2008-02-14 Trade Balance

Trade Balance (Dec)

Survey -$61.5B
Actual -$58.8B
Prior -$63.1B
Revised n/a

Moving lower as it reflects the declining desire of non residents to accumulate $US financial assets. Three main drivers are Paulson calling CB’s who buy $ currency manipulators, the Fed pursuing what looks to the world an ‘inflate your way out of debt’ policy scaring foreigners out of holding $US financial assets, and Bush’s ideological stance discouraging many oil producers from accumulating $US financial assets. And the new fiscal package doesn’t help, either.

Strong exports continue to support GDP and pick up the slack due to weak housing.


2008-02-14 Initial Jobless Claims

Initial Jobless Claims (Feb 9)

Survey 347K
Actual 348K
Prior 356K
Revised 357K

Working their way back down – no recession here.


2008-02-14 Continuing Claims

Continuing Claims (Feb 2)

Survey 2759K
Actual 2761K
Prior 2785K
Revised 2770K

Still at modest levels, and only a very small blip on the long term chart.


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