The US economy has maintained its robust growth this year but the broader global economy cannot boast the same health. Among many others, indicators like Japanese exports, Swiss exports, and German industrial orders are all either in retreat or decelerating at a significant pace.
On top of these more mainstream releases, there are some more obscure indicators that we like to track as well. These data points have a history of accurately reflecting the cyclical behavior of the global economy. For starters, commodity prices through the Bloomberg Commodity Spot index is up 4.5% YoY (3m average). This is one of its slowest paces since 2016 when energy bottomed. An additional indicator comes out of a casino-heavy resort town in China named Macau. Macau gaming revenue growth has also slowed to its slowest pace since late 2016. This indicates tighter spending by Chinese consumers at the high end of the spectrum. Another indicator is the value of Swiss watch exports. The YoY growth rates for these luxury items are closely linked to the global economic cycle. Swiss watch exports have fallen by 7.7% since peaking in June. One final variable is world trade value in USD. This data point is released at a pretty significant lag, but still shows much of the same story. Fortunately, the global economy is still experiencing growth, but the pace has become increasingly subdued.