Unexpected turn up for the books

Posted on 10 Jul 2009 by The Manufacturer

The US trade deficit has fallen to it lowest level in over nine years after imports were down and exports were up in May.

The deficit – the difference between the total value of goods and services the country brings in from other countries and the total value it sends abroad itself – was $26bn in May. This represents a 9.8 per cent drop on the previous month, all according to official figures released by the Department of Commerce today.

Demand for US made products has bottomed out, both at home and abroad, since the recession began around one year ago. But exports rose in May by 1.2 per cent and were worth $123bn. Conversely, imports dropped by 0.6 per cent to $150.2bn

The gap was expected to widen in May with oil prices on the rise but the US actually imported ten per cent less barrels in the month, a factor which contributed heavily to the fall.

After the figures were released, said Paul Ashworth, US economist at Capital Economics, said: “It is now even possible, although still unlikely, that the economy actually expanded in the second quarter.”