Can y’all believe it’s June? I swear it feels like it was just 2 weeks ago when I got the “go work from home” notice from my employer – but that was mid-March! Time flies when you’re working from your bedroom I guess.
U.S. Exports, Imports Fell Sharply in April Amid Coronavirus Disruptions
Here’s a stat for you – US exports and imports both posted their largest monthly decrease on record due to COVID-19 shutdowns. OOF!
Imports fell -13.7% in April from March, and exports dropped -20.5%, the largest decline since record-keeping began in 1992. The trade deficit expanded 16.7% to a seasonally adjusted $49.41B. Peep this graph –
Exports of aircraft and cars have dropped as manufacturers such as Boeing were hit by the world-wide disruption of travel and auto markers including Ford closed factories to prevent the spread of the virus. I’m optimistic that global trade flows may start to pick up again as some factories reopen and the easing of social-distancing measures revives consumer demand.
While the US usually runs a deficit in goods, it runs a surplus in services. That surplus, in services such as medical car, travel, higher education and royalties, decreased by -$1.3B in April to $22.4B, its lowest since December 2016. In the first quarter, a narrowing trade deficit helped limit a sharp contraction in the US economy – but as a whole, the economy still shrank -5% YoY.
I think we’ll see a flat to small decrease in trade and services in Q2. I think we’ve hit bottom and it’s only sideways or up from here. What do you think about our deficit?
Americans Are Saving More, but How Long Can It Last?
As of April 2020, the US personal savings rate hit an all-time high an all-time high of 33%, up from 12.7% in March. The previous record was 17.3% in May 1975 – DAYUM!
The national savings rate is a number averaged from reported percentages of an individual or household income, including the money that doesn’t go to personal expenditures or taxes. It doesn’t capture what people have already saved or how much individuals are saving. A lot of household expenses are simply on pause for now: the record-high personal savings doesn’t reflect changes in overall wealth.
A cool thing to look into is the percent of your take home pay you’re able to save each month in correlation to how soon you can retire. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Give my dude Mr. Money Mustache a read!
Whistleblower Who Revealed Currency Abuses at BNY Mellon Gets $50 Million
The SEC makes its largest payment ever for an individual providing a lead on illegal market practices – a former trader at Bank of New York Mellon (not to be confused with bank of new york watermellon) alerted authorities on the bank’s pattern of overcharging on currency trades.
This $50M reward was the largest made by the Securities and Exchange Commission and comes more than a decade after the trader, Grant Wilson, began assisting authorities with the currency-trading investigations. The bank paid $714M in fines and other compensation in 2015 to resolve allegations it defrauded pension funds and other clients related to currency transactions.
Sounds like the moral of the story is don’t use Bank of New York Mellon – their track record ain’t too good.