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International Trade: Imports Fall Back To Start 2020

March 6, 2020

Bottom Line: Imports fell slightly to start 2020 as the trade balance continued to see a turn in trend, particularly with China and to a lesser extent with European countries. Exports fell, led by aircraft as Boeing's woes continued. On the import side, industrial metals and materials fell amid the Chinese New Year, potentially an early sign of the supply chain disruptions that continued as the Covid-19 virus impacts started.

The International Trade Deficit NARROWED by $3.3 billion to $45.3 billion in January, compared with market expectations for an increase to a $46.1 billion deficit.

Exports FELL by 0.4% to $208.6 billion after an increase of 0.9% in the prior month. The declines in capital goods and industrial supplies and materials were partially offset by increases in motor vehicles and parts and food, feed, and beverages. Export growth is now 1.1% ABOVE their year ago level.

Imports FELL 1.621% to $253.9 billion after an increase of 2.6% in the prior month. The declines in industrial supplies and materials and other goods were partially offset by increases in food, feed, and beverages and consumer goods. Imports are now 2.4% BELOW their year ago level.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors