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  • Carolyn_Novice Carolyn_Novice Aug 14, 2004 2:10 PM Flag

    SNAKE INVESTOR TACTICS

    ANOTHER RECORD TRADE DEFICIT!
    http://www.streetsmartreport.com/comm3.html
    Friday the August 13, 2004. (Not a good day)

    Americans still prefer foreign products to those made in this country. Month after month when auto sales in the U.S. are released, those of Mercedes, Jaguar, Toyota, Volvo, usually show nifty increases, while sales at Ford and General Motors either decline or have had their sales propped up by massive discounts and rebates. When retail sales are announced, WalMart, with its shelves dominated by the products of China , Taiwan , and India , usually leads the way with the largest sales increases. And of course the U.S. runs its autos and heats its homes and businesses primarily with imported oil.

    But consumers in foreign countries, who once admired U.S. products and seemingly couldn�t get enough of them, are no longer as turned on by �Made in America � labels and popular U.S. brand names. Coca Cola and McDonalds even received bomb threats recently in Argentina serious enough that the Argentinian courts ordered additional security at Coke�s plants there.

    Small wonder then that when the Commerce Department announces the monthly international trade numbers, the U.S. suffers a huge and growing trade deficit. That is, the U.S. imports far more foreign products than it is able to export of U.S. products to foreign countries.

    It wasn�t but a few years ago that it was a shock to economists and Washington when the trade deficit rose above $10 billion for the first time. Yet for the last several years the deficit has been hitting new record highs almost monthly, with hardly a ripple of alarm being raised. But on Friday, the numbers for June were released, and should not be ignored. The U.S. trade gap widened by a shocking 19%, to $55.8 billion, from May�s already record $46.9 billion. Economists had forecast a slight increase of less than a billion.

    The value of U.S. exports declined 4.3% in June, the biggest monthly decline since the month of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Based on the first six months of the year, the deficit is on track to exceed $500 billion for the year. Is that a lot of money? A meaningful amount to the economy? Well consider that the two largest U.S. companies, Microsoft and General Electric, have total annual sales of $144 billion, and $36 billion.

    According to the minutes of the Fed�s FOMC meeting in June, which were released on Thursday, the Fed was already concerned in June about how the U.S. could sustain its �current account deficit� with foreign countries. This latest big jump in the trade deficit means still more money has flowed from the U.S. to foreign accounts.

    Economists had just recently been lowering their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in this quarter and for the rest of the year, as a result of the spike-up in energy costs that

 

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