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EH Update: Current Economic Events
- Amid falling prices and tepid activity, Q4 2014 GDP growth was revised down to +2.2% quarter-over-quarter annualized (advance estimate +2.6%).
- Consumption was strong, growing at +4.2% Q4 over Q3, but the rising U.S. dollar increased the trade deficit, and net exports subtracted -1.2 percentage points from overall GDP growth.
- Personal incomes increased by +0.3% month-over-month in January but personal consumption declined by -0.2. However, as prices fell, real personal income grew by +0.8% and real personal consumption grew at a moderate +0.3%.
- The January Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell a sharp -0.7% month-over-month (-0.2% year-over-year), the first drop since October 2009. Excluding energy and food prices, year-over-year core inflation remained a lackluster +1.6%.
- Meanwhile, the February ISM manufacturing index and its new orders component both fell for the fourth consecutive month, with the former at 52.9, uncomfortably close to 50, the level indicating the difference between expansion and contraction. Manufacturers’ new orders - a proxy for future business spending - gained +0.5, the first increase in five months.