Trade Deficit fell to $49 billion in February

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the U.S. international trade deficit fell 3.4% to $49.4 billion in February, from $51.1 billion in January, as exports increased and imports decreased. The goods deficit decreased $1.2 billion in February to $72.0 billion. The services surplus increased $0.5 billion in February to $22.6 billion. The trade deficit was 7.6% smaller in the first two months of the year, compared with the same period in 2018. Exports climbed 1.1% to $209.7 billion. Imports rose 0.2% to $259.1 billion. The February export figures were boosted by higher auto exports and commercial aircraft exports. Imports rose 0.2% to $259.1 billion, largely reflecting an increase foreign-made cellphones and autos.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade shortfall widening to $53.5 billion in February. The trade deficit with China decreased 28.2 percent to $24.8 billion in February as U.S exports to China increased to $9.2bn while U.S. imports from China slid by $1.5bn to $39.3bn.

The February decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $1.2 billion to $72.0 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.5 billion to $22.6 billion. February exports were $209.7 billion, $2.3 billion more than January exports. February imports were $259.1 billion, $0.6 billion more than January imports.

Exports

Exports of goods and services increased $2.3 billion, or 1.1 percent, in February to $209.7 billion. Exports of goods increased $2.1 billion and exports of services increased $0.2 billion.

The increase in exports of goods mostly reflected increases in capital goods ($2.1 billion) and in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($0.6 billion). A decrease in industrial supplies and materials ($0.4 billion) partly offset the increases.

The increase in exports of services mostly reflected increases in transport ($0.2 billion) and in other business services ($0.1 billion), which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related, and other services.

Imports

Imports of goods and services increased $0.6 billion, or 0.2 percent, in February to $259.1 billion. Imports of goods increased $0.9 billion and imports of services decreased $0.3 billion.

The increase in imports of goods mostly reflected increases in consumer goods ($1.6 billion) and in other goods ($0.5 billion). A decrease in industrial supplies and materials ($1.2 billion) partly offset the increases.

The decrease in imports of services mostly reflected decreases in transport ($0.2 billion) and in travel (for all purposes including education) ($0.1 billion). An increase in government goods and services ($0.1 billion) partly offset the decreases.

Goods by Selected Countries and Areas: Monthly –

The February figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with 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 were recorded, in billions of dollars, 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).

The deficit with China decreased $3.1 billion to $30.1 billion in February. Exports increased $1.6 billion to $9.2 billion and imports decreased $1.5 billion to $39.3 billion.

The surplus with Hong Kong increased $1.0 billion to $2.8 billion in February. Exports increased $0.9 billion to $3.2 billion and imports decreased $0.1 billion to $0.3 billion.

The deficit with Japan increased $1.3 billion to $6.7 billion in February. Exports decreased $1.1 billion to $5.7 billion and imports increased $0.2 billion to $12.4 billion.

The more detailed information on trade by type of good or service and with major trading partner, can be found at census.gov.