The Unsustainability of Trade Deficits
I’ll be talking on this topic to the Economic Society of Australia (Queensland branch) on Thursday night at the Exhange Hotel, a well-known Brisbane cultural centre. I’m preparing a presentation and I found this graph of the US trade balance at the St Louis Fed
The graph is in billions of dollars per quarter, unadjusted for inflation, so the pattern is exaggerated. Still it’s a good illustration of how the recent massive deficits are historically unprecedented, something which is true even when the more appropriate measure of percent of national income is used.
Australia’s experience is less dramatic, but we are, nonetheless hitting new records in terms of deficits and debts.
fn1. No animals were harmed in the preparation of this talk.