Economy

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The US trade deficit in January was $51.98 billion down from the prior month's $59.8 billion off  the 10-year high of $621 billion in 2018. Goods deficits with China, Mexico, EU came off records as imports fell 2.1%and the services surplus increased to $22.14 billion.

House prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in January the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city index showed. Price gains were 3.6% higher compared to a year ago. However that is the slowest annual growth since 2012 with a monthly decline for the third-straight month.

The US announced its largest monthly fiscal deficit on record for February at $234 billion, worse than the $227B expected and the largest shortfall EVER for any single month on record and from a $215 billion gap a year earlier.

The monthly Reuters Tankan survey indicates Japanese manufacturer's sentiment falling the lowest since October 2016 in March with the sentiment index at +10 from February's +13. This was the fifth consecutive monthly fall for the sentiment index. 

US Consumer price inflation (CPI) for  February was 0.2% as expected. YoY was 1.5% less than expected. However real average hourly earnings rose 1.9% higher than the previous month. Bottom line is the Federal Reserve remains as clueless about inflation and wages as before.

China released February inflation reports with the consumer price index (CPI), which rose by 1.5 percent year on year as expected but under the CPI target for 2019 of 3 percent. The Producer price index (PPI)rose 0.1 percent y/y under the expected 0.2 percent.

The U.S. jobs report for February disappointed with the lowest NFP jobs since Sept 2017 with just 20k new jobs under an expected 190k and down from January's robust 311k new NFP jobs. It had been the best four month stretch of gains since 2014. Unemployment fell to 3.8% 48 year lows.

The Chinese February trade data were a huge miss with exports down in Yuan terms -16.6% Y/Y from an expected gain of +6.6%. Imports were also missed -0.3% y/y versus an expected +6.2%. Chinese trade balance was CNY 34.46bn from an expected CNY 252.3bn.

The US trade deficit in December rose from the prior month to $59.8 billion seeing the gap widen in 2018 to a 10-year high of $621 billion as goods deficits with China, Mexico, EU widened to records. Tax cuts boosted domestic demand for imports as the strong dollar and retaliatory tariffs hurt exports.

Auto and auto parts companies impact U.S. economic growth which is a debt led consumer economy. With spiralling auto debt it affects the whole finance pyramid. The U.S. auto industry helps drive industrial production, service and finance industries and insight into consumer trends.

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