GDP DATA: INITIAL ESTIMATES FOR NATIONAL ACCOUNTS FOR H1 and Q2 2018

August 19, 2018
Bottom line: The economy is continuing to grow rapidly, driven by domestic consumption. However, the data for both Q1 and Q2 were massively distorted by sharp swings in vehicle imports — which soared in Q1 but slumped in Q2. More important is the ongoing decline in investment in residential construction and in new plant and equipment, other than vehicles. Export growth was sluggish, while import growth was strong — the external sector continues to be a drag on growth.

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TLR 185- Mensis mirabilis (amazing month)

June 12, 2018
This issue is being published on a day everyone agrees is historic and amazing. President Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un meets any conceivable criterion for “historic”, “ground-breaking” and the numerous other titles being heaped upon it. It is also genuinely amazing (another term suffering from intense overuse), because this time last year it seemed more likely that the two leaders would scale up from hurling insults at each other to firing missiles at each other’s countries, than that they would switch to smiling at and complimenting each other — and conducting intensive discussions about the major issues dividing them.

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