The U.S. trade deficit rose 9.6% in January, 2017, to the highest level since 2012. The gap of $48.5 billion of exports exceeding imports looks daunting, yet the story is more complex at the sector level. According to Neil Irwin of The New York Times, “What really matters is not whether the trade deficit is rising or falling. What matters is why?” Distinguishing macro factors such as a strengthening dollar from sectoral strengths and weaknesses is thus necessary.The full essay is at "Disentangling a Worsening Trade Deficit."
1. Neil Irwin, “The Huge January Trade Deficit Shows Trump’s Hard Job Ahead,” The New York Times, March 7, 2017.
The Port of Oakland (Source: Jim Wilson/NYT)