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Thu Jul 23, 2015, 06:40 AM

World Trade Drops Most Since Financial Crisis

World Trade Drops Most Since Financial Crisis
by Wolf Richter • July 22, 2015

Maybe we shouldn’t take our daily corporate samples too seriously. Maybe they don’t adequately represent the global economy. So IBM’s revenues last quarter plunged 13% from a year ago. It blamed China and the dollar, among other culprits. But IBM’s revenues have dropped for 13 quarters in a row. It’s a normal IBM condition and not a reflection of the global economy.

A whole slew of other tech companies chimed in with either disappointing revenues or disappointing outlooks, or both, each blaming a variety of issues, among them China and the dollar. Chip maker Qualcomm just reported a 14% plunge in its quarterly revenues. It’s having trouble in the smartphone market and will lay off a bunch of people. But maybe they’re just running into tougher competitors, rather than a lousy global economy. And the PC business, which is cratering, is dragging down all those involved. That’s structural and has little to do with the state of the global economy.

Then there’s industrial giant United Technology which reported that its revenues last quarter dropped 5%. Today Caterpillar reported that global machine sales plunged 15% in June compared to a year ago, after having dropped 12% in May and 11% in April, In Asia, machine sales plunged 19%, in Latin America 50%. And in booming North America? Down 5%, after having been up for the prior two months.

So CAT is facing Japanese, Chinese, and German competitors. It’s having to slug it out with them in China precisely when China is slowing. So it may be just CAT that’s having a hard time.

But don’t look at energy. Energy is getting clobbered….

So maybe we’re cherry-picking negative data. There are companies with actual revenue increases and positive outlooks, like Equifax, the credit bureau, which just reported a 10% jump in revenues (14% “in local currency,” as it says). Consumer borrowing is king, and Equifax expedites the process.

So what the heck is going on? .....................(more)


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Reply World Trade Drops Most Since Financial Crisis (Original post)
marmar Jul 2015 OP
Warpy Jul 2015 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 03:12 PM

1. Nobody's got money to spend

Now just what the hell did they expect when they chopped our wages down to nothing to give everything to a few old rich guys?

Abroad, people are watching the Greeks and what's being done to them and getting nervous. The Chinese stock miracle has come back to earth and their real estate bubble is due to pop. About all that's continuing to sell is real estate in big cities, being bid up to the stratosphere by people who think it will only go up. Oh, and interest only loans are back in California.

It's all getting ready to go bust again and we know it. Nothing is there to support any sort of recovery. Economies run from the bottom up and there's no "there" there.

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