There’s been relief in many circles that GDP in 2008Q1 was revised upward. I too take this as good news, to the extent that the economy seems to be growing more rapidly — and output more balanced — than previously thought. Figure 1 depicts the q/q SAAR growth rate, using the May 2008 preliminary release.
And released only under threat of a court order: “Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States” (summary).
More on the possible contribution of index fund investment to recent commodity price moves.
Several readers call our attention to testimony by Michael Masters, of
Masters Capital Management, before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, on the role that speculation has played in recent commodity price movements. Here is what I think Masters is missing.
The World Bank’s new World Development Indicators were released a bit over a month ago. The impact on the estimates of RMB misalignment are substantial. (This is an elaboration on a RGEMonitor post by Yin-Wong Cheung from a week and half ago, and is based on preliminary results from a presentation made yesterday at a Deutsche Bundesbank and Center for Financial Studies/Goethe University Frankfurt Workshop on Panel Methods and Open Economies”.)
I’ve been offering reasons for believing that the flow of funds into commodity investing has contributed to the recent oil price highs. Although I believe this speculation has gotten ahead of fundamentals in the last few months, there is no question in my mind that market fundamentals are the main reason for the broader 5-year move up in oil prices. Here I review those fundamental factors.