July 2014 Flash Report

In July, investors shifted their focus from global economic growth to geopolitical tensions as turmoil between Russia/Ukraine and Israel/Palestine dominated the headlines. US GDP grew 4% during the second quarter, reversing the (revised) contraction of -2.1% during the first quarter. An improving labor market, higher consumer spending, and a more aggressive inventory building helped fuel the acceleration this quarter. In July, the US unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%, its lowest level since September 2008 (with today’s jobs number, the rate ticked up to 6.2%). The abundance of positive economic data from the US is already causing investors to worry about earlier than anticipated interest rate increases from the Fed.

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