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Global Trade: FedEx (NYSE:FDX) Slashes Profits; US and China File Cases Against Each Other With WTO

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Plus, reported trade statistics from across the globe, and more.

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Reported Trade Numbers From Across the Globe

In the second quarter, the United States' current account trade deficit fell 12.1% to $117.4 billion, from $133.6 billion in the previous quarter, which had been the biggest US trade deficit in the past three years. Deficit in goods narrowed to $185.5 billion from $194.3 billion in the first quarter. Exports jumped 1.4% to $394.1 billion. Surplus in services rose 1.3% to $46.5 billion. Imports shrunk by dropped 0.5%, thanks in part to lower petroleum imports.

The current account is the broadest available measure of trade, accounting not only for the sale of merchandise and services between nations, but for investment flows as well. (Read more US trade statistics from the US Department of Commerce here.)

Meanwhile, disappointing export data was released for Pakistan and India over the past week.

According to WTO statistics, Pakistan has fallen behind as its share of total global trade has dropped from .20% in 1990 to .18% in 2011. Pakistan's $25.3 billion in exports in 2011 was overshadowed by its $44 billion in imports. As pointed out by Pakistan's The New International, many people in Pakistan believe that the government's textile centric policies have hindered Pakistan's overall economy.

In India, whose global market share has tripled since 1995, exports were reportedly down 9.7% for August, at $22.3 billion versus $24.7 billion from the same month last year. Imports in India declined as well, over 5%, which drove India's trade deficit up to $15.7 billion from $15.3 billion last year.

This is the fourth month in a row that India's exports have declined. However, exports have recovered from a steep 15% dive in July. India's Commerce Secretary has attributed the recovery to government backed incentives.

The only positive trade data this week comes out of Europe:The European Union's statistics agency Eurostat has released July data boasting a $20.5 billion trade surplus, nearly $7 billion greater than the EU's trade surplus in June. However, the rise in trade surplus can be credited in-part to a drop in imports. Imports were $189.5 billion in July, down from $191.5 billion in June.

Italy reported its global trade balance improved to $5.8 billion in July.
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