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Low inflation is still a mystery

Jan 23, 2020

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The falling trade deficit can mean a lot of things

Kimberly Adams Jan 7, 2020
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A container ship nears the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles Harbor. David McNew/Getty Images

The falling trade deficit can mean a lot of things

Kimberly Adams Jan 7, 2020
A container ship nears the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles Harbor. David McNew/Getty Images
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The Commerce Department Tuesday said the U.S. trade deficit, the gap between what we bought from the rest of the world and what we sold to it, fell in November to just over $43 billion. That’s the lowest level since October 2016.

That will surely make President Donald Trump happy. He often mentions the trade gap in the mistaken belief that a large trade deficit is a sign of economic weakness. It’s not, because we get products and services in return for all the dollars we send abroad. But there are insights to be gleaned from the trade deficit about our place in this global economy.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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