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Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in August 2011

WASHINGTON – Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today on the release of the August 2011 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports of goods and services in August 2011 decreased 0.1 percent from July 2011 to $177.6 billion. This month’s exports of petroleum products ($10.3 billion) were the highest on record. This month’s exports of services ($50.9 billion) were also the highest on record leading the U.S.

Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2011 (third estimate)

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2011, (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.4 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "second" estimate issued last month.

Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on New Residential Construction in August 2011

WASHINGTON – The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released data on new residential construction in August 2011. Permits for new housing units rose 3.2 percent in August to their highest level in 2011, despite private-sector expectations of a 1.8-percent decline. Housing starts, however, declined 5.0 percent in August, while private-sector analysts expected a 2.3-percent decline.

Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on Retail Sales in August 2011

WASHINGTON – The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales data for August 2011. Retail sales were virtually unchanged in August and slightly lower than private-sector expectations of a 0.2-percent increase. Motor vehicle sales in August decreased 0.3 percent, partly due to lingering inventory problems for Japanese manufacturers and the effects of Hurricane Irene. Sales excluding automobiles rose 0.1 percent, below private-sector expectations of a 0.3-percent rise.

Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in July 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today on the release of the July 2011 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports of goods and services in July increased 3.6 percent from June to $178.0 billion. The value of exports in July, as well as the individual export values for goods and services, was the highest on record.

Listening to Local Businesses in South Carolina

In the heart of South Carolina’s picturesque horse community, I sat down at the Aiken County Chamber of Commerce to begin the first of two White House Business Council roundtable discussions with local business owners in Aiken and Columbia, S.C. These discussions, focused on rural communities during the month of August, are designed to provide an intimate forum for local businesses to discuss the obstacles they face in creating jobs and growing their businesses.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Department Chief Economist Mark Doms on Personal Income and Outlays in July 2011

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released data on personal income and outlays for July 2011. Personal income rose 0.3 percent in July, slightly below private-sector forecasts of a 0.4-percent increase, though personal income in both May and June was revised upward. Wages and salaries, the largest component of income, rose 0.4 percent. Real consumer spending jumped 0.5 percent, consistent with expectations, representing the largest monthly increase in real consumer spending since August 2009.

Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on New Residential Construction in July 2011

WASHINGTON – The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released data on new residential construction for July 2011. Permits for new housing units fell 3.2 percent following a small increase in June. Private-sector analysts had expected a 1.8-percent decline. The decrease was driven by multi-family homes with five or more units. Permits for single-family homes and those with two-to-four units both increased. Housing starts declined 1.5 percent in July after a large increase in June. Private-sector analysts had expected a 4.6-percent decrease.

Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Dr. Rebecca Blank on Retail Sales in July 2011

WASHINGTON – The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales data for July 2011. Retail sales increased 0.5 percent, similar to private-sector expectations, and sales in May and June were revised upward, each by 0.2 percent. Motor vehicle sales increased 0.5 percent in July, and sales at gasoline stations jumped 1.6 percent. Sales excluding those at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations also rose 0.5 percent.

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