Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Merchandise Trade Deficit Down for June

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Merchandise Trade Deficit Down for June

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The third-strongest exports on record helped trim the U.S. merchandise trade deficit in June to $4.0 billion, the lowest monthly level in eight years, the government reported Friday.

"It is now virtually certain that the U.S. trade deficit for 1991 will be well under $100 billion for the first time since 1983," said Stephen Cooney, an economist with the National Association of Manufacturers.

The Commerce Department said the gap totaled $60.5 billion at an annual rate during the first half of 1991. If it continues at that pace, it would be the smallest imbalance since 1983 when the deficit stood at $52.4 billion.

Earlier, the Bush administration and some economists had forecast a deficit of less than $90 billion this year. It peaked at $152.1 billion in 1987 and has fallen steadily since then, dropping to $101.7 billion last year.

Although exports dipped 1.2 percent to $34.8 billion in June, the level was the third highest following the record $35.6 billion in April and billion in May. Imports also fell, down 3 percent, to $38.9 billion.

Commerce Secretary Robert A. Mosbacher expressed pleasure with the report, saying "exports continue to expand at a solid pace this year, rising a significant 6.5 percent over the same period a year ago."

"U.S. manufactured exports increased a strong 8 percent during the first six months of the year," he said. "The increasing competitiveness of manufactured exports bode well for additional gains in export sales in the months ahead."

The Bush administration is looking to strong exports to help fuel the economy's recovery from the recession. In 1990, sales of U.S. goods overseas represented about 40 percent of America's economic growth and contributed to the creation of one out of every four new jobs.

Other economists, however, believe exports will continue to taper off this year as overseas economies falter and the stronger dollar makes purchases of U. …

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