First Time the Trade Gap Narrowed Below $50B Since June 2018
DThe U.S. trade deficit fell below $50 billion in February at $49.4 billion, down $1.8 billion from $51.1 billion and easily beating the forecast. It’s the first dip below the $50-billion threshold since June 2018.
The U.S. trade deficit was expected to deepen in February after narrowing sharply in January. The continued narrowing will be a big boon for gross domestic product (GDP) in the first-quarter (Q1) 2019.
The consensus forecast was looking for a gap of $53.6 billion, ranging from a low of $54.5 billion to a high of $50.8 billion.
|Trade Balance||$-51.1B||$-53.6B||$-54.5B to $-50.8B||$-49.4B|
Exports rose $2.3 billion to $209.7 billion, while imports were rose just $0.6 billion to $259.1 billion. As People’s Pundit Daily previously reported last week, export gains for the month were outpacing import gains.
Year‐to‐date, the goods and services deficit is down 7.6%, or by $8.3 billion. Exports rose 2.7$, or $11.1 billion, while imports rose by only 0.5%, or $2.8 billion.
For the period ending February, the 3-month average for the goods and services deficit fell $0.4 billion to $53.5 billion. The average for exports rose $0.1 billion to $207.5 billion and imports fell $0.3 billion to $261.0 billion.
The politically-sensitive U.S. trade deficit with China declined $3.1 billion to $30.1 billion in February, as exports rose $1.6 billion to $9.2 billion and imports fell $1.5 billion to $39.3 billion.
The U.S. trade deficit with Japan rose $1.3 billion to $6.7 billion in February, as exports fell $1.1 billion to $5.7 billion and imports rose $0.2 billion to $12.4 billion.
The surplus with Hong Kong rose $1.0 billion to $2.8 billion in February, fueled by a $0.9 billion gain in exports to $3.2 billion and a $0.1 billion decline in imports to $0.3 billion.
The U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) joint report showed surpluses in the billions for South and Central America ($3.7), Hong Kong ($2.8), United Kingdom ($0.9), Brazil ($0.6), Singapore ($0.4), Canada ($0.4), and OPEC ($0.3).
Deficits in billions of dollars were posted with China ($30.1), European Union ($12.4), Mexico ($7.7), Japan ($6.7), Germany ($5.5), Italy ($2.8), South Korea ($2.4), India ($2.2), France ($2.2), Taiwan ($1.7), and Saudi Arabia ($0.3).