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Trade Deficit Falls as Exports Rise, Imports Plummet

Monday, April 01, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell 14.7 percent in January after an 18.9 percent jump in December, according to trade statistics released March 27 by the Department of Commerce. The monthly deficit of $51.1 billion reflected a 0.9 percent increase in exports to $207.3 billion and a 2.6 percent drop in imports to $258.5 billion. The deficit was down 3.7 percent from January 2018 as a 3.0 percent increase in exports outpaced a 1.6 percent increase in imports.

The deficit in goods trade dropped 10.1 percent to $73.3 billion in January. Imports of goods fell 3.0 percent to $210.7 billion, including decreases of $1.4 billion in crude oil, $900 million in computer accessories, and $700 million each in semiconductors and civilian aircraft. Exports of goods were up 1.3 percent to $137.4 billion, including increases of $900 million in soybeans and $700 million in passenger cars along with a $1.3 billion decrease in civilian aircraft.

The services surplus saw its first gain in some months, up 2.3 percent to $22.1 billion. Imports slipped 0.7 percent to $47.8 billion while exports edged up 0.3 percent to $70.0 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$33.2 billion

-14.2

   

European Union

$13.1 billion

-17.1

   

Mexico

$7.2 billion

-18.2

   

Germany

$6.0 billion

+5.3

   

Japan

$5.3 billion

-3.6

   

Italy

$2.9 billion

-3.3

   

South Korea

$2.4 billion

+41.2

   

Taiwan

$2.2 billion

+37.5

   

India

$1.9 billion

+35.7

France

$1.2 billion

-20.0

   

Saudi Arabia

$0.1 billion

-91.2

   

Singapore

Less than $0.1 billion

Shift from $0.4 billion surplus

South/Central America

   

$4.5 billion

+28.6

United Kingdom

$2.0 billion

+233.3

Hong Kong

   

$1.8 billion

-18.2

Canada

$1.4 billion

Shift from $0.7 billion deficit

Brazil

   

$1.1 billion

+37.5

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