Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $45.8 billion in February, falling by $1.2 billion from January’s revised seven-month high of $47 billion. Imports fell by $3.6 billion to $210.9 billion and exports declined as well by $2.4 billion to $165.1 billion. February’s 1.7 percent drop in imports is the first decrease after four months of consecutive gains. The decline in import levels, down from January’s more than two year high, can be attributed to decreased imports of automobiles (down 10.8 percent) and decreased quantities of crude oil. Seasonal effects from the Lunar New Year influenced imports in February leading to a 7.2 percent month-over-month decline in imports from China. Exports hit record numbers for January but dropped by 1.7 percent in February. The decline stems from decreased exports of automobiles (down 9.3 percent) as well as semiconductors and engines. The overall decline in demand for automobiles, affecting both import and export levels, can be attributed to an increase in petroleum prices.