One area of economic good news appears to be the export market. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden describes what’s going on.
“Well, we literally are … in the middle of an export boom. U.S. exports were up 50 percent — 50 percent — since the bottom of the recession. They now account for 13 percent of all economic activity in the country. Before the recession, they were only 9 percent.
“And this export boom, I think, is a result of two factors: First of all, there’s — as people know — … a world out there that’s growing, especially in the so-called emerging market. Many of those markets want U.S. made products, and they’re buying them.
“And, secondly, the dollar has gone down in value. Now, most of us think that’s bad news, but actually if you’re an exporter that’s good news because it makes our products cheaper to foreign buyers.
“Now economists think that this export boom is going to help cushion some of the other negative things that are going on in the economy in terms of consumer spending and employment. But, unfortunately, we don’t think this export boom will be strong enough to cure all of our economic woes.”