Wednesday, May 11, 2011

U.S. Exports Surge to New Record-High in March

About a month ago, I reported on the record-high number of outbound export containers shipped in March from America's largest port in Los Angeles.  That March surge in export containers from L.A. is now showing up in a record-high volume of U.S. exports in March, according to today's BEA report on international trade.   Exports of U.S. goods and services in March reached a new all-time record monthly high of $172.7 billion, which was almost 15% higher than exports a year ago, and 4.6% above February's level.  The increase in exports from February to March of 4.6% was the largest monthly increase in 17 years, since March 1994.  March exports were also 4.2% above the cyclical high of $165.7 billion reached in July of 2008, before the worldwide recession caused U.S. exports to plunge by 25% in the 9-month period between July 2008 and April 2009 (see chart above). 

Most of the gain in March exports came from the sale of U.S. goods (rather than services), which increased by 6.1% in March on a monthly basis and 18.7% on an annual basis.  Almost all of our exported goods come from America's manufacturing sector (industrial supplies, capital goods, autos, and consumer goods), and the record high volume of exports provides further evidence that the U.S. manufacturing sector is leading the U.S. economy, and is benefitting from strong demand overseas and a weak U.S. dollar. 

Exports of manufactured goods for: a) industrial supplies ($41.7 billion), b) capital goods ($39.9 billion) and c) autos ($11.6 billion), all reached record-high levels in March, with strong annual gains of 31.3%, 11.1% and 26.5% respectively. 

Bottom Line: After years of hearing reports that the U.S. manufacturing sector was in decline and dying, today's report on record exports further proves that the manufacturing has come back to life and as is at the forefront of the U.S. economy and the recovery. 

See related post here at the Enterprise Blog, "Manufacturing Makes a Comeback as Shining Star of U.S. Economy."


At 5/11/2011 10:15 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"The March figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars,
with Hong Kong $2.7 ($2.5 for February), Australia $1.1
($1.4), Singapore $0.9 ($0.8), and Egypt $0.4 ($0.5)."

These countries might be considered prize customers by many or American subsidized countries by others.

At 5/11/2011 10:21 AM, Blogger rjs said...

Trade Deficit increased to $48.2 billion in March

exports & imports:

At 5/11/2011 10:44 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. import prices climbed 2.2% in April, the Labor Department said Tuesday, marking the first time prices have climbed over 2% in consecutive months since June 2008.

The April advance follows the 2.7% jump in March and was stronger than the 1.6% gain that economists polled by MarketWatch had anticipated. Prices of imports are up 11.1% compared to April 2010.

exports were up 1.1% in the month and 9.6% from a year earlier.


so, it looks like roughly half the export growth was inflation as was nearly all of the import growth (which is a sign of a real decline in consumption).

that sure does not look like low inflation to me.

the 10.5% or so blended average is 70's style inflation. the BLS can define it out of existence (as they have with the unemployed), but it shows up very clearly in unmassaged data like this.

At 5/11/2011 11:35 AM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Gee, do you suppose that a "cheap dollar" is actually a good thing? Gee, maybe?

Do you think having a lower exchange rate for the dollar helps exports? Oh, that?


When will the right-wing dummy crowd learn that a dollar that enhances exports is good from America?

Sorry, that your plans for fancy foreign vacations or plant expansions get nixed.

Gee, too bad. Boo-hoo to the moon.

I am so sorry that millions of Americans will get employed, start earning money, and get off unemployment.

This ruins my whole day.

At 5/11/2011 11:45 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


imports went up more than exports.

it as driven almost entirely by price increases.

that means that the weak dollar is hurting the US more than it helps.

that impoverishes us, it doesn't make us grow.

our real consumption drops as a result.

if you have an econ degree, you need to go ask for your money back.

strong economies have strong currencies. japan has done best over the last 20 years in times of yen strength, not weakness.

the idiot policies you espouse only work in highly open export driven economies (like an asian tiger).

the will not and cannot work here. they are just destroying wealth, savings, and standard of living.

At 5/11/2011 12:23 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Morgan Frank-

"japan has done best over the last 20 years in times of yen strength, not weakness."

First, you are supposed to capitalize proper nouns, like "Japan."

Second, the yen has been a powerhouse in exchange markets for the last 20 years--and the nation is rotting on the vine. Tight money does not work. Minor deflation does not work.

BTW, if you want to stop sniveling, and learn something, read John Taylor's account of how QE worked in Japan, circa 2006, but they did not stick with it.

