BBC: US exports hit a record high in July, pushing the country’s trade deficit down to its lowest level in three months, official figures have shown. Led by strong overseas sales of manufactured goods, US exports rose 3.8% to $178bn (£111bn), said the Commerce Department.
At the same time, imports fell 0.2% to $222.8bn, helped by a fall in the price of oil reducing the cost of the US’s crude imports. The trade gap fell 13.1% to $44.8bn.
The figures will be welcome news for President Barack Obama, who is set to give a speech on job creation later today.
President Obama hugs First Lady Michelle Obama after watching her jump rope during a taping for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge and Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, July 15
President Obama gets a hug from a little girl as he greets Wounded Warriors and their families in the State Dining Room of the White House, July 5
President Obama talks with Andrew Kline, outgoing Chief of Staff, Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement, in the Oval Office, July 12. Kline’s daughter, Logan, sits atop the Resolute Desk.
President Obama greets members of the audience following a town hall at the University of Maryland, July 22
Vice President Biden and President Obama look at an app on an iPhone in the Outer Oval Office, Saturday, July 16
President Obama and Vice President Biden greet Wounded Warriors and their families in the State Dining Room of the White House, July 5
President Obama meets with senior advisors in the Situation Room, July 8
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch fireworks from the roof of the White House, July 4
A young girl salutes President Obama as he shakes hands along a ropeline with members of the military and their families during the Fourth of July celebration at the White House
And from Samantha Appleton:
First Lady Michelle Obama greets children during her visit to the Naval Air Station Oceana Summer Camp in Virginia Beach, July 21
MSNBC: President Barack Obama told the crew of the space shuttle program’s last mission that he’s proud of them and the “amazing feats” they are accomplishing in space.
… When the astronauts came on the line, the president feigned surprise, saying, “I was just dialing out for pizza and I didn’t expect to end up in space.”
Later in the call, he referred to the fact that 10 people had to share the space station’s two toilets and Atlantis’ sole bathroom. “My wife and my daughters are always crowding me out – hopefully you guys have a more organized arrangement than we do.”
Stephen Stromberg (Washington Post): … the central message that President Obama delivered at his Monday press conference on negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling was exactly right: “If not now, when?”
…. Obama called out Republicans, informing them that they will need to give on something to get an agreement… “I’m prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done,” Obama said. Will Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell develop the spines to take heat from their base, too?
…. Is Obama just making a play for the middle? Possibly. But outside of conservative circles – in which raising a nickel of federal revenue anywhere, anytime is apostasy and federal budgeting is too often an exercise in ideological fantasy – the president sounded measured, diplomatic and fair. If he reaps political benefits from that, he should.