The economic numbers for the US remain positive, albeit they are weakening. The latest statistics are
initial jobless claims for the week ending August 25 and personal income and spending for July. The
jobless claims rose slightly for the week and the income/spending numbers were mostly unchanged
from the preceding month.

Combined with the most recent housing numbers, which were generally weak, the outlook for the US
economy is lackluster, at best. The stock market, which has been rising steadily over the past few
months, today suddenly took a turn into negative territory.

The US is not the only country with softening economic numbers. Germany, the strongest economy in
the EU, has begun to report some ominous numbers. Consumer confidence is down somewhat for June
and external trade is suffering from lower exports. France has reported weak numbers as well. The UK is
exhibiting weakness in housing and poor performance in external trade, which are not good signs as the
country goes into the final stages of the Brexit negotiations with the EU. The Japanese economy is
meandering along without any major up-ticks or downward moves.

Altogether, it appears that the world economy has entered an uncomfortable stage where growth is low
and prospects for better times ahead are limited. All this is taking place while the political atmosphere in
the US is not good and Europe is struggling to deal with its migrant policies.