China and Brazil Watch

Monday, January 11, 2010

In our January 4 Outlook, we contrasted the accelerating economic strength of China, India, and Brazil with the struggling U.S. and European recoveries. Fresh evidence of Chinese prosperity is the surprising surge in both exports and imports in data released overnight. Another indication may be found in today’s Financial Times in an article “China lenders eclipse U.S. rivals.” The article reveals that all 7 of the world’s top valued banks (ranked by bank share price to book value) are Chinese or Brazilian, and concludes the data “reflect growing [investor] confidence in emerging markets, particularly China and Brazil.” In 2000, 5 of the top 6 highest valued banks were American. To highlight the contrast among economies, another article on the same page of the Financial Times, “Lingering doubts over recovery keep European inventories low” reveals that European business executives continue to have very low confidence in their own economic future. To be sure, the latest The Economist poll of forecasters (1/9/2010) foresees an anemic 1.4% real GDP growth for Euro area in 2010.