Monthly Archives: May 2017

El indicador más importante a seguir de la economía china

 

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Acabo de publicar un artículo para Funds People, haciendo una pequeña actualización de la situación económica de China. Se puede leer pinchando aquí.

Un breve comentario aquí para nuestros lectores. Dado el elevado volumen reciente de noticias sobre la salud económica de China (que se unen a la rebaja de rating por Moody’s anunciada hoy), muchos analistas se preguntan en qué estado se encuentra la economía en estos momentos. Aunque nuestros lectores ya saben que, si hace falta, podemos presentar análisis algo más complejos (aquí y aquí, por ejemplo) sobre China, para seguir la evolución económica de China preferimos seguir el criterio de Ockham: cuanto más sencillo, mejor. Usando este criterio, el mejor indicador es el crecimiento en los volúmenes de inversión: volúmenes altos (en concreto, por encima de la tasa de crecimiento del PIB real) implicarán que la economía no se está reequilibrando y que la deuda total sigue creciendo. Dicha tendencia no ha cambiado recientemente, como se puede en el siguiente gráfico:

2017.05 China Investment Monthly Data

En otras palabras, monitorizando los crecimientos en la inversión se vigilan de manera implícita: i) los crecimientos en la deuda y ii) si realmente el PCC avanza con las prometidas “reformas desde el lado de la oferta” (supply side reforms). Parece que desde ambos puntos de vista, el proceso de reequilibrio no está teniendo hasta el momento el impulso suficiente desde Pekín.

The “New Normal”: Some reflections on the discussion on US current equity valuations

 

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[Acknowledgment: Thanks to Edward Worsdell for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this post.]

Ever since the publication of the book Triumph of the Optimists: 101 Years of Global Investment Returns by Dimson, Marsh and Staunton (already 15 years ago!), it is basic knowledge that equities, as an asset class, outperform other asset classes in the long-run, in particular fixed income (both bills and bonds). As you can see in the following graph from the Credit Suisse Global Investment Returns 2017 edition, equities on a global basis (and not just US equities) have outperformed both bills and bonds by very wide margins – although this historical advantage seems to have faded away in the last 15 years:

Global Equity Returns vs

Source: Credit Global Investment Returns 2017, p.47

From a theoretical perspective, however, the fact that equities should outperform both bills and bonds over the long-run has a long and distinguished lineage. It was Lawrence Smith, in 1924, in his classic book Common Stocks as Long-term Investments, who was the first to advance the idea (which for many was counterintuitive at the time) that stocks should deliver healthy returns for investors, with the proviso that you should hold them for several years – and over several business cycles. And as it happened, Keynes, who read Smith’s book as soon as it came out, was the first institutional investor (through the King’s College’s portfolio) to introduce stocks as a permanent, core asset in his portfolio allocation (and replacing the core role that real estate had played up to that point). And since then, the rest of the story is better known: from the Buffett’s investment success thanks to his patient approach at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway, to the books by Jeremy Siegel popularising the idea that equities, if bought at reasonable valuations, will do fine in the long-run. Continue reading