US February trade balance -$49.4B vs -$53.4B expected
February trade balance figures
- Prior was -$51.1B. The prior month was unrevised.
- Exports +1.1% versus 1.0% last month
- Imports +0.2% versus -2.6% last month
- Goods deficit $72.1 billion
- services surplus $22.63 billion
- capital goods imports $57.21 billion versus January imports of $57.02 billion
- China February trade deficit -$24.76 billion versus January deficit of -$34.47 billion. The tariffs and trade concessions seem to be helping there
- US-OPEC trade surplus $411 million versus January deficit of $1.25 billion
- US February oil import price $46.89 versus $42.59 in January
The report shows the smallest trade deficit since June 2018 and moving back in the right direction for the Trump administration. China deficit was smaller. Exports grew by 1.1% after rising 1.0% last month. Imports - which fell last month - rose modestly this month. Surplus in oil.
Capital Economics notes that the deficit was narrowed on a jump in aircraft exports and slower import growth.
"Neither of those are particularly compelling reasons to be upbeat about economic prospects this year, but the figures do at least confirm that net trade will provide a substantial positive contribution to first-quarter GDP growth, which we now think was 2.0% annualised," they write.