The US trade deficit fell to a minimum of more than three years in November, with imports deepening its decline, probably due to the commercial war of the Trump administration with China, and exports picking up, suggesting that the largest economy of the world ended with a solid base in 2019.
The strength of the US economy was revealed on Tuesday with the publication of another piece of information that showed activity in the vast services sector picked up in December.
However, service industries reported a slowdown in the increase in new orders and hiring, in line with expectations that economic growth would slow down in 2020 as stimuli for 2018 tax cuts fade. .
The Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit decreased 8.2% to $ 43.1 billion, its lowest level since October 2016. The percentage decline, meanwhile, was the largest since January.
The trade deficit decreased 0.7% until November and is on track to record its first annual decline since 2013.
The October data were reviewed to show that the trade gap decreased to $ 46.9 billion instead of the 47.2 billion previously announced. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted that the trade deficit would be reduced to 43.8 billion in November.
The trade deficit of goods with China, axis of the “United States First” agenda of the White House, fell 15.7% to 26.4 billion dollars, with imports down 9.2% and exports up 13, 7% The trade gap of goods with the European Union fell 20.2% to $ 13.1 billion.
The United States and China are involved in a trade war that lasts for about a year and a half. Washington has also faced other business partners, including the European Union, Brazil and Argentina, which it accuses of devaluing their currencies at the expense of US manufacturers.
Although Washington and Beijing reached a “Phase 1” trade agreement in December, there is still considerable confusion about the details of the pact. President Donald Trump said last Tuesday that the preliminary agreement will be signed on January 15 at the White House.
In a separate report released Tuesday, the Institute of Management and Supply (ISM) said its non-manufacturing activity index increased to a reading of 55 last month from 53.9 in November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the services sector, which represents more than two thirds of US economic activity.
Following the publication of the data, the dollar rose against a basket of currencies, the prices of US Treasury bonds advanced and shares on Wall Street fell.