February Trade Deficit Shrinks, Smaller Than All Estimates

Tyler Durden's picture

The US Trade Balance shrank to $43.6 billion in February (the smallest deficit since October and smaller than all economists' estimates). Imports fell modestly (-1.8%) and exports inched higher (+0.2%) as it seems a notably weaker dollar did nothing to help. Notably US' trade deficit with China is down 4.9% on a year-to-date, year-over-year basis.

The deficit decreased from $48.2 billion in January (revised) to $43.6 billion in February, as exports increased and imports decreased. The previously published January deficit was $48.5 billion. The goods deficit decreased $4.6 billion in February to $65.0 billion. The services surplus increased less than $0.1 billion in February to $21.4 billion.


Exports of goods and services increased $0.4 billion, or 0.2 percent, in February to $192.9 billion. Exports of goods increased $0.4 billion and exports of services increased less than $0.1 billion.

The increase in exports of goods mostly reflected increases in consumer goods ($0.7 billion), in other goods ($0.5 billion), and in industrial supplies and materials ($0.4 billion). Decreases in foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.7 billion) and in capital goods ($0.6 billion) were partly offsetting.

The increase in exports of services reflected nearly offsetting changes of $0.1 billion or less in all categories.


Imports of goods and services decreased $4.3 billion, or 1.8 percent, in February to $236.4 billion. Imports of goods decreased $4.2 billion and imports of services decreased less than $0.1 billion.

The decrease in imports of goods mostly reflected decreases in consumer goods ($3.1 billion) and in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($2.6 billion). An increase in industrial supplies and materials ($1.4 billion) was partly offsetting.

The decrease in imports of services reflected nearly offsetting changes of $0.1 billion or less in all categories.

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This should make Trump happy heading into the meetings with Xi - as his 'deficit' is relatively lower.

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BullyBearish's picture

Sure will make the chinese mar a lago meeting a lot more pleasant and full of good feelings...coincident?

Hal n back's picture

No, walmart and others buying less from china due to slowing economy and we are exporting more military equipment and food.

philipat's picture

But apparently a great excuse to monkey-hammer Gold which had just broken through $1260.

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

Thanks.  That's why I love ZH comments section.  There's always a catch, you just have to scroll through and find it.

Anteater's picture

Buy Ivanka's Stuff!!

The Power of the Czar of All Things compels it!

LawsofPhysics's picture

Still looking for a definitive answer on this; How much of our GDP is financial bullshit now?  30%, 40%?  It's got to be a substantial portion now.  Nominal versus REAL?  Fuck, I am pretty sure our GDP has been shrinking in real terms while real inflation increases...

tick tock motherfuckers...

Winston Churchill's picture

The Chinese rating agency had it at 35% six years ago, and real gdp at $8+ tn.

Its very bad when Chinese data is probably more accurate than Uncle Scams.

Games Without Frontiers's picture

Now back out government and healthcare spending.

A. Boaty's picture

All your stuff is not belong to us?

cherry picker's picture

What is the minimum wage?  How many people on it?

Medium rents are through the roof, so I amagine a grand a month doesn't get anyone much in housing, then utilities and other incidentals add in food and there is not much left over to by Chinese goods anymore.

And a lot that is manufacutured in China and Mexico is good quality, not like years ago.

I bought a reputable 4000/3000 watt generator and 5 gal compressor both for $550 brand new on sale at a store.  Comparable products made else where would have cost a lot more.  When I think about shipping costs, cost to manufacture, design and test this stuff, including the ability to return for full refund within 10 days of purchase, it is a wonder anyone is making any money, including the Chinese.

Yet CEOs and others of that ilk are milking the system for all it is worth.  I think paring down salaries for a CEO by 80% and spreading the savings to workers is a good idea.  Most CEO are nothing more than employees with golden parachutes.  If their company goes broke they haven't lost anything.  Not like a small businessman who is barely getting by and losing everything, he or she is on the streets.  Great reward for trying something out and investing time and money. isn't it?

cherry picker's picture

Yes seriously.  Check out user reviews, people who actually own Champion generators.

Run forever.  I've had them before.

MasterCraft works fine for what I use it.

Why pay more if they do the job and work?

hotrod's picture

That's the way you do it.  Just stop buying.

Iconoclast's picture

Hurrah, a $45b a month deficit blip is somehow good news, rejoice :/sarc

DaBears's picture

Saw some $5 "made in bangladesh" jeans in the mall the other day, uh-oh, China is in trouble.

sinbad2's picture

Ahh weapons sales, how would America survive without killing.