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Tuesday: Trade Deficit, Job Openings


A couple of interesting stories …

From the NY Times: Chinese Leader’s Absence Stokes Rumor Mills

Over the past week, the new leader, Xi Jinping, has missed at least three scheduled meetings with foreign dignitaries, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last Wednesday and the prime minister of Denmark on Monday. So far officials have declined to provide an explanation for his absences.

That set off furious speculation on the Internet that the 59-year-old Mr. Xi’s health, either physical or political, has taken a turn for the worse. Some diplomats say they have heard that Mr. Xi suffered a pulled muscle while swimming or playing soccer. One media report, since retracted, had it that Mr. Xi was hurt in an auto accident when a military official tried to injure or kill him in a revenge plot. A well-connected political analyst in Beijing said in an interview that Mr. Xi might have had a mild heart attack.

Whatever the actual reason, Mr. Xi’s unexplained absences are conspicuous on the eve of what is supposed to be China’s once-in-a-decade transfer of power.

I heard he was spotted standing in line waiting for the iPhone 5!

And on Apple, from Catherine Rampell at the NY Times Economix: How the iPhone 5 Could Bolster the G.D.P.

Michael Feroli, the chief United States economist at JPMorgan Chase, did a back-of-the-envelope calculation and estimated that the upcoming release of what is expected to be the iPhone 5 could add one-quarter to one-half of a percentage point to the annualized growth rate of America’s gross domestic product next quarter.

• At 8:30 AM, the Trade Balance report for July will be released. The consensus is for the U.S. trade deficit to increase to .3 billion in July, up from from .9 billion in June. Export activity to Europe will be closely watched due to economic weakness.

• At 10:00 AM, the BLS will released the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for July from the BLS. This survey has been showing an increase in job openings; in June openings were up about 16% year-over-year compared to June 2011.

Another question for the September economic contest:

Calculated Risk

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