William's Weekly Economic Recap

The Week of December 14 – December 18, 2020

December 22, 2020
William Chin

weekly update

William’s Weekly Economic Recap for the Week of December 14 – 18, 2020 (view full recap as PDF)

Macro Update

  • The Federal Reserve was described by many as sounding the most optimistic in awhile in their monetary policy statement released after the conclusion of its two-day meeting last Wednesday. Bloomberg – “Powell sees light at the end of the tunnel and Fed policy staying very easy.”
  • Vaccines have arrived but it takes time to vaccinate the population. In the meantime, the pressure on the healthcare system is mounting. The good news is, case counts are beginning to roll over after the latest round of restrictions were imposed.
  • Also, another U.S. fiscal package seems to be on its way.
  • U.S. weekly initial jobless claims are higher than expected last week at 885,000 vs 862,000 in prior week. The labour force is negatively impacted by the rising number of people getting sick and having to take care of others.
  • U.S. November retail sales -1.1% vs. -0.3% estimate. October was revised lower to -0.1% from +0.3%. Weakness was broad based among discretionary categories – electronics (-3.5%), gas station sales (-2.4%), clothing and clothing accessories (-6.8%), and food services and drinking places (-4.0%). The increases can be found in food purchases (+1.6%, higher prices) and building materials (+1.1%, renovations, home offices).
  • U.S. December National Association of Home Builders (“NAHB”) housing market index eased to 86 from a record reading of 90 in the prior survey.
  • Canada October retail sales +0.4% vs +1.1% prior; that is very old data.
  • Japan’s November National consumer price index (“CPI”) fell 0.9% year over year (last -0.4%) while National Core CPI also fell 0.3% year over year, (last -0.2%). Japan is in deflation.
  • Germany’s IFO Institute (Institute for Economic Research) cut its gross domestic product (“GDP”) growth forecast for Germany for next year to 4.2% from 5.1% previously. For 2022, IFO  Institute raised its GDP forecast to 2.5% from 1.7%. The institute expects exports to fall by 9.7% this year and to grow by 8.8% next year, while it forecasts imports to decline by 8.7% in 2020 and to rise by 6.8% in 2021. However, it reported an improvement in its Business Climate Index, which rose to 92.1 from 90.9 prior.
William Chin Head shot
William Chin, MBA

Portfolio Manager & Chief Technical Analyst

William Chin, Chief Technical Analyst for Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. (“Caldwell”), is the lead Portfolio Manager on the Tactical Sovereign Bond Fund and Portfolio Manager for the fixed income portion of the Caldwell North American Fund (formerly Caldwell Balanced Fund). He also advises fixed income portfolios for affiliate Caldwell Securities Ltd.’s separately managed account platform and contributes to the Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. team’s research, specializing in macro-economics, currency risk management and technical analysis. William is a member of Caldwell’s Investment Risk Committee.

William has over 35 years of international investment experience in the areas of portfolio, currency risk and treasury management. He began his career in the currency market, progressing to the role of treasury manager for a large international bank. He was first registered as a Portfolio Manager with the Ontario Securities Commission in 1999 and managed high net worth client portfolios on a discretionary basis prior to joining Caldwell.
William has an MBA in economics and international finance. He has been a volunteer and a board member for the Canadian Society of Technical Analysts since 2001 and is their former President (2012-2014).

William is a frequent speaker on macro analysis, monetary policy and technical analysis.

All data is sourced from Thompson Reuters and Capital IQ as of December 18, 2020 unless otherwise indicated. While believed to be reliable, the accuracy of the information cannot be guaranteed. Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. and its affiliates make no representations or warranty as to its completeness, reliability or accuracy.

Investment involves risk, uncertainty and assumptions. The value of investments rise and fall such that there is a risk you may not recoup your original investment. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The views expressed herein of those of the portfolio manager and not necessarily those of CIM. Such views, while based on current market conditions and information, are subject to change without notice such that there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from such expectations. The views expressed are an illustration of broader themes and intended to be for general information purposes only. They should not be relied upon nor construed as investment advice. Readers are expected to consult with their investment advisor for advice specific to their circumstances before making investment decisions.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results as they involve uncertainties and assumptions; there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from expectations.

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Portfolio Manager & Chief Technical Analyst

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