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Imports and Economic Growth

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Every news account of the GDP figures— or so it seems—reinforces the common misperception that import spending lowers output. The source of the fallacy is understandable: Imports enter the GDP tally with a negative sign. Because GDP measures the aggregate value of goods and services produced in the U.S., items bought abroad must be taken out. Imports, however, do not reduce GDP.

Suggested citation: "Imports and Economic Growth," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 99-07, pp. 18, 07.01.1999.

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