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US Nearing Recession, Dollar Falling Hard

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher No Comments Comments
    May 14, 2015

    The dollar soars by a record amount versus the euro and the yen in 2014. And economists predict strong growth in 2015. Really? If a country can have a rapidly-appreciating currency with all the benefits that that confers, and strong economic growth with all the obvious advantages that that confers, why wouldn’t everyone be going for powerhouse currencies?

    Because the two things, a strong currency and accelerating growth, tend to be mutually exclusive in the short run, with a strong currency acting like rising interest rates, slowing growth and making debts harder to service.

    So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the latest batch of US numbers are somewhere between disappointing and catastrophic. First-quarter GDP was flat and is about to be revised negative. Retail sales were flat in April, the first month of the second quarter, with business inventories and import prices pointing in the same grind-to-a-halt direction.

    US retail sales May 2015
    The US is now looking at zero growth for the entire first half of 2015. Six years into a recovery, with record low interest rates and a recent doubling of government debt, that’s a bit of a dilemma. Especially given the Fed’s threat to raise interest rates in the next few months.

    Rates clearly are not going to be raised, at least not on purpose. On the contrary, slow growth always and everywhere leads panicked governments to break out the stimulus. And the dollar is reacting to this prospect exactly as one would expect, by falling like a stone in the past month.

    US dollar May 2015

    Gold, meanwhile, is acting like the reciprocal of the dollar, adding $30 an ounce in the past two days.

    Gold price May 2015

    At the risk of excess repetition, the US is obviously losing the currency war and will soon be forced into a new offensive. Negative interest rates, here we come.

    Images: Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author

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    DollarCollapse.com is managed by John Rubino, co-author, with GoldMoney’s James Turk, of The Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit From It (Doubleday, 2007), and author of Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom (Wiley, 2008), How to Profit from the Coming Real Estate Bust (Rodale, 2003) and Main Street, Not Wall Street (Morrow, 1998). After earning a Finance MBA from New York University, he spent the 1980s on Wall Street, as a Eurodollar trader, equity analyst and junk bond analyst. During the 1990s he was a featured columnist with TheStreet.com and a frequent contributor to Individual Investor, Online Investor, and Consumers Digest, among many other publications. He currently writes for CFA Magazine.

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