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 Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me