Background

The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services soared past $100 billion for the first time in March as both imports and exports saw major increases.

According to statistics from the Department of Commerce, imports rose 10.3 percent from February to March, to $351.5 billion, the third straight month that figure has reached an all-time high. Imports of goods jumped 12.0 percent to $298.8 billion, smashing the previous record, including increases of $6.8 billion in finished metal shapes, $2.5 billion in passenger cars, and $2.0 billion in other textile, apparel, and household goods. Imports of services gained 1.7 percent to $52.7 billion. For the year-to-date, total imports were up 23.8 percent from March 2021.

Exports saw a 5.6 percent increase to $241.7 billion, also a record. Exports of goods were up 7.3 percent, including increases of $2.0 billion in other petroleum products, $1.7 billion in crude oil, and $1.3 billion in fuel oil. Services exports also gained, up 1.7 percent to $71.1 billion. For the year-to-date, total exports were up 17.7 percent from a year earlier.

With import increases far outpacing export gains, the monthly U.S. trade deficit jumped 28.7 percent in March to an unprecedented $109.8 billion. The deficit in goods trade rose 18.9 percent to $128.1 billion while the services trade surplus gained 2.2 percent to $18.3 billion. For the year-to-date, the overall trade deficit was up 41.5 percent from March 2021.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$48.6 billion

+18.0

 

 

European Union

$15.6 billion

-8.2

 

 

Mexico

$10.6 billion

+8.2

 

 

Canada

$10.3 billion

+51.5

 

 

Germany

$6.2 billion

+14.8

 

 

Japan

$6.1 billion

+19.6

 

 

Taiwan

$4.9 billion

+16.7

 

 

South Korea

$3.1 billion

-24.4

 

 

Italy

$3.4 billion

+13.3

 

 

India

$3.2 billion

+45.5

 

 

Saudi Arabia

$1.0 billion

0

 

 

France

$0.8 billion

-20.0

 

 

Singapore

$0.1 billion

Shift from $1.2 billion surplus

 

 

South/Central America

 

 

$6.7 billion

+17.5

Hong Kong

 

 

$1.3 billion

-7.1

Brazil

 

 

$1.2 billion

0

United Kingdom

 

 

$0.5 billion

-44.4

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