Behind the Strong U.S. Export Numbers

Capital goods, aircraft showed gains
Two Air India 787 Dreamliner aircraft are seen at the Boeing production facilities in North Charleston, South Carolina. Photograph by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

The latest U.S. trade figures (PDF) showed a surprising surge in non-oil imports in March, a sign that American consumers are spending more. Just as surprising—and more encouraging from the U.S. point of view—was the 2.9 percent growth in exports, to $186.7 billion for the month. That’s the highest value of U.S. exports ever. “The export numbers are encouraging,” says Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist for TD Securities in New York. “They show that global activity is stronger than we thought and demand is better than expected.”

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