Trade Deficit Down as Exports and Imports Both Climb
Trade statistics released May 6 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit fell 4.5% in March to $40.4 billion. Exports rose 2.1% to $193.9 billion, with exports to Canada, South Korea and the DR-CAFTA countries reaching record levels, while imports gained 1.1% to $234.3 billion. Compared to a year earlier, the March trade deficit was down $3.8 billion as exports increased 5.0% and imports grew by 5.9%.
The monthly deficit in goods trade slipped 1.0% in March to $60.7 billion. Exports of goods were 2.8% higher at $135.1 billion while imports saw a 1.6% gain to $195.8 billion. The services surplus moved ahead 4.6% to $20.4 billion as exports inched ahead 0.3% to $58.8 billion and imports lost 1.8% to $28.4 billion.
With respect to individual trading partners, the U.S. saw smaller deficits with China (down 2.4% to $20.4 billion), OPEC (down 8.8% to $5.2 billion) and Ireland (down 5.3% to $1.8 billion) but larger deficits with the European Union (up 26.4% to $11.5 billion), Japan (up 11.3% to $5.9 billion), Germany (up 31.1% to $5.9 billion), Mexico (up 27.5% to $5.1 billion), Saudi Arabia (up 3.1% to $3.3 billion), Canada (up 4.8% to $2.2 billion), India (up 29.4% to $2.2 billion) and South Korea (up 30% to $1.3 billion).
The U.S. continued to run trade surpluses with Hong Kong (down 17.2% to $2.4 billion), Brazil (up 50% to $1.8 billion), Australia (down 7.1% to $1.3 billion) and Singapore (unchanged at $1.3 billion).