Afternoon Coffee: GDP, Consumer Spending Rises, Value of Trade Declines and other Economic News


U.S. GDP increased 1% in the fourth quarter of 2015, what some economists are calling “modest” growth. The rise in GDP during the final months of the year is largely due to stockpiling of inventories. However, GDP growth was slower in the fourth quarter than in the third, when the GDP rose 2%.

The value of international trade fell 13.8% in 2015, the largest yearly drop since 2009. The value of total goods traded between nations has been decreasing since 2013, but drops in oil and other commodity prices accelerated the decline in 2015.

On a positive note, U.S. consumer spending was up 0.5% in January. Incomes also increased 0.5% last month, according to the Commerce Department.

China is discussing plans to restore confidence in its economy today at the G20 meeting in Shanghai. Premier Li Keqiang told leaders there needed to be greater collaboration between the countries representing the world’s 20 largest economies.

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