US trade deficit steady at US$55.2b in June as exports sink

US' deficit in the first half of 2019 is 7.9 per cent higher than the same period last year and could weigh on GDP growth in the second quarter. — Reuters pic
US’ deficit in the first half of 2019 is 7.9 per cent higher than the same period last year and could weigh on GDP growth in the second quarter. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 — ’s mammoth trade deficit held steady in June as foreign demand for US goods and services weakened across the board, according to government data released today.

The falling exports and deteriorating trade picture comes as President Donald Trump intensifies his trade war with , and Beijing vows to retaliate, which economists say is helping to weaken and international commerce.

The US trade gap dipped a token 0.3 per cent to US$55.2 billion (RM229.9 billion) last month, with exports falling faster than imports amid a general decline in trade, according to the Commerce Department report.

Analysts had expected a slightly larger decline.



The deficit in the first half of 2019 is 7.9 per cent higher than the same period last year and could weigh on GDP growth in the second quarter.

The deficit with China, Trump’s greatest source of ire, was largely unchanged at US$30.2 billion, leaving it down 10.3 per cent in the first half of 2019.

The US trade picture dimmed overall in June as exports of cars, gems and computer accessories all fell, as did sales of telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery and jewelry.

The deficit with Mexico also continued to rise, hitting US$9.2 billion, its highest monthly level since at least as far back as 2009, with exports across the southern border falling faster than imports. That deficit has risen more than 35 per cent this year.

Trade with the European Union weakened as imports fell, driving the deficit down 5.9 per cent to US$15.9 billion. — AFP          

Source: The Malay Mail Online





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