The following editorial first appeared in the Kansas City Star:
The U.S. trade deficit was up again in May to about $42 billion. There are always those who worry when we buy more than we sell, but the latest report is a reflection of strength.
When imports are rising, it means the economy is growing, displaying the vitality needed to draw in goods and services from around the world.
Also, the May report showed exports actually rose a bit more than imports. International trade as a whole - exports plus imports - is booming. In May, it reached a 19-month high of $314 billion, more than 27 percent above the low set in April of last year.
And while we have a trade deficit with China, we're running a surplus with that country in farm products - $4 billion for the first four months of 2010. A hefty chunk of that is in soybeans, an important crop in Missouri.
Given the worries these days that the economy may suffer another relapse, the most recent trade report is an encouraging sign of continued economic health.