Today we’ll quantify to what extent the US economy is one step closer to ending the recession when Q2 GDP is expected out with a decline of 1.5%, the 4th Q in a row of contraction. Trade and inventories are the two components that will lead the slowing rate of decline as personal consumption, 70% of the report, is expected to decline by .5%. While the data is somewhat old news, it will provide us with a baseline for the 2nd half of ’09 whose expected growth should technically end the recession. End demand will determine the sustainability and degree of the rebound making the focus on the US consumer still the key part of the outlook for economic activity. The real final sales component of GDP will take out the impact of inventories. The Chicago PMI is also out. Asian stocks bounced for a 2nd day after better than expected earnings from Sony. Euro zone unemployment rose to a 10 yr high but was .3% less than expected.
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