Peter Schiff, noted economist, investor, and anchorman, points out in a controversial tweet how since the first lockdown the sector’s propensity to engage has been so low, so much so that it has recorded the largest absolute figure since this element has been recorded.
Private sector records new lows
Since the time of the first lockdown in 2020, never have people been so reluctant to undertake, this was written in a tweet by the histrionic Peter Schiff, who explains this figure further in his recent article.
Private Sector Business Activity at Lowest Level Since COVID Lockdowns @schiffgold https://t.co/uXaqG6VhNl
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) August 24, 2022
In both America and the other enterprise-sensitive places on the planet, Asia and Europe above all, the level of propensity to start businesses or keep them open has never been lower.
The S&P Global Flash PMI (Small and Medium Business) Purchasing Managers’ Composite Index, which puts the median range at 50, to ascertain concern if it falls below and optimism if it rises above that threshold, reached 47.3 for July and 45 for the current month (data are references to the previous month in which they are stated).
Not only does the figure put us on alert to be negative, but it also came in below anticipated expectations for the August composite index figure, which analysts said was expected to come in at 49.1 just below the fateful 50 threshold:
“The decline in production was the fastest seen since May 2020. The rate of contraction has also exceeded anything recorded outside of the initial pandemic outbreak since the series began 13 years ago. Service providers noted that interest rate hikes and inflation dampened customer spending as disposable income was reduced.”
The worst worldwide figure for a similar figure to the S&P Global Flash is in the U.S. where it is found that based on the same calculation methodology the U.S. Services Business Activity Index fell to 44.1 this month from 47.3 in the previous figure.
Hardest hit sectors
In detail, the U.S. figure provides a more accurate mirror of the situation by indicating that the hardest hit sectors were services and manufacturing.
Both sectors underperformed the index and the causes are to be found in several factors, but all with the same lowest common denominator, namely fear.
The fear over hyperinflation eroding savings and holding back the economy, specifically the propensity of citizens to spend, the fear that more lockdowns will be possible in the future due to possible health or other threats, and finally, uncertainty over wars that on several fronts see the U.S. as a privileged observer in doubt over whether to intervene or not (central and eastern Europe and Taiwan).
In addition, U.S. household savings have declined sharply already without ever having shined in the past, leading U.S. households to be more prudent in their spending, whatever it may be.
The U.S. Central Bank’s monetary policy, which is loudly being called aggressive, in fact, has raised rates by a total of 250 basis points, and this, according to the economist, is definitely not enough.
Criticism of the Fed’s monetary policy
Schiff believes that we need to be more forceful and that not enough has been done. Raising rates and balancing the state’s accounts by possibly reducing debt will create a lake of blood, but it is a necessary evil; the Fed cannot and should not shy away from going down this path because it is the only one that could solve the situation.
The economist’s criticism is also on Powell and Co. downplaying the two consecutive negative quarters of GDP data. In fact, the U.S. is in a recession, and denying it or downplaying it will not help solve the problems plaguing the country’s economy, let alone its citizens:
“I’m not going to give the Federal Reserve credit for trying to put out a fire it started. And by the way, they’re not even taking enough water to shut it down. The Fed should have raised interest rates a lot more. It went too slowly and not for the economy to manage it, this is not possible. We are in a recession and they want to ignore it. The recession will get worse if the Fed continues to raise interest rates but it shouldn’t stop just because it will put the economy into depression or could create a financial recession, it needs to. The only way to fight inflation is to remove all the inflation from the economy that the Fed has put in so, they have to cut their balance sheets, they have to raise interest rates and force the government to cut public spending but unfortunately none of this will happen. This recession will get much worse and Powell will face defeat, focus his attention on trying to stimulate the economy and let inflation get out of control.”
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