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JEREMY HOBSON: Now let’s get to the beginning of corporate earnings season. Aluminum maker Alcoa kicks off the season later today with its quarterly report.
Julia Coronado is chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas. She’s with us live from New York as she is every Monday. Good morning, Julia.
JULIA CORONADO: Good morning.
HOBSON: Well first of all, how will the rising prices that we’re seeing in things like oil, and food and raw materials going to impact company’s bottom lines this quarter?
CORONADO: Well, we’re going to see different impacts depending on the companies. So for a company like Alcoa, that you mentioned, they actually produce commodities, they’re an aluminum producer, so they’re benefiting from the higher prices. So companies — agricultural and energy companies — are really going to benefit from the higher prices. We’re going to see very very strong results from them. On the other hand, more retail-facing companies are going to have a harder time and we’re really going to be listening to how well they’re managing passing along these higher costs or whether their margins are starting to get squeezed.
HOBSON: And Julia last quarter, the big story was that most of the growth for U.S. companies was coming from overseas. Is that going to be the case again this quarter?
CORONADO: Yes I think that theme is still definitely with us. We did see some better spending numbers in recent months in the U.S., but it pales in comparison to what’s happening in Asia and Latin America. So, companies that are more globally facing are going to do a whole lot better than those that are more reliant on the domestic market.
HOBSON: And taking all that into account — how are U.S. companies doing and what does that mean for ordinary Americans?
CORONADO: Well, the corporate sector has been doing extraordinarily well. They’ve really managed to regain profitability and are actually seeing record profits. Does that have pass-though to the rest of us? To the man on the street? It does, they have been the sector that’s been adding jobs and investing, so there has been definitely a benefit from that strong corporate sector to the U.S. economy.
HOBSON: Julia Coronado, chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas, thanks so much for your time as always.
CORONADO: My pleasure.
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