Taylor's advice to Japan was the same advice that Milton Friedman and Ben Bernanke gave Japan. You can find it on John Taylor's webpage.

And what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

At 5/11/2011 12:47 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


nice trival nitpick on capitalization. the last vestige of a losing arument...

regarding japan, you are wrong on the yen.

it's pretty much right where it was in 1995.

the only meaningful rally it has had in 16 years is in the last 2 years.

your command of facts is as bad as your command of economics.

look at japanese economic performance and compare it to the yen.

from 1995-1998, the yen weakened. the economy slowed and went into recession. from 1999-2002 the yen strengthened, japan recovered. etc. it is the eocnomy driving the currency, not the other way around, but it still means that the correlation you would need to be present for you to be correct is absent.

further, taylor is an opponent of QE2 in the US.

if that's your champion, you're screwed. he's fighting for the other side.

as ever, your ignorance and factual distortions seem to know no bounds.

At 5/11/2011 1:08 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Morgan Frank-

Do not eat the stuff they call "loco weed" on those Utah plains.

The Japan yen v. dollar

1973: 280
1983: 234
1993: 109
2003: 107
Latest: 80

The Bank of Japan has been diligent in its mission to snuff out inflation. They have succeeded.

The problem is, in the same time, real estate values and the Nikkei Dow have fallen by 75 percent, Japanese wages have fallen, the country's leading businesses are shifting manufacturing to Thailand, and young Japanese do not have babies anymore. They are in perma-recession. Tight money has failed--and China, Korea are booming, and running some inflation.

The Bank of Japan is committing long-term seppuku.

The U.S. Nipponistas are the biggest threat to American security and prosperity going. You guys make Al Queda look like a bunch of fairies.

At 5/11/2011 1:44 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


that's a ridiculous cherry pick of the data.

the $/yen hit 79.78 in 1995. then it sold off through 1998 (while japan slumped into a recession)

from the end of 1998 at 113, the yen was in a range of +/- 15 from there for the next 10 years.

also note: the huge appreciation from 1976-1990 coincided with 3-7% growth. until 1990, japan was going great guns despite the yen more than doubling in value.

you are arguing against yourself, and disproving your own statement, just as you misunderstood the views of taylor.

are there any facts at all here that you have not misunderstood or deliberately misrepresented?

your bubble baby thinking made this mess, and it's now making it worse.

you easy money clowns have painted yourselves into a corner. now what? is the fed just going to buy the whole bond market forever?

what do you think this dollar debasement does to the appetite of foreign holders of our debt?

the dollar tanking is hurting us. our import costs went up far more than the value of our exports.

you are preaching our own economic destruction and are just to foolish to see it.

At 5/11/2011 1:51 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

ps, your definition of "tight money" is insane.

japan has not had tight money, nor have we for at least a decade.

you seem t o think anything under about 30% money supply growth is tight.

japan has been undertaking serial stimulus projects for 20 years. it is not "tight money" that has failed, it is keynsianism that has done so, as it always does and always shall because it is a fundamentally wrongheaded and nonsensical doctrine.

the only reason it is still around is that it appeals to power hungry politicians who want to be able to shower goodies on constituents. they will always favor the policy that gives then more influence, as will the sell out pet economists who seek to work for them.

At 5/11/2011 2:30 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


i doubt you can keep up with the math, as you seem incapable of even basic algebra, but give this a try: (it's certainly statistics and regressions that anyone with a real econ degree should be able to do, but i fear that leaves you and your alleged degree out)

since 1990, japanese money supply has had no effect on output nor any predictive or stimulative value.

this is pretty much iron clad mathematical proof that your monetary explanation is false.

At 5/11/2011 2:32 PM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

"Prices of imports are up 11.1% compared to April 2010." - Morganovich

Ouch! Thanks for sharing. I hadn't seen this data.

There is no inflation in the system. Nothing to see here. Move along!

At 5/11/2011 3:23 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Morgan Frank-

Doesn't really matter what you say.

A trade-enhancing exchange rate for the dollar, and global growth, will lead to a secular boom in US exports. This could last for decades.

This augurs well for Americans.

Gee, sorry commodities has peaked out. Lots of run ahead for the DJIA.

At 5/13/2011 12:40 PM, Blogger James said...

Bid Deal!

We still have a trade deficit. We still lose more jobs to the world than we get from the world. If I went to Las Vegas last year and lost all my money in an hour and this year it took two hours to lose it am I better off? It is time to realize that we are not ever going to win the free trade game.


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