Trade Balance (Dec)
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.
Initial Jobless Claims (Feb 9)
Working their way back down – no recession here.
Continuing Claims (Feb 2)
Still at modest levels, and only a very small blip on the long term chart.