What’s Good for Workers is Bad for Companies

Recent data from the labour market and the National Federation of Independent Business shows that wages will be picking up quickly this year. The NFIB compensation plans is now at the highest point in the last twenty years. Small businesses expect to raise wages, and...

Earnings to Fall Further

Profit margins are declining, and we expect them to fall much further.  As you can see from the chart below, Variant Perception’s leading indicator for wages does a very good job of leading US corporate profit margins by a little over a year and a half. The message is...

Profit Cycle Turning Down

The corporate profit cycle is now turning down, and our leading economic indicators point to further declines in return on equity (ROE) and profit margins.  This is not a short-term call on equity markets but a major structural factor investors should bear in mind in...

Higher Volatility and Credit Spreads Ahead

All of our leading indicators for credit spreads and volatility point to wider volatility and higher credit spreads over the next two years.  The credit cycle is long in the tooth, and the best predictor of future credit spreads is the lagged growth in lending. For a...

Profit Margins to Head Lower, Equities to Suffer

Profit margins in the US have hit modern-day record levels, and this has been used to help justify high equity valuations.  Consensus estimates are for profit margins to remain steady, or even increase from current levels.  We disagree for ironclad economic and...