每日新闻更新 — 煤矿中的金丝雀 The Daily Update – Canaries in the coalmine

国际货币基金组织的最新预测显示,今年全球经济保持强劲增长,从2017年的3.65%上升至今年的3.82%,之后在2019年将增长至3.93%。预计美国的经济增长也将强劲,最少根据国际货币基金组织的预测是这样的,仅从2.86%略微下降至2.78%。(既然如此)那有什么可担心的呢?

可能没有什么需要可担心的,但作为债券投资者,我们总在担心某些事情。在斯特拉顿大街(Stratton Street),我们有一个图表包,其中包括一些或许可以充当对未来经济放缓发出早期预警信号的“煤矿中的金丝雀”。这个图标包中并没有很多幻灯片,但其中一个正在显示,美国的住房正在显示出一种明显下滑的趋势。成屋销售连续六个月下降,房屋开工量显示出稳定的迹象,尽管比我们看到的上次经济衰退后的水平要高得多。

这里有两件事情值得关注,首先,由于与抵押贷款成本的关系,人们对房屋的需求会随着利率的上升而下降,这一点并不十分令人惊讶。鉴于大多数美国抵押贷款是按照长期利率固定下来而不是像英国那样固定在短期利率上,这种情况在长期收益率开始上升时就尤其明显。

其次,目前美国房屋开工量刚刚增长到的126.8万套的水平正是自1960年以来最近8次经济衰退中的6次房屋开工量下降的水平,远低于1973年和2001年经济衰退之前大约160万套的水平。当然,我们会在未来几个月密切关注住房的数据。

我们认为,住房数据并不像最初表现得那么令人惊讶。我们的研究表明,经济增长和通货膨胀与人口的增长密切相关,特别是工作年龄人口的增长。随着工作年龄人口开始下降,人们对住房的需求也可能下降。因此值得指出的是,美国劳动年龄人口增长的最新数据目前为零。在这种情况下,对住房的需求随时就要开始增加的可能性看上去非常小。  

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