Trade deficit expanded, but export growth still strong in 1997

Last year was another bad one for the nation's balance of payments. The trade deficit increased to about $114 billion, its highest level since 1988.

05/01/1998


Last year was another bad one for the nation's balance of payments. The trade deficit increased to about $114 billion, its highest level since 1988. Nevertheless, export growth was still strong evidence that American companies have continued to make progress toward greater global competitiveness in a variety of product markets.

For many years now, the U.S. has recorded a substantial deficit in the trading of goods, which has been only partially offset by a solid surplus in trading of services. During 1997, the value of goods imported into the country exceeded the value of goods exported by approximately $199 billion. At the same time, our comparative advantage in the trading of travel, financial, and other services amounted to about $85 billion. The goods trade imbalance rose by 4.1% last year, while our surplus in services registered a slightly larger increase of 6.4%.

Goods constitute about 79% of our total trade activity -- imports and exports -- with the rest of the world, so any progress on the trade front is critically dependent upon American manufacturers exporting more. And there's plenty of evidence that the cost-cutting and capital investments that American industrial firms have made throughout this decade have helped improve export growth rates. U.S. goods are not only more price competitive in world markets than they were earlier in this decade, but they are considered to be of demonstrably higher quality than during the past few decades.

Export growth strong for 1997

(Increase for selected capital goods, %)

Industrial engines 21.8

Measurement, test, and control equipment 19.8

Material handling equipment 18.5

Telecommunications equipment 17

Drilling and oil field equipment 17

Computer accessories 16.3

Aircraft parts 14.5

Motor vehicles and parts 12.9

Machine tools 12.3

Business machines and equipment 12.3

Semiconductors 8.6

Computers 4.4





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing advancements; Machine vision enhances robotics; Fieldbus evolution; Process safety; Advice from System Integrators of the Year; Road to IANA
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
click me