Trade deficit widened in April

June 4, 2013 at 10:25 AM   |   0 comments

WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. trade deficit grew in April after two months of declines, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Tuesday.

The bureau said the trade gap rose from downwardly revised $37.1 billion in March to $40.3 billion in April, as exports rose by $2.2 billion to $185.2 billion and imports rose by $5.4 billion to $222.3 billion.

The largest sink holes for trade remain China, where the trade gap grew from $17.9 billion in March to $24.1 billion in April and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, where the deficit rose from $4.5 billion to $6.6 billion.

The trade deficit with the European Union also rose significantly, climbing from $9.9 billion to $12.4 billion.

Countries with which the United States runs a trade surplus have paltry numbers in comparison. The largest surplus with a single trading partner is Hong Kong, where the trade advantage came to $2.4 billion in April -- down from $3.2 billion in March. The U.S. also maintains a trading advantage over Australia, Singapore and Brazil with surpluses for April at $1.1 billion, $800 million and $1.2 billion, respectively.

The trading deficit in goods rose by $3.2 billion in April to $58.6 billion, while the trading surplus in services rose by a comparatively slim $100 million, the bureau said..

After a decline of $2.4 billion in February to a downwardly revised $43.6 billion, the bureau said the trade gap shrank by $4.8 billion to $38.8 billion in March.

The gap closed as with exports down by $1.7 billion compared to February and imports off by $6.5 billion compared to the previous month.

Economists had expected the trade gap to shrink, but only to $42 billion.

As per usual, the trade balance included a deficit in goods and a surplus in services. For March, the trade gap in goods trading dropped by $4.6 billion to $56.1 billion, while the surplus in services rose by $200 million to $17.3 billion.

Among major trading partners, the trade gap with China dropped from $23.4 billion in February to $17.9 billion in March. With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the gap increased from $3.6 billion to $4.5 billion.

The trade deficit with the European Union rose from $8.8 billion to $9.9 billion, and with Japan it rose from $5.9 billion to $6.6 billion, the bureau said.

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