Friday, April 09, 2010

A Few Short Economic Data Observations

-Estonia posts its first monthly goods trade surplus since 1993, as exports increase 24% and imports only 9%. Estonia has had a surplus in its overall current account balance during most of the latest year, but until now that was entirely a result of surpluses in service trade and unilateral transfers. Latvia and Lithuania both continued to have deficits in goods trade, but both have surpluses in their overall current account balances, and in the case of Latvia it is much smaller than before (Lithuania by contrast saw a small increase).

-After a drop in January, the German current account surplus increased in February due to higher exports.

German industrial production meanwhile posted its first annual gain (5.6%) in February. However, this improvement has in recent months been a pure base effect, as industrial production is slightly lower than in October.

-Signs of a Canadian housing bubble continues to strengthen.

-The tightening measures adopted by the Chinese authorities appears to have had only a limited effect on the Chinese economy so far, as car sales soar by 63% in March.

-Australian employment growth continued in March, with a gain of 19,600 jobs, equivalent of 270,000 in the U.S. Because of Australia's high population growth however, the unemployment rate still remained unchanged and the participation rate fell slightly.