U.S. Trade Deficit Shrinks Slightly

By John S. McClenahen In June the U.S. did $700 million better in goods and services trade with the rest of the world than it had done it May. With imports of $119.2 billion topping exports of $82 billion, the international trade deficit was $37.2 billion, reports the U.S. Commerce Department. Although the deficit remains near a record for any month, there are some encouraging numbers. Imports rose just 0.5% in June, following a 2% surge in May, notes Maury Harris, chief U.S. economist at UBS Warburg LLC, New York. And paced by aircraft and aircraft parts, exports increased in June for the fourth consecutive month, he adds. "After the second-worst year in the past half century, my expectation is that the export recovery underway in the first half of 2002 will continue in the second half," states Jerry J. Jasinowski, president of the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Manufacturers. "The [U.S.] dollar is now down 7% from its high in February. In addition, I expect economic recoveries overseas to continue in the second half of the year."

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