Copper pricing is often considered a foreteller of the global economic growth, and the 17-month low printed early July brought with it some recessionary signaling (1). Other signals of an upcoming recession include:
-a 1.4% drop in US GDP in the first quarter of 2022,
-a 17% drop in real personal income in March alone and a 3.5% decline YoY,
-a rise in 30-year fixed mortgage rates which is hammering the housing market,
-unemployment rates steadily rising over the past 3 months,
-and a 2.5% YoY decline in Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, which historically, only hits negative during recessionary periods (2).
Accompanied by rising prices (3), the type of recession to come is stagflationary (4) due to the oxymoron of higher prices despite lowered productivity (5) and demand (6).
Contrary to current mainstream understanding, inflation is actually—and was originally defined as—an artificial increase in the money supply within an economy, and the loss of purchasing power that follows was seen as a consequence of inflation, rather than its definition (7). This degradation of definition standards clouds the understanding of what causes inflation and when it correlates to rising prices (8). Clarity of understanding raises the question of whether central banks (9) and their policies (10) are more problematic than pragmatic, and casts further doubt on the wisdom of MMT (11).
Changing definitions is giving the National Bureau for Economic Research some wiggle room to not declare a recession, traditionally defined as two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP. The new approach claims to be based on a “holistic” view of the data, allowing more predilection to interpret the data and declare “transitory inflation” (12).
The recent rise of the dollar, in part due to rising rates, has made dollar investments more attractive again but has put pressure on US businesses dealing with exports, lowering profit margins and cutting earnings which will further dampen stock prices, particularly in firms with large international exposure. A strong dollar also burdens economies with dollar-denominated debt (13). The slump in corporate profits is estimated to cause another plunge in S&P 500 stocks (14). After a 1.4 trillion dollar loss by the world’s richest billionaires (15) amidst the outcry from the Democrats against Powell and his policies, dampened consumer and producer sentiments, and with the belief that interest rates have peaked (16), it’s easy to understand why some are bracing for troublesome days ahead (17) and clear that without massive interventions, a further decline of asset prices will continue to create a difficult environment for the Western-centric investors.