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News & Commentary Weekly Highlights:


Top Economic Indicator Highlights:

International Trade Balance (January)

  • Trade Deficit: $45.7 billion, M/M change: +2.2%, Y/Y change: +4.8%
  • Imports:  $222.1 billion, M/M change: -1.3%, Y/Y change: -4.5%
  • Exports: $176.5 billion, M/M change: -2.1%, Y/Y change: -6.6%
  • Noteworthy: The U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services increased $1 billion from $44.7 billion in December. Bloomberg suggests weakness in global business investment based on the decline of exports and imports of capital goods, though imports of autos continue to rise.



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The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Consumer Expenditure Survey reveals the income and consumption patterns of Americans over the course of a year, with underlying detail, including by demographic and income groups. As shown in the chart above, when adjusting by the average number of people per consumer unit in each before-tax income decile, the disparities between deciles diminish. For example, the top income decile has an average of 3.2 people per consumer unit, much more than the lowest decile, which averages 1.7 people per consumer unit (BLS states the terms consumer unit, family, and household are often used interchangeably for convenience. However, the proper technical term for purposes of the Consumer Expenditure Survey is consumer unit).