In the first quarter of 2015, in the sixth year of the historic Obama recovery, the U.S. economy grew by two-tenths of 1 percent.And that probably sugarcoats it.
For trade deficits subtract from the growth of GDP, and the U.S. trade deficit that just came in was a monster. As the AP’s Martin Crutsinger writes, “The U.S. trade deficit in March swelled to the highest level in more than six years, propelled by a flood of imports that may have sapped the U.S. economy of any growth in the first quarter.”
The March deficit was $51.2 billion, largest of any month since 2008. In goods alone, the trade deficit hit $64 billion. As Crutsinger writes, a surge in imports to $239 billion in March, “reflected greater shipments of foreign-made industrial machinery, autos, mobile phones, clothing and furniture.”