Is the trend more important than if there is actually a surplus or deficit, as one commenter suggests? On a bilateral basis, I don’t think either is particularly important, but as a matter of fact I think we need to verify that the US-Canada bilateral trade balance in goods and services is (barely) positive in 2017, and trending upward on a quarterly basis.

Figure 1: US-Canada trade balance in 000’s US$, s.a. (blue), and 12 quarter trailing moving average (red). NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BEA, NBER, author’s calculations.

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