Saturday, June 9, 2012

U.S. April Trade Figures Reach Second-Highest Level

By MacKenzie C. Babb
Staff Writer

Washington - U.S. goods and services exports in April reached $182.9 billion while imports of goods and services hit $233 billion, marking the second highest trade levels on record, according to a new report by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

"Despite a variety of global economic challenges, exports in the first four months of 2012 continue to exceed their performance of 2011," Commerce Secretary John Bryson said following the trade report's June 8 release.

He said U.S. exports through the first four months of 2012 reached $725.8 billion, a 6 percent ($41.4 billion) increase from the same period of 2011.

"At this rate, we are on pace for U.S. exports to exceed $2 trillion for the second year in a row, and are making significant progress to achieving President Obama's goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014," Bryson said.

The secretary said that in 2011 alone, exports supported 9.7 million American jobs. He said continuing to grow U.S. exports will remain critical to supporting job creation and boosting the country's economic recovery.

The growth in goods exports from April 2011 to April 2012 reflects an increase in capital goods; automotive vehicles, parts and engines; consumer goods; other goods; and industrial supplies and materials.

Imports increased during the same period in automotive vehicles, parts and engines; capital goods; industrial supplies and materials; other goods; and foods, feeds and beverages.

Services exports grew over the year thanks largely to increases in travel; passenger fares; and royalties and license fees.

The expansion of services imports from 2011 levels reflects increases in travel; royalties and license fees; and business, professional and technical services.

The April 2012 figures showed a slight decrease from the previous month of $1.5 billion in exports and $4.1 billion in imports, and resulted in a goods and services deficit of $50.1 billion, down from $52.6 billion in March.

The latest figures show U.S. surpluses with Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and Egypt. Deficits were recorded with China, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Canada, Venezuela, Ireland, South Korea, Nigeria and Taiwan.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.)

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