U.S. Trade Deficit Shrinks In November

By John S. McClenahen U.S. exports of goods and services remained strong in November 2003, rising $2.545 billion from October to $90.633 billion. Imports fell to $128.643 billion in November, down $1.021 billion from October's $129.664 billion. As a result, the U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world shrank to $38.01 billion in November from October's revised deficit of $41.576 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Jan. 14. Economists and analysts, in contrast, generally had expected the deficit to rise to about $42 billion. "Exports of capital goods, including aircraft, underpinned the rise in exports in November," states UBS Investment Research, New York. "Looking ahead, a weak [U.S.] dollar can only help to sustain this momentum." One cautionary note, however, from UBS: U.S. beef exports could drop early this year in the wake of the discovery of a case of "mad-cow" disease in a Washington state herd.

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