U.S. Trade Deficit Up 8.5% in April

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Maersk container shipThe U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning that the U.S. trade deficit for April totaled $40.3 billion, up from $37.1 billion in March. U.S. exports rose from $185.2 billion in March to $187.4 billion in April, a difference of $2.2 billion. U.S. imports also rose, from $222.3 billion to $227.7 billion, a rise of $5.4 billion.

The small increase was slightly better than the consensus estimate for growth in the deficit to $41.2 billion.

Imports rose 2.4% month-over-month, while exports rose just 1.2%. Trade with China caused most of the U.S. deficit. The trade gap with the Middle Kingdom totaled $24.1 billion, well up from a trade deficit of $17.9 billion in March. The March trade gap with China was the lowest in three years.

The U.S. trade deficit with South Korea, the European Union, Japan and OPEC nations also rose, even though the deficit related to petroleum imports fell for a third straight month. Crude oil production in the United States and lower prices for Brent crude were the main contributing factors to the lower cost of petroleum imports.

While the trade deficit is higher, the inference to draw is that the U.S. economy is performing better than many other national economies, and thus demand is rising. That is directly counter to the situation in Europe.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, China, Economy, Research Tagged: featured
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