US Savings Rate Highest Since 2012

Andamento del mercato - 30/03/2015

The US economy remains the least dirty shirt in the global economy despite poor performance from broader macroeconomic indicators. The latest spending data confirms the lacking interest from US consumers as individuals plow the most money into savings accounts since 2012. While personal income managed to beat expectations of 0.30% growth, printing at 0.40%, spending fell to a modest 0.10% expansion. Personal spending has missed estimates for several reporting periods, further highlighting the Federal Reserve’s fallacy of lower energy prices translating to higher spending. Even though disposable income has grown as evidenced by personal income outpacing gains in spending, much of the purported gains in spending have been directed towards Obamacare. Friday’s GDP numbers showed that without the growth in the healthcare component due to the mandatory coverage provisions, fourth quarter GDP would have been substantially lower. Although spending in the economy was the driver of solid GDP gains, it was not necessarily what the Federal Reserve had intended when stating that lower energy prices would prove an implicit stimulus for the US consumer.

 

The dollar continues to advance against peers, capping off last week’s reversal and rally. The biggest gains in the dollar have been seen against the Yen, Pound, and Australian Dollar. The rebound in the dollar has also seen commodities sink, led by the losses in precious metals, with silver down -2.19% followed by a -1.32 loss in gold. Independent of lacking inflation which is typically a buoyant factor for commodity valuations, any move in the dollar is likely to precede reactions in precious metals. Energy remains relatively independent of moves in the dollar at the moment as the geopolitical risks continue to outweigh supply concerns. The drop in the oil rig count has persisted for 16-straight weeks and although still above post-crisis levels, the American output expansion is likely to hit a brick wall in coming weeks. Even though inventories continue to gain and concerns about a shortage of storage space could propel prices lower, the key driver in the near-term continues to be Middle East unrest and the pending Iranian nuclear deal.

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