See my previous post about the 2007 trade deficit figure. I’m not sure how the government is pumping up our exports figure, but none of the other manufacturing data in the economy supports it. For example, using the link above, check out the results of the latest Fed surveys of manufacturing activity in the New York state and Philadelphia areas. (Click that link, then go to the “Empire State Mfg Survey” release on Friday, Feb. 15th.) Check out the graph that shows the results of the both the Empire State and Philadelphia surveys. The trend has been down significantly for the past four years but really fell off a cliff last month!