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May 12, 2022

US trade deficit surpasses $1bn in March

The US trade deficit in goods and services soared by 22.3% in March, topping US$1bn for what is understood to be the first time.

By Beth Wright

The goods and services deficit amounted to $109.8bn in March, up $20bn from $89.8bn in February revised, according to trade statistics released by the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

This is the first time the monthly US trade deficit in goods and services has surpassed $100bn, says international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg (ST&R), as both imports and exports saw major increases.

March exports were $241.7bn, $12.9bn more than February exports, while imports were $351.5bn, $32.9bn more than those in February.

The March increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $20.4bn to $128.1bn and an increase in the services surplus of $0.4bn to $18.3bn.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $84.8bn, or 41.5%, from the same period in 2021. Exports increased $104.5bn or 17.7%, while imports increased $189.3bn or 23.8%.

The largest deficit was recorded with China at $48.6bn, followed by the European Union at $15.6bn and Mexico at $10.6bn. Deficits were also recorded with Canada ($10.3bn), Germany ($6.2bn), Japan ($6.1bn), Taiwan ($4.9bn), Italy ($3.4bn), India ($3.2bn), South Korea ($3.1bn), Saudi Arabia ($1bn), France ($0.8bn, and Singapore ($0.1bn).

Surpluses for the month of February, meanwhile, were recorded with South and Central America ($6.7bn), Hong Kong ($1.3bn), Brazil ($1.2bn), and the United Kingdom ($0.5bn).

Prior to the revision, the US international trade deficit in goods and services was reported as $89.2bn in February. ST&R said the monthly US trade deficit in goods and services was virtually unchanged in February and remains at a record high as both imports and exports increased.

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