US April trade gap jumps to $49.5 bn on record export drop

By: AFP
Published: 07:08 PM, 4 Jun, 2020
US April trade gap jumps to $49.5 bn on record export drop
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As the coronavirus shut down businesses and transport, a record drop in US exports and imports in April drove the trade deficit up more than $7 billion to $49.5 billion, the government reported Thursday.

Exports of US goods and services fell more than 20 percent or $39 billion compared to March, to $151.3 billion, the lowest level in 10 years, the Commerce Department reported.

Imports in the month dropped a more modest 13.7 percent or $32 billion to $200.7 billion.

For the year to date, the US trade gap swelled by $26 billion, or more than 13 percent, compared to the same period of last year, according to the report.

The impact of the shutdowns to contain COVID-19 were widespread throughout the data and in all industries and products, including aircrafts, air travel, oil, auto parts and clothing.

Travel fell nearly $3 billion in the month, the report said.

Although the collapse of trade in most cases meant the US deficit in goods alone narrowed with most countries, the deficit with China jumped to nearly $26 billion from $17 billion in March.

"Exports and imports will continue to be restrained by weaker global growth and falling demand at home and abroad in the aftermath of the virus outbreak," Rubeela Farooqi of High Frequency Economics said in an analysis.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.