Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Case for Developed Europe

Missed this the other day. Reuters details:

Euro zone industrial new orders rose more than expected during the month of June, data showed on Monday, boding well for economic growth in the third quarter of 2010.

Industrial orders in the 16-nation currency zone increased 2.5 percent month-on-month for a 22.6 percent annual gain, European Union statistics office Eurostat said.

"That's good. Shows we can take a lot of the second-quarter momentum into the second half," said Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING.

The data could point to another quarter of economic expansion as the euro zone recovers from its sovereign debt problems and the worst economic crisis in decades. Orders point to trends in activity as they translate into future production.

So the economy seems to be "recovering" (or at least not entering a depression). The importance of this non-depressionary environment? The market is (according to GMO's James Montier - one of my favorite out of the box writers) priced like it is.

To his latest missive (if you are not signed up, I recommend you do - bold mine):

Of course, as with all investments, the price you pay determines the attractiveness of the opportunity. The good news is that European dividends appear to be priced cheaply at the moment.

Exhibit 6 (go to his missive to see) shows the current pricing structure of European dividends (for the Eurostoxx 50, the vertical line marks the point at which we switch from actual dividends to the market’s implied view of dividends), and shows the experience of U.S. dividends during the Great d epression as a comparison. In essence, the market is saying that dividends will have virtually zero growth between now and 2019. This is a worse outcome than the U.S. witnessed in the wake of the Great Depression!

Source: Eurostat

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