US Trade Deficit Widens On Record Crash In Exports

After reaching its smallest deficit since September 2016 in February, the US trade balance tumbled in March. The overall gap in goods and services trade widened to $44.4 billion from a revised $39.8 billion in February.

Source: Bloomberg

The surge in the deficit was driven by a plunge in US exports of goods and services. Exports dropped from the prior month by a record 9.6% to $187.7 billion, while imports fell 6.2% to $232.2 billion.

Source: Bloomberg

Declines in international travel and tourism made up a large portion of the decreases in exports and imports. Travel and transport exports dropped about $10.1 billion, while imports fell around $10.6 billion.

And the trade deficit with China has shrunk dramatically...

Source: Bloomberg

As Bloomberg points out, and is clear from the chart above, foreign trade was already diminishing heading into the pandemic, and now, faced with supply chain disruptions, a previously incomprehensible surge in unemployment and a drop off in demand, the world’s largest economy has pulled back more dramatically.