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April 30, 2016 

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BALANCE OF SERVICES: The difference between funds received by a country when exporting services and the funds paid for importing services. The balance of services is one part of the current accounts portion of the balance of payments, the other is major part is the balance of trade. The balance of services is very much like the merchandise balance of trade, excepct intangible services are being exported and imported rather than tangible goods. Like the balance of trade, the balance of services can be out of balance. A balance of services surplus results if service exports exceed imports, also termed a favorable balance of services, and a balance of services deficit exists if service imports exceed exports, analogously termed an unfavorable balance of services.

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Current Headlines
Fact 4: Our Monopolized Markets

Our pedestrian's jaunt through the economy is not, unfortunately, an unrestrained shopping spree for confectioneries, spark plug tools, and Houston, Texas. We have other important errands to run. At the moment we need to hike over to Shady Valley's exclusive provider of cable television services, the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television Company, Inc., to inquire about a mysterious fee that appeared last month's bill.

The good news is that the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters (the 4M people) Cable office is a mere 2 miles (3 kilometers for the metrically inclined) from the Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall. A hop, skip, and a moderately long jump later, our excursion through the economy takes us to the front door of the 4M Cable Television Company where I hope to discover why last month's cable bill included a $3,569 charge for something called "The Vacation Channel." I didn't even know I had a vacation channel. (But, I'm sure it's a great channel, and if I don't have it, then I will certainly subscribe. Please don't disconnect me.)

Of course, because this an afternoon workday, the doors of the 4M office are locked. I can almost make out, through the expensive stained glass windows, what appears to be several Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television employees, with champaign bottles in hand, dancing on expensive mahogany desks. Let's not disturb them. As they say in the cable business, an upset worker is a disconnected customer.
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APLS

State of the ECONOMY

U.S. Imports
June 2015
$232.4 billion
Up 1.2% from May 2015: Econ. & Stat. Admin.

More Stats

GRAY SKITTERY
[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time lost in your local discount super center seeking to buy either several magazines on computer software or a T-shirt commemorating the second moon landing. Be on the lookout for door-to-door salesmen.
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"If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it."

-- Earl Wilson, Columnist

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