August 2013 Flash Report

Second quarter US GDP growth was revised upward to 2.5% from 1.7%. The change was driven by export growth associated with continued expansion in US manufacturing. Consumer spending remains challenged by higher taxes and slow wage growth as real wages and spending increased by a paltry 0.1% in July. The silver lining in the consumer cloud, however, is that consumer weakness has helped keep core inflation in check and lent support to Fed policies. The strong recovery in residential real estate has been a bright spot in the broader economy although recent sharp increases in interest rates have slowed the positive trend making it unclear whether the setback is temporary or a more ominous sign.

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