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In January the U.S. Trade deficit rose to a five year high of $48.5 billion, with both exports and imports at their highest levels since December 2014. Top exports were passenger cars, automotive parts and accessories, and pharmaceutical preparations; top imports were passenger cars, crude oil, and cell phones. Year-over-year, exports increased 7.4% for a $13.3 billion increase, but imports increased more steeply at 8.3% for an $18.4 billion increase.
Crude oil inventories were up by 8.2 million barrels to 528.4 million barrels, the highest level ever recorded by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The 7.7% Y/Y increase was accompanied by a 0.5% Y/Y decrease in motor gasoline supplies, which dropped by 6.6 million barrels, and a 0.6% Y/Y decrease in distillates, dropping by 2.7 million barrels. Demand for gasoline was down by 6.1% Y/Y to 8.8 million barrels/day, while distillate product demand was up 12.6% Y/Y to 4 million barrels/day.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report for February showed non-farm payroll employment increasing by 235,000 jobs, the workforce participation rate bumping up 0.1% to 63.0%, wages increasing 0.2%, and the unemployment rate down 0.1% to 4.7%. The number of new jobs created in December and January were revised to add a net 9,000 more jobs than previously reported, bringing the 3-month job gain average to 209,000/month. Jobs were lost primarily in retail trade, while jobs were gained in construction, private educational services, manufacturing, healthcare, and professional and business services.
Wednesday March 15 — FOMC Meeting Announcement
Friday March 17 — Industrial Production
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