Economy & Finance

21 posts
China’s Imbalanced Trade with the United States, in Four Charts

A trade war could be looming between the United States and China, fueled by President Trump’s fixation on the two nations’ unbalanced import-export relationship. The trade imbalance between the two countries — which might not hurt the United States that much — stems from the fact that China sells more to us than it buys, essentially. That’s largely driven by macroeconomic factors, not some malicious intent: China is a low-cost manufacturing powerhouse,...

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Jobless Claims at Five-Decade Low

The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits hasn’t been this low since Richard Nixon was president, according to new data from the U.S. Labor Department. The figures suggest a tight labor market in which employers are retaining employees because there aren’t as many available qualified workers, Bloomberg reported: Overall, the employment picture remains solid, with payrolls continuing to increase and the unemployment rate at the lowest since late...

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How China’s Economic Retaliation Hurt the South Korean Tourism Industry

I wrote this week about the one-year anniversary of China’s economic retaliation against South Korea over the THAAD missile system, a defensive weapon designed to stop North Korea’s medium-range missiles. China objects to it and has been flexing its economic muscle in protest, carrying out an aggressive campaign of economic retaliation that includes sending fewer tourists. In 2017, just over 4 million Chinese visited South Korea, down from roughly 8...

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Visualizing the Historical Relationship Between White, Black Unemployment Rates

President Trump was right last month when he bragged that black unemployment rate was at a historical low. The rate in December was 6.8 percent, the lowest it’s been since 1972 (though it ticked back up nearly a percentage point last month). But the president’s statement excluded some important context about the historic movement of this rate by race and ethnicity. I’ve tried to explain in these graphics. First, here...

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Visualizing Income Equality in Major World Economies

Years after a global crisis, the world’s largest economies are again growing, The New York Times reported over the weekend. Every major economy on earth is expanding at once, a synchronous wave of growth that is creating jobs, lifting fortunes and tempering fears of popular discontent. A tweet on the subject prompted a friend to respond with a question about whether income inequality has grown — and that in turn prompted...

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The Curious Case of South Korea’s Vanishing Washing Machine Exports

The Trump administration last week announced that it planned to impose higher fees, known as tariffs, to countries that export washing machines and solar panels the United States. The tariffs, prompted by complaints from American companies who feel disadvantaged by global trade, were applied across the world — even though they seem primarily aimed at two nations who dominate the market: China and South Korea. That’s in part because both countries...

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The Curious Case of South Korea’s Vanishing Washing Machine Exports

The Trump administration last week announced that it planned to impose higher fees, known as tariffs, to countries that export washing machines and solar panels the United States. The tariffs, prompted by complaints from American companies who feel disadvantaged by global trade, were applied across the world — even though they seem primarily aimed at two nations who dominate the market: China and South Korea. That’s in part because both countries...

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America Imports Lots of Stuff from China, Including Christmas Decorations

Last year, the United States imported more than $460 billion in goods — clothes, toys, gadgets, you name it — from China. Of course, our Christmas decorations were on that list, too. Some $2.2 billion in fake trees, miniature lights and assorted ornaments came from the Middle Kingdom last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s detailed trade database. The Christmas trade in ornaments is big business. It skyrocketed in the...

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Visualizing South Korea’s Assailed Trade Relationship With The U.S.

President Trump isn’t happy with the United States’ bilateral trade agreement with South Korea. His main concern, it seems, is that the United States has suffered a “trade deficit”. That means South Korea — a key ally in East Asia on security issues, not just trade — has been exporting more goods to the United States than it has been importing. In 2016, this deficit was about $23.2 billion. That’s a...

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Four Decades of State Unemployment Rates, in Small Multiples, Part 2

I posted recently about how the state-by-state unemployment rate has changed during my lifetime. The result was a small multiples grid that put the states in context with one another. Today I’ve created a new version aimed at identifying more precisely how each state has differed from the national unemployment rate during the last four decades. The lines show the percentage point difference — above (worst) or below (better) — from...

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