- Housing starts and existing home sales declined in June, reflecting the winding down of homebuyer tax credits.
- Building confidence fell to 14 in July, and June’s numbers were revised down slightly.
- The effect from the unwinding of various economic stimulus programs is evident in other data, with the leading indicators declining 0.2 percent and weekly firsttime unemployment claims bouncing back to 464,000.
- Bernanke’s midyear report to Congress outlined possible future steps the Fed may take to boost economic growth.
- The U.K. became the first major economy to report GDP growth for the second quarter. Expectations were blown away as growth expanded at the fastest clip in nearly a decade. But, given the fiscal deficit problems and upcoming cuts in government spending, does the U.K. economy really have the legs to keep up this pace?
- Fiscal tightening is not the only concern in the United Kingdom. The overall rate of CPI inflation is well above the Bank of England’s target of 2 percent, and the January increase in the value-added tax complicates the outlook for inflation.