Background

The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose 2.8 percent in February 2023 as both imports and exports decreased. A MarketWatch article noted that, two months into the new year, the U.S. “is on track to break a string of three straight years of rising and record [trade] deficits, but not for reasons conducive to a healthy economy.”

Imports fell 1.5 percent from January to $321.7 billion. Imports of goods were down 2.2 percent to $262.2 billion, with decreases of $1.5 billion for cell phones and other household goods, $1.5 billion for passenger cars, and $1.1 billion for trucks, buses, and special purpose vehicles. Services imports gained 1.4 percent to $59.5 billion.

Exports declined 2.7 percent in February to $251.2 billion. Exports of goods fell 4.8 percent to $169.3 billion, with decreases of $2.3 billion for drugs, $1.5 billion for natural gas, and $1.2 billion for passenger cars. Services exports were up 2.1 percent to $82.0 billion.

With exports and imports both down, the monthly U.S. trade deficit increased from $68.7 billion in January to $70.5 billion in February. The deficit in goods trade was up 2.8 percent to $93.0 billion while the services trade surplus rose 3.7 percent to $22.4 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$25.2 billion

+15.1

 

 

European Union

$18.1 billion

-2.2

 

 

Mexico

$12.0 billion

-1.7

 

 

Vietnam

$8.1 billion

+1.3

 

 

Germany

$7.9 billion

+9.7

 

 

Japan

$5.7 billion

+1.8

 

 

Canada

$5.6 billion

+3.7

 

 

Taiwan

$4.7 billion

+34.3

 

 

South Korea

$4.5 billion

+21.6

 

 

Ireland

$3.7 billion

-19.6

 

 

India

$3.7 billion

-17.8

 

 

Italy

$3.4 billion

-5.6

 

 

Malaysia

$2.8 billion

0

 

 

Switzerland

$1.7 billion

+21.4

 

 

Saudi Arabia

$0.7 billion

+250

 

 

France

$0.6 billion

-45.5

 

 

Israel

$0.6 billion

0

 

 

South/Central America

 

 

$4.7 billion

-2.0

Hong Kong

 

 

$2.5 billion

+66.7

Netherlands

 

 

$1.8 billion

-43.8

Belgium

 

 

$1.6 billion

-11.1

Australia

 

 

$1.5 billion

0

Brazil

 

 

$0.9 billion

+50.0

United Kingdom

 

 

$0.5 billion

-81.5

Singapore

 

 

$0.2 billion

-50.0

 

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