U.S. trade deficit reaches lowest level in months

Thursday, May 12, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. trade deficit fell sharply in March to $54.99 billion, the lowest level in six months, as U.S. exports climbed to an all-time high. Imports declined, reflecting in part a slowdown in clothing shipments from China. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the gap between what the United States imports and what it sells to foreign countries narrowed by 9.2 percent from a record monthly deficit of $60.57 billion set in February.

Incoming CEO gives Kodak two years to focus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Eastman Kodak Co. has two years to find its place in the world of digital photography to avoid fading into history, warned incoming chief executive Antonio Perez, a former Hewlett-Packard Co. stalwart who is taking the reins from Kodak veteran Daniel Carp. The world's biggest film manufacturer said Wednesday that Perez, its No. 2 executive, will replace Carp at the helm on June 1 -- a hand-over that both men said has been on the cards ever since Perez' arrival two years ago.

UPS annouces growth ahead of projections

ATLANTA -- UPS Inc., the world's largest shipping carrier, reiterated its profit growth guidance for the year but said total volume growth for the second quarter is ahead of earlier projections. Its shares rose more than 3 percent. Executives of the Atlanta-based company said at an investor conference in New York on Wednesday that they expect full-year profit growth to be in the range of 16 percent to 20 percent over the adjusted $2.90 a share reported for 2004. That is the same guidance the company gave when it reported first-quarter earnings last month.

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