United States

More Evidence of a North American Slowdown

June 30, 2010

According to the ADP estimate, private employment increased just 13K in June, about a fifth as much as expected.  The measly rise in June was the smallest since a 3K uptick in February and compares to 51K per month in March-May.  The data bode poorly for Friday’s Labor Department monthly survey.  According to the latter, […] More

How the First-Quarter U.S. Current Account Deficit Was Funded

June 17, 2010

The Commerce Department release of quarterly U.S. international transactions, the most comprehensive snapshot of the balance of payments, contains several pieces of dollar-supporting news. The current account deficit, $109.0 billion, was about $10 billion smaller than expected.  That sum was equal to 3.0% of GDP, similar to ratios of 2.8% in the prior quarter and […] More

Canada and United States Release Several Indicators: Highlights

June 15, 2010

Foreigners on net bought over $100 billion of long-term U.S. securities for a second straight month in April.  The two-month average, $134.2 billion, compares very favorably with $43.8 billion per month in January-February, $53.3 billion per month in 2009 and $34.3 billion per month in 2008 and even exceeded the pace of $83.4 billion in […] More

U.S./Euro Area Manufacturing PMI Spread Shows Widest Advantage in Four Months

June 1, 2010

The purchasing manager indices fell in May by 1.8 points in Euroland but just 0.7 points in the United States.  The differential between those two readings increased 1.1 points as a result to its greatest width since January despite a near 20% appreciation of the dollar against the euro since November.  Manufacturing is export-intensive, so […] More

U.S. and Japanese Growth Properties

May 27, 2010

U.S. real GDP growth of 3.0% at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (saar) in the first quarter was only 60% as rapid as Japanese growth of 4.9% saar in the same period.  However, two-quarter U.S. annualized growth between 3Q09 and 1Q10 was very similar at 4.3% saar to Japan’s 4.6% over the same period.  Other […] More

U.S. Minus Euroland Services Spread Narrowed Last Month

May 5, 2010

Implied activity in the United States service sector remained brisk last month but failed to quicken further.  This allowed it to be overtaken marginally by Euroland’s index and caused the spread between the sum of the services and manufacturing PMIs, depicted below in the right-most column to drop to 2.6 from 4.3.  The U.S. subindex […] More

Fear of Financial Contagion

May 4, 2010

The world recession of 2008-9 demonstrated the interconnectedness of global financial markets and how quickly a localized malfunction can destabilize other seemingly insulated and unrelated areas.  Excessive sovereign deficit-spending and debt are not unique to Europe or the euro area.  Public finances were thrown out of whack in numerous countries by the policy response to […] More

U.S. Job Layoffs and Consumption

April 15, 2010

The weekly data series of first-time jobless insurance claims essentially measures layoffs.  The elevated readings of 484K jobless claims last week and 460K in the week of April 3rd were purportedly distorted upward by the later Easter in 2009, but the four-week average tends to smooth out such noise.  The four-week average unfortunately was also […] More

U.S. and Ezone Services Improved Significantly Last Month

April 7, 2010

The U.S. service-sector purchasing managers index rose 2.4 points to 55.9, while its Euroland counterpart almost matched that impressive gain step-for-step with a 2.3-point advance to 54.1.  Both readings connote solid positive growth and indicate that economic recovery has become more broadly based in each region.  The U.S. held a 1.3-point advantage over Euroland in […] More

U.S. Minus Euroland PMI-Mf’g Spread Widened to 3.0 Points in March

April 1, 2010

Manufacturing expanded robustly and at an accelerated pace last month in both Euroland and the United States.  Euroland’s purchasing managers index advanced 2.4 points to 56.6, best since November 2006.  The output and orders sub-indices hit their highest respective levels since June 2006 and June 2000.  The United States managed to outperform Euroland’s stellar manufacturing […] More