative camp, but with wildly different takes on what’s going on.
I don’t know that I have some brilliant insight into what all this means. I just found it very interesting, and seeing as this is Market Talk, well, here’s some talk.
What’s driving the global economy? For the past two years, it has been the boom in global manufacturing, led by demand for manufactured goods in emerging economies. The OECD index of global industrial production rose 0.9% m/m and 6.9% y/y during December to a new record high. It is up 15.3% since the most recent cyclical trough during January 2009. It had plunged 12.2% during the most recent downturn.
It should continue to grow this year. There are certainly challenges confronting global manufacturing. High food and fuel prices may depress the purchasing power of consumers around the world. Concerns about rising inflation are pushing central banks to tighten their monetary policies, particularly in emerging economies. Serious disruptions to global supply lines are already an issue for the auto and technology industries. It is difficult to assess how long these problems will persist.