Tag Archives: trade

Weak GDP to Affect How Fed Talks about Data

Real GDP grew a negligible 0.1% in the first quarter of 2014, after expanding 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Much of the weakness is attributed to extreme weather, although some decreases were larger than expected. It’s important to note that GDP for this initial estimate is compiled from the earliest data available for [...]

U.S. Trade Deteriorates

The trade deficit widened more than expected in February, as imports rose and exports fell. Imports of vehicles were particularly strong; that could be a problem for domestic vehicle producers going forward even as sales come back, which they did strongly in March. Japanese and Korean producers, in particular, now have unusually large pricing advantages [...]

2013 Growth Held Back by Fiscal Policy

Real GDP growth came in at 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013, a little less than we expected.  One reason was that spending by the federal government plummeted further in response to the government shutdown and budget battles; those losses will be much more muted as we move forward, now that we have an [...]

Headline GDP Overstates Growth

Real GDP rose 2.8% in the third quarter, much stronger than expected. Much of that gain, however, may be attributed to an unintended rise in inventories. (The gain in inventories alone added 0.8% to real GDP.) We also saw an improvement in the trade deficit, which added another 0.3% to growth. However, both exports and [...]

Trade Deficit Widens Slightly

The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly to $38.8 billion in August from a downwardly revised $38.6 billion in July. Exports fell more rapidly than imports. The weakness in exports was concentrated in industrial supplies, food, feed and beverages, which likely reflects the reversal of fortunes across many key developing economies over the summer. Talk of [...]

Trade Gap Widens Slightly

The trade gap widened to $39.1 billion in July after being revised up only marginally in June. Exports dropped slightly from the highs of June, while imports rebounded a bit. The bulk of the drop in exports showed up in the capital and consumer goods sectors. The drop in capital goods was largest in aircraft [...]

Second Quarter Growth Revised Up

Real GDP for the second quarter rose a revised 2.5%, up 0.8% from the originally reported, anemic 1.7% pace. The upward revision in growth was largely in response to an improvement in trade; exports were revised up and imports down for the period. This reflects some bottoming of recessions abroad. Much of the slowdown in [...]

Trade Deficit Snaps Back

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply to $34.2 billion in June from a downwardly revised $44.1 billion in May, better than initially reported. Exports rebounded across the board while imports declined. This suggests slightly weaker domestic demand and better foreign demand than previously reported. The U.S. is currently running a trade surplus (which widened in [...]

Real GDP Up 1.7% in Second Quarter 2013

Every July, the government plays a cruel trick on economists and tells them that what they once thought were actual data were not, after all. Instead, that was the government’s best guess of what was happening but now that more information and better measurements of the data are available, history as we knew it has [...]

Trade Deficit Widens on Stronger Imports

The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in May, as imports rebounded while exports contracted. Goods imports were particularly strong, as automakers pushed to restock inventories. Many European producers have been pushing product to the U.S., given the ongoing weakness at home. We also continue to import a lot of cell phones