S&P 500 futures have risen to a new all time high today as bullishness returns to stock markets following some very positive economic data.
Manufacturing last month rose to 64.7, up from 60.8 in February with any figure above 50 suggesting an expansion.
Some 916,000 jobs were added last month in the United States, significantly more than the estimated 647,000.
In Europe too manufacturing rose to 62 last month from 57 in February. That’s the fastest rate of growth in two decades.
US President Joe Biden has come out with another $2 trillion infrastructure revival deal, with the whitehouse stating the plan will:
“Fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems. The President’s plan will modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main-streets.
It will fix the ten most economically significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction. It also will repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, providing critical linkages to communities.
And, it will replace thousands of buses and rail cars, repair hundreds of stations, renew airports, and expand transit and rail into new communities.”
That’s the biggest investment in bread and butter since the new deal at the depth of the 1930s Depression, returning confidence in US markets.
Rail in particular can be a big booster of the economy especially if investment drives innovation to the point you can go from New York to LA in two hours by train.
For Europe, the western balkans are extremely underdeveloped where rail is concerned in great part due to their half century isolation until 1990.
It’s not clear for example why the ancient Egnatia road is not revived by rail where you go from Rome through Durres and then some of the most beautiful scenery in the world to Istanbul, where you can connect to Shanghai by train.
Likewise you can connect that upwards, through Croatia to then Slovenia’s rail connections with the north. Allowing shipping goods to more quickly reach their destination or goods from the new rail Silk Road to get to Italy and much of Europe a lot quicker.
These are low hanging fruits potential investments with clear economic benefits for the entire continent and global trade as the movement of goods and people is boosted with high speed and potentially intercontinental rail.
On global trade this is projected to grow at 8% this year according to the World Trade Organization, up from 5%.
That’s the highest in a decade with analysts estimating a sharp V recovery as the global economic engine turns full steam.