🤫 Psst, we might be past peak inflation

Chinese ecommerce platform Pinduoduo throve last quarter | Prices might finally be about to ease up |

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Today's big stories

  1. Chinese ecommerce platform Pinduoduo showed off some tantalizing quarterly results
  2. Peek at this playbook and invest like a leading fund manager – Read Now
  3. There were signs global inflation might have already peaked

Pinduoduo Looks Like A Pin-Up

Pinduoduo Looks Like A Pin-Up

What’s Going On Here?

Chinese ecommerce platform Pinduoduo revealed some eye-catching quarterly results on Monday.

What Does This Mean?

Folk wisdom says that lockdowns are bad for everyone besides Netflix and online shops – and the success of ecommerce firm Pinduoduo, amid China’s record Covid infections and locked-down cities, seems to confirm that. After all, you don’t stop buying groceries when you need to stay home: you just use a platform like Pinduoduo instead. Fresh produce, consumer electronics, and cosmetics were key money-makers last quarter: as consumer spending recovered, they catapulted the firm’s revenue well past analyst expectations, to beat the same quarter last year by a stone-cold 65% (tweet this). No wonder investors pushed the company’s sturdy stock up 15% when the news broke.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: Heading for the heart of the Amazon.
Not content with domestic success, Pinduoduo’s already making moves overseas, launching the US shopping site Temu just a few months ago. But the going won’t be easy. For one, Temu’s encroaching on the territory of none other than Amazon, the titan of titans. And for another, the firm’s one- or two-week shipping times won’t endear it to impatient customers used to breakneck delivery. What might sweeten the deal, though, are its prices: the firm’s close ties with low-cost Chinese manufacturers keep its offerings cheap and cheerful.

The bigger picture: It’s crunch time.
The eruption of volcanic anti-lockdown protests in China has caught the world’s attention and put the government in an awkward bind: either perform a very public U-turn and risk a surge in deaths among the under-vaccinated elderly – or crack down and hope a flourish of the iron fist puts any further criticism to bed. And while economists at Abrdn don’t see China wavering from its zero-Covid approach in the near-term, those at Goldman Sachs do reckon there’s a 60% chance the country will reopen before next July.

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Analyst Take

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How To Match The Returns Of A Top UK Fund Manager

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Inflation’s Over The Hill

Inflation’s Over The Hill

What’s Going On Here?

Global inflation might just have peaked, according to reports out over the weekend.

What Does This Mean?

The world’s had too many unwanted records lately. After global inflation hit a new high of 12.1% back in October, the only new records we want now are the ones emerging from this year’s World Cup. Looks like there’s hope things are turning around, too: right on cue, Messi’s started setting records in Qatar, and there are signs inflation’s about to run out of steam. See, a number of closely-watched global metrics – like commodity prices, shipping rates, and inflation expectations – have begun to ease from their record highs. That’s supported by data from Capital Economics, showing that inflation’s peaked across emerging markets – while price pressures in developing economies are cooling down too. No wonder, then, some economists are predicting an end to global inflation’s record-setting streak.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: Hold your horses.
Central banks have been doing their darndest to get inflation under control these past few months, but this news won’t have them cracking out the champagne just yet. After all, there’s still a long way to go before we hit the 2% target rate set by most advanced economies. And let’s not forget that energy costs are still a sore spot: the war in Ukraine has got supply on a knife-edge, and Chinese demand could send prices skyward if the country’s economy comes back roaring. So sure, things might not be getting any worse right now – but high inflation isn’t going to disappear overnight.

Zooming out: Christmas came early.
Lingering high prices didn’t seem to daunt US shoppers over the holiday weekend, with data from Adobe Analytics showing that they set an online-spending record of over $9 billion this Black Friday. And on reflection, it makes sense: this could've been shoppers’ last chance to buy gifts at a discount before Christmas rolls around.

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💬 Quote of the day

“I haven’t slept for ten days, because that would be too long.”

– Mitch Hedberg (an American stand-up comedian)
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🇬🇧 Making Smart Portfolio Moves During A Cost-Of-Living Crisis: 5pm, November 29th
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🎯 On Our Radar

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