BUSINESS MORE UNIFORM IN ITS IMPROVEMENT.
Reports from Washington, D. C., are to the effect that reports on business conditions in this country, made to President Wilson, show a steady improvement and that the President told callers that business is becoming more uniform in its improvement and less “spotty.” It was said by White House officials that there was every indication that business was better than it had been in many months. Secretary Redficld laid before the Cabinet figures showing a trade balance in favor of the United States of $22,000,000 for the previous week. The trade balance in favor of the United States for the entire month of March was $145,000,000, against a balance of $173,000,000 in February. As the excess of exports over imports in March, 1914, was $5,384,131, the total of $145,000,000 this past month shows an increase of $139,655,000. The total for the nine months of the present fiscal year was over $700,000,000. Should the monthly excess of exports maintain its average since the first of the year for the next three months, the American trade balance for the current fiscal year will total $1,210,000,000, the highest in the history of American foreign commerce. In January the balance in favor of the United States was $145,500,000, and $173,400,000 were the figures for February. According to the weekly bulletin of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce relative to the American weekly trade balance during the week ending April 3, the thirteen principal customs districts reported their exports at $57,402,906, and imports at $35,. 781,734, making a trade balance for the week of $21,621,172. For the entire country it is estimated exports for the week aggregated $67,500,000, and the imports totaled $40,800,000, making the total weekly trade balance $26,700,000. Commenting on the March trade balance, the New York “Press” said editorially: “In any event our foreign trade balance for the first quarter of this calendar year—January, February and March—may be safely assumed to be some $475,000,000, or only $25,000,000 less than half a billion. To offset such stupendous trade debts owed in this country Europe is selling American securities owned abroad and putting out through our banks short-term notes. But the securities cannot come over fast enough and the notes cannot be placed in sufficient volume to catch up with that tidal wave balance, sweeping on recently at the rate of half a billion dollars a quarter year, a billion dollars a half year, and two billion dollars a year!” And the New York “Times” said: “Business is fast becoming normal. Such prosperity as we have had has been in the export trade, which was too feverish for health, and as a steady diet an unbalanced ration. The first sign of more normal conditions is a decrease in the excessive balance of trade. For February it was $173,000,000, and for March it was $145,000,000. That was not the result of a decrease of exports, for their volume has grown steadily since December, and was at its maximum in March, when it first passed $300,000,000. But the increase of exports in March by some seven millions was trifling compared with the increase of imports by $35,000,000 to $160,000,000, partly estimated for that month.” A significant financial development the past week was the action of the New York Stock Exchange in removing the minimum price at which stocks could be sold.