Sunday, July 19, 2009

US Private Consumption

Here are the numbers for private consumption, in $ Trillion, for the US and some other areas

US 10.1
Eurozone 7.6
Japan 2.8
UK 1.6
China 1.6
India 0.6
Korea 0.5

Source: CEIC

Many economists expect the US, Europe and Japan to slow their consumption after this great loss in wealth and also due to demographics. They also expect emerging markets like China, India etc to pick up some of the slack.

Those three combined are $20.5T. Lets says, they reduce consumption by 10%. That is a loss in demand of $2T. If China, India and Korea were to pick up all of this slack, they would have to increase their private consumption by 76%. They would have to do this while their export markets (their largest employer) are undergoing this historic bust. Does that make sense to anyone? Of course not. There is no other consumer capable of replacing the US and European consumers. The conclusion is unavoidable excess capacity.