Massive Trade Deficit Raises Prospect Of Disastrous Christmas If Shoppers Don't Come Through

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This morning the Census Department announced a yawning trade deficit, with US imports from China quickly returning to old ways.

Here’s specifically what they said on that:

The goods deficit with China increased from $25.9 billion in July to $28.0 billion in August. Exports decreased $0.1 billion (primarily civilian aircraft, engines, equipment, and parts) to $7.3 billion, while imports increased $2.0 billion (primarily toys, games, and sporting goods; household goods; and computer accessories) to $35.3 billion.

Good news, right?

If Americans are buying toys and games and sporting goods from China, then we’re returning to normal.

As the NYT recently pointed out,retailers started making holiday inventory plans months ago, when things were looking more v-shaped (remember that term?).

This number may look like a return to normalcy, but if it’s just retailers preparing for a holiday season that will never come to pass, this will be trouble.

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