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US Data 9/4 - Trade Balance, Jobless Claims, Services PMI

Today was a big day with the Bank of England's and the European Central Bank's monetary statements. We also had a few US data points.

Trade Balance (July): -40.5B
Forecast: -42.5B
June: -40.8B (revised from -41.5B).

US trade deficit contracted in July to the lowest in 6 months. Exports increased 0.9$ to a record high of $198 bn, boosted by a surge in goods, auto, parts and engines, and non-petro products. 

Imports increased 0.7%, which reflects strong domestic demand as well. However, petroleum imports fell, and the petroleum deficit was at the lowest level since May 2009. US has been drilling for that energy independence, and trade data is reflecting this path.

Jobless Claims: 302K
Forecast: 298K
Last week: 298K


(click to enlarge; source: forexfactory.com)


Those claiming unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, back above 300K, but this is no biggie. The trend has been falling, and has impressed the Fed to considering a rate hike maybe before mid-2015.

ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (August): 59.6
Forecast: 57.3
July: 58.7

(click to enlarge; source: forexfactory.com)

Activity in the services sector grew at a faster pace in August than in July, beating expectation of a slower growth. This is the strongest reading since February 2011, when it was at 59.7.
There's not much impact from this data point, but as part of Q3 data, we are seeing good things for the US economy. The prospect of an earlier than mid-2015 rate hike is improving little by little.