On the heels of a disappointing revised Q4 GDP print, the US trade balance for January printed a $69.2 billion deficit. This is the second largest deficit since August 2008 (slightly smaller than the March 2015 plunge) as the dollar surge has not helped.
The biggest driver the deficit increase was 4.8% MoM increase in Consumer Goods (notably Auto exports rose 9.3%)
The $69.2bn deficit is considerably worse than the $66.0 billion expectations, and is lower than the lowest analyst expectation.
Certainly not a good sign for Q1 GDP expectations.
As BofAML notes, combining trade data with inventories for January, this slices 0.2pp from Q1 GDP tracking, leaving us at 1.8% for the quarter.
The USD strength has not helped...
So time for another rate hike to reverse that recent drop in the USD and stymie the US economy even more via its trade deficit?