Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Quick Note About Trade Deficit Nonsense

The October US Trade Deficit unexpectedly narrowed today. According to the AP, "Stocks are rising as a report showing an improved trade deficit offset disappointing employment data."

Ugh. An "improved" trade deficit, huh? Isn't this the same October 2009 that recorded a ugly and unexpected increase in the US unemployment rate to a jaw-dropping 10.2%?

Gee, just think how bad it would have been if the trade deficit had gotten bigger!

(Or maybe, just maybe, widening US trade deficits are strongly correlated with economic expansion over the last few decades, while narrowing deficits occur when the US economy shrinks.)

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