US Trade Deficit Lower Than Expected


The goods and services deficit in the United States narrowed to USD 43.6 billion in February of 2017 from a downwardly revised USD 48.2 billion gap a month earlier and lower than market expectations of a USD 44.8 billion shortfall. Exports increased 0.2 percent to 2 year high, boosted by rise in shipments of cars and industrial supplies and materials while imports went down 1.8 percent.

The lower deficit reflected a decrease in the goods gap of USD 4.6 billion to USD 65 billion and an increase in the services surplus of less than USD 0.1 billion to USD 21.4 billion.

Total exports rose 0.2 percent to USD 192.9 billion, reaching a new high since December of 2014 and following a 0.8 percent gain in January. Exports of goods increased USD 0.4 billion to USD 128.5 billion: consumer goods increased USD 0.7 billion; pharmaceutical preparations rose USD 0.6 billion; other goods went up USD 0.5 billion and industrial supplies and materials increased USD 0.4 billion. In contrast, sales of foods, feeds, and beverages decreased USD 0.7 billion; soybeans went down USD 0.6 billion; capital goods declined USD 0.6 billion and civilian aircraft fell USD 0.6 billion. Exports of services increased less than USD 0.1 billion to USD 64.4 billion. Changes in all categories were USD 0.1 billion or less and were nearly offsetting.

Total imports fell 1.8 percent to USD 236.4 billion, reversing form a 2.3 percent rise in January. Purchases of goods decreased USD 4.2 billion to USD 193.4 billion: consumer goods went down USD 3.1 billion; cell phones and other household goods declined USD 1.9 billion; automotive vehicles, parts, and engines fell USD 2.6 billion and passenger cars decreased USD 2.1 billion. In contrast, purchases of industrial supplies and materials increased USD 1.4 billion and crude oil rose USD 1.3 billion. Imports of services decreased less than USD 0.1 billion to USD 43.0 billion. Changes in all categories were USD 0.1 billion or less and were nearly offsetting.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, exports rose to Canada (1.4 percent), Japan (3.4 percent), the EU (8 percent) and OPEC (11 percent) but fell to Mexico (-7.1 percent), Brazil (-3.3 percnt) and China (-2.7 percent). Imports fell from China (-20.8 percent), OPEC (-12.3 percent), Brazil (-10 percent), Canada (-4.2 percent) and the EU (-1.3 percent) but rose 1.8 percent from Mexico.

The US trade deficit narrowed with China (USD -22.9 billion from USD -31.3 billion in January), the EU (USD -9.4 billion from USD -11.5 billion), Japan (USD -4.7 billion from USD -5.5 billion) and Canada (USD -2.1 billion from USD -3.4 billion). In contrast, it widened with Mexico (USD -5.7 billion from USD -3.9 billion).

US Trade Deficit Lower Than Expected


BEA | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
4/4/2017 12:56:58 PM