Third Time Definitely Is Not a Charm for England (CNNMoney)
For the third time since 2008, the United Kingdom is very close to slipping into a recession. In fact, analysts believe that the world’s sixth-largest economy will just narrowly miss slipping into economic contraction for the first quarter of 2013. However, it is not hard to imagine the country triple-dipping, given its recent .3 percent drop in gross national product. Analysts had expected the economy to continue to build until the coldest spring in the last 50 years put the freeze on construction and retail growth. Looking ahead, English Finance Minister George Osborne, has indicated the country will continue along its austerity path, looking to good, old-fashioned British discipline to win the day. We’ll just have to see if investors have that same sense.
Decade of Commodities Growth to End (Reuters)
Investors have been gorging themselves on commodity profits over the past decade, but that 10-year reign could be coming to an end. Analysts believe that the bull is backing up now because it never really established its own momentum. Rather, it was born from central banks’ efforts to kick-start individual, national economies, which would then lead to a more widespread, economic pattern — or so it was thought. Unfortunately, this stimulus has never really gathered a foothold — leaving the world with a patchwork of semi-booming, semi-busting economies and no definitive course of action. The only thing that is certain is this: if energy prices continue to rise, over time, those prices eventually will have a ripple effect for end users like you and me.
Is a New Auto Bull in China’s Shop? (Bloomberg)
With production and sales numbers for luxury autos flattening out in Europe last year, it wasn’t too hard to see where that industry was turning for the future: East Asia and China. This past weekend, nearly every one of the interested parties in the luxury-car segment was in China to rub well-clothed elbows. And while the push is on in the United States to enhance fuel economy, power still seems to be in high demand internationally, judging from the attendees in China, including company officials from Volkswagan AG, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Daimler. As to which breed will survive in 2013 — the gas guzzler vs. the money-guzzler, it’s still anybody’s guess.