Exports Continue to Bail Out the Economy

Trade is what's keeping America out of recession.


Gosh, it sure seems like a funny time to be worried about NAFTA and foreign trade considering that exports are what seem to be keeping us out of a recession. This from Global Insight:

The economy just kept its head above water in the fourth quarter. Domestic spending contracted—for the first time since the 2001 recession—but overall growth stayed positive thanks to foreign trade. Export growth was better than first thought, and imports actually fell—indicating that the U.S. is passing on some of its weakness to the rest of the world.... We think that it is probable that GDP will decline, albeit only slightly, during the first half of 2008. Domestic spending is likely to fall faster still, as housing activity continues to plunge and consumers are pulling back. Foreign trade will continue to be a big plus, but we do not think that it can do enough to keep growth in positive territory.