6 MONTH GLOBAL COVID 19 PERCENTAGE INCREASES
A tweet from @JohnPasalis last week caught my attention; it included a chart (left) of the number of home sales the week before Christmas plotted over the last 10 years. The end of year swarm of sales by the FOMO 2.0 crowd is a 10 year record (maybe longer) of over 40% more than the highest of previous years recorded. Wow.
I mashed up the chart with end of year data for average SF Detached Y/Y price increases and the Bank of Canada 10 year bond rate. It looks to me that as interest rates drop, the demand rises for physical assets. This can also been seen since the asset crash into March 2009 in my chart of SF Detached, Bitcoin and Gold. And if we look at the "Real" BoC Bank Rate chart which has been mostly negative since the 2009 crash, it becomes even more evident that the reach for yield comes at the expense of risk management.
Although the Bank of Canada rejects the policy use of negative nominal rates (chart left), real negative rates continue to animate the FOMO crowd and force the weaker hands into lower consumption and higher savings to repair balance sheets.
At the retail street level, the major banks all agree in their forecast statements (chart left) that 5 year fixed mortgage rates will remain well under 3% for at least the next two full years through 2022.
These projections may not unfold as suggested; a 2020 Bank of England Staff Working Paper "Eight centuries of global real interest rates, wealth returns and broader real growth, and the ‘suprasecular’ decline, 1311–2018" concludes in part:
"The data here suggests that the “historically implied” safe asset provider long-term real rate stands at 1.56% for the year 2018, which would imply that against the backdrop of inflation targets at 2%, nominal advanced economy rates may no longer rise sustainably above 3.5%. Whatever the precise dominant driver – simply extrapolating such long-term historical trends suggests that negative real rates will not just soon constitute a “new normal” – they will continue to fall constantly. By the late 2020s, global short term real rates will have reached permanently negative territory. By the second half of this century, global long-term real rates will have followed."
CPI is currently 0.5% (NOV 2020 print) and has been rising since the March 2020 lock down; this inflationary pressure will keep real rates muted and the Bank of Canada expects "CPI inflation to arrive at 0.2% for 2020 and remain below 2% until 2023." (DEC 9, 2020 BoC update)
The Brookings Institution provides current World Data Lab projections indicating that there are four projected patterns of recoveries.
Canada is projected to "recover" from the coronavirus perhaps in 2023 or 2024, and that Consumer Spending in North America is down nearly 1% Y/Y and is projected to continue dropping (charts left).
Zero or positive growth in spending per capita. This group includes China, Egypt, Vietnam, Taiwan, Bangladesh, and most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The drop in consumption affects employment (chart) especially in service related sectors which is where nearly 80% of Canadians earn their paycheques (Workforce Distribution chart left is from Statista.com). As noted on my Household Debt chart, "The widening spread between total household debt and household mortgages means we are borrowing even more to maintain lifestyle." But this trend requires positive cash flow which has been pinched for many Canadian households.
BP PLC (British Petroleum), one the seven oil and gas "supermajors" (Wikipedia) has released its 2020 oil demand projections and in February 2020 announced a new purpose – "to reimagine energy for people and our planet... by a new ambition, to be a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help get the world to net zero." (Full 2020 81 page report here)
Bloomberg picked up the story "Peak Oil is Suddenly Upon Us" and republished some of the detail November 30th; I mashed up a few charts.
Bloomberg made the observation that:
The list of energy analysts who now foresee a peak in oil demand keeps growing. It includes Norway’s state-owned oil company Equinor (peaking around 2027-28), Norwegian energy researcher Rystad Energy (2028), French oil major Total SA (2030), consulting firm McKinsey (2033), clean-energy research group BloombergNEF (2035), and energy-industry advisors Wood Mackenzie (2035). The exporting nations of OPEC put the peak in 2040 while acknowledging that its new forecast might still prove too optimistic for oil. Notable exceptions include the International Energy Agency, which sees demand “plateauing” but not quite peaking...
On December 3rd, Bloomberg published "Germany’s Electric-Car Market Is Poised to Overtake California’s" and noted that:
Europe is taking unprecedented steps to phase out gasoline and diesel cars, with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson banning sales of cars that lack a plug from 2030. Germany last month said it will extend cash bonuses for purchasing EVs until 2025, expand the country’s charging network and make payments for topping up batteries easier. California will phase out sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035...
A highlight from the International Energy Agency November 2020 Fuel Report projects that "Renewables are set to lead the global electricity sector."
Cost reductions and sustained policy support are expected to drive strong renewables growth beyond 2022. Despite the challenges emerging from the Covid crisis, the fundamentals of renewable energy expansion have not changed. Solar PV and onshore wind are already the cheapest ways of adding new electricity-generating plants in most countries today. In countries where good resources and cheap financing are available, wind and solar PV plants will challenge existing fossil fuel plants. Solar projects now offer some of the lowest-cost electricity in history. Overall, renewables are set to account for 95% of the net increase in global power capacity through 2025.
Total installed wind and solar PV capacity is on course to surpass natural gas in 2023 and coal in 2024. Solar PV alone accounts for 60% of all renewable capacity additions through 2025, and wind provides another 30%. Driven by further cost declines, annual offshore wind additions are set to surge, accounting for one-fifth of the total wind annual market in 2025. Offshore’s growth moves beyond Europe to new markets such as China and the United States where ample potential remains. The rapid growth of variable renewables around the world calls for increased policy attention to ensure they are securely and cost-effectively integrated into electricity systems.
BloombergNEF Presentation: New Energy Outlook 2020
Driven by the Power of the Sun
QuantumScape is building a better electric car battery that it says charges to 80% in 15 minutes (CNBC) DEC 8, 2020
- Volkswagen-backed QuantumScape is building a solid-state lithium metal battery for electric vehicles that it says will be safer and better than the cells on the market today.
- In extensive testing, QuantumScape found that its batteries should allow a car to charge to 80% of its full capacity in about 15 minutes.
- QuantumScape’s board includes ex-Tesla CTO JB Straubel and SolarCity CFO Brad Buss, along side Volkswagen execs, Juergen Leohold and Frank Blome, among others.
QuantumScape isn’t alone in its quest to build a better battery. Ultimately, the company will compete with stalwart battery manufacturers like CATL and BYD in China, Panasonic, LG, Samsung and others that manufacture lithium ion battery cells. It will also compete against Tesla, which has designed and started producing some of its own cells, and other companies building solid-state batteries, like Solid Power and Toyota. (CNBC) DEC 8, 2020
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