The merchandise trade deficit, which shrank to $3.4. billion in February, its lowest monthly level in nine years, is about to move higher. That's what is suggested by Mitsubishi Bank's latest monthly survey of airfreight carriers, seaport officials, and trucking firms around the nation regarding export and import business trends.
Although the survey's index of current export business rose by 1.6% in March, its current import-conditions index soared by 23.5%, reversing a four-month decline. Survey results, say the bank's economists, suggest that the recovery is sucking in more imports and that the monthly trade gap will widen to about $6.1 billion by yearend.