Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Quick Ovevrview

  • The U.S. current account deficit totaled $224.9 billion in the fourth quarter, more than expected. For 2005, the current account shortfall totaled $804.9 billion.

  • Global trade imbalances are a market-driven phenomenon that government policies can do little to address, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a letter released on Tuesday.

  • February retail sales fell 1.3%, the first drop in six months, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Excluding autos, sales were down 0.4%.

  • Business inventories rose 0.4% in January, and business sales rose by 1.3%, the Commerce Department said Tuesday

  • The U.S. government warned Venezuela on Tuesday it would suspend Venezuelan flights to the United States if Caracas carries out a threat to ban or restrict U.S. carriers flying to Venezuela.

  • The International Coffee Organization estimates the 2006-2007 world coffee production at 121 million bags, up from 107.2 million bags the previous year.

  • The International Energy Agency reduced its forecast of world demand growth in 2006 from 1.78 to 1.49 million barrels a day.

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