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Wednesday, July 17, 2019
HomeNewsEconomyU.S. Trade Deficit Falls Below $50B, Easily Beats Forecast at $49.4B

U.S. Trade Deficit Falls Below $50B, Easily Beats Forecast at $49.4B

Import, Export, Logistics concept - Map global partner connection of Container Cargo freight ship for Logistic Import Export background (Photo: AdobeStock/Elements of this image furnished by NASA)

First Time the Trade Gap Narrowed Below $50B Since June 2018

Import, Export, Logistics concept - Map global partner connection of Container Cargo freight ship for Logistic Import Export background (Photo: AdobeStock/Elements of this image furnished by NASA)
Import, Export, Logistics concept – Map global partner connection of Container Cargo freight ship for Logistic Import Export background (Photo: AdobeStock/Elements of this image furnished by NASA)

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.

PriorConsensusRangeActual
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).

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Written by
Data Journalism Editor

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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