Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lazear on the Trade Deficit

CEA Chair Eddie Lazear testified at the Joint Economic Committee today. An interesting excerpt:

I would like to point out the historic record suggests that countries can be in a current-account deficit or a surplus situation for very long periods of time. New Zealand and Australia have had deficits for decades. Australia in particular has been running a current account deficit that has created a level of foreign indebtedness equal to about 72 percent of their GDP, whereas our foreign indebtedness was only about 21 percent of GDP in 2004 (most recent available published data). Yet, the Australian economy has been very strong and growing at robust rates over the past decades. Australia’s real GDP has grown at an average rate of 3.5 percent over the last decade.