UK monetary aggregates are concerning

One of the big warning lights in the pre 2008 boom was when broad money breached a 10% year-on-year growth rate. Since then, however the Bank of England have switched its preferred measure of M4 to M4ex. Can we use the same rules of thumb when the measure changes? I'm not sure. The chart below shows M4ex recently. One of the reasons I've not been too concerned about UK monetary aggregates is that M4ex is pretty stable, growing between 3%-5% since May 2012. 

Indeed if we add the 3 month annualised growth rate (hashed line) it's risen from -0.4% in Feb 2014 to 8.4% just 2 months later (its highest rate in the series).

This morning saw the release of Eurozone M3 data, which you can see below:

After the dramatic slowdown (note: not a contraction) that bottomed out in 2010, it's not just that the rising growth rates haven't been sustained, but have continued to fall. Looking at M3 for the UK we see the following:

The 12 month growth rate was between 2% and 4.3% from Dec 2012 through Nov 2013, but has since dropped dramatically. Despite a blip in Feb 2014 it's now actually contracting. 

As recently mentioned, price inflation is also slowing. PPI is weak and CPI is way below target. Food for thought.  


Producer Price Inflation is very low


Capital based macroeconomics is flourishing

Most of the readers of this blog are UK-based non academics. But everyone interested in macroeconomics from an Austrian perspective should be aware of some fantastic new work, seeking to bridge Hayek's insights with the literature on corporate finance. In 2011 I organised a talk by Joel Stern in London - I teach Economic Value Added (EVA) in my classes, and feature it in my forthcoming textbook. But I've not sought to introduce it into my research.

One of the very best books on capital theory is Capital in Disequilibrium, by Peter Lewin. And one of the most productive members of an emerging band of youthful Austrians is Nicholas Cachanosky. So it's really exciting to see the outcome of their collaborations. In particular:

Highly recommended. 


Update to MA compilation method

I've updated the theoretical paper that discusses how MA - our Austrian measure of the money supply - is defined and identified. You can view it here. Here is the update chart (with series breaks shown in black dots):

Regular updates are available at the data section of our website.


Choose Your Own Financial Crisis

Following the 12th quarterly meeting of Kaleidic Economics, we have released a new report. The main aim of the meeting was to set out a chronology of the financial crisis, and we've suggested 5 distinct phases:

  1. The build up (2000 Q2 - 2007 Q1)
  2. The upper turning point (2007 Q2 - 2008 Q1)
  3. The secondary recession (2008 Q2 - 2009 Q4)
  4. Austerity (2010 Q1 - 2011 Q4)
  5. The BBQ recovery (2012 Q1 - 2012 Q4)

These aren't perfect, and the report offers a commentary. We then discussed a number of key shocks that occurred within these phases of the crisis, and put them in scenario analysis terms by thinking about predetermined elements and critical uncertainties. As a means to enliven the report, I have tried to explain how this type of analysis might serve as a basis for a "Choose Your Own Adventure" type account of the crisis. 

This is a brief report, because much of the discussion was focused on a utilisation of the Dynamic AD-AS model. That is now a first draft as part of this project, please email me for a copy.