Category Archives: Adolfo Laurenti

Trade Deficit Shrinks as Exports of Goods Improve

The latest data on international trade for the month of September show some positive developments for the U.S. economy. The goods and services deficit dropped by $7.2 billion, from $48 billion in August to $40.8 billion in September, in a movement that reflects both advances in exports and declines in imports, despite the relative strong [...]

ECB Sends Dovish Message

The European Central Bank (ECB) today reaffirmed its commitment to reflate the Eurozone and maintain support for an economy that is improving but still fragile. The ECB governing council stayed the course and kept the target rate (i.e., the main refinancing operations rate) virtually at zero

Trade Deficit Widens as Emerging Economies Sputter

The trade deficit widened in August to $48.3 billion, up from a revised $41.8 billion in July, in a further sign that weakness abroad is creating headwinds for the American domestic economy. Exports declined by 2%,

Yuan Devaluation: Nod to Markets or Currency Manipulation?

Last week the Chinese central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), announced a change in its exchange rate-setting mechanism that resulted in a de facto devaluation of the yuan, which dropped by more than 4% by the end of the week. The decision was widely interpreted as a deliberate attempt to weaken the currency, [...]

Solid Gains in Retail Sales Reveal a More Confident U.S. Consumer

The U.S. consumer entered the third quarter with some momentum, according to the latest report on retail sales. Total sales rose 0.6% in July over June, and are up 2.4% over one year ago. The revision to June, whose reading was originally in negative territory, was to the upside

“The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same”

As demanded by the European Union, Greece is back at the negotiating table. One week after a referendum rejected the creditors’ bailout plan, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is offering to his European partners his own plan to deal with the crisis, in a last ditch effort to stave off the collapse of the economy

It is All Greek to Me

The Greek referendum, expected to be a close affair, delivered a resounding victory to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who gambled his political future on the vote. By giving a large majority to the “no” camp, Greek voters didn’t simply reject the creditors’ proposal (which in any case was not really on the table anymore); they [...]

Five Themes for the Week

Economic Struggles in China and Greece Chinese authorities sprang into action just a few days after announcing a disappointing first quarter GDP growth rate. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) last night reduced the banks’ reserve requirement by 1% to 18.5% with the intended goal of free, loanable funds in the banking system in order [...]

China Barely Meets Diminished Expectations

The latest report on Chinese GDP raises new concerns about the economic health of the country. The economy grew 7% in the first quarter; conveniently, that is the growth target set by the Chinese authorities for 2015. Unfortunately, it is also the slowest pace since 2009

Energy Cuts Weigh on Industrial Production

Recent weeks have not been kind to economic readings, with a mix of negative reports or failures to meet expectations. Today’s report on industrial production in March is in line with the overall soft trend for the first quarter.