Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose another 5.5 percent in March, hitting a record high for a second straight month, according to trade statistics from the Department of Commerce. Observers say the deficit could continue to increase throughout the year as U.S. economic growth rebounds from a pandemic-related downturn.

The monthly trade deficit of $74.4 billion reflected a 6.6 increase in exports to $200 billion and a 6.4 percent increase in imports to a record-high $274.5 billion. The year-to-date deficit was up 64.2 percent from March 2020 as exports fell 3.5 percent and imports increased 8.5 percent.

The deficit in goods trade rose 4.1 percent in March to $91.6 billion. Imports of goods jumped 7.0 percent to $234.4 billion, including increases of $1.3 billion in semiconductors, $1.2 billion in textile, apparel, and household goods, and $1 billion in passenger cars, along with decreases of $1.4 billion in civilian aircraft and $1.0 billion in cell phones and other household goods. Exports of goods soared 8.9 percent to $142.9 billion, including increases of $3.4 billion in non-monetary gold, $1.7 billion in natural gas, and $400 million in semiconductors.

The services surplus fell 1.7 percent to $17.1 billion, with imports up 2.8 percent to $40.0 billion and exports up 1.4 percent to $57.1 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$36.9 billion

+20.8

 

 

European Union

$16.9 billion

-11.1

 

 

Mexico

$8.4 billion

+23.5

 

 

Germany

$5.5 billion

+3.8

 

 

Japan

$5.1 billion

+13.3

 

 

Canada

$3.1 billion

-22.5

 

 

Italy

$2.9 billion

-9.4

 

 

Taiwan

$2.6 billion

+8.3

 

 

India

$2.2 billion

+29.4

 

 

South Korea

$2.1 billion

-8.7

 

 

France

$1.5 billion

-44.4

 

 

Saudi Arabia

<$0.1 billion

Shift from $0.1 billion surplus

 

 

South/Central America

 

 

$3.6 billion

-2.7

Hong Kong

 

 

$2.9 billion

+141.7

Brazil

 

 

$1.0 billion

-28.6

Singapore

 

 

$0.6 billion

0

United Kingdom

 

 

$0.1 billion

-50

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