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Higher exports aid U.S. trade balance.


In the first four months of 1991, the United States posted a trade deficit of $21.7 billion, a hefty 36% below the $33.8 billion deficit recorded in the first four months of 1990. On an annualized basis, the U. S. trade deficit for 1991 is currently running at a rate of about $65 billion, less than two-thirds of 1990's $101.7 billion and less than half of the record gap of $152.1 billion posted in 1987.

Strength in U.S. exports has been the key to the improved trade balance performance. Despite slower economic activity abroad, exports rose by 7% in the first four months of 1991, while imports declined by about 2% as a result of the recession here.

The United States improved its trade performance with all its major trading partners, with the exceptions of Canada, China and the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries nations. As recently as five years ago, the United States posted a trade deficit of $28 billion with Western Europe. Last year, a surplus of $4 billion was recorded with Western Europe, the first since 1983. This year, the surplus reached $7.8 billion in the first four months and could hit $20 billion by yearend.

In East Asia, the United States is already posting surpluses with South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. The trade deficit with Taiwan was down to $2.8 billion in the first four months of this year, compared with $3.2 billion in the year-earlier period. The trade gap with Japan narrowed by only $100 million in the first four months of 1991, from $13.6 billion to $13.5 billion. However, compared with Europe and the rest of Asia, where deficits with Japan are soaring, the U.S. performance looks good.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Previous Article:CPA firm survey sees business recovery by yearend.
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