By definition, GDP is made of domestically-produced goods for consumption, investment, government expenditures, and exports, that is, C+I+G+X. When they actually measure GDP , however, statisticians only find a C, an I, and a G that include imported goods and services. In order to correct for that, they have to remove all imports from the formula, which becomes the familiar C+I+G+X-M, where M represents imports. Compounding the error, the formula is usually written as C+I+G+(X-M), where (X-M) is labelled “net exports,” a subliminal version of the trade balance. It looks as if net imports subtract from GDP while, in fact, M is subtracted only because it was already hidden in the available data.