We had some not so friendly news hit the wires this week regarding China. The world's largest consumer of things from the ground and largest sibling in the Asian region recorded slower-than-expected GDP growth for the second quarter: 7.6 per cent. This is the sixth straight quarter in which growth has decelerated and represents a half a per cent decline from the growth seen in Q1.
A lot of Canadians have no life insurance. Those who do often have excessive or expensive policies that they just don't need. In this economy, it's time Canadians go through their desk drawers and purge some of those useless, costly policies, and replace them with new ones.
From last weekend's elections in France and Germany, highlighting a shift in the populace away from fiscal austerity, to the gridlock in Greece's parliament (and more probable threat that the country will leave the euro), the region has created a conundrum for investors.
The seeds are already planted for bond yields to climb over the long-term as we lose the traditional investors in the U.S. debt market. One way out of this dilemma is to get deficits under control and put debt (and debt/GDP ratios) on a more sustainable trajectory. If preventing a return to double-digit bond yields (and mortgage rates) in North America isn't a big enough motivation to do this, I don't know what is.
While we debate economic momentum in the U.S., how much slower the Chinese economy will become and whether the downtrend in multiples has more to go, expect to see the stock market a little more shaky in the coming weeks and months. Yep, I said it -- more volatility.