Thursday, November 28, 2019

North American Economy; US Improves; Mexico Teeters On Recession; Canada? Closed For Business -- November 28, 2019


December 8, 2019: Canada -- closed for business.

Original Post

An initial snapshot of year-end trends emerged Wednesday when the Commerce Department, in separate reports, said household spending picked up in October and orders for long-lasting factory goods rose—both positive signs for growth. The department also said the U.S. economy expanded at a slightly better pace than initially estimated in the third quarter, despite a continuing slump in business investment.
[The file photograph accompanying this story is particularly noteworthy -- consumer spending rose 0.3% despite the fact that gasolien prices are incredibly low]
Personal-consumption expenditures, or household spending, increased at a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in October from September, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. But spending for long-lasting goods, particularly new motor vehicles, fell at a seasonally adjusted 0.7% rate. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected consumer spending to rise 0.3% and personal income to increase 0.3%.
Mexico: Bank of Mexico cuts economic growth forecasts -- WSJ --
The Bank of Mexico lowered its economic growth estimates for 2019 and 2020, saying weakness had been more pronounced and prolonged than it previously expected.
In its quarterly inflation report Wednesday, the central bank estimated that gross domestic product —a measure of output in goods and services—would end this year between a contraction of 0.2% and an expansion of 0.2%. Previously it had expected growth of 0.2% to 0.7%.
For 2020, the bank lowered its estimate to 0.8%-1.8% from 1.5%-2.5%, and introduced a forecast for 2021 of 1.3% to 2.3%.
Canada: closed for business. From The Financial Post:
Canada’s economy is shifting into a lower gear as some of the country’s growth drivers begin to lose steam.
Statistics Canada will release third-quarter gross domestic product numbers Friday that will probably show a sharp drop in growth. The country’s expansion slowed to a 1.3 per cent annualized pace in the three months through September, down from an unsustainable clip of 3.7 per cent in the prior period.
It’s a return to sluggish growth that may become the new normal for a Canadian economy seeing many of its engines of growth sputter, from investment and exports to weakening consumption as the nation’s households cope with high debt levels.

Venezuela On Our Doorstep

For anyone paying attention, this has to be very, very scary. There was a reason President Trump took "the wall" so seriously.

Ann Coulter fails to see the big story, criticizing Trump for so few deportations and failing to complete the wall.

But I digress. This has all the markings of Venezuela. Link here.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador came to power a year ago after a landslide victory he said would launch a “truly democratic” period in Mexico’s history.

But analysts have said the government of the charismatic leftist nationalist is steadily weakening checks on his power, replacing opponents on the Supreme Court and in independent agencies with loyalists.
Now the president’s allies in Congress are seeking to remove the head of Mexico’s election watchdog three years before his term ends, a move that has renewed concern about what some opposition figures see as the authoritarian instincts of the López Obrador administration.
The bill proposed by lawmakers of Mr. López Obrador’s ruling party, Morena, which has a majority in both houses of Congress, has been criticized by electoral officials as an effort to take political control of the agency before midterm elections in 2021 and a planned presidential recall referendum Mr. López Obrador has said will be held in March 2022.
Can anyone say, "president for life"?

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