News Column

Trade Deficit Widened in April After Two Months of Declines

June 4, 2013
Cargo ships

The U.S. trade deficit grew in April after two months of declines, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Tuesday.

The bureau said the trade gap rose from downwardly revised $37.1 billion in March to $40.3 billion in April, as exports rose by $2.2 billion to $185.2 billion and imports rose by $5.4 billion to $222.3 billion.

The largest sink holes for trade remain China, where the trade gap grew from $17.9 billion in March to $24.1 billion in April and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, where the deficit rose from $4.5 billion to $6.6 billion.

The trade deficit with the European Union also rose significantly, climbing from $9.9 billion to $12.4 billion.

Countries with which the United States runs a trade surplus have paltry numbers in comparison. The largest surplus with a single trading partner is Hong Kong, where the trade advantage came to $2.4 billion in April -- down from $3.2 billion in March. The U.S. also maintains a trading advantage over Australia, Singapore and Brazil with surpluses for April at $1.1 billion, $800 million and $1.2 billion, respectively.

The trading deficit in goods rose by $3.2 billion in April to $58.6 billion, while the trading surplus in services rose by a comparatively slim $100 million, the bureau said..

After a decline of $2.4 billion in February to a downwardly revised $43.6 billion, the bureau said the trade gap shrank by $4.8 billion to $38.8 billion in March.

The gap closed as with exports down by $1.7 billion compared to February and imports off by $6.5 billion compared to the previous month.

Economists had expected the trade gap to shrink, but only to $42 billion.

As per usual, the trade balance included a deficit in goods and a surplus in services. For March, the trade gap in goods trading dropped by $4.6 billion to $56.1 billion, while the surplus in services rose by $200 million to $17.3 billion.

Among major trading partners, the trade gap with China dropped from $23.4 billion in February to $17.9 billion in March. With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the gap increased from $3.6 billion to $4.5 billion.

The trade deficit with the European Union rose from $8.8 billion to $9.9 billion, and with Japan it rose from $5.9 billion to $6.6 billion, the bureau said.



Source: Copyright UPI 2013


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