The disaster at Maruti

The news from Maruti is disgusting. I have been curiously watching how the stock market takes it in:

That Maruti has serious labour problems has been known for a long time. But the brutality that unfolded in recent days was out of the world. It was news. When I read about it on Thursday, it seemed to . . . → Read More: The disaster at Maruti

Defence land: A key dimension of India's privatisation problem

As Vijay Kelkar has long emphasised, India’s privatisation question should be viewed as a question about the portfolio of the State. For each Rs.10,000 crore of shares of Air India that the government owns, it is forgoing 2,000 kilometres of highways. The State needs to ask itself whether it is better to own 2,000 . . . → Read More: Defence Land: A Key Dimension of India’s Privatisation Problem

83% Beat The Street; Revenues Also Top Forecasts

All last week we pointed to the strong earnings numbers released by U.S. corporations. The overall results are in and point to a measure that confirms our sector by sector reports.

Expected growth in first-quarter earnings for companies in the S&P 500 index has now jumped to 50% from 39% in the prior week . . . → Read More: 83% Beat The Street; Revenues Also Top Forecasts

U.S. Consumer In Q1: Shop, Shop, Shop

On Thursday, retail stocks rose to 52-week highs as retailers continue a string of strong reports on a resurgent U.S. consumer.

Gap, Ross, and Target all jumped 3% or more on their March sales which easily beat analyst expectations.

More broadly, retail firms reported that collectively their March sales rose a record 9.1%, according to Thomson . . . → Read More: U.S. Consumer In Q1: Shop, Shop, Shop

Today’s Economic Events

At 8:30 AM EDT, the GDP growth rate figure for the fourth quarter of 2009 will be released.  The consensus estimate is an increase of 5.9% in real GDP growth and an increase of 0.4% in the GDP price index.

At 9:55 AM EDT, the latest Consumer Sentiment Index will be released.  The index . . . → Read More: Today’s Economic Events

Retail Sales Results Are Strongest of this Recovery Thus Far

On Tuesday Redbook reports indicated the strongest retail results of the recovery thus far. The results posted a plus 3.6% year-on-year same-store sales rate in the March 20 week. That rate was right in line with the ICSC-Goldman’s 3.7% rate also reported on Tuesday.

Redbook also offers a month-to-month comparison which is also at . . . → Read More: Retail Sales Results Are Strongest of this Recovery Thus Far

Consumer Spending Now Likely Fastest In Three Years

U.S. retail sales posted a surprising gain in February despite falling car demand amid trouble at auto maker Toyota MotorCorp. and fierce blizzards that crippled the East Coast for days.

Retail sales rose last month by 0.3%, the Commerce Department said Friday. An average of economists surveyed had forecast a 0.3% decrease in February . . . → Read More: Consumer Spending Now Likely Fastest In Three Years

Q4 Growth – The Best Since 2003

Rebuilding of depleted inventories was behind an improvement in 4Q economic growth estimates above what was previously estimated. The estimate brought estimates up to 5.9% from earlier estimate of 5.7%. Last quarter’s growth was likely the strongest since 3Q 2003.

Inventory accumulation was estimated to have added 3.9% to economic growth last quarter. The . . . → Read More: Q4 Growth – The Best Since 2003

Will Fiscal Asymmetries Threaten the Euro?

Earlier this day, I came across Moody’s Misery Index (link) which estimated the size of macroeconomic difficulties in European countries. In particular, European countries within and outside the Eurozone are likely to face stagnant GDP growth rates, high unemployment rates, deflationary pressures and a depressing fiscal outlook.

Moody’s Sovereign Misery Index

Source: FT . . . → Read More: Will Fiscal Asymmetries Threaten the Euro?

Europe’s Bleak Macroeconomic Outlook

The Economist published a very lucid analysis (link) of the recent macroeconomic instability in the Euroarea, following the outbreak of Greek debt crisis (link) and disappointing quarterly data on GDP growth (link):

Barely had the ink dried on a statement by European leaders supporting Greece in its struggle to finance its debts when more . . . → Read More: Europe’s Bleak Macroeconomic Outlook