the trade deficit at a record level in March, imports surge

Washington (awp/afp) – The US trade deficit widened more than expected in March, rising to a record high, due to sustained domestic demand, which caused a jump in imports.

The goods and services deficit with the rest of the world amounted to 109.8 billion dollars, an increase of 22.3% compared to February. This is much more than the 97.5 billion expected by analysts.

Imports and exports also reached a record level, at 351.5 billion (+10.3%) and 241.7 billion (+5.6%), respectively.

For the month of March alone, the United States exported more industrial goods and materials, in particular petroleum products, cars, automobile spare parts and engines. In the services sector, transport and travel exports were boosted by the lifting of a large number of restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the same time, the United States imported many more goods from multiple sectors such as industrial materials, consumer goods, crude oil, textiles, furniture, automobiles.

For the first quarter as a whole, the deficit was up 41.5% compared to the same period of 2021, with exports up 17.7% and imports up 23.8%.

These record imports weighed down the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which contracted by 1.4% between January and March at an annualized rate.

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