BRIEFING

Nine economic charts of the week you really must see

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Japan’s trade deficit remained bad

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In March, a surge of imports (ahead of an April tax increase) combined with the weakest export growth in a year.

US existing home sales stayed soft…

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Sales declined for the third consecutive month, although it’s unclear if the spring weather will bring a rebound.

…and new home sales dropped sharply

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Some think the problem could be lack of supply.

China’s manufacturing sector contracted

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That’s one of the reasons Chinese stocks have been doing so poorly.

 South Korea posted solid first-quarter GDP growth

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Housing construction and exports led the way.

US durable goods orders rebounded

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The core reading—nondefense capital goods orders, excluding aircraft—also suggested strength in business spending.

April inflation in Tokyo surged

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Thanks to the new VAT tax, April prices in Tokyo rose by their fastest pace since 1992.

Brazil’s current account balance narrowed a bit

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But it still shows Brazil is very dependent on foreign lending.

The mood of American consumers improved

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The University of Michigan gauge of consumer sentiment is flirting with post-crisis highs.