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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Day Full Of GDP Is Like A Day Full Of Sunshine

And today? Today has plenty of sunshine.
Great Britain reported it's final Q3 2010 GDP results about 4 hours ago. The first revision had put them at 0.8% growth for the quarter (with 2.8% growth from Q3 2009 to Q3 2010). Going into the day, analysts were expecting no change to the final revision. The final results, while not bad, did not quite live up to that expectation. Growth for the quarter was revised down to 0.7%, while year over year growth was revised downward to 2.7%. Mildly disappointing, but not (on its own, anyway) a source of soul-crushing despair.
US GDP is up next. The first revision put us at 2.5% growth for Q3 2010, with the price index[1] up 2.3%. The Street is feeling quite optimistic this morning, and is looking for the final revision to put us at 3.0% growth for Q3 with no change to the price index. Our results are slightly sunnier than Great Britain's, with the final revision of Q3 GDP revised upwards 2.6% and the price index revised downwards to 2.1%. Most of the GDP increase is credited to a "sharp deceleration in imports and an acceleration in private inventory investment".
The funny thing here? These results seem to have pushed the futures down. Go figure.
The next big domestic economic measure due out today is existing home sales for November 2010. If you recall, October's sales were a depressing 4.43 million units (down 2.2% from September's 4.53 million units and missing expectations). Expectations are a little tamer (but still optimistic), with a consensus estimate for 4.75 million sales. The actual numbers aren't due out until 10 AM EST, though, so we have no idea (yet) how realistic that is.
In the news, South Korea is continuing their largest peacetime military exercise ever. Mostly as a way of making President Lee Myung-bak look tough after what was commonly perceived as a "weak"[2] response to the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island. There has been no specific response to this from North Korea, to the shock of everyone and the disappointment of connoisseurs of fine crazy.
There was a three hour strike in Greece against the 2011 austerity measures about to be implemented by their parliament. So far, the strikers have managed not to murder anyone.
Speaking of the PIIGS, China[3] is coming to their rescue. They have struck a deal with Portugal to buy 4-5 billion euros of Portuguese sovereign debt. At least, that's what has been reported in the Jornal de Negocios. The euro is up in ecstatic jubilation on the news.
Closer to home, the Financial Report of the United States is out (you can choose to read either the 12 page Citizen's Guide or the 268 page full report), and it shows that the budget deficit has increased by 65.9% from FY 2009 to FY 2010 (in 2009 it was "only" a $1,253.7 billion deficit for the year, while in 2010 the deficit has increased to $2,080.3 billion).
And, wrapping up the GDP day, New Zealand's GDP is due out at 4:45 PM EST.
[1] Yet another measure of inflation.
[2] "Weak", because the word "sissy" rarely makes its way into Reuters. Although that's pretty much how the South Korean people looked at his response.
[3] Still not wanting to replace the United States as the sole superpower of the world - just ask them - and still tired of being treated like they're solely responsible for holding North Korea's leash.

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