William's Weekly Economic Recap

The Week of January 11 – January 15, 2021

January 19, 2021
William Chin

weekly update

William’s Weekly Economic Recap for the Week of January 11 – 15, 2021 (view full recap as PDF)

Macro Update

  • U.S. President-elect Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion fiscal package last Thursday to help the economy to recover from the pandemic.
  • Incoming economic data continued to reflect the recent rise in case counts and hospitalization numbers. U.S. initial weekly jobless claims jumped to 965,000 vs. 784,000 in prior week. Continuing claims rose to 5,270,000 from 5,070,000 in prior week.
  • Small businesses, which account for roughly 50% of U.S. employment, are facing a multitude of challenges. Most of them do not have access to capital markets, which are booming from liquidity created by the Federal Reserve. With the pandemic taking a turn for the worse, the mood and outlook deteriorated. The NFIB (“National Federation of Independent Businesses”) Small Business Index fell to 95.9 from around 104.0 just a few months ago.
  • U.S. December retail sales -0.7%. November was revised from -1.1% to -1.4%, a larger decline. The ‘control group’ came in at -1.9%; comprising of ‘retail sales excluding autos, gas station sales and building materials’, it is more representative of personal consumption. November was also revised from -0.5% to-1.1%, also a bigger drop. The rise in case counts and restrictions had clearly hurt consumer spending.
  • U.S. December CPI (“Consumer Price Index) +0.4% month over month vs. +0.2% in November; year over year +1.4% vs. +1.2% prior. Core CPI +0.1% m/m vs. +0.2% in November; core y/y steady at +1.6%.
  • Reuters – “China reported its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases in more than 10 months as infections in northeastern Heilongjiang province nearly tripled, underscoring the growing threat ahead of a major national holiday when hundreds of millions usually travel.” The Chinese New Year falls on February 12 this year.
  • China December exports +18.1% year over year; imports +6.5% year over year. China is enjoying an export boom as global demand for healthcare equipment, work from home furniture and kitchen appliances surged.
  • Economists are revising their forecasts for the Eurozone lower, noting heightened uncertainty and risks that skewed towards the downside. Globally, the latest consensus is still for roughly 4% growth in 2021, with assumptions of healthy ‘multiplier effects’ from fiscal and monetary stimulus programs. Financial markets are generally pricing in very optimistic outcomes. Should more downward revisions show up, risk appetite might experience a setback.
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 January 15, 2021 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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