“Meet the new boss, (maybe not the same as the old boss)” sang the Who and I couldn’t stop singing the song in my head when I think of China’s growing global influence as now the 3rd largest economy in the world, moving to #2 at some point soon and has the finances to spend themselves and collaterally hopefully the rest of the world out of this downturn.
Chinese Feb PMI rose for a 3rd month to 49, the highest since Sept and is up 10 pts from Nov and now is just shy of the magic 50 level.
Also, Chinese Premier Wen said they will announce another stimulus plan tomorrow. Commodities are rallying in response and in a world that is trying to inflate our way out of this mess, they need to go much higher, thus its importance in where the global stock markets go from here.
India just cut interest rates by 50 bps.
ABC confidence fell 1 pt to -49. Refi’s fell 15.3% and purchases fell 5.6%, still showing no response to lower mortgage rates. ADP and ISM non-mfr’g data are key today.
ADP said the private sector shed 697k jobs in Feb, almost 70k more than expected and Jan was revised down by 92k to a loss of 614k. The majority of the job losses continue to be at small and medium sized businesses in both goods producing and service providing sectors and ADP says that the sharp drop in employment in these size companies “clearly indicates that the recession is spreading beyond manufacturing and housing related activities.” Nothing we don’t already know.
Construction lost 114k jobs, down for a 25th straight month and the total decline in jobs in this sector off the Jan ’07 highs is now at 1mm. Friday’s Payroll figure is expected to show a decline of 650k, which does include public sector jobs.