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Tag Archives: Industry

Focus on Fundamentals: Demand for Gold and Silver in Tech Industries Expected to Grow

Technology will play a key role in driving precious metals demand in the coming years according to reports released this week by the World Gold Council and the Silver Institute.The World Gold Council Gold Investor report for July focused on the growing use of gold in technology. According to the report, over the past decade, the tech sector accounted for more than 380 tons of gold demand annually. That’s 13% ahead of central bank purchases during the same time period. The demand for the...

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From Euphoria To Despair And Getting Nowhere

For October 2014, the ISM estimated that its Chicago Business Barometer was a blistering 66.2. Encompassing much of the Midwest and a good deal of auto and parts production, that level seemed to make sense. As any economist would say then, the US economy was on the verge of a breakout and according to the labor statistics maybe even one of unusually good strength and duration. Two months later, however, the Chicago BB was down almost eight points to 58.3; just two months after that, for...

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US Industrial Production—-11th Straight Month of Y/Y Decline

Industrial production declined for the eleventh consecutive month in July, down 0.5% from July 2015. Though the slope of the contraction continues to be unusually shallow, the fact that it has lasted for nearly a year now is significant particularly in the context of the “rising dollar” period. On a monthly basis, IP is up from its low in March, particularly in the past two months (though the rise in July is susceptible to revision next month, as June’s increase was revised significantly...

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Who Is The “Barbarian” Or Why Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw’s Arrogance Is The Pits

Very few people are against the concept of free trade, and those who are aren’t worth listening to. As a matter of economics (small “e”), free trade was established as a universal good that benefits all sides in one of the first scholarly debates that in the early 19th century helped turn political economics into a separate study meriting its own discipline. Trade has marked the upward surge of humanity out of the dark ages and feudalism toward republican democracy and dignity. What people...

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Industry Is an Effort Followed by a Result

This article appeared in Economic Sophisms (1845). Reprinted from Mises.org We have just seen that between our wants and the satisfaction of these wants, obstacles are interposed. We succeed in overcoming these obstacles, or in diminishing their force, by the employment of our faculties. We may say, in a general way, that industry is an effort followed by a result. But what constitutes the measure of our prosperity, or of our wealth? Is it the result of the effort? Or is it the effort...

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Wall Street’s Wishful Thinking—-Debunking The ‘Abundance of Strong Data’ Meme

Back in January and even into February, the idea of recession seemed no longer so far-fetched. The FOMC and orthodox economists had been claiming since late 2014 that the only economic fate was “full employment” and the satisfying economic conditions that accompany it. Instead, the latter half of 2015 turned uncomfortably close to the “impossible” nightmare scenario. What was totally unrealistic by 2014’s standards was suddenly very, very real and quite close. Then as quickly as it seemed to...

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May Durable Goods Report Adds To The Idea of Depression (Small ‘d’)

There wasn’t anything new or surprising in the advance durable goods report. Shipments (ex transportation) were flat and orders were up 1% year-over-year (NSA). Capital goods (non-defense, ex aircraft) shipments fell 3.4%, the tenth straight month of contraction, while new orders were down again (2.6%) for the sixteenth time out of the past nineteen months. The slump only continues. With last month’s benchmark revisions, however, we have a much better view of the overall slowdown. It...

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May Industrial Production Slumps For Ninth Straight Month

Industrial production fell year-over-year in May 2016 for the ninth consecutive month. At -1.4%, it is the same kind of slow, steady contraction now that we find in so many other places. This is not the typical recession response, instead more consistent with the slowdown turning into serious than just insufficient growth while still at the precipice of potential recession. Production in consumer goods was also down, but that also isn’t necessarily meaningful since, after benchmark...

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More Global PMIs Flashing Recession Warnings

While Markit’s economic sentiment surveys had been perhaps a touch more optimistic about the state of the world than others or other data, May has been a rough month for that comparison. Again, it’s not the absolute number calculated for each survey but rather the relative direction and, in these cases, the uniformity of that direction or pattern. Japan: PMI data point to Japan’s all-important manufacturing economy suffering its steepest downturn since late 2012. The Nikkei Flash Japan...

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Nostalgia Must Not Distort British Industrial Policy

The collapse of the British steel industry is not an easy process. The job losses from the closure of Port Talbot could cause serious social and economic problems for the local community, much as the loss of manufacturing industries around the UK has. There is an important debate to be had about how to compensate the losers from trade. Perhaps deregulation and other market promoting policies will stimulate growth of new businesses and jobs. Perhaps the government should do...

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