Thursday, January 13, 2011

The trade picture brightens

The trade picture continues to brighten. In the three months ended last November, U.S. exports surged at a 18.7% annualized rate, while imports were basically flat. As Brian Wesbury notes, numbers like these could result in net exports adding more than 3 percentage points to fourth quarter GDP, possibly resulting in overall GDP growth of 5 or even 6% in Q4/10.

The strong rebound in exports (which as of the end of the year were probably only 2-3% below the all-time high set in 2008, thanks to 17% annualized growth from last year's low) reflects not only strong demand overseas, but very strong performance from our own economy. International trade is a win-win for everyone, so it's quite heartening to see that trade levels are returning to their former levels despite the massive dislocations wrought by the global financial crisis in late 2008.

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