State of Business: Optimism for Exports

For weeks past the gloomier chroniclers of U.S. business had been warning of the danger of another sharp rise in the U.S. balance of payments deficit and, with it, another damaging outflow of U.S. gold. Last week the pessimists had fresh ammunition: Commerce Department figures showing that U.S. exports, after dropping 3% in August, fell another 2% in September. Surprisingly enough, neither Washington nor Wall Street seemed as concerned as might be expected.

U.S. balance-of-payments troubles are partly a condition of the cold war. The U.S. spends some $5 billion a year on foreign aid and for the support of its...

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