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US Economic Growth Is Cooling …

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We’re still several weeks away from the U.S. Department of Commerce releasing its initial (“advance”) estimate of third quarter economic growth – a.k.a. gross domestic product (GDP) expansion – but the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s latest flash estimates aren’t good.

The bank’s “GDP Now” measurement is currently clocking in at 1.1 percent – which is obviously well below the latest second quarter estimate of 3.9 percent growth.

The measure could be headed even lower after the Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released new data on the trade deficit.

According to the report (.pdf here), the deficit surged in August from $41.8 billion to $48.3 billion thanks to a $3.7 billion drop in exports and a $2.8 billion increase in imports.

According to Zero Hedge, that’s “the second worst trade data read going back to early 2012.”

Driving the numbers?  The U.S. trade deficit with China – which increased from $28.8 billion in July to $32.9 billion in August. Exports to China decreased by $0.6 billion to $9.8 billion while imports increased $3.6 billion to $42.8 billion.

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