Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- International Trade
In March the U.S. trade deficit contracted $4.8 billion to a level of $38.8 billion ($43.6 billion, previously). The contraction, which was greater than consensus forecasters had predicted, was driven by declines in both imports and exports. Imports fell 2.8 percent to a level of $223.1 billion after increasing 0.3 percent in February and 1.8 percent in January. Exports dropped 0.9 percent to a level of $184.3 billion after increasing 0.9 percent in February and falling −1.2 percent in January. On a year-over-year basis, imports declined −5.6 percent marking the largest yearly decline since October 2010. Exports fell −0.2 percent year-over-year, the first yearly decline since November 2009. Despite mixed trade reports in the past several months and the global slowdown, exports had been maintaining strength. March’s contrastingly weak export activity coupled with weak import activity indicates that trade could negatively impact GDP in the first quarter of 2013.