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Export growth surges -- another V-sign

U.S. exports of goods have rebounded very strongly this year, rising at a 37% annualized rate in the six months ending October. This is yet one more item on the growing list of V-signs. I've been highlighting this chart for a long time, initially because it showed a very strong rebound in outbound container shipments from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and I thought that argued for similar growth in subsequent months in the government's official tallies of exports. Contain shipments, in other words, were probably good leading indicators of overall export performance. The data is finally in, and this looks to have been a correct assumption.

Of course, exports are still well below their best levels of last year, so we are still in the recovery phase of this new business cycle. But it still represents a fairly impressive recovery, which is not surprising given the sudden collapse of confidence and spending last year; all we needed to recover was a return of confidence, and that is the story that has been playing out over the course of this year. There is every reason to expect continued improvement in exports in the months to come.

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