A Declining Trade Deficit: The Good News and the Bad News

Howard Schneider comments on the roughly 12% decline in the nation’s trade deficit for 2013.

The bad news: “As the chart below shows, the rapid growth in exports as the world bounced back from the crisis a couple of years ago has flattened.”

The good news: “An energy boom means the trade deficit has narrowed.”

“Should we care about a large deficit with China if the overall outlook is improving?”

Yes, if you care about jobs: “As a rule of thumb, U.S. officials say that a billion dollars of exports generates 5,000 jobs.”