Post 249

A snapshot of what’s going on in the world’s economy.  Financial Ructions and book reviews can be a bit more technical so feel free to skip them.  See disclaimer at the end of this note.



Slowing Economy?

US GDP growth by quarter (over the previous quarter) (BEA)

Personal consumption spending on goods:

Rising Prices?

Personal Consumption Expenditures Price (PCE) Index (BEA)

Note that declining energy prices had helped lower inflation for five straight months.

Core PCE excluding food and energy:

Personal Savings Rate (savings as a percent of after-tax income):

PM: And credit card spending rising: see below.

Price Over Volume


1Q/2024 Results


1Q/2024 Results:

From my post in April 2023


Feeling Blue

JetBlue Airways is a low-cost airline founded in New York.

Share price performance:

Hilton Worldwide

It owns 23 different brands including:

A brief history

Note that Hilton owns the Hilton hotel brand and very few of its properties.

Hilton hotels have featured in a number of movies Wikipedia:

1Q/2024 Results

Toys Out The Pram

Hasbro 1Q/2024 Results

From my post of October 2023:

Hasbro is one of the world’s largest toy/game manufacturers, which was founded in 1923 and made pencil boxes before switching to toys in the 1940s.


2Q/2024 Results

Credit card outstanding balances in the US are over $1 trillion (FRED)


1Q/2024 Results:

Federal Express

3Q/2024 Results:

Union Pacific Railroad

1Q/2024 Results:


1Q/2024 Results

Oh Deere

Quarterly sales for Deere:

 AgricultureSmall Ag & TurfConstruction and ForestryTotal

PM: Notice a trend?

Meta (owner of Facebook)


3Q/2024 Results:

Financial Ructions

Note: ‘Financial Ructions’ is optional-to-read for those who are interested in taking a bit of a deeper dive…

Coming Home To Roost

Japanese Yen to the Dollar:

  • 1971: 357.4
  • 1985: 216.5
    • Plaza Accord struck to weaken the USD vs. other main currencies.
  • 1987: 153
    • Plaza Accord worked too well.
    • Struck the Louvre Accord to stop the USD depreciating.
      • A strong JPY was not good for the Honda Accord.
  • 2012: 76.34
    • Peak strength of Yen vs. USD
  • Feb 2020 (Pre-COVID): 108.12
  • Apr 2024: 157.4
    • The Yen has weakened vs. the USD by 51% in 12 years.

It was rumoured that the Japanese government recently intervened in currency markets and sold US dollars to support the Yen.

  • They have a lot to sell.

Largest holders of US Treasuries and year-over-year change:

  1. Japan: $1.168 trillion
    • +$87 billion
  2. China: $775 billion
    • -$74 billion
  3. UK: $701 billion
    • +$66 billion
  4. Luxembourg: $379 billion
    • +$52 billion
  5. Canada: $354 billion
    • +$118.5 billion
      • Up over 50%!

Total US debt held by foreigners: $7.965 trillion:

  • Up $637 billion from last year.
    • Canada accounted for almost 20% of the increase??
  • Foreigners hold approximately 30% of total US debt held by the public.

Key central bank rates:

  • US: 5.25-5.50%
  • Japan: 0-0.1%

Debt to GDP (IMF):

  • Japan: 261%
  • US: 126%
  • Sweden: 36%

Houston, we have a problem.

Disclaimer: Note that Paulitical Economy™ should not be considered as investment advice, and I have not verified all of the sources of information.  It is meant for general interest purposes only.  Please consult an advisor if you plan on putting any of your hard-earned capital to work during these turbulent times.

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