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Trade continues to be a bright spot

U.S. trade with the world continues to expand, and that is reason for cheer. Exports have now made a complete recovery from pre-recession highs, growing at double-digit rates in the past few years. If nothing else, this suggests that exports have picked up a lot of the slack that was left by the housing and construction collapse; the U.S. economy is changing dynamically in response to an unexpected and massive shock. Imports are closing in on their prior highs, reflecting a relatively robust recovery in consumer demand in the U.S., which is impressive since employment is still far below prior highs.

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