June trade report: deficit narrows as jobless claims fall

Jobless Claims Fall, Trade Deficit Narrows

A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 9 2012 9:13 AM

Good News: Jobless Claims Fall, Trade Deficit Narrows

Two pieces of good economic news this morning. One is a fall of 6,000 in the initial jobless claims number. This is a noisy series, but it's been on an improving trajectory for months. The labor market is—very slowly—improving.

The other is that the trade deficit narrowed in June on the basis of higher exports and fewer oil imports. I don't fully understand the political economy of this, but U.S. elites seem friendlier to the idea of an export boom than a residential construction boom or a provision of public services boom so any good news on the trade front is less likely to get stomped on by the Fed than other possible forms of good news.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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