Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services declined 3.5 percent in February after a 14.7 percent drop in January, according to trade statistics released April 17 by the Department of Commerce. The monthly deficit of $49.4 billion reflected a 1.1 percent increase in exports to $209.7 billion and a 0.2 percent rise in imports to $259.1 billion. For the year to date the deficit was down 7.6 percent from the same period in 2018 as a 2.7 percent increase in exports outpaced a 0.5 percent increase in imports.

The deficit in goods trade dropped 1.6 percent to $72.0 billion in February. Imports of goods edged up 0.4 percent to $211.6 billion, including a $2.1 billion increase in cell phones and other household goods along with a $1.2 billion decrease in industrial supplies and materials. Exports of goods were up 1.5 percent to $139.5 billion, including increases of $2.2 billion in civilian aircraft and $600 million in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines along with a $400 million decline in industrial supplies and materials.

The services surplus rose 2.3 percent for the second straight month, to $22.6 billion. Imports slipped 0.6 percent to $47.5 billion while exports edged up 0.3 percent to $70.1 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$30.1 billion

-9.3

   

European Union

$12.4 billion

-5.3

   

Mexico

$7.7 billion

+6.9

   

Japan

$6.7 billion

+26.4

   

Germany

$5.5 billion

-8.3

   

Italy

$2.8 billion

-3.4

   

South Korea

$2.4 billion

0

   

India

$2.2 billion

+15.8

   

France

$2.2 billion

+83.3

   

Taiwan

$1.5 billion

-22.7

   

Saudi Arabia

$0.3 billion

+200

   

South/Central America

   

$3.7 billion

-17.8

Hong Kong

   

$2.8 billion

+55.5

United Kingdom

   

$0.9 billion

-55.0

Brazil

   

$0.6 billion

-45.5

Canada

   

$0.4 billion

-71.4

Singapore

   

$0.4 billion

Shift from deficit of <$0.1 billion

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