U.S. trade deficit falls 7 percent in June on falling imports

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. trade gap narrowed 7 percent in June, primarily because of the drop in petroleum imports, falling to its lowest level since 2010.

The shortfall narrowed to $41.5bn in June on a seasonally adjusted basis from a modestly revised $44.7bn in May, according to the Commerce Department report released Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a $45bn deficit.

Imports were down 1.2 percent in June to $237.4bn, the largest drop of the year. The biggest contributor to the decline was recorded by petroleum used to make manufacture products aside from gasoline. Due to new technologies that have unlocked huge domestic reserves that were previously not reached, the U.S. now requires less petroleum from abroad.

Meanwhile, U.S. exports rose 0.1 percent to $195.9bn. A global economic slowdown has hurt sales of U.S.-made goods and services abroad, though businesses are positive that demand will increase in upcoming months.

The decline in June was the steepest since November last year, which could improve the nation’s growth outlook in the second quarter growth compared to initial estimates. The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 4 percent from April to June, but the government’s preliminary estimate was based on expectations for a wider trade deficit.

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