The trade deficit narrowed 3.8% in January to $59.1 billion thanks to record-breaking export growth, the Commerce Department said March 9. It was a bigger drop than expected on Wall Street, where analysts saw a deficit of $60 billion, and marked the steepest change in the trade figure since October.
Total imports fell 0.5% to $185.8 billion last month while exports jumped 1.1% to a new record of $126.7 billion.
Exports of capital goods grew by $1 billion from December to January, consumer goods increased $500 million and foods, feeds and beverages went up $300 million.
Overall, the U.S imported fewer vehicles, parts and engines (down $1.5 billion) and consumer goods (down by $1.4 billion) in January from December. Exports of vehicles and parts also fell, by $700 million reflecting a deep restructuring underway at General Motors and Ford.
The trade deficit with China surged 12% to $21.3 billion.
The deficit with the EU slumped 28% to $6.5 billion, while the shortfall with Canada grew 23% to $6.9 billion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007