USA trade deficit falls more quickly than expected in June

By Leah Schnurr

The trade deficit shrank almost 6% in June to an eight-month low, but the U.S.is still on track to post a bigger gap in 2017 than it did the year before.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a $44.1 billion deficit.

The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap decreased 5.9 percent to $43.6 billion, the lowest level since October 2016.

Year-to-date, however, the deficit in United States trade in goods and services was still up 10.7 percent over the same period last year.

When adjusted for inflation, the trade deficit fell to $61.0 billion from $62.8 billion in May.

At $65.4bn, services exports were at their highest level ever, while those of goods, at $129.7bn, were at their best level since April 2015.

Exports of goods and services rose 1.2 percent to $194.4 billion, the highest amount since December 2014 on higher foreign demand for American soybeans, computer accessories and other products.

The report offered encouraging news for the USA economy, which has grown sluggishly this year but is starting to reap more benefits from strengthening economies overseas and a weakened dollar. Exports to China fell 4.7 percent. There were increases in exports of capital goods, food and motor vehicles.

The U.S. still imports more goods and services than it exports, and the broader trend shows a widening deficit. There were decreases in imports of industrial supplies and materials.

Imports of goods from China increased 1.2 percent.

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