Trade gap widens in January on higher imports - report

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The U.S. trade deficit has widened further in January as imports overwhelmed exports. According to data, U.S. imports increased by 5.2 percent to $214.1 billion, the biggest monthly gain since mid-1993.

A new data released on Thursday showed that the United States trade deficit has widened more than expected in January as higher imports of cars, oil, and capital goods overwhelmed record exports.

Based on records, the U.S. imports increased by 5.2 percent to $214.1 billion in January – the biggest monthly gain since March 1993 – as demand for oil and cars from abroad continued to outpace the exports market.

The earlier average analysts’ expectations were at $41.5 from the revised estimate of $40.3 billion in December.

The movement in both U.S. imports and exports showed sign of improved economy, but the wider trade gap may pull down analysts’ estimates for the first quarter of this year.

In January, the average price of imported oil spiked up to $84.34 per barrel – the highest since October 2008 as petroleum exporting countries pump up their imports.

Meanwhile, capital goods import – which includes machinery, engines, and medical equipment – has hit a record-high of $41.7 billion; while foods and beverages contributed some $8.5 bullion in January.

U.S. exports grew globally – but exports to China fell by 20 percent to about $8.1 billion; while imports from China increased to $31.4 billion.

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