US Exporters are Taking a Page Out of China’s Book

This year is shaping up to be a better year, tradewise, than 2009. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at today’s jobless claims.

The latest data from the US Census Bureau show a bullish picture for exports and a strengthening economic position at home when compared to January 2009 data. Seems like US manufacturers are getting more aggressive now that domestic demand can’t carry the load alone.

According to the latest U.S. International Trade report:

“In January, the goods and services deficit increased $0.4 billion from January 2009. Exports were up $18.7 billion, or 15.1 percent, and imports were up $19.1 billion, or 11.9 percent.”

The numbers reflect across the board increases from 2009 in exports for Industrial Supplies/Materials ($7.0 billion), Automotive ($3.4 billion), Consumer Goods ($2.1 billion), Foods/Feeds/Beverages ($1.7 billion), Capital Goods ($1.6 billion), and Other Goods ($0.4 billion) ─ all bullish signs for US industries.

Services exports also increased, from $2.7 billion in January 2009 to January 2010.

As the charts indicate, although exports showed a slight decline in the month of January (0.3 percent), imports fell even more (1.7 percent). Stronger net exports contribute to a rosier GDP and a smaller the trade deficit is bullish for the dollar.

The bad news is that we aren’t seeing any corresponding strength in employment as jobless claims remain high with no relief in sight. Thus, US companies will continue to attack foreign markets in the quest for revenue growth.