According to the U.S. Commerce Department, for the first time after almost six years the overall U.S. trade deficit narrowed during 2019. Namely, regions’ imports were fallen faster than the exports in the middle of protracted trade tensions.
As Reuters reported, the trade deficit dropped by 1.7% to $616.8 billion in 2019, meaning the first decline since 2013. That represented 2.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) down from 3% back in 2018.
During 2019, exports reported a 0.1% to $2.499.8 billion fall as shipments of capital goods and industrial supplies declined. With fewer imports of industrial materials and supplies, imports decreased by 0.4% to $3.116.5 billion.
Moreover, U.S. trade deficit in goods with China was declined as well, by 17.6% to $345.6 billion. Although, its goods trade among Mexico marked a record high of $101.8 billion.
At the same time, the trade deficit in goods with the European Union also expanded to a record $177.9 billion in 2019.
“Since that entire drop came from the huge change in the China deficit, don’t expect further declines in the years to come,” as Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania said to Reuters.
As for the region’s annual economic growth, marked a slow growth of 2.3% in 2019, the slowest for the last three years, after expanding 2.9% in 2018.