Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meanwhile back in the real economy.....

From todays WSJ: "Narrower June Trade Gap Suggests 4% GDP Surge"

The June trade deficit was 1.7% smaller than May's, even though it was expected to rise. This new information means that the 3.4% second quarter growth rate is going to actually be higher, probably a bit above 4%, and forecasts of the third quarter growth rate will likely be raised a bit as well.

A couple other points here. (1) Exports grew faster than imports, so the decreased deficit was not just coming from reduced US demand, (2) this occurred even as oil prices continued to rise (and thus raise the nominal value of imports.

On the inflation front, the CPI rose by 0.1% in July ("core" inflation by 0.2%), so far for the year, core inflation is running at a 2.3% rate.