The Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the United States is a forward-looking gauge designed to predict business cycle shifts. The US LEI was down 0.4% percent in July, following a 0.7% decline in June. July was the fifth consecutive month of a decline, predicting recession risks are rising.
Russia’s seaborne exports of crude oil and refined crude oil products the first half of August exceeded 6 million barrels per day for the first time since hitting a post-pandemic high in April. Russia’s crude exports rose by 140,000 barrels per day on the month to average 3.36 million to remain above pre-war levels for the fifth month in a row. Oil product exports from Russia also rose for the third consecutive month in the period to average 2.75 million barrels per day, the highest since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24. We mentioned recently that Japan began importing Russian crude again in July. Yep, those sanctions are really hard on Russia’s crude oil business.