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U.S. Trade Gap Narrows to Lowest Level in Nearly 4 Years


The U.S. exported $191.2 billion worth of goods in June and imported $225.4 billion in that same period, resulting in a goods and services deficit of $34.2 billion, down from May’s revised figure of $44.1 billion, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Tuesday.

A narrower trade gap could mean good news for the U.S. economy because it may signal consumers are spending more here than on than on overseas goods.

The trade deficit narrowed by a full 22.4 percent to its lowest since October 2009:

Screen grab.

“June exports were $4.1 billion more than May exports of $187.1 billion. June imports were $5.8 billion less than May imports of $231.2 billion,” the BEA report notes.

“In June, the goods deficit decreased $9.7 billion from May to $53.2 billion, and the services surplus increased $0.2 billion from May to $18.9 billion.”

Exports rose to their highest monthly levels on record in June, the Wall Street Journal reports, while the imports declined precipitously.

“Exports of goods increased $4.0 billion to $134.3 billion, and imports of goods decreased $5.7 billion to $187.4 billion,” the BEA report notes. “Exports of services increased $0.1 billion to $56.9 billion, and imports of services were virtually unchanged at $38.0 billion.”

Meanwhile, the goods and services deficit fell by $8.2 billion from June 2012 to June 2013. Exports were up by 3.2 percent ($6.0 billion) and imports were down 1.0 percent ($2.3 billion).

“U.S. companies shipped more aircraft engines, telecommunications equipment, heavy machinery and farm goods,” the Associated Press reports. “Oil imports declined to the lowest level in more than two years.”

U.S. exports to the European Union grew by 1.5 percent, somewhat shrinking  the $7.1 billion trade deficit with the 27-state union.

The U.S.’ deficit with China fell by 4.3 percent to $26.6 billion. Meanwhile, the U.S.’ trade deficit with Japan increased by 2.2 percent to $5.5 billion in June. The imbalance with Canada decreased in June by 13.7 percent to $1.6 billion while the trade deficit with Mexico fell by 9.6 percent to $4.8 billion.

Activity in U.S. factories increased in July at the fastest pace in two years, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Here are highlights from the Tuesday report:


Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image AP photo.



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