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April 8, 2020

US trade deficit in goods falls to lowest in three years

The US trade deficit in goods and services fell again in February from a month earlier, to its lowest level in three years, as imports decreased more than exports.

By Michelle Russell

The US trade deficit in goods and services fell again in February from a month earlier, to its lowest level in three years, as imports decreased more than exports.

The deficit amounted to US$39.9bn for the month, down 12.1% from a revised $45.5bn in January. Exports were $207.5bn, $0.8bn less than January, while imports were $6.3bn less at $247.5bn, according to trade statistics released by the Department of Commerce.

The largest deficits were recorded with China ($19.7bn), but this was a decrease of $4bn on January. Exports dropped $0.3bn to $7.5bn and imports by $4.2bn to $27.2bn.

Other deficits were recorded with the European Union ($12.6bn), and Mexico ($9.7bn). A deficit of $1.6bn was recorded with Canada.

International trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg (ST&R), believes the declines in both exports and imports reflect the start of the coronavirus (Covid-19) slowdown. “[They are] likely due, in large part, to measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Surpluses for the month of February were recorded with South and Central America ($5.9bn), Brazil ($1.9bn), Hong Kong ($1.5bn), and the UK ($1.3bn).

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