Tuesday 31 July 2012

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Shades of 2006: That's What Australia Housing Bubble Looks Like From US Perspective

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 08:33 PM PDT

The Australia housing market did not bust when it should of and the delay is going to be painful. The bigger the bubble, the bigger the crash, and the Australia bubble is bigger than we saw in the US.

On a timeline basis, Australia is about where the US was in 2006, essentially  a state of denial.

Developers are offering massive incentives such as cars, furniture, and vacations to move homes while chanting the ever-popular "now is a great time to buy a house" mantra.

Gifts Galore

The Age reports Gifts galore boost flagging unit sales
Developers are slashing apartment prices and handing out tens of thousands of dollars in incentives - including rebates, cars, furniture and holidays - to lure buyers into Melbourne's new-unit market.

While many industry players say the offers are good news for buyers, others worry that the discounting could fuel a "race to the bottom" that could harm property values.

"There's no question there are a lot of apartments under construction, so everyone's trying to attract attention to get people to inquire about theirs," said Robert Pradolin, general manager at developer Australand.

"It's probably a very good time to buy because there are a lot of incentives around, but buyers still need to be really careful that they are picking a place based on its location, quality and who the developer is."

In one case, Maxx Apartments announced a "massive St Kilda apartments sale" in a series of large advertisements. The promotion saw $121,000 cut from the cost of a two-bedroom flat and the price of a $415,000 one-bedroom unit reduced by 18 per cent.

Late last year, a $65,000 Mercedes was offered to the first buyer of one of four luxury apartments that remained unsold in a Brighton development. Rubicon Pacific used the teaser despite already dropping prices by $150,000 to $200,000 on apartments first listed at up to $1.3 million.

Other developers have followed suit, launching campaigns that provided $5000 to $20,000 rebates on top of the $13,000 available to first home buyers before July 1. Some have tried to lure investors with offers of guaranteed rental income for up to five years.

Agency Castran Gilbert said the offer of a holiday for two to Palm Cove for buyers in the Brunswick West development Portez led to a 50 per cent spike in inquiries.
No Auction Bidders

Similar to the US condo bust in which bidders vanished overnight, The Age notes Empty auctions: 'op shop' listings
What if you put your house up for auction but nobody turned up? Not even the neighbours for a stickybeak?

Well, that happened at the weekend, with agents from Hocking Stuart and Buxton real estate left standing alone in the pouring rain.

Auctioneers put their hammers away for two houses in Elwood, with the owners deciding to cancel at the last minute due to no interest at all. In all, eight auctions were put off.

Inner west agent Craig Stephens, managing director Jas H Stephens, said it was "rare to have no one rock up" to an auction, but he has noticed an increasing number of buyers waiting to negotiate after auction.

"It's definitely a buyers market at the moment and those buyers are being a bit fickle," he said. "But good houses in good streets still sell and some property is being sold one or two weeks after auction."

He said many vendors were holding off, with a pick up in listings for auctions in late September and early October. "It looks as though there could be a pick up in supply in the second half of the year," he said.

Hocking Stuart agent David Sullivan said the owner of its property that had zero attendees did not want to comment. Buxton did not return calls.
This is how downturns major start: price wars, incentives, and still no bidders. Give that it's only 2006, Australia has a long way to the bottom.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

Eurozone Retail Sales Sink 9th Month; 17th Month of Contraction in Italy; Margins Collapse in France; Germany Barely Above Contraction

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 11:18 AM PDT

Eurozone retail sales continue to dive and not even Germany is immune. German manufacturing has been in contraction off-and-on, and retail sales are once again on the verge contraction as well.

Let's take a look at some reports.

Italy Retail Sales Slump Extends to 17th Month

Markit reports Downturn in retail sales continues in July


July data pointed to a further reduction in activity in the Italian retail sector, with sales down markedly both on the month and compared with levels one year ago. The rates of decline in employment, purchasing activity and inventories all accelerated, while profitability continued to deteriorate sharply. Cost pressures, however, eased to the weakest in 20 months amid stronger competition between suppliers.

The downturn in Italy's retail sector extended to a seventeenth month in July. Furthermore, the rate of contraction in like-for-like sales accelerated from the previous month and was marked. This was signalled by the seasonally adjusted Italian Retail PMI® posting 40.7, down from 41.7 in June.

Italian retailers generally fell short of their targets set for July.

Employment levels continued to fall during July, extending the ongoing sequence of contraction to 55 months. Moreover, after slowing to the weakest in eight months during the preceding survey period, the rate of job shedding accelerated and was
marked overall.
Sales Fall Sharply in France

Markit France PMI shows Record Drop in Retail Margins

French retailers encountered another tough month in July. Sales fell at a sharper rate on both a monthly and an annual basis, while margins were squeezed to the greatest extent in the survey history. The pace of job shedding accelerated [fastest rate in nearly three years], while retailers scaled back their purchasing of goods and lowered their inventories.

The headline Retail PMI® remained below the 50.0 no-change mark for a fourth successive month in July. At 46.7, down from 48.9 in June, the index signalled an acceleration in the monthly rate of decline in sales.

Gross margins in the French retail sector continued to decline in July. Moreover, the latest fall was the sharpest in the history of the survey. Panellists indicated that margins were squeezed by the need to engage in substantial discounting and promotional activity in the face of an increasingly competitive trading environment.
German Retail Sales on Verge of Contraction

Markit reports German Retail PMI hits three-month low during July

The recent rebound in German retail sales faded in July, with like-for-like sales rising only marginally since the previous month. At 50.3, down from 52.4 in June, the seasonally adjusted Germany Retail PMI signalled the slowest expansion in the current three-month period of growth.

German retailers indicated that their actual sales fell short of their initial plans in July, and by the greatest margin since January. Anecdotal evidence mainly cited weaker than anticipated underlying consumer demand. July data indicated that retailers are downbeat about their prospects for reaching sales targets in one month's time. The degree of negative sentiment was the most marked since that recorded in December 2009.
Eurozone Retail Sales Sink 9th Month

Markit reports Eurozone retail sales fall for ninth month running in July
Key points:

Revenue downturn continues at faster rate
Near-record drop in gross margins
Wholesale price inflation strengthens

Eurozone retail sales fell on an annual basis for the fourteenth successive month in July. The rate of contraction was little-changed from June's sharp pace, and much faster than the long-run average for the survey. Sales fell rapidly in Italy, extending the current sequence of decline to two-and-a-half years. France also posted a steep fall, the fifth in successive months. Sales were up compared with a year earlier in Germany, and at the fastest rate since March.

Retailers cut back on staffing in July. The current period of job shedding now stretches to four months, and the rate of reduction accelerated to a 32-month record. French and Italian retailers reduced their workforces on average, with the steeper decline posted among the latter. Italian retailers have shed staff every month since January 2008. In contrast, German retailers raised headcounts for the twenty-sixth successive month.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

51% of Germans Believe Germany Better Off Outside Eurozone, 71% Favor Greece Leaving; Implications on Constitutional Court Ruling

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 07:34 AM PDT

A recent poll says 51 percent of Germans now believe Germany would be better off without the euro.
The Emnid poll for the Bild am Sonntag mass circulation weekly showed 51pc of Germans believed Europe's top economy would be better outside the 17-country eurozone. Twenty-nine percent said it would be worse off, AFP reports.

The survey also showed that 71pc of Germans wanted Greece to leave the euro if it did not live up to its austerity promises.

Economy Minister Philipp Roesler told Bild am Sonntag there were "considerable doubts whether Greece is living up to its reform promises."
Implications on Constitutional Court Ruling

That poll, with only 29% believeing the euro is a good thing, suggests that if the German constitutional court forced Merkel to put the euro to a referendum, that Germany would vote to leave the eurozone.

On September 12, the German constitution court is expected to rule on the ESM as well as the fiscal treaty chancellor Angela Merkel signed in March.

Is it any wonder ECB president Mario Draghi is loathe to do anything but talk before the court meets?

Should the court rule both are OK, eurocrats like Jean-Claude Juncker will immediately seek to change what the ESM can do, including the use of leverage.

Let Voters Decide

Given that Germany is better off outside the eurozone, and the eurozone is arguably better off without Germany, hopefully, the constitutional court will say it's time to put all of this to voters, including whether Germany should stay in the eurozone.

Unfortunately, I expect the court will OK both the ESM and the Merkozy treaty, but give further warnings to Merkel and the ECB that 500 million euros is the limit.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

Monday 30 July 2012

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