US Trade Deficit Widens To Largest In Almost Five Years In January
10 March, 2017, 00:19 | Author: Paula Vaughn
Exports rose 4 percent from a year earlier in January and February to $302.8 billion, rebounding from a 6.1 percent contraction in December, customs data showed Wednesday.
But exports unexpectedly fell 1.3%, giving a trade deficit of $9.2bn for the month.
President Donald Trump took office with a pledge to boost annual economic growth to four percent and renegotiate trade deals in favor of the United States. To bring those jobs back to America, Trump has threatened to assign punitive tariffs on imports from not only China but also Mexico and any other nation he has accused of unfair trade practices.
The Asian nation's February imports expanded by a staggering 38.1 percent, well above analysts' forecasts, while shipments overseas dropped by 1.3 percent in the month under review. China's foreign trade surplus with European Union was 130.16 billion yuan, a 12.6 percent drop year on year. The dollar gained 4.4 per cent against the currencies of the United States' main trading partners previous year.
"However, we doubt that the current pace of import growth can be sustained", he said.
The data comes after China slapped a surprise ban in mid-February on imports from North Korea, the country's main supplier of anthracite coal. Imports of automobiles and parts climbed to a record, while petroleum products were the highest in two years. "With growth in China now running above trend and both monetary and fiscal policy being tightened, it is only a matter of time before we see a slowdown in domestic demand".
Data such as housing starts, consumer spending and construction outlays have implied the economy struggled to regain momentum early in the first quarter after growth slowed to a 1.9 percent annualized rate in the final three months of 2016.
One solution is to combine exports and imports for both January and February, which should iron out fluctuations based on the date shifting.
Accordingly, US exports increased only slightly-by 0.6 percent, to $192.1 billion-with help from excellent auto sales. Shipments of goods to China, also singled out by the Trump administration, dropped 13.4 per cent.
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