Friday, June 08, 2007

U.S. Trade Gap Lower Than Expected

The trade deficit narrowed in April, as American businesses exported more goods and services to meet rising demand from overseas.

Exports grew by $200 million while imports slowed by $3.6 billion, bringing the trade gap to $58.5 billion for the month. While that is still huge, it is down from the March deficit of $62.4 billion.
Wall Street welcomed this news and the market slide from the last few days seems to have leveled off. I do not see this as especially good news. Exports grew by just $200 million which is a drop in the bucket when you consider the excesive decline of the dollar in many places. One of the supposed benefits of a dropping dollar is increased exports. That would be the case but with our manufacturing base nearly gone we don't manufacture much that can be exported.

In order for the slumping dollar to help our enormous trade imbalance we need to resurrect our manufacturing base. For me the more important number in this report is the $3.6 Billion drop in imports. To me that signals the American consumer cutting back on spending and that signals lower economic growth within the United States and possibly a coming recession.

There are two Americas. The rich are doing extraordinarily well while the middle and lower classes are struggling economically. That is how I read this report.

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