Don’t tell President Trump…
Having seen ‘success’ at the start of the year with the trade deficit with China plunge (reduced deficit), the last three months – as tariff tensions have escalated, despite a so-called trade-truce – have seen the China trade deficit accelerate once again.
America’s merchandise trade deficit with China widened slightly in June to a five-month high.
As Bloomberg reports, so far this year, the U.S. merchandise deficit with China has narrowed to a seasonally adjusted $179.8 billion, compared with $200.4 billion in the same six months of 2018.
U.S. exports to China are down 18.1% this year, while imports have fallen 12.2%, a reflection of dwindling two-way trade.
More broadly, the overall trade deficit in June showed a slightly larger decline in the value of imports than exports, capping a quarter in which the shortfall weighed on economic growth. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a deficit of $54.6 billion.
The real petroleum gap narrowed to an all-time low of $5.7 billion as inflation-adjusted petroleum exports reached a record high of $23.3 billion.