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Posted by: Michael Mandel on January 10
This morning’s foreign trade release brings a glimmer of good news on the trade front. Forget about the headline numbers for a bit, since they tend to bounce up and down along with oil prices. Instead, let’s look at the non-oil trade deficit.
What we see is that the non-oil trade deficit, totalled over the past 12 months, actually shrunk in November. Is that unusual? Very. Since early 2002 the 12-month non-oil trade deficit has expanded in 55 out of 57 months.
Now, this is not the end of the story, of course. But it does suggest that the U.S. competitive position, at least measured by the conventional statistics, may be about to stop deteriorating. (I’ll get to the nonconventional statistics in another post).
Michael Mandel, BW's award-winning chief economist, provides his unique perspective on the hot economic issues of the day. From globalization to the future of work to the ups and downs of the financial markets, Mandel-named 2006 economic journalist of the year by the World Leadership Forum-offers cutting edge analysis and commentary.