Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- U.S. Trade
In February, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed by $6.4 to −$46.0 billion, down from January’s revised −$52.4 deficit (−$52.6 billion, previously). February marks the largest decline in the trade deficit since November 2009. Consensus forecasts had predicted a slight narrowing to −$50.0 billion, but a sharp drop in imports by −$6.3 billion to a level of $227.2 billion—the largest drop since January 2009—led to a greater than anticipated decline in the overall deficit. Although exports posted modest gains of $0.2 billion to total $18.1 billion, the increase did little to offset the decrease in imports. The smaller trade deficit could result in trade positively impacting first quarter GDP rather than negatively impacting as was previously expected. On a year-over-year basis, imports posted gains of 7.6 percent, down from January’s 8.4 percent advance and the double digit pace seen during 2011 and 2010. Exports climbed 9.3 percent on a yearly basis, up from January’s 7.8 percent gain. Like imports, exports posted yearly growth rates in the double digits for most of 2011 and 2010.