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Trade Deficit Falls as Imports Tumble, Exports Slip

Thursday, May 05, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released May 4 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. monthly trade deficit in goods and services plummeted 13.8 percent in March to $40.4 billion. Exports fell for the fifth time in six months, down 0.8 percent to $176.6 billion, while imports tumbled 3.6 percent, their biggest monthly loss in seven years, to $217.1 billion.

The goods deficit dropped 9.3 percent in March to $58.5 billion. Imports of goods were down 4.3 percent to $175.3 billion, including decreases of $1.1 billion for toys, games and sporting goods, $800 million for computer accessories, $600 million for other textile apparel and household goods, and $600 million for cotton apparel and household goods. Exports of goods fell 1.5 percent to $116.8 billion, including decreases of $800 million for pharmaceutical preparations, $700 million for gem diamonds and $500 million for other petroleum products, despite a $1.3 billion increase in exports of civilian aircraft.

The services surplus gained 2.8 percent to $18.1 billion. Imports were down 0.5 percent to $41.7 billion while exports were up 0.5 percent to $59.8 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$26.0 billion

-19.0

   

European Union

$11.1 billion

+4.7

   

Japan

$5.9 billion

+9.3

Germany

$5.9 billion

+13.5

Mexico

$5.2 billion

+2.0

 

South Korea

$3.0 billion

+7.1

   

Italy

$2.4 billion

0

   

India

$1.7 billion

-29.2

   

France

$0.9 billion

-40.0

   

Brazil

$0.2 billion

Change from $0.4 billion surplus

Canada

$0.1 billion

-90.0

   

South/Central America

   

$3.2 billion

+18.5

United Kingdom

   

$0.5 billion

Change from $0.5 billion deficit

Saudi Arabia

$0.1 billion

-92.3

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