dglobalnews.com US trade deficit narrows in March
Published: Thu, May 04, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

US trade deficit narrows in March

US trade deficit narrows in March

In this October 24, 2016, photo, a container is unloaded from a ship at the Port of Baltimore in Baltimore.

The U.S. trade deficit was narrower than forecast in March as record exports of services partly cushioned a drop in merchandise shipments, Commerce Department data showed Thursday.

Exports to the United States, which accounted for 73.1 per cent of all Canadian exports in March, edged up by 0.1 per cent while imports increased by 2.0 per cent.

The decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $0.4 billion to $65.5 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.4 billion to $21.8 billion. Exports of services increased $0.3 billion to $64.7 billion.

Total exports excluding energy products increased 1.9 percent.

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Trade figures also carry political implications as President Donald Trump seeks to revamp USA trade deals with other countries. The president says trade deficits are responsible for the loss of hundreds of factories and millions of manufacturing jobs. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a $44.5 billion trade deficit in March.

The Trump administration is looking at trade as it seeks to boost annual economic growth to 4 percent.

Imports were up for a fourth consecutive month, increasing 1.7 percent to Can$47.1 billion in March.

The rise in exports was widespread, led by energy, consumer goods and metal and non-metallic mineral products which were all up by 7% during the month. But he reneged on a promise to call out China for manipulating its currency to give its exporters a price advantage, saying that Beijing was cooperating in dealing with a belligerent North Korea. The deficit with Mexico was up 22 percent to $7 billion; and the gap with Japan climbed 55 percent to $7.2 billion.

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