TRADE: Record Surplus

Ever since the World War transformed the U. S. from a debtor to a creditor nation, it has been economically unhealthy for the U. S. to export more goods than it imports. (Debts cannot be collected unless the U. S. buys more from its debtors than they buy from it.) Last week the Department of Commerce reported that 1938's export surplus of $1,133,567,000 was the largest since 1921.

Reason for the 17-year record: Depression II cut imports, notably raw materials for manufacture, 36% to $1,960,528,000, while steadier business conditions abroad, plus demand for armaments and food, held U. S. exports...

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