1. Vanguard's new 2014 outlook note included this debt heat map for the major economies around the world.
2. Barry Ritholtz offers up some great charts on inflation, including …
short-term inflation expectations have declined somewhat with the recent declines in inflation, longer-term inflation expectations have not drifted down to any meaningful extent
Personal Consumption Expenditures
Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) inflation was essentially zero in the fourth quarter of 2013, significantly under the FOMC’s target. Throughout 2013, PCE inflation averaged about 1.0 percent, still below the 2 percent target. Meanwhile, core PCE inflation, which excludes the volatile energy and food components, averaged 1.1 percent for the first two months of the fourth quarter and over 2013 as well. While the FOMC is concerned about PCE inflation as a gauge of price stability, core PCE inflation is closely watched because there is some evidence that it predicts inflation over longer horizons better than total inflation.
CPI inflation in the fourth quarter was 0.9 percent, and core CPI inflation was approximately 1.6 percent. This is also what core CPI inflation averaged over the past year, though in the previous two years it averaged between 1.9 percent and 2.2 percent. Therefore, it too has shown a continual decline over the past two years.
See the rest of the inflation charts HERE
3. Bespoke points out that the equity market’s start for 2014 is similar to what has been seen over the last 20 years.
“If the pattern continues, look for continued weakness through next week before a rebound to close out the month."
4. Frank Holmes of US Global Investors has a chart of a “golden cross” for companies on the TSX-Venture.
Read the rest of his analysis HERE.
5. Gold just turned in its best performance in 16 months. And from the same link, the GFMS survey noted that despite the weak gold price in the last quarter of the year total output from mines reached 2,982 tonnes in 2013, up 4.1% from 2012 as miners processed more ore to protect their revenues from lower prices.
6. Barrick Gold just recalculated its reserves based on $1,100 gold. This is down from $1,500 at the beginning of 2013. Considering that this company has been making one wrong move after another, I don’t know what to think at this point.
7. Finally, here’s my IU column for this week, “Four Forces for Gold’s Next Rally”