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Milton Ezrati of Lord AbbettThis country’s balance of international trade just keeps on improving. Long in deep deficit, which is frequently considered a sign of fundamental economic problems, the United States’ tendency to import more than it exports persists. But the trade deficit has nonetheless narrowed considerably of late. Part of the improvement reflects the currency, for the dollar, though up recently against the euro, has fallen long term against almost all other currencies, relieving American producers of a long-standing pricing disadvantage. Part of the improvement, and the factor that has dominated most recently, stems from the new fracking technology for natural gas and oil extraction and its impact on petroleum imports. This favorable influence promises to become still more dominant in coming years.

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