The Economy: A Glimmer of Good News Abroad

The shakier the U.S. economy looks at home, the stronger it suddenly appears overseas—or so it seemed last week. Domestically, the news was all of upward-spiraling inflation and fears of recession. But internationally, the U.S. began to shake off its image of a pitiful, helpless economic giant.

The Commerce Department reported that the nation in the second quarter actually took in $463 million more from foreigners than it disbursed overseas, a startling swing from a $10.5 billion balance of payments deficit in the previous three months. For complex technical reasons, these figures are considered to be less significant than they once were....

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