Wednesday, May 6, 2015

US Trade Data Confirm Weak Global Economy (excerpt)

Yesterday, the Census Bureau released March data for US merchandise trade. Imports rose significantly. However, the 10.3% m/m jump in the inflation-adjusted series reflected some catching up after the West Coast port strikes ended during February.

More significantly, real merchandise exports edged up just 1.1% m/m and are showing a flattening tendency over the past year. On a y/y basis, imports are up 10.1%, while exports are up only 0.3%. The slowdown in exports probably reflects secular stagnation in the global economy as well as the negative impacts of the strong dollar and the port strikes.

Today's Morning Briefing: The World Is Flat. (1) Thomas Friedman’s book. (2) The end of the Cold War was the end of the greatest trade barrier ever. (3) Has globalization improved or worsened income inequality? (4) Has globalization led to secular stagnation? (5) World export volumes and production growing slowly. (6) Not much action in exports of US and Eurozone. (7) China’s trade indicators are weak inside and out. (8) Summers and Rogoff agree on disease, but not cure. (9) Too much debt is one of the main causes of secular stagnation. (10) India’s problem. (11) Focus on market-weight-rated S&P 500 Transportation. (More for subscribers.)

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