U.S. October Advance goods trade deficit narrowed to -$58.41 B U.S. October Advance goods trade deficit narrowed to -$58.41 B versus a revised -$59.15 B in September (was -$58.63 B) and -$66.25 B in August (was -$66.60 B). Exports fell 2.6% versus the 2.2% bounce in September (revised from 2.4%). Imports declined another 2.1% from the 2.3% drop (revised from -2/6%).
Fed's Yellen defended low rate policy to a savers group Fed's Yellen defended low rate policy to a savers group that included consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Guy Vidal, who wrote a letter on behalf of "humble savers" calling for sharply higher rates. She said that "An overly aggressive increase in rates... would undercut the economic expansion, necessitating a lasting return to low interest rates." This would benefit savers at most only temporarily and most Fed policymakers expect the pace of rate hikes to be a gradual one. Yellen noted that had the Fed hiked aggressively many of the savers represented in the letter "would have lost their jobs or pensions, or faced increased burdens from supporting unemployed children and grandchildren." Though the letter and response are interesting, the Fed has been banging on the "gradual" policy drum for a while as part of the gentle lift-off strategy.