US trade deficit drops to 388 billion in March as flow of

by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted May 2, 2013 8:36 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US trade deficit drops to $38.8 billion in March as flow of crude oil falls to 17-year low WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March for a second month as the daily flow of imported crude oil dropped to the lowest level in 17 years. The deficit with China hit a three-year low.The overall trade deficit decreased to $38.8 billion, an 11 per cent drop from February’s $43.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.Exports fell 0.9 per cent to $184.3 billion as sales of machinery, autos and farm products all declined. Imports fell 2.8 per cent to $223.1 billion, led by a 4.4 per cent drop in foreign petroleum. Crude oil imports averaged just 7 million barrels per day, the lowest since March 1996.A smaller trade gap can boost overall economic growth as American companies earn more from overseas sales while U.S. consumers and businesses spend less on foreign products.For the first three months of this year, the trade deficit is running at an annual rate of $507.7 billion, 5.9 per cent below last year’s deficit of $539.5 billion. Economists are looking for the deficit to narrow slightly this year, in part because they expect continued gains in U.S. exports.Analysts said the lower-than-expected deficit in March will likely give a slight boost to overall economic growth for the January-March quarter. The government’s first estimate put economic growth at 2.5 per cent in the first quarter but some analysts said that could be revised up to perhaps 2.7 per cent because of the lower trade deficit in March.The politically sensitive deficit with China shrank 23.6 per cent in March to $17.9 billion, still far above the imbalance with any other country.Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said there was a good chance the big drop in the deficit with China would be reversed in April because much of the improvement reflected the disruption of shipments of Chinese goods to the United States over the Lunar New Year holiday in China.The deficit with the European Union grew 13 per cent in March to $9.9 billion even though U.S. exports to the region rose 14.4 per cent. But for the year, U.S. exports to Europe are down 8 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, reflecting the impact of a recession in the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.The European Central Bank announced Thursday that it was cutting its benchmark interest rate to a new record low in an effort to stimulate growth in the 17 European countries that use the euro currency.The Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday that its index of U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a slower pace in April, held back by weaker hiring and less company stockpiling. That raised worries that overall economic growth may slow this spring.The manufacturing index slipped to 50.7 in April. That’s down from 51.3 in March and the slowest pace this year. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. A measure of export orders in the ISM survey grew at a slower pace in April.Exports of industrial machinery, telecommunications equipment, computers, autos and farm products such as soybeans were all down in March although sales of civilian aircraft were up.Imports of foreign-made autos dropped by $771 million in March and imports of toys and games were down $1 billion.The U.S. economy is being hurt this year by tax hikes and spending reductions designed to curb huge federal budget deficits.The Federal Reserve at its meeting Wednesday stood by its aggressive efforts to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment and held out the possibility that it is prepared to do more if growth doesn’t rebound from the current soft patch which the central bank blamed in part on the government’s tax increases and spending cuts to curb the deficit.Many economists believe if the government’s across the board spending cuts, known as a sequester, are not lifted, growth in the current April-June quarter and the rest of this year will come at a lacklustre 2 per cent or less. read more

Read More →

David Hockney designs first iPad window for Westminster Abbey in honour of

The Queen's Window David Hockney poses in front of The Queen's Window, a new stained glass window designed by Hockney and created by Barley Studio York, at Westminster Abbey A stained glass window designed on an iPad by David Hockney to celebrate the Queen’s reign has been unveiled at Westminster Abbey, saying:  “I hope she’ll like it”.The window, the artist’s first work in stained glass, reflects the Queen’s love for and connection with the countryside.Hockney’s design was created on his iPad and is set within his beloved Yorkshire and features hawthorn blossom.It uses his distinct colour palette of yellow, red, blue, pink, orange and greens.The new window, called The Queen’s Window, can be found in the Abbey’s north transept. Hockney was asked to design something symbolic or representational, rather than a figurative design.Attending the unveiling, Hockney said: “The iPad is back-lit like a window. It’s a natural thing to use.”Landscape is nature. The previous window put up in here was also nature, lilies.”I chose the hawthorn which is [for] four days [like] the moment when champagne looks as though it’s been poured over all the bushes.”It’s a rather celebratory thing. It’s the height of the spring and summer”. He said of designing his first stained glass window: “I learnt something about glass. It was a challenge.”The artist said of Westminster Abbey: “I know this is a historic place and I know it’s going to last.” The Queen’s WindowCredit:Eddie Mulholland The artist said of the window’s Westminster Abbey home: “I know this is a historic place and I know it’s going to last.”Hockney once said that he turned down the chance to paint the Queen because he was “very busy painting England actually, her country”. Tomorrow, a new stained glass window will be unveiled.It has been designed by one of Britain’s most influential contemporary artists, #DavidHockney. pic.twitter.com/kYkpX5Yq7o— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) September 25, 2018 Hockney, 81, is one of Britain’s most-loved artists and famous for his Yorkshire landscapes and paintings of Californian life.Barley Studio, a stained glass studio based in York, created the window using traditional techniques. Asked whether he had any response to the window from the Queen, who has seen a sketch and will see the real thing when she visits Westminster Abbey in November, said: “Not yet, but I hope she’ll like it. I’m sure she will.” he said: “Not yet but I hope she’ll like it. I’m sure she will.”Westminster Abbey said that the result “reflects the Queen as a countrywoman and her widespread delight in, and yearning for, the countryside”.The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: “I’m excited by it.”I think there’s absolutely no harm at all in having something which is particular and vibrant and different. Today we’re revealing our new stained glass window, The Queen’s Window, designed by #DavidHockney and created by Barley Studio.More photos later. Meanwhile, here’s Hockney’s signature in the bottom right corner of the window.More info ➡️ https://t.co/BTSGjBnDAO pic.twitter.com/XS5I0O0anO— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) September 26, 2018 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. David Hockney poses in front of The Queen’s Window, a new stained glass window designed by Hockney and created by Barley Studio York, at Westminster AbbeyCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph “Some of the glass here is not very good. Some of it is not too bad, but this has a wonderful, beautiful, easily accessible vibrant colour. I think people will enjoy it.”He added: “It’s going to be here until the end. Who knows what’s going to happen in the future.” read more

Read More →