SALURT SPRING, mother. (AP) – The US trade deficit hit a record $ 71.1 billion in February as exports fell more than offsetting a slight drop in imports, and weather conditions blamed analysts for a slightly lower gap.
The February gap between what America buys overseas rose 4.8% from its overseas sales to $ 67.8 billion from a revised January deficit, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
The coronavirus epidemic has been stifling global trade for more than a year, but those barriers seem to be falling as millions of people are vaccinated and countries begin to ease business restrictions on business. Overall trade, just two months after 2021, is just 1.8% behind this time last year, until the global economy went blind from the epidemic.
The US vaccine distribution, which has so far received at least one shot in the arms of more than 100 million Americans, is far ahead of other major global economies in Europe and Asia. If this trend continues, economists believe it will accelerate the return of “ordinary business” and trade even wider as the US economy grows.
“The trade deficit is set to widen as the US recovery grows in the spring and summer,” Oren Klachkin of Oxford Economics wrote in a letter to her clients. “Improving health, reopening, fiscal stimulus will stimulate domestic demand, will preserve imports.”
The higher trade deficit in February reflected a 2.6% decline in exports of goods and services, reaching a seasonal adjustment of $ 187.3 billion. That offset a 0.7% drop in imports, which fell from a record high of $ 260.1 billion in January.
The February goods deficit of $ 88 billion, compared to $ 85.2 billion in January, was also the highest. The $ 5 billion drop in commodity exports was due to a $ 2.5 billion drop in capital goods.
The services surplus in February – $ 16.9 billion – was the lowest in 2012. Since January, has grown with the decline in exports of tourism services. The United States as a whole has a large shortage of goods and services, such as travel and transportation.
The trade deficit for the second half of 2021 was $ 138.9 billion a year, up 68% from $ 82.4 billion in January-February 2020.
The trade deficit with China increased by 11.4% in January to $ 30.3 billion in February, while the trade deficit with Mexico fell by 42.9% from $ 11.9 billion to $ 6.8 billion.
President Biden and his team were relatively calm about his predecessor’s tough trade policies. By now, Biden seems to have focused more on domestic politics, not ending former President Donald Trump’s trade war with China or proposing to change tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.