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U.S. Goods Trade Deficit Falls Slightly

The United States goods trade dropped in February, coming down from the previous month’s high, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray walked us through the numbers.

The topline: “The U.S. goods trade deficit pulled back from a record $107.57 billion in January to $106.59 billion in February but remained very elevated, according to preliminary figures,” said Moutray.  

The factors: “These data continue to be skewed by supply chain disruptions, higher petroleum prices and stronger economic growth in the U.S. relative to other markets,” said Moutray. “In February, goods exports rose from $155.26 billion to $157.16 billion, outpacing the increase in goods imports, which were up from $262.83 billion to $263.75 billion, an all-time high.”
The nitty-gritty: “In the latest data, there were increased goods exports for industrial supplies (up $1.48 billion), consumer goods (up $1.20 billion) and foods, feeds and beverages (up $515 million), with reduced exports for capital goods (down $804 million) and automotive vehicles (down $414 million),” said Moutray. “Meanwhile, goods imports data were mixed. Higher goods imports for industrial supplies (up $2.75 billion), capital goods (up $1.02 billion), consumer goods (up $454 million) and other goods (up $444 million) were enough to offset declining imports for automotive vehicles (down $3.23 billion) and foods, feeds and beverages (down $516 million).”

Next up: Final data, which will also include the service-sector trade surplus, will be released April 5. 

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