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July 13, 2004

Trade Gap Shrinks Dramatically

Exports surge to "record levels."

Analysts said the smaller-than-expected trade gap will likely boost second-quarter U.S. economic growth. Meanwhile, a trio of other reports painted a mixed picture of consumer spending trends, a key driver of the U.S. economy.

The May deficit totaled $46.0 billion, well below a median estimate of $48.3 billion from Wall Street analysts surveyed before the report.

The gap narrowed for the first time in six months despite the highest prices for imported oil in nearly 22 years, which helped push overall imports to a record high as well.

That's pretty encouraging! Even with the surge in the cost of oil, even with record-high imports, we still managed to shrink the trade gap.

Jim Glassman, senior economist with J.P. Morgan Securities in New York, said the report should prompt forecasters to raise estimates of second-quarter growth by "a half a point or so," depending on the June trade numbers.

A half point or so? That's pretty damn big.

I hate to be a one-note johnny, but honestly, this is the latest in a long series of "record level" readings on the economy. You would think the media would have some interest in -- some curiousity about -- one or two of these record readings.

Good-sized cowbell for surging exports and increased 2Q growth.


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posted by Ace at 04:29 PM

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