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Trade Deficit Tumbles as Exports and Imports Both See Big Declines

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released March 6 by the Department of Commerce show that the monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell 8.3 percent in January to $41.8 billion as exports fell 2.9 percent and imports plummeted 3.9 percent. Commerce Secretary Penny Priztker said these numbers “reaffirm the need for strong trade policies to help U.S. businesses increase exports.”

Highlights of the statistics for January include the following.

- Exports totaled $189.4 billion, including $128.7 billion in goods (down 4.1 percent) and $60.7 billion in services (down 0.1 percent).

- Imports totaled $231.2 billion, including $190.3 billion in goods (down 4.5 percent) and $40.8 billion in services (down 1.2 percent).

- The goods deficit dropped 5.2 percent to $61.6 billion and while the services surplus rose 2.6 percent to $19.9 billion.

- The total deficit was down 7.5 percent from a year earlier as exports slipped 1.7 percent and imports lost 0.2 percent.

- Goods deficits were higher with Germany (19.7 percent to $6.7 billion), Japan (20.4 percent to $6.5 billion) and South Korea (14.9 percent to $3.1 billion).

- Goods deficits were lower with China (3.6 percent to $29.3 billion), the European Union (4.7 percent to $12.1 billion), Mexico (30.4 percent to $3.9 billion) and Canada (75.8 percent to $0.8 billion).

- The U.S. ran goods trade surpluses with South and Central America (down 15.4 percent to $2.2 billion) and Brazil (up 75 percent to $0.7 billion).

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