Nine economic charts of the week you really must see

Japan’s trade deficit remained bad

Japanese-trade-balance-in-billions-Japanese-trade-balance-in-billions_chartbuilder (1)

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…

US-existing-home-sales-seasonally-adjusted-annualized-rate-US-existing-home-sales-seasonally-adjusted-annualized-rate_chartbuilder (1)

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


Some think the problem could be lack of supply.

China’s manufacturing sector contracted


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

South Korea posted solid first-quarter GDP growth


Housing construction and exports led the way.

US durable goods orders rebounded


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

April inflation in Tokyo surged


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

Brazil-current-account-balance-in-billions-of-Brazil-current-account-balance-in-billions-of-_chartbuilder (1)

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

The mood of American consumers improved

University-of-Michigan-Consumer-Sentiment-index-University-of-Michigan-Consumer-Sentiment-index_chartbuilder (2)

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

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