With a sizeable portion of the November economic data now in hand, we can say with confidence that the economy didnt stop getting worse in November. Looking ahead to the December data on the U.S. economy (largely due out over the month of January), the anectdotal evidence, as well as the early December readings on weekly jobless claims, suggests that the economy continued to decelerate to the downside in December. The big jolts this past week came with the release of the October trade data, which implied that the massive slowdown in global economic growth stopped U.S. exports in their tracks in October, and the weekly jobless claims data for the week ending December 6, which revealed a dramatic deterioration in the labor market in early December, even after the ecnomy experienced the worst monthly job loss since 1974 in November. This week, markets are bracing for key policy announcements from the Federal Reserve and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as well as data on housing, consumer inflation, manufacturing, and jobless claims.

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