CAMBRIDGE – The United States’ import bill now exceeds $2.4 trillion a year, more than twice that of China and greater than that of the 27 European Union countries combined. Since the volume of US imports varies with the overall strength of the American economy, so does the volume of other countries’ exports.
So it was good news for everyone when the US economy began expanding in the summer of 2009, 19 months after falling into the recession that officially started in December 2007. Unfortunately, the recovery has turned out to be very anemic. Now, 15 months into the expansion, the level of real GDP is still lower than it was when the recession started.