The accounts of the United States are sinking more and more in the red. Uncle Sam’s trade deficit hit an all-time high in February, at $ 71.1 billion, with exports falling sharper than imports. The 4.8% widening deficit from the previous month was driven by a 2.6% drop in exports to $ 187.3 billion, higher than imports, which stood at $ 258.3 billion. dollars (-0.7%).
“US growth faster than in the rest of the world has widened the trade deficit to record levels,” said Oren Klachkin, economist for Oxford Economics, in a note, anticipating that it “should continue to widen as the recovery American will intensify in the spring and summer “. In February, the increase in the trade deficit was higher than the expectations of analysts who had expected $ 70.5 billion.
“The improvement in the health situation, the reopening of the economy and budgetary expenditure will boost domestic demand and will exert strong pressure on imports” while exports, dependent on the slower recovery of the economy in the rest of the world, will be less strong, adds Oren Klachkin. As the United States’ air links are still interrupted with a large number of countries, exports in the field of travel are still at half-mast.
For goods only and by geographic area, the trade deficit widened with China by around 10% over one month. On the other hand, it fell sharply by 42% with Mexico and fell by 5% with the European Union. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to severely disrupt economies around the world, some, including that of the United States, are faring much better than others.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its growth forecasts for the United States very sharply on Tuesday, to 6.4% for 2021 (1.3 point) and 3.5% for 2022 (1 point), estimating that it is “the only large economy” whose 2022 GDP will exceed the forecast made before the pandemic. The country owes its salvation to the adoption of several massive economic stimulus plans, and could still benefit from an ambitious infrastructure plan whose outlines President Joe Biden has unveiled in recent days.
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US economic statistics have been booming for several weeks. Activity in services reached an all-time high in March, and job creations experienced their highest pace for the same month since August 2020, with 916,000 job creations. But in the meantime, and in the short term, on foreign trade, “strained supply chains and divergent growth patterns” will show up in the statistics, predicts Rubeela Farooqi, chief US economist at HFE. In detail, the trade deficit on goods widened to 88 billion dollars in February against 85.2 billion a month before, while the surplus on services fell to 16.9 billion against 17.4 billion a month ago.
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