Analyst Disputes Census Bureau Trade Deficit Conclusion

January 13th, 2011
in econ_news

Econintersect:  An analyst disputes the conclusion drawn from Thursday's report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis).  The agencies concluded that, after seasonal adjustments, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in November.

Follow up:

The analyst, Steven Hansen of Global Economic Intersection, says that, when the unadjusted data is used and year-over-year comparisons are made, the conclusion can be reached that the U.S. trade deficit widened, opposite the conclusion of the government agencies.

Hansen argues that seasonal adjustment factors, while usually reliable, are currently subjected to unusual distortions due to residual effects from The Great Recession and the course of recovery, which has significant differences from prior recoveries over the past 60 years.

Sources:  U.S. Dept. of Commerce press release and GEI Analysis Blog.

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