Wednesday, June 6, 2018
What to watch today
The biggest piece of economic data set for release on Wednesday might make President Donald Trump a little bit less excited. And that is the balance of trade of the month of April. Economists expect that the U.S. ran a trade deficit of $49 billion in April, in-line with March’s deficit and matching an annualized run rate of just under $600 billion.
Also on the economic calendar will be the final reading on worker productivity in the first quarter, which is expected to rise 0.6% during the first three months of the year. Worker productivity has been closely watched by economists in recent years as certain economic themes like “secular stagnation” hinged on productivity failing to increase due to a lack of innovation and investment.
China offers to boost US goods purchases by $25B: China has offered to boost purchases of American goods by about $25 billion this year to fulfill President Donald Trump’s desire to shrink the U.S. trade deficit with the world’s second-largest economy, according to two people familiar with the matter. President Xi Jinping’s government has started to quantify its commitment to import more U.S. products as trade talks between the two nations progress. [Bloomberg]
Mexico hits back with trade tariffs Mexico put tariffs on American products ranging from steel to pork and bourbon on Tuesday, retaliating against import duties on metals imposed by President Donald Trump and taking aim at Republican strongholds ahead of U.S. congressional elections in November. [Reuters]
Trump wants Kim to commit to disarmament timetable: The White House wants North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to commit to a timetable to surrender his country’s nuclear arsenal when he meets President Donald Trump next week in Singapore, a high-stakes summit that could last as long as two days — or just minutes. Trump has been advised not to offer Kim any concessions. [Bloomberg]
Musk: Manufacturing will become Tesla’s strength: Elon Musk expressed confidence about Tesla Inc. (TSLA) achieving goals for the Model 3 sedan. Musk said it’s likely that Tesla will produce 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week by the end of the month, and that the company will be cash-flow positive in the third and fourth quarters of the year. [Bloomberg]
Facebook confirms data sharing with Chinese companies: Facebook Inc. (FB) said Tuesday it has data sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese companies including Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, which has come under scrutiny from U.S. intelligence agencies on security concerns. [Reuters]
Trustees report warns Medicare finances worsening: Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security’s financial problems can’t be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class. The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 — three years earlier than previously forecast. [AP]
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