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Sunday 14th of March 2010
January 12, 2010    

US impresses with gains in imports and exports

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by Kay Murchie
US impresses with gains in imports and exports

Figures released by the Commerce Department today revealed a rise in US imports in November, rising to $174.6 billion from $170.2 billion the previous month - a rise of 2.6%.

The surge in imports to the US reflected an increase in demand for industrial materials and consumer goods.

Meanwhile, exports totalled $138.2 billion - a rise of 0.9% on the month from $170.2 billion, primarily due to the weak US dollar, which boosted exports, particularly to China.

The US trade gap widened to 9.7% in November to $36.4 billion (£22.6 billion) - up from $33.2 billion the previous month - the increase was more than analysts had expected.

The figures were welcomed by many analysts who were encouraged by the gains in both imports and exports.

Christopher Cornell, at Moody’s Economy.com, said: “The big news is continued and sustained growth in trade volume, signalling recovery both in the US and among major US trading partners.”

In related news, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today revealed that UK exports in November soared to £20.2 billion - the highest since October 2008.

The rise was fuelled by sales of consumer goods and chemicals, according to the ONS.

The ONS said that Britain’s global goods trade gap narrowed from £7 billion in October to £6.8 billion in November.

The reduction in the deficit was boosted by a sharp fall in imports of £200 million (0.8%) to £27 billion.

Finally, it emerged over the weekend that China, which is the world’s third largest economy, overtook Germany as the world’s biggest exporter.

Chinese exports soared 17.7% on an annual basis in December, while imports rose 55.9%.

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