The trade news from Tuesday, in context from the Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly in January as strong American exports were more than offset by higher prices for imported oil….[snip]January exports rose 1.6% to $148.2 billion from December, while imports rose 1.3% to $206.4 billion. Exports were strong as the weak dollar boosted sales of food, industrial supplies and consumer goods.
Imports rose due to higher prices and volume for imported oil, although a slight rise in auto imports also contributed.
More context, locally seen. From Commerce official Christopher Padilla, speaking in Louisville, Ky.:
Padilla told business leaders at The Brown hotel that Louisville “is a top-40 exporting city. It exported almost $5 billion worth of products in 2006” — nearly half of that to Mexico and Canada, the two nations that joined the United States in the North American Free Trade Agreement implemented in 1994.
“Now more than ever, exports are a huge driver of American economic growth,” Padilla said.
And from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi:
PASCAGOULA — The export business at the Port of Pascagoula is booming, a trend Port Director Mark McAndrews said should continue for the next decade and beyond.
From 2005 to 2006, the port’s export trade increased by nearly 59 percent, according to the most recent figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
That meant an increase in trade revenues from $243,812,792 to $387,151,597, the report added.
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