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In a unanimous vote, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to maintain interest rates at 1.0 – 1.25% and to maintain its policy of reinvesting its $4.5 trillion investment balance, although they reiterated their intention to begin reducing the balance “relatively soon”. The Committee noted that while job gains have been solid, and both household and business fixed investment spending have increased, yearly inflation has declined and remains below the 2% target.
Exports increased in June vs May by +$1.8 billion and imports decreased by -$0.7 billion, reducing the trade deficit to $63.9 billion. Increases in exports were notable for “other” goods (+5.5%), foods (+5.0%), and automotives (+2.8%), with import increases for “other” goods (+5.6%) and automobiles (+3.4%). Year over year, exports increased +6.8%, with significant increases for industrial supplies (+14.8%), automobiles (+9.9%), and food (+9.1%); yearly imports increased +4.5%, with significant increases for “other” goods (+12.6%), food (+8.1%), and industrial supplies (+7.7%). Industrial supplies includes petroleum and petroleum products, and “other” goods fall into the Census Bureau’s categorization for military-type goods.
The advance estimate for Q2 GDP was +2.6%, meeting consensus estimates and more than doubling Q1’s downward revised +1.2% GDP. Q2 GDP was boosted by increases in exports (+4.1%) vs imports (+2.1%), and a +2.8% increase in personal consumption expenditure (PCE), with lesser contributions from decreasing inventories, a small increase in government spending, and slowing increases in fixed business investment (+2.2% Q2 vs. +8.1% Q1). The increase in consumer spending included contributions from an increase in disposable personal income (+0.8%), a drop in the personal saving rate (by -0.1% to 3.8%), and an increase in the number of employed.
Tuesday August 1 – Personal Income and Outlays
Friday August 4 – Employment Situation