A slight decline in the US trade deficit, reaching 0.1%.

Thursday, May 02, 2024 - 18:26
Point Trader Group

The US trade deficit narrowed slightly in March after a decline in imports somewhat mitigated the impact of a decline in exports.

The Ministry of Commerce's Office of Economic Analysis reported on Thursday that the trade deficit shrank 0.1% to $69.4 billion. The ministry updated February data to show the trade deficit widened to $69.5 billion instead of $68.9 billion as reported in previous reports.

Economists polled by Reuters expected the deficit to widen to $69.1 billion in March.

The trade item constituted a large burden on the GDP in the first quarter of the year as a result of the increase in imports. The economy grew at a rate of 1.6% on an annual basis in the last quarter after expanding at a pace of 3.4% in the period from October to December.

Imports fell 1.6% in March to $327.0 billion. Imports of goods fell by about 1.6% to $263.8 billion. The month also witnessed a decline in imports of cars, spare parts, supplies, and industrial raw materials, which include crude oil.

Imports of personal goods amounted to about $3 billion, supported by pharmaceuticals. Imports of capital goods also rose to an unprecedented level. Imports of services decreased by $1.1 billion to $63.2 billion, affected by the transportation and travel sector.

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