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BPEA Article

U.S. Exports and Imports: Are We Tracking?

Abstract

CHANGES IN NET EXPORTS of the United States seldom have an important direct impact upon domestic activity. For this reason and because of the difficulties involved, little effort has been—or should be—spent on forecasting the U.S. net export component of gross national product (GNP). Indeed, the domestic economy is influenced by its foreign elements only when the concern policy makers feel about the competitive position of American goods in world markets, or about the balance of payments in general, becomes sufficient to affect economic policy. Hence it may be worthwhile to consider the prospect that such a worrisome situation might develop.

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