Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services plummeted 15.3 percent in March to $49.0 billion, its first decline in seven months, according to trade statistics released by the Department of Commerce. Exports rose 2.1 percent to a record $208.5 billion while imports fell 1.8 percent to $257.5 billion. For the year to date, the total deficit is up 18.5 percent from 2017 as a 6.8 percent rise in exports has been outpaced by a 9.1 percent increase in imports.

The deficit in goods trade tumbled 9.7 percent to $69.5 billion in March. Imports of goods were down 1.7 percent to $210.4 billion, including decreases of $700 million in toys, games, and sporting goods, $700 million in televisions and video equipment, and $500 million each in computer accessories, telecommunications equipment, and semiconductors. Exports of goods grew 2.7 percent to $140.9 billion, including increases of $1.9 billion in civilian aircraft, $500 million in soybeans, and $400 million in crude oil.

The services surplus jumped 6.8 percent to $20.5 billion. Imports lost 1.9 percent to $47.0 billion and exports edged up 0.6 percent to $67.6 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$35.4 billion

+2.0

   

European Union

$12.4 billion

-19.0

   

Mexico

$7.0 billion

+6.1

   

Japan

$5.9 billion

-1.7

   

Germany

$5.0 billion

-25.4

   

Italy

$2.3 billion

-17.9

   

France

$1.5 billion

+7.1

   

India

$1.4 billion

-26.3

   

Taiwan

$1.3 billion

-13.3

   

South Korea

$1.2 billion

+9.1

   

Saudi Arabia

$0.3 billion

-25.0

   

Canada

$0.2 billion

-50.0

   

Hong Kong

   

$3.3 billion

+6.5

South/Central America

   

$3.1 billion

-8.8

United Kingdom

   

$1.2 billion

+100.0

Brazil

   

$0.8 billion

-11.1

Singapore

   

$0.3 billion

-40.0

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