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OPINION

US Trade Deficit Narrows, But Does This Amount Matter?

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This morning the U.S. Department of Commerce issued its monthly report detailing the status of the United States’ international trade balance . Today’s data was for the month of April 2011. In April total U.S. exports amounted to 175.6 billion while imports totaled $219.2 billion, creating a deficit of $43.7 billion. This deficit represents a marginal decrease from March in which the monthly deficit totaled $46.8 billion.

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Year over Year: The goods deficit in April was down $3 billion while the service surplus increased by $200 million. Since April of 2010 the monthly trade deficit has increased by $2.2 billion, due to rising imports of $30 billion versus rising exports of $27.8 billion.

Goods Exports: The increase in exported goods from March was due to a $2 billion increase in industrial supplies and materials (NYSE:XLB), a $1.2 billion dollar increase in capital goods, and $.3 billion dollar rise in consumer goods. Exports for Automotive vehicles, parts, and engines and industrial supplies and material declined by $2.5 and $1.8 billion respectively.

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