The U.S. trade deficit dropped sharply in February to the lowest level in more than five years, according to the Commerce Department.
The gap between imports and exports came in at $35.4 billion in February, falling nearly 17% from January’s total which was revised up to $42.7 billion.
Led by cheaper oil, the number comes in well below analysts’ estimates of between $41.5 and $41.7 billion.
The smaller trade gap delivers a mixed message as the strong dollar continues to weigh on exports which fell to $186.2 billion, $3.0 billion less than January and a two-and-a-half year low. The drop in exports was led by oil, aircraft, computer chips and soybeans.
February imports fell 4.4% to $221.7 billion, $10.2 billion less than January and the lowest level in nearly three years. Fewer electronics, computers and heavy industrial machines were brought into the country.
Follow this link for the complete Commerce Department International Trade Report and analysis from the Bureau of Economics.