Confidence in the U.S. economy was buoyed by two reports last week: a sharply narrowed federal budget deficit and the first foreign trade surplus in almost three years.
Surging tax receipts and reduced spending cut the budget deficit in fiscal 1973 to $14.4 billion; that was $8.8 billion less than last year, and $10.4 billion less than January forecasts. President Nixon again predicted that he could balance the fiscal 1974 budget without raising taxes. The budget deficit for the last three fiscal years:
1971 1972 1973
$23.3 $23.2 $14.4
BILLION BILLION BILLION
The nation's trade balance...