Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
The nominal trade deficit narrowed by $2.6 billion to $37.3 billion in January following two months of widening. Since reaching its recent low of $25.8 billion in May, the deficit has seesawed but has generally been trending upward toward pre-recession levels. Perhaps the most surprising part of the report is the decline of both imports and exports. Imports tumbled for the first time since August, slipping 1.7 percent, led by a 3.0 percent decrease in capital goods and an 8.1 percent drop in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines. Exports fell 0.3 percent after rising for eight straight months, as a 0.7 percent decline in goods outweighed a 0.4 percent rise in services. Still, the 12-month growth rates of both imports and exports are at their highest levels since August 2008, reaching 11.9 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively.