If for every buyer, there's a seller, doesn't that also mean that there were $25B in outflows in the same time period?
Yes for every buyer there is a seller. The inflows are not being talked in that respect.
about there being $25B in inflows to US equity markets since the election...what does that mean?
Lets say the index was at X. After a month the index is at X+100.
So lets say there are only 10 companies listed. So if the Index has moved X to X+100, then share price S1 has moved to S1+d1. So if you sum all such shares/trades that have increased in value, you will get what in inflow.
In the same period there could be some shares that have lost value. i.e. the price or another share was S2 and has moved to S2-d2. The sum of all such shares/trades that have decreased in value, you will get outflow.
The terms are Gross outflow, Gross inflow. In Net terms for a period, it can only be Inflow or outflow; depending on the difference between inflow and outflow.
The stats are done day to day and aggregated for the time period required.
So generally if the index has increased, it means there is more inflow and less outflow.
At times this analysis is also done on segments, FI's inflow is more compared to outflow or compared to inflow of NBFI or Institutional investors or Foreign participants etc.