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US economy, two out of three ain't bad?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 12th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Claims for jobless benefits are on the rise while the trade deficit has decreased and inflation has remained flat. That's good news for most in two out of three economic reports released by the government on Wednesday.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The rise in jobless claims was unexpected, since all indicators suggest the economy has been improving, albeit slowly. After adjustments, the claims have risen by 4,250 to 368,500.

The economy created 120,000 new jobs in March, showing the slowest growth since October.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department announced the US exports have risen against imports, slightly narrowing the US trade deficit. Contributing to the decrease, oil imports have fallen to their lowest levels in 15 years.

The increase in exports appears to be in civilian aircraft and industrial machinery, according to the report. Most of the exports went to Canada, the biggest trade partner of the United States, and Europe, Brazil, and newly industrialized countries.

Simultaneously, imports from countries such as China fell significantly, by 18.2 percent. The US also imported less from the rest of the world. The trade deficit with China is now at $19.4 billion, which is the lowest it has been in a year. 

The report from the Labor Department revealed that inflation remained flat in March. Although food prices have been rising, fuel prices have dropped (tell that to people at the pump).

Economists expected a modest rise in inflation, but that rise did not show in the data.

Still, economists believe that the sluggish economic growth will continue and inflation will continue to rise, although slowly.

It remains to be seen if the economic growth will be enough to declare the recession over for Main Street USA, which is still struggling financially despite robust gains on Wall Street.

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