Increase in exports narrow US trade gap
A PICKUP in exports, especially autos, electronics and soybeans, narrowed the US trade gap in July, the Commerce Department said.
But US trade overall continued to slow, amid sluggish economic growth domestically and around the world.
The trade deficit for the month fell to US$39.5 billion, compared to $44.7 billion in June, and $39.9 billion a year ago.
Total exports in July rose by $3.4 billion to $186.3 billion, and imports fell $1.8 billion to $225.8 billion.
That took the deficit for the first seven months of this year to $289 billion, roughly in line with last year’s figure.
But total trade in goods and services for the seven months was down 4.3 percent from a year ago, showing the impact of the weak world economy.
In a report for the G20 summit in China that began yesterday, The International Monetary Fund warned that lack of action to boost growth by the major economies was resulting in sluggish trade.
“Lack of determined policy action has also contributed to the slowdown in international trade, which, in turn, likely has negative effects on growth,” the IMF said.
US exports got a particular boost from a $3.6 billion surge in soybean exports in July, helped by a rebound in prices after last year’s slump.
Auto exports rose a similar amount in the month.
The sensitive goods trade deficit with China increased by $1.4 billion to $29.4 billion. –