Record-Breaking Good News About U.S. Exports Dampened by Escalating Oil Prices
In March, American firms sold the most goods and services overseas in nearly 20 years. That robust activity, however, was tempered by a major jump in oil prices which nudged the country's trade deficit even higher. Oil imports skyrocketed 18 percent from the previous month to $39.3 billion.
Specifically, total March exports totaled $172.7 billion, while imports came in at $220.8 billion (an increase of $10.4 billion when compared to February's import numbers).
For the three months ending in March, exports of goods and services averaged $168.4 billion, while imports of goods and services averaged $215.3 billion, resulting in an average trade deficit of $46.9 billion. For the three months ending in February, the average trade deficit was $44.2 billion, reflecting average exports of $165.3 billion and average imports of $209.5 billion.
Also in March, advanced technology products exports totaled $25.3 billion and imports were $32.2 billion, resulting in a deficit of $6.9 billion.
Looking at the long view, the goods and services deficit increased $8.7 billion between March 2010 and March 2011. Exports were up $22.4 billion (14.9 percent) and imports were up $31.1 billion (16.4 percent).
Economists anticipate the quick rise in exports will boost growth in the April-June quarter despite high oil prices, according to Associated Press coverage of the news, as the government adjusts for inflation when calculating the nation's GDP.
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