US exports surge, Obama unveils jobs plan

| September 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Commerce Department has revealed US exports hit an all-time high in July, while imports fell.

According to official figures, exports surged 3.8% to $178 billion (£111 billion) after two months of declines.

The rise in exports was attributed to strong overseas sales of manufactured goods, particularly to countries in Central and South America.

Meanwhile, imports fell 0.2% to $222.8 billion – attributed to the decline in the price of oil reducing the cost of the US’s crude imports.

As a result of the figures, the trade gap fell 13.1% to $44.8 billion.

Meanwhile, US’ politically sensitive trade gap with China swelled 1.1% to $27 billion – the biggest imbalance in almost a year.

President Barack Obama has previously said that he wants to double US exports in the next three years to drive employment so the figures will be a welcome boost.

Yesterday, the President addressed the nation about a plan for job creation. He unveiled a $450 billion (£282 billion) package aimed at boosting the economy and reducing the federal deficit.

The bill includes tax cuts to workers and small businesses to boost job creation.

Mr Obama has previously said job creation is a top priority; continued high unemployment could threaten his prospects for re-election next year.

Last week, the Labor Department revealed the economy added no new jobs last month, which was a surprise after markets had expected 70,000 new jobs.

This represented the first time since 1945 that there has been a zero payrolls figure after 17,000 jobs were added in the private sector last month but these were cancelled out by 17,000 jobs lost in the public sector.

The economic recovery in the US remains sluggish in the face of higher unemployment and a depressed housing market.

In related news, yesterday the latest Beige Book report, published by the Federal Reserve revealed widespread signs that US economic growth continues to slow.

The US central bank has previously said the economy is weaker and that policymakers will explore ways to boost growth and lower unemployment at its policy meeting later this month.

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