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Money Moves Markets

Global monetary relapse ominous for H2 prospects

April 13, 2023 by Simon Ward

Partial information indicates that global (i.e. G7 plus E7) six-month real narrow money momentum fell for a third month in March, possibly breaching a low reached in June 2022. This increases confidence that a recent recovery in PMIs will reverse into H2. 

The June 2022 low in real narrow money momentum presaged a low in global manufacturing PMI new orders in December – see chart 1. Assuming the same six month lead, the roll-over in real money momentum since December 2022 implies a PMI decline from June. 

Chart 1

Chart 1 showing Global Manufacturing PMI New Orders & G7 + E7 Real Narrow Money (% 6m)

The fall could start earlier. The recovery in real money momentum between June and December 2022 was minor and driven entirely by a slowdown in six-month consumer price inflation. Momentum failed to break into positive territory. Credit tightening due to recent banking stresses may accelerate economic weakness. 

The renewed fall in global real money momentum since December reflects nominal money weakness rather than any inflation rebound: the six-month rate of change of nominal narrow money appears also now to be negative, a feat never achieved during the GFC – chart 2. 

Chart 2

Chart 2 showing G7 + E7 Narrow Money & Consumer Prices (% 6m)

Nominal money contraction is being driven the US and Europe, with momentum positive and stable in the E7 and Japan. 

Global real money momentum will be supported by a further inflation slowdown but a significant recovery is unlikely without a policy reversal that revives nominal money growth. As previously argued, recent reexpansion of the Fed’s balance sheet has no direct – or, probably, indirect – impact on money stock measures. 

The fall in global real money momentum has further delayed the expected cross-over above weakening industrial output momentum, suggesting fading the Q1 equity market rally and favouring defensive sectors, quality and yield.

NS Partners Ltd.
April 13th, 2